Featured post

Jam-Packed July

Pretty yellow butterfly

Pretty yellow butterfly

Sikkim Cucumbers

Sikkim Cucumbers (and my awesome pants! haha)

Mimosa Blossoms

Mimosa Blossoms

Little yellow wildflower (a perk of not weeding the garden!)

Little yellow wildflower (a perk of not weeding the garden!)

A quick little one-point perspective painting

A quick little one-point perspective painting

My friend/coworker (who is a brilliant painter!) and I are doing a little collaborate painting. I started it, now she will add to it, and we'll pass it back and forth until we deem it finished!

My friend/coworker (who is a brilliant painter!) and I are doing a little collaborate painting. I started it, now she will add to it, and we’ll pass it back and forth until we deem it finished!

Bumblebee and sunflower

Bumblebee and sunflower

A turkey strutting in the playground at Forest School

A turkey strutting in the playground at Forest School

In snake-tree news; Smoochie hosed out the snake-toilet (eww!!)

In snake-tree news; Smoochie hosed out the snake-toilet (eww!!) Not sure if this disturbed them or not but we really couldn’t help it, it looked gross!

Farther up in the tree...I spy shedded...

Farther up in the tree…I spy shed…

Snake skins!

Snake skins! Wish I could’ve photographed this process as it happened!

The same tree...another day...another reptile!

The same tree…another day…another reptile!

A skink; and a fat one!

A skink; and a fat one!

It scampered off into the snake hole!

It scampered off into the snake hole!

I was diligently picking off all these squash bug eggs, but the squash vine borers eluded me and we lost most of the pumpkin plants. But there areare lots of loofah gourd squash plants doing quite well. There's always a bright side to gardening!

I was diligently picking off all these squash bug eggs, but the squash vine borers eluded me and we lost most of the pumpkin plants. But there are lots of loofah gourd squash plants doing quite well. There’s always a bright side to gardening!

Missouri River valley

Missouri River valley

Here's a shot of my organized and meticulous method of curing/saving garlic. Hahaha

Here’s a shot of my organized and meticulous method of curing/saving garlic. Hahaha

A tattered butterfly resting on the deer fence

A tattered butterfly resting on the deer fence

Floral on floral on floral!

Floral on floral on floral!

A dragon's egg cucumber

A dragon’s egg cucumber

My study buddy at the library

My study buddy at the library

A few weeks ago we had Vacation Bible School at our church. There were about 25-30 kids there which was a great turnout!

The theme was "Camp Discovery" and the teachers did a great job decorating the classrooms.

The theme was “Camp Discovery” and the teachers did a great job decorating the classrooms.

I was in charge of the arts and crafts! VBS was Monday-Friday 6-8PM; a very busy week!

I was in charge of the arts and crafts! VBS was Monday-Friday 6-8PM; a very busy week!

A simple one-point perspective lesson

A simple one-point perspective lesson

Following directions (as usual)

Following directions (as usual)

Doing whatever she wants (as usual) hahaha!

Doing whatever she wants (as usual) hahaha!

I love painting with kids, they are so creative and don't second-guess the process of painting!

I love painting with kids, they are so creative and don’t second-guess the process of painting!

This was a great abstract piece by a 4 year old.

This was a great abstract piece by a 4 year old.

Recess!

Recess!

Snack time! (and representing Auburn; Aunt Spy's alma mater)

Snack time! (and representing Auburn; Aunt Spy’s alma mater)

The end of VBS ended with a water balloon fight; a long-standing tradition!

The end of VBS ended with a water balloon fight; a long-standing tradition!

The teenagers filled water balloons all week; 1500 of them!

The teenagers filled water balloons all week; 1500 of them!

In baseball news…

The Knights are league champions!

The Knights are league champions!

Knights fans

Knights fans

Nana and my sister (visiting from FL!) at one of the games

Nana and my sister (visiting from FL!) at one of the games

Climbing in the playground at the ballfield

Climbing in the playground at the ballfield

Watching warm-up in the shade (it was near 100 degrees at several of the games, whew!)

Watching warm-up in the shade (it was near 100 degrees at several of the games, whew!)

Hitting the trail

Hitting the trail

Wildflowers

Wildflowers

Paw-Paw trees. I have yet to sample a paw-paw (I've heard it tastes kind of like a banana).

Paw-Paw trees. I have yet to sample a paw-paw (I’ve heard it tastes kind of like a banana).

Tiny bright red mushrooms

Tiny bright red mushrooms

Pretty blue-purple wildflowers

Pretty blue-purple wildflowers

Leaf

Leaf

A feather

A feather

Little mushroom

Little mushroom

The Spy golfing

Four!

The kids with Nana & Pop, who we enjoyed having in St. Louis the whole month of July!

The kids with Nana & Pop, who we enjoyed having in St. Louis the whole month of July! Golfing, tennis, swimming, movies, etc., etc….thanks for all the fun and good memories!

On to August!

But first a good night's rest under a blue moon!

But first,a good night’s rest under a blue moon!

Featured post

Missouri Botanical Garden 7.27.15

Lanterns

Lanterns

The Lantern Festival is going on now (through August 23rd) at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The lanterns are best enjoyed at night when they are all lit up but it was cool to see them in daylight too!

Many of the lantern displays are huge!

Many of the lantern displays are huge!

The lanterns are made of silk, steel and porcelain

The lanterns are made of silk, steel and porcelain

The Spy liked this elephant fountain

The Spy liked this elephant fountain

Galloping horses in front of the Climatron

Galloping horses in front of the Climatron

These lizard lanterns fit perfectly in front of the Linnean house (the oldest operating greenhouse west of the Mississippi)

These lizard lanterns fit perfectly in front of the Linnean house (the oldest operating greenhouse west of the Mississippi)

At the children’s garden…

We cooled off in the fountains (I did too!)

We cooled off in the fountains (I did too!)

The kids in the maze...

The kids in the maze…Hmmm where are they?

Hi!

Hi!

And there's the Spy!

And there’s the Spy!

These "pincushion" gardens were very cool.

These “pincushion” gardens were very cool.

Definitely something to consider if you have a lot of succulents/other little plants!

Definitely something to consider if you have a lot of succulents/other little plants!

This nearly black elephant ear plant is like a sculpture

This dark elephant ear plant is like a sculpture

The children's garden is set up like an old west town. I saw so many beautiful hanging baskets!

The children’s garden is set up like an old western town. So many beautiful hanging baskets!

Through the foliage, looks like a forbidden city! (A large porcelain lantern)

Through the foliage, looks like a forbidden city! (A large porcelain lantern)

That huge tree is an...

That huge tree is an…

Osage orange!

Osage orange!

Duck

Duck

Peacock

Peacock

Rope...

Rope…

walk

walk

Staying soaked was the key today! It was hot!

Staying soaked was the key today! It was hot!

Showing off a big tortoise shell!

Showing off a big tortoise shell!

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

The lanterns were very detailed; and amazing that all that silk and porcelain holds up in the elements!

The lanterns were very detailed; and amazing that all that silk and porcelain holds up in the elements!

Beautiful hand-painted silk! I bet this one looks really cool at night!

Beautiful hand-painted silk! I bet this one looks really cool at night!

Lily pads

Lily pads

Detail

Detail

Haha

Haha

Reflection

Reflection

Fuzzy stalk

Fuzzy stalk

Huge koi

Huge koi

This one had some weird eyelash-like things

This one had some weird eyelash-like things

A tiny glimpse of fall! But DEFINITELY did not feel like fall today!

A tiny glimpse of fall! But DEFINITELY did not feel like fall today!

Of course, we had to get a few...

Of course, we had to get a few…

Souvenirs! The coolest one being...

Souvenirs! The coolest one being…

A Venus fly-trap!

A Venus fly-trap!

Watch out flies!

Watch out flies!

Happy Monday friends!

Featured post

Harvests, Art

Celosia (related to amaranth the leaves are edible and can be used like any green)

Celosia (related to amaranth the leaves are edible and can be used like any green)

The blackberries are nearly as big as baby's palm!

The blackberries are nearly as big as baby’s palm!

Missouri River sunrise (taken from the Daniel Boone Bridge)

Missouri River sunrise (taken from the Daniel Boone Bridge)

Plum! (the first of this tree; we only got 3 of them, but it was still exciting to finally get fruit!)

Plum! (the first of this tree; we only got 3 of them, but it was still exciting to finally get fruit!)

Corn (Kulli Black Incan)

Corn (Kulli Black Incan)

Check out these corn "feet"

Check out these corn “feet”

So cool!

So cool!

Busy bumblebees in the milkweed

Busy bumblebees in the milkweed

Sikkim cucumber (wet with rainwater) has a cool orange color and a crackle finish! (tastes the same as regular cucumbers)

Sikkim cucumber (wet with rainwater) has a cool orange color and a crackle finish! (tastes the same as regular cucumbers)

Our awesome new eno hammock! (thanks Nana & Pop!)

Our awesome new eno hammock! (thanks Nana & Pop!)

Lemon Bee Balm

Lemon Bee Balm

(part of) the garlic harvest!

(part of) the garlic harvest!

Dragon Tongue Bean blossoms

Dragon Tongue Bean blossoms

Baby showing a dragon tongue bean. These are my favorite beans to grow: crunchy, fresh and very pretty too!

Baby showing a dragon tongue bean. These are my favorite beans to grow: crunchy, fresh and very pretty too!

Seed saving (Nigella)

Seed saving (Nigella)

Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon

The rose of Sharon flowers turn this pretty blue-purple after they're done blooming. Tons of the spent blooms fall to the ground...

The rose of Sharon flowers turn this pretty blue-purple after they’re done blooming. Tons of the spent blooms fall to the ground…

Enough to make designs with!

Enough to make designs with!

Coneflowers

Coneflowers

And a few shots from the St. Louis Art Museum…

Torso with Smoochie (I tried to get him to take off his shirt and pose next to this, maybe next time) Hahajahah

Torso with Smoochie (I tried to get him to take off his shirt and pose next to this, maybe next time) Hahajahah

Ancient...

Ancient…

Flip flops!

Flip flops!

Look! It's just like being at our house!

Look! It’s just like being at our house!

See Tonguey at the very top of the picture and Tonguey II peeking out of the hole?

See Tonguey at the very top of the picture and Tonguey II peeking out of the hole?

Tonguey II as it turns out is the female (she is bigger and way more protective of the nest). I figured the larger one was the male but I don't think that is actually the case.

Tonguey II as it turns out is the female (she is bigger and way more protective of the nest). I figured the larger one was the male but I don’t think that is actually the case.

Who needs TV?

Who needs TV?

and this is really gross but I want to share…

Snake Toilet. Seriously gross. But at least it doesn't smell.

Snake Toilet. Seriously gross. But at least it doesn’t smell.

Tonguey II looking quite small with just her head peeking out

Tonguey II looking quite small with just her head peeking out

Tonguey II going under the deck probably to hunt for mice

Tonguey II going under the deck probably to hunt for mice

I’ll leave you with a more pleasant image (not that snakes aren’t cool and all)…

This large painting was my favorite of our latest visit. So dreamy and peaceful. Interesting how every time you go to the art museum you may be drawn to different pieces.

This large painting was my favorite of our latest visit. So dreamy and peaceful. Interesting how every time you go to the art museum you may be drawn to different pieces.

Hope you all had a nice weekend!

Featured post

July 4, 2015

Red, white & blue!(nasturtiums, carrot blossoms & nigella)

Red, white & blue! (nasturtiums, carrot blossoms & nigella)

What's more American than fireworks and flags made in China!?

What’s more American than fireworks and flags made in China!?

Patriotic Babyzilla

Patriotic Babyzilla

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July!

The Spy (home from camp woo!), Smoochie and Dexie setting off fireworks

The Spy (home from camp, woooo!), Smoochie and Dexie setting off fireworks

My favorite are the gold/silver fireworks

My favorite are the gold/silver fireworks

And green (for gardening!)

And green (for gardening!)

Fireworks

Fireworks

Sparkly

Sparkly (photo cred to Spy Sister!)

Love this shot!

Happy Independence Day!

Hope you all had a great fourth of July weekend!

Featured post

June 2015

Bee balm, rue, asters, wild strawberry and milkweed in this patch

Bee balm, rue, asters, wild strawberry and milkweed in this patch

Milkweed buds (taken a few weeks ago: its blooming now!)

Milkweed buds (taken a few weeks ago: its blooming now!)

Plein air...

Plein air…

Painting!

Painting!

Little bug with black and white striped antennae on orach

Little bug with black and white striped antennae on orach

Love-in-a-mist...

Love-in-a-mist…

seed pods. Fun to pick and fun to pop; they're like little balloons. Love-in-a-mist is also called Nigella.

seed pods. Fun to pick and fun to pop; they’re like little balloons. Love-in-a-mist is also called Nigella.

Check out this huge earthworm!

Check out this huge earthworm!

Babyzilla...

Babyzilla…

Worm Whisperer

Worm Whisperer

Buds peeking out

Buds peeking out (onion)

Cool wings on this bug

Cool wings on this bug

Teepee view facing south/southwest (this was taken a few weeks ago, now pumpkins are starting to creep up the teepee!)

Teepee view facing south/southwest (this was taken a few weeks ago, now pumpkins are starting to creep up the teepee!)

A ladybug in the mist

A ladybug in the mist

Weeeee...love our swings!

Weeeee…love our swings!

A plum!

A plum!

Tree ID anyone? We were given two of these and the person said they were plum, but they haven't fruited yet.

Tree ID anyone? We were given two of these and the person said they were plum, but they haven’t fruited yet.

Foliage of our mystery tree.

Foliage of our mystery tree.

Loads of garlic seeds (we ate a lot of scapes but also let many go to seed because I love how they look!)

Loads of garlic seeds (we ate a lot of scapes but also let many go to seed because I love how they look!)

I like to think of this as Grant's garlic; because our friends' the Grants gave us a small handful of these garlic seeds years ago. Now we have probably 50lbs of garlic! The garlic is nearly ready to harvest.

I like to think of this as Grant’s garlic; because our friends’ the Grants gave us a small handful of these garlic seeds years ago. Now we have probably 50lbs of garlic! The garlic is nearly ready to harvest. Garlic grows underground but these seedheads grow up.

Pretty orach with dew drops

Pretty orach with dew drops

Marigolds and onions

Marigolds and onions

Onion seed head

Onion seed head

Who needs fireworks?!

Who needs fireworks?!

This was the ONLY time we have watered the garden this year (taken 3 weeks ago). It has rained sooo much which is unusual for summer here in St. Louis.

This was the ONLY time we have watered the garden this year (taken 3 weeks ago). It has rained sooo much which is unusual for summer here in St. Louis.

Lemon Bee Balm

Lemon Bee Balm

Baby is a great running buddy!

Baby is a great running buddy!

See Tonguey?

See Tonguey?

At the pool (the Spy is still at camp; we miss him!!)

At the pool a few weeks ago (the Spy is still at camp; we miss him!!)

Baby especially misses her brother!

Baby especially misses her brother! He returns from camp this weekend!

Highlights and Stripes

Highlights and Stripes

Baby (on the left) at Forest School in Squirrely Garden

Baby (on the left) at Forest School in Squirrely Garden

Thyme at this angle reminds me of one of those Magic Eye pictures

Thyme at this angle reminds me of one of those Magic Eye pictures

Garden panorama (taken from the garden "living room")

Garden panorama (taken from the garden “living room”)

Dexie prancing through the garden (picture taken June 28th, 2015)

Dexie prancing through the garden (picture taken June 28th, 2015)

And on to July! Hope you all are having a nice summer!

Featured post

Camp!

This past weekend we traveled to…

the beautiful blue ridge mountains!

the beautiful blue ridge mountains!

At about the ninth hour of driving...Dexie, is that a wink or an eye twitch?!

At about the ninth hour of driving…Dexie, is that a wink or an eye twitch?!

Baby, only three more hours to go! haha

Baby, only three more hours to go! haha

Look at all those onions.

Look at all those onions.

Finally! Into the smoky mountains we go!

Finally! Into the smoky mountains we go!

Black Mountain, NC...home of...

Black Mountain, NC…home of…

The Greatest Place on Earth (or at least right up there with Spy Garden ;)

The Greatest Place on Earth (or at least right up there with Spy Garden ;)

Camp Merri-Mac has been a major influence in my life. I was a camper there from age 11-16 and I was a CIT (counselor in training) at 17. It is very fun for me to think of all of the things I do in my adult life that somehow relate to my days as a camper. Art, crocheting, gardening, swimming, exploring the woods: all of my hobbies and interests have some sort of roots in Camp Merri-Mac. There are wooden swings in our backyard. We spend lots of quality time in creeks. We even live on a one lane dirt/gravel road (just like camp!) Pretty much on any given afternoon, I might as well be at summer camp…enjoying our low ropes course (zip line, slack line and again, those joyous wooden swings!), singing camp songs to the kids (since they were babies!) and just generally spending loads of time outdoors learning new things.

Though there was no gardening at camp, gardening is very much a camp-type pursuit (again, outdoors: learning new things!). The excitement of tribal competition (Go Seminoles!) I now find at little league games (Go Knights!). Chapel is now church and the alarm clock is Reveille. Well maybe that last one’s a stretch;)! My sister always tells me our laundry smells like the laundry at camp. This is probably because we always have at least a couple of articles of clothing that have gotten thoroughly filthy and wet (another important tenet of summer camp!).

A major reason I’ve never gotten my kids any video games or let them play on a phone and limited TV time is because camp was (and still is) always totally technology-free. True to form, even on the (looong! 11+ hours!) drive to North Carolina, the kids stared out the window and sketched on scrap paper; no ipads or video games on our road trips just like “in my day” (I can say that now! Hahaha)!

In my professional life as a psychiatric nurse I guide and encourage others to find joy, meaning and purpose in life: something I began to learn at camp. Exploring the deeper value of leisure pursuits and conveying the importance of exploring spirituality are passions born at camp.

And of course there’s the creek and mud and friendship of Baby’s Forest School: much like camp (year round!)

Even though Camp Merri-Mac and Timberlake are on the same campus, they keep the two camps quite separate. Until now I didn’t know too much about Timberlake but I figured it is probably the greatest place on earth for a boy in the summer; since that’s true about Merri-Mac for girls!

So off we sent our first-born, our precocious progeny, into the blue ridge mountains for the next two weeks!

But first we checked out the sights of...

But first we checked out the sights of…

Montreat

Montreat

Lake Susan in Montreat

Lake Susan in Montreat

Snapping turtle laying eggs next to Lake Susan

Snapping turtle laying eggs next to Lake Susan

Baby's first time in a canoe! (canoeing was always my favorite camp activity and I took trips to the many rivers in the area)

Baby’s first time in a canoe! (canoeing was always my favorite camp activity and I took trips to the many rivers in the area)

Ready to...

Ready to…

Hit the trail!

Hit the trail!

Centipede

Centipede

Skilled hiker!

Skilled little hiker!

Cute little red mushroom

Cute little red mushroom

We hiked for four hours (much of which was uphill!) Whew!

The woods are loaded with magnolias

The woods are loaded with magnolias

Magnolia buds

Magnolia buds

Magnolia blooms

Magnolia blooms

Dexie enjoyed many dips in the cold clear mountain streams.

Dexie enjoyed many dips in the cold clear mountain streams.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms

Snail

Snail

Wildflower

Wildflower

Little Feather

Little Feather

Flat Creek

Flat Creek

We also explored Black Mountain, NC with easy walking access from this cheap and convenient hotel

We also explored Black Mountain, NC with easy walking access from this cheap and convenient hotel

My Father's Pizza (a Black Mountain tradition!)

My Father’s Pizza (a Black Mountain tradition!)

Father and son at My Father's Pizza

Father and son at My Father’s Pizza

At Dairy King (a Black Mountain tradition!)

At Dairy King (a Black Mountain tradition!)

Iconic Dairy King sign (iconic to me anyways;)

Iconic Dairy King sign (iconic to me anyways;)

Great Smoky Mountains

Great Smoky Mountains

This area is a beautiful place for a nice drive…

Ahhhhh cool mountain air!

Ahhhhh cool mountain air!

Chimney Rock drive-by

Chimney Rock drive-by

Feel free to make a joke about what else this rock looks like.

Feel free to make a joke about what else this rock looks like. lol

Many pretty vistas

Many pretty vistas

Finally it was time for drop-off!

Home forour little (big!) camper for the next two weeks!

Home for our little (big!) camper for the next two weeks!

Outside the cabin (these hammocks must be all the rage! We saw them all over the place!)

Outside the cabin (these hammocks must be all the rage! We saw them all over the place!)

Blue Heaven; the first cabin I was ever in (age 11)!

Blue Heaven; the first cabin I was ever in (age 11)!

The counselors snap shots of the kids and post them to a parents’ site so fortunately we have a little window into what he is up to…

Initiated into the Seminoles!

Initiated into the Seminoles! So far, so good!

In 2012, a great camp friend of mine invited me to be a raft guide, the summer after my freshman year of college, which is where I met Smoochie. So no camp? No Smoochie, no little spies, no Spy Garden! Thank God for camp!

DSC_0200

Featured post

Mid-June in Spy Garden

Fluffy summer clouds (bringing us loads of rain!)

Fluffy summer clouds (bringing us loads of rain!)

Blue Flax

Blue Flax

Blue Flax: (Linum perenne) This perennial flower was discovered on the Lewis & Clark Expedition, and hence the species was named “lewisii”. Lovely blue flowers on 24” plants, beautiful and easy to grow. (seeds/description from http://www.rareseeds.com)

Pepper already! This one is a black Hungarian (mild to medium spicy)

A pepper already! This one is a black Hungarian (mild to medium spicy)

Feverfew

Feverfew

Echinacea

Echinacea

Carrot Blossom

Carrot Blossom

Orach

Orach

We are growing two types of cucumber: Sikkam (a tan oblong variety) and Dragon's egg (a white egg shaped type)

We are growing two types of cucumber: Sikkam (a tan oblong variety) and Dragon’s egg (a white egg shaped type) and notice all the purslane growing wild around the cucumber plants. Purslane makes great ground cover and it is edible (lemony and crunchy!)

Marigolds, Loofah gourds, onions and love-in-a-mist flowers

Marigolds, Loofah gourds, onions and love-in-a-mist flowers

Celosia

Celosia

These are storebought (planted last year) but there are many native varieties of coneflowers in the parks in our area.

These are storebought (planted last year) but there are many native varieties of coneflowers in the parks in our area.

Prickly centers

Prickly centers

Little onion seed heads

Little onion seed heads

Facing east

Facing east

Love when the mimosa blossoms fall!

Love when the mimosa blossoms fall!

Makeshift garden gate for an area of the deer fence in need or repair.

Makeshift garden gate for an area of the deer fence in need or repair.

Hey, where are you going with the garden gate?! haha

Hey, where are you going with the garden gate?! haha

Mmm good stick

Mmm good stick

Yum! Spinach always seems to do so well in pots; very easy to harvest

Yum! Spinach always seems to do so well in pots; very easy to harvest

Pretty Lettuce

Pretty Lettuce

Very vibrant coneflower

Very vibrant coneflower

Blue Dragonfly

Blue Dragonfly

Love-in-a-mist seed pods

Love-in-a-mist seed pods

It's Tongue-y! Baby named her. The male (who we haven't seen lately is Tongue-y II) haha

It’s Tongue-y! Baby named her. The male (who we haven’t seen lately is Tongue-y II) haha

Great climber!

Great climber! (and great camoflauge)

Found a good spot to nap

Found a good spot to nap

Pitching

Pitching

Hitting

Hitting

Spectating (and pedicure-ing!) at the ballpark!

Spectating (and pedicure-ing!) at the ballpark!

Sparkly shoes!

Sparkly shoes!

Baby-

Baby-

zilla!

zilla!

Hope you all are having a nice summer (or winter for my southern hemisphere friends!) and have a great weekend!

Featured post

Spy Garden Summer Begins

Summer Thyme!

Summer Thyme!

Showing how tall the great burdock is! The roots are edible and are popular in Asian cuisine. And you can also see the need for edging the borders in this photo!

Showing how tall the great burdock is! The roots are edible and are popular in Asian cuisine. And you can also see the need for edging the borders in this photo!

Shelly 25 Black Quinoa

Shelly 25 Black Quinoa

Close-up

Close-up (of love-in-a-mist/Nigella)

Picking a dandelion (from left are purple asters, wild strawberries and rue)

Picking a dandelion (from left are purple asters, wild strawberries and rue)

Garlic Scape

Garlic Scape

Iridescent wings

Iridescent wings

Rue

Rue

The yellow wasp matches the "Herb of Grace" (Rue)

The yellow wasp matches the “Herb of Grace” (Rue)

Kulli Black Incan Corn

Kulli Black Incan Corn

Kulli Black Incan Corn foliage close-up

Kulli Black Incan Corn foliage close-up

Another close-up

Another close-up

Bambi!

Bambi!

Spy Garden Sky

Spy Garden Sky

Baby in the garden

Baby in the garden

Ready to...

Ready to…

Swing!

Swing!

Weeeee!

Weeeee!

Floridian Fish (in Missouri!)

Floridian Fish (in Missouri!)

Orach

Orach

Playing "Family Fish"

Playing “Family Fish”

Fish head

Fish head

Face...

Face…

Paint

Paint

Painted shirt haha

Painted shirt haha

Insect ID anyone? (on milkweed)

Insect ID anyone? (on milkweed)

Marigold (there are many varieties in the garden)

Marigold (there are many varieties in the garden)

Firepit

Firepit

Heading off for a hike across the street

Heading off for a hike across the street

And over here we have...

And over here we have…

this swing!

this swing!

Weeeee!

Weeeee!

Summer Brunch

Summer Brunch

Crayons

Crayons

Catwalk

Catwalk

1/2 Pint

1/2 Pint

Fred...

Fred…

Bird

Bird

Lewis & Clark...

Lewis & Clark…

& Seaman the dog, the only animal to complete the whole trip from the Atlantic to Pacific coast and back)

& Seaman the dog, the only animal to complete the whole trip from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast and back with Lewis & Clark)

Another...

Another…

Sculpture (these are in St. Charles, MO)

Statue (these are in St. Charles, MO)

Caboose

Caboose

Happy Summer!

Oh! I have a favor to ask. Would you please send an email to support our friends who own some llamas and alpacas (as seen here on Spy Garden)? Shoot an email to twoerther@cityofwildwood.com and ask him (impeccable manners, please!) for the Wier’s llamas (and alpacas) to be allowed to stay in Wildwood.

If you would like you can also call 636.458.0440 to share your support of these gentle creatures being allowed to stay at their current abode. You can also sign a petition here:

Change. org: Allow Julie Wier to keep her llamas and alpaca’s on her property in Wildwood, MO

Here’s more info about these llamas (and alpacas!)…

Wier World Llamas & Alpacas

Llama Drama in Wildwood (Fox 2 News)

Wier’s Llamas in the St. Louis Post Dispatch

Thanks for your support! Hope you all had a nice weekend!

Featured post

May Days

Love-in-a-mist flowers

Love-in-a-mist flowers

Spring Thyme!

Spring Thyme!

Some type of succulent?

Some type of succulent?

Smoochie, Dexie, Baby

Smoochie, Dexie, Baby

Celosia (looks like a poinsetta!)

Celosia (looks like a poinsetta!)

Lots of...

Lots of…

blackberries growing!

blackberries growing!

Baby in the garden

Baby in the garden

Knockout roses

Knockout roses

Watching...

Watching…

Baseball (see who's pitching?)

Baseball (see who’s pitching?)

#7

#7

Pitching

Pitching

Pitching

Pitching

Coaching

Coaching

Pitching

Pitching

Baseball Panorama Field #7

Baseball Panorama Field #7

Our street

Our street

Orach

Orach

Orach leaves are so deeply pigmented!

Orach leaves are so deeply pigmented!

Celosia

Celosia

Stump spiral

Stump spiral

Yellow wonder strawberry

Yellow wonder strawberry

These have a great tropical flavor

These have a great tropical flavor

Entitled: A Great Day for Statistics

Entitled: “A Great Day for Statistics”

Wide Mouth

“Wide Mouth” haha

Copperhead belt?

Copperhead belt?

Snakeskin

Snakeskin

Even beheaded, the face is quite animated

Even beheaded, the face is quite animated

Copperhead Totem

Copperhead Totem

Final Project was a movie about animals that live in the forest at Baby's school (that's Baby on screen pointing out deer tracks)

Baby’s final school project was a movie about animals that live in the forest at Baby’s school (that’s Baby on screen pointing out deer tracks)

Schools Out!

Schools Out!

At the creek

At the creek

So relaxing!

So relaxing!

Swimming

Swimming

Bank

Bank

Splash

Splash

Dexie

Dexie

Rocks

Rocks

Catching tadpoles

Catching tadpoles

Jumping

Jumping

Creek

Creek

Creek

Creek

Dexie

Dexie

Large rocks on a bluff above

Large rocks on a bluff above

Spring fed creek

Spring fed creek

Missouri River

Missouri River

Bridge

Bridge

A note…

Last day of school...

Last day of school…

lol

lol

Stylin

Stylin

First day of...

First day of…

summer break!

summer break!

At brunch

At brunch

Shopping

Shopping

DIY...

DIY…

Basketball...

Basketball…

Hoop

Hoop

Hahhaha

Hahhaha

Playing...

Playing…

"Family fish"

“Family fish”

Garden fish

Garden fish

Tarwi Q'Ollo (similar to a white bean)

Tarwi Q’Ollo (similar to a white bean)

Hope you all have a great memorial day weekend!

Featured post

Happy Friday!

Cardinal on a little arch-shaped branch. So St. Louis!

Cardinal on a little arch-shaped branch. So St. Louis!

Meyer Lemon

Meyer Lemon

Orach (like magenta spinach)

Orach (like magenta spinach)

Toad (released soon after this picture;)

Toad (released soon after this picture;)

Weeeee!

Weeeee!

Blackberry Blossoms

Blackberry Blossoms

Snake Tree on the left and Spy Garden on the right

Snake Tree on the left and Spy Garden on the right

Spy Garden panorama

Spy Garden panorama

Elephant Ear

Elephant Ear

From left: asparagus, great burdock and garlic

From left: asparagus, great burdock and garlic

Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe

Inchworm

Inchworm

Garden Desk/Garden Corner Office!

Garden Desk/Garden Corner Office!

Spring in Spy Garden means baseball season!

Ahhhh, baseball!

Ahhhh, baseball!

Warming up

Warming up

Fields

Fields

Dugout

Dugout

View of the game from the playground

View of the game from the playground

Pitching

Pitching

#7

#7

Featured post

Snakes!

Hello again!

Hello again!

Snake-watch continues. My new hobby is staring at this tree:

Which as you can see, can be viewed from many vantage points at our house!

Which as you can see, can be viewed from many vantage points at our house!

The snakes' tree seen from the living room

The snakes’ tree seen from the living room

From the front porch...

From the front porch…

Can you spot the snakes WAY up there? (top of the picture just to the left of the middle)

Can you spot the snakes WAY up there? (top of the picture just to the left of the middle)

Pretty sure this one is a female

Pretty sure this one is a female

And that this one is a male

And that this one is a male

Baby says "they are good climbers!"

Baby says “they are good climbers!”

Honey...

Honey…

I'm home!

I’m home!

Home, sweet home!

Home, sweet home!

I asked Babyzilla what they should be named and she said “Tongue-y” and “Tongue-y II” Hhahahahaha

Don't fall on us!!!

Don’t fall on us!!!

Amorous...

Amorous…

Snakes!

Snakes!

The snakes are at it again!

The snakes are at it again!

They are about 30-40 feet high here!

They are about 30-40 feet high here!

This picture amazes me!!!

This picture amazes me!!!

Snakes in love

Snakes in love

From the Missouri Department of Conservation Website:

Overcome the Fear of Snakes

Some people have such a dread of snakes that they actually avoid going outdoors to fish, hunt, hike, or picnic. Others kill every snake they see. This is too bad, both for the people who let the fear of snakes keep them from enjoying nature, and for nature itself. It’s relatively easy to avoid direct encounters with snakes, and all snakes — even venomous ones — help control populations of rodents and other pests. Getting to know the kinds, natural history, and distribution of Missouri’s snakes can help you overcome your fear of them and appreciate their role in nature.

Missouri’s Wildlife Code Protects Snakes

Few Missourians realize that all snakes native to our state are protected. The Wildlife Code of Missouri treats snakes, lizards, and most turtles as nongame. This means that there is no open season on these animals, and it is technically unlawful to kill them. There is a realistic exception, however: when a venomous snake is in close association with people, which could result in someone being bitten. We hope that more people realize that snakes are interesting, valuable, and, for the most part, harmless.

Snakebites are Rare

Contrary to popular belief, snakes do not go looking for people to bite. In fact, snakes are more afraid of you than you are of them. As Jim Low says in his Snakebytes blog post, “Snakebite ranks just above falling space debris as a threat to human life.” Read his post to learn more about who gets bitten by snakes, when, and why.

***

Last night walking out the front door I almost stepped on…

AGGGHHHhhhh! Copperhead!

AGGGHHHhhhh! Copperhead!

Hasta la Vista

Hasta la Vista

RaaaAAAAAgggghhhhH!

RaaaAAAAAgggghhhhH!

From the Smithsonian National Zoo website:

Copperheads are social snakes. They may hibernate in a communal den with other copperheads or other species of snakes including timber rattlesnakes and black rat snakes. They tend to return to the same den year after year. Copperheads can be found close to one another near denning, sunning, courting, mating, eating, and drinking sites. They are believed to migrate late in the spring to reach summer feeding territories and reverse this migration in early autumn.

***

Needless to say, I am not pleased with the idea of a communal copperhead/black rat snake den under our front porch!!! AGGGhhhhhhh!!! Baby named the copperhead “Teeth-y”!

***

Males are aggressive during the spring and autumn mating seasons. They try to overpower each other and even pin the other’s body to the ground. This behavior is exhibited most often in front of females but this is not always the case. These interactions may include elevating their bodies, swaying side to side, hooking necks, and eventually intertwining their entire body lengths. Copperheads have been reported to climb into low bushes or trees after prey or to bask in the sun. They have also been seen voluntarily entering water and swimming on numerous occasions. (source)

Camouflage

Camouflage

From the Missouri Department of Conservation Website:

All venomous snakes native to Missouri are members of the pit viper family. Pit vipers have a characteristic pit located between the eye and nostril on each side of the head. They also have a pair of well-developed fangs

Note the shape of the pupil. The pupils of venomous snakes appear as vertical slits within the iris. Our venomous species all have a single row of scales along the underside of the tail.

Looks like something from Game of Thrones!

Looks like something from Game of Thrones!

Missouri’s venomous snakes include the copperhead, cottonmouth, western pygmy rattlesnake, massasauga rattlesnake, and timber rattlesnake. The western diamond-backed rattlesnake and coralsnake are not found in Missouri. The most common venomous snake in Missouri is the copperhead.

Forces of Nature

Featured post

Snakes in a Tree

Male skink with a red head and a female black rat snake

Male skink with a red head and a female black rat snake

Male skinks have red heads in spring

Male skinks have red heads in spring

Emerging after a long, cold winter

Emerging after a long, cold winter

Green caterpillar hat

Green caterpillar hat

See the tiny caterpillar??

See the tiny caterpillar??

Climbing up the tree, this female is spreading her scent...

Climbing up the tree, this female is spreading her scent…

Climbing...

Climbing…

Ssssss

Ssssss

Aaaannd back in the hole

Aaaannd back in the hole

And who's this?

And who’s this?

A gentleman caller?

A gentleman caller?

Into the nest...(and check out a third snake up higher in the branch in the background!)

Into the nest…(and check out a third snake up higher in the branch in the background!)

Slithering...

Slithering…

Heyyy!

Heyyy!

Snake yawn?

Snake yawn?

Snake smile?

Snake smile?

Love is in the air

Love is in the air

Scandelous snakes!

Scandelous snakes!

Check out their lighter colored bellies

Check out their lighter colored bellies

Wrapped

Wrapped

Snake acrobats

Snake acrobats

Snake...

Snake…

Cirque de soleil

Cirque du soleil

Hanging snakes

Hanging snakes

Twisted snakes

Twisted snakes

Baby watching from the window of our house!

Baby watching from the window of our house!

Like ropes!

Like ropes!

See you around snakes! Hopefully well before I step on you!!! AGGHH!

See you around snakes! Hopefully well before I step on you!!! AGGHH!

The female went back into her nest in the tree and the male slithered off under our deck/house. These antics went on for hours today. It was so crazy to watch! They are nonpoisonous black rat snakes. We spotted them once in 2009 and once in 2012. We have never seen any babies hatch (maybe this year?!) Are we hosting a colony of these? AGgggghhhh! Cool and amazing, but pretty freaky too!

Featured post

Early May in Spy Garden

Spy Garden 5.1.15

Spy Garden 5.1.15

Love-in-a-mist will be blooming soon!

Love-in-a-mist will be blooming soon!

Haha

Haha

Meyer Lemon

Meyer Lemon

Carrot, Kale and Mushroom soup in broth Mmmm!

Carrot, Kale and Mushroom soup in broth Mmmm!

Weeeee

Weeeee

Asparagus (we've harvested several bundles from our patch over the past few weeks)

Asparagus (we’ve harvested several bundles from our patch over the past few weeks)

Floridian fish

Floridian fish

Spring Skull haha

Spring Skull haha

Spent Tulip

Spent Tulip

Hootie

Hootie

Dexie watching...

Dexie watching…

Chalk

Chalk

Yellow Wonder strawberry plants

Yellow Wonder strawberry plants

Pumpkin brownies made with coconut oil (vegan!)

Pumpkin brownies made with coconut oil (vegan!)

Dogwood

Dogwood

Like pointillism

Like pointillism

Profile

Profile

Orach

Orach

Orach is basically magenta spinach!

Orach is basically magenta spinach!

Great Burdock

Great Burdock

Stylin' whilst gardening

Stylin’ whilst gardening

Babyzilla

Babyzilla

Seeds please, ready to plant!

Seeds please, ready to plant!

Pastel corn (each kernal is a seed!)

Pastel corn (each kernal is a seed!)

Blackberry blossoms

Blackberry blossoms

Moving the mint

Moving the mint

The spearmint and citrus mint were threatening to take over a large part of the garden. We’re moving most of it to an area behind the house. Mint is very invasive but smells so wonderful. It repels pests, attracts beneficial insects and when it starts to take over and you dig it up it all those roots have totally aerated the soil! So I think its a good kind of invasive! The Spy and Baby say “We have so much mint we could make our own gum!”

Black Hungarian Pepper leaf

Black Hungarian Pepper leaf

Crocheted basket waiting for a pumpkin (or maybe a melon?)

Crocheted basket waiting for a pumpkin (or maybe a melon?)

Bulletin Board

Bulletin Board

Spring Confetti

Spring Confetti

Coloring a unicorn...

Coloring a unicorn…

The Spy rocking Smoochie's old raft guide helmet. Unicorn Expeditions is the rafting company where Smoochie and I met!

The Spy rocking Smoochie’s old raft guide helmet. Unicorn Expeditions is the rafting company where Smoochie and I met!

They went on a 10 mile bike ride yesterday!

They went on a 10 mile bike ride yesterday!

My corner office

My corner office

Waiting patiently for strawberries

Waiting patiently for strawberries

Celosia seedlings; so colorful!

Celosia seedlings; so colorful!

Happy May!

Featured post

ROA at Raintree

As part of the kindergartener’s “Bone Robot Project” at Forest Preschool, a Belgium artist who goes by the pseudonym Roa, came to paint!

Wait, I thought Roa had an art show in NYC at the Jonathan Levine Gallery going on right now?

He does! (Click here to check it out).

But while in the States he also visited Forest School!

Welcome ROA!

Welcome ROA!

The kindergarten class came upon Roa’s work when doing research for their “Bone Robot” project. The kids choose the themes for their semester-long projects. And this one was a doozy!

A student's sculpture (looks like a Bone Robot to me!)

A student’s sculpture (looks like a bone robot to me!)

Robots

Robots

Here is a short essay by the kindergarten teacher/owner of the school:

Who is That Masked Belgian Man?

Roa at Raintree

Roa at Raintree

Cultivating Relationships to Further Inquiry

To make a robot, it’s best to understand how bodies move. Bones, joints, muscles, tendons, cartilage are all good things to know for robot making. How are bodies put together? What components allow movement? What would happen if something were left out? What does the mechanics of animal locomotion mean for robots?

To answer these questions, the kindergarteners first studied the human body.

And from humans they moved on to local animals. Their goal: CREATE BONE ROBOTS THAT MOVE.

As Bone Robot Project evolved, the children became enthralled in the work of a graffiti artist also interested in the bodies and workings of animals bones–ROA.

“Wow. That’s just, I mean, that’s just pretty cool,” remarked a kindergartener.

And it is pretty cool. Roa examines the local fauna of an area–the common, the native, the endangered. He considers the role animals play in a particular place and with the human inhabitants. Then, he finds a prominent location to give it form. Using spray paint, Roa creates huge art pieces depicting the flesh and bone of a town.

Kindergarteners have a lot to say about his pieces. The often viscid nature of his graffiti seems to match the juxtaposition of the children’s project of bone and metal.

How will the children integrate their encounters with Roa’s art?

ROA painting

ROA painting

He used foam brushes, rollers and spray paint

He used foam brushes, rollers and spray paint

Mural Materials

Mural Materials

The kids observed him and sketched and wrote while he worked.

The kids observed him and sketched and wrote while he worked.

Baby and friends watching ROA

Baby and friends watching Roa

On day three…

He painted a...

He painted a…

Groundhog

Groundhog

Mural Materials II

Mural Materials II

I spy ROA painting in the studio (as seen from the kindergarten classroom)

I spy Roa painting in the studio (as seen from the kindergarten classroom)

Parent...

Parent…

Performance...

Performance…

Art!

Art!

My nine year old son (who used to attend this preschool) hasn’t gotten a chance to see the murals in person yet but he did look through all the pictures and jot down his thoughts…

One needn't be a gallery-goer to have an opinion of art...

One needn’t be a gallery-goer to have an opinion of art…

On the Raccoon skeleton, he wrote:

I realized that it was missing part of it’s rib cage. Why did you put it in skeleton form? Why didn’t you just paint a real raccoon? Couldn’t you have made it a bit smaller? I mean, it’s squished up in a little corner, well big corner but HUGE painting. The last thing is that wouldn’t it suck being that raccoon? Squished up in a corner of a room, missing part of your rib cage?

And on the Groundhog, he wrote:

Is that a squirrel or a groundhog? Because it looks a lot like a squirrel well, the head anyway. Why is it’s tail so stubby?

Roa has certainly taken some liberties with animal anatomy, exaggerating the size of the bones in the Raccoon’s tail and in his big-headed, skinny-necked groundhog. The kids noticed while he painted, that he worked quickly (each mural took approximately 3-5 hours each), did not have an eraser and he did not “fix” drips.

“I thought he was supposed to be professional?” one of the kindergarteners remarked as a drip of black paint left a trail down the wall. (hahahaha)

“This is art. If I wanted it to be perfect I would take a picture.” Roa answered.

Indeed!

It was fun to discover an artist with a secret identity as Spy Garden loves a little mystery. It is exciting to see how these murals have inspired conversation. How will they inform the next generation of artists?…

Fleeting graffiti

Fleeting graffiti

Dexie appreciating street art haha

Dexie appreciating street art haha

Roa’s recent works showing now at the Jonathan Levine Gallery are neatly contained in squares and rectangles you can hang on a wall:

Roa, Composition III: Alligatoridae, Testudinidae, Gastropoda (DETAIL) (source of image: Jonathan Levine Gallery)

Roa, Composition III: Alligatoridae, Testudinidae, Gastropoda (DETAIL) (source of image: Jonathan Levine Gallery)

Which is really just so much more civilized than street art. But civility, restraint, subtlety? Perhaps not the stuff to suit the wild preschoolers of the forest!

Featured post

Spy Garden Spring

Tulip (my favorite!)

Tulip (my favorite!)

Our street

Our street

Root

Root

Yellow tulip

Yellow tulip

Beautiful redbuds and dogwood

Beautiful redbuds and dogwood

Strawberry blossom

Strawberry blossom

Spring blooms

Spring blooms

Baby with may apples

Baby with may apples

Or podophyllum if you prefer.

Love these little umbrellas

Love these little umbrellas

We were searching for morels in the woods this afternoon. We didn’t find any yet but we did spot another…

False Morel

False Morel

I read that false morels (which are poisonous) pop up a few weeks before the real thing, so we will have to keep hunting! While I was hunting for morels, Baby was hunting for coyotes. And rocks…

Rock bed in a little valley in the woods in front of our house

Rock bed in a little valley in the woods in front of our house

Rock

Rock

Doesn't this rock look like a whale?

Doesn’t this rock look like a whale?

Rock

Rock

Ahhhh, the joys of rocks.

Lip-smacking good puddle

Lip-smacking good puddle

Little Violets

Little Violets

Tulips

Tulips

And…

An unruly mess of seedlings

An unruly mess of seedlings

The date of our last frost is usually around April 21st, but I was getting impatient (and it has been quite warm) so I have already planted lots of things; including peppers and eggplants; which I will cover if it gets cold. There is zero rhyme or reason to this year’s planting. Things are going in the ground, that’s about all I can say about it! Spring is a wild time. The weeds are growing like crazy and little seedlings popping up everywhere (and for a time I’m not always sure which is which!). The tiny, fragile seedlings are hammered by wind and hail and pelting torrential rain. It’s a wonder any little plants survive spring in St. Louis!

Missouri River sunrise

Missouri River sunrise

Featured post

AB Tour (& More!)

A tour of…

Anheuser Busch Brewery

Anheuser Busch Brewery

I wore my red pants.

I wore my red pants.

Budweiser B

Budweiser B

Stained glass in the Clydesdale stables

Stained glass in the Clydesdale stables

Budweiser Clydesdale

Budweiser Clydesdale

Neigghhh

Neigghhh

Beautiful spring light

Beautiful spring light

Logo

Logo

On the campus of the brewery

On the campus of the brewery

Tower

Tower

Brew House

Brew House

Nana and Pop inside the brew house

Nana and Pop inside the brew house

It smells delicious in here!

It smells delicious in here!

Pretty architecture and lots of light

Pretty architecture and lots of light

The brewery tour is definitely worth checking out if you are ever in St. Louis. It’s free! Including free beer! After the tour we went to lunch in…

Lafayette Square (a neighborhood in St. Louis)

Lafayette Square (a neighborhood in St. Louis)

At Square One Brewery

Where they were also brewing beer!

Where they were also brewing beer!

We enjoyed eating outside next to this cool fountain (Spy Garden needs a fountain like this!)

We enjoyed eating outside next to this cool fountain (Spy Garden needs a fountain like this!)

Ahhh! Spring!

Ahhh! Spring!

Look! The Arch!

Look! The Arch!

Look! They're building an Ikea!

Look! They’re building an Ikea!

It’s always fun to go into the city for inspiration. Back home in Spy Garden…

The seedlings are waiting to be planted

The seedlings are waiting to be planted

A blank canvas of dirt

A blank canvas of dirt

Dogwood

Dogwood

Dogwood

Dogwood

Dogwood

Dogwood

And check out this guy!

And check out this guy!

A false morel (poisonous)

A false morel (poisonous)

Hope you all are having a nice weekend!

 

Featured post

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Hunting...

Hunting…

for...

for…

Easter eggs!

Easter eggs!

Pop, Nana, Aunt Spy, Baby

Pop, Nana, Aunt Spy, Baby

A little violet

A little violet

Maggie & Spy Sister

Maggie & Spy Sister

Spy Garden Fam

Spy Garden Fam

A metal egg

A metal egg

Someone brought these to our church's potluck breakfast: too cute!

Someone brought these to our church’s potluck breakfast: too cute!

Aunt Spy and Babyzilla

Aunt Spy and Babyzilla

Asparagus Spear (and I spy a row in need of some edging!)

Asparagus Spear (and I spy a row in need of some edging!)

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Featured post

Tree Pants

A giant passed out in our driveway!!

A giant passed out in our driveway!!

Oh wait, its just some tree pants!

Oh wait, its just some tree pants!

Unicorn Barn

Unicorn Barn

Building blocks, au natural

Building blocks, au natural

Photogenic Dexie

Photogenic Dexie

Successful Bear Hunt

Successful Bear Hunt

Fun with a fallen tree

Fun with a fallen tree

This big dead tree has been looming over our cars for months. Relieved that Smoochie took it down before spring storm season!

This big dead tree has been looming over our cars for months. Relieved that Smoochie took it down before spring storm season!

Hanging out

Hanging out

These look so much like maps!

These look so much like maps!

View of the garden from the front deck

View of the garden from the front deck

All that dirt: full of possibilities!

All that dirt: full of possibilities!

Lemon Balm and Sorrel

Lemon Balm and Sorrel

Spy Garden 3.28.15

Spy Garden 3.28.15

A row of yellow wonder strawberries; I'm thinking of planting cukes among these.

A row of yellow wonder strawberries; I’m thinking of planting cukes among these.

Asparagus harvest coming soon!

Asparagus harvest coming soon!

I love our garden living room furniture (made by Smoochie)

I love our garden living room furniture (made by Smoochie)

Springy green grass!

Springy green grass!

Log Balance Beam

Log Balance Beam

Another view of the tree pants

Another view of the tree pants

Pants become shorts!

Pants become shorts!

And a few unrelated photos of the Missouri River at sunrise…

SO vibrant!

SO vibrant!

Pastel Sky

Pastel Sky

Happy Spring!

Featured post

Spy Garden Slackline

Stretched between two trees

Stretched between two trees

Gibbon Slackline

Gibbon Slackline

It's very hard to do!

Its very hard to do!

Baby giving it a try...

Baby giving it a try…

Ready for tricks!

Ready for tricks!

This shot of me is completely serendipitous; I can't do this on demand!

This shot of me is completely serendipitous; I can’t do this on demand!

We love circus-y things in Spy Garden (click here to see us showing off more of our circus tricks). St. Louis has a wonderful circus arts school that offers many classes, including flying trapeze lessons (click here to check them out)! I am a proficient juggler, so naturally, juggling clubs while walking the slackline is coming soon. Ha! But for now, I’m happy to enjoy the tricks of the spring garden…

Buds on a plum tree

Buds on a plum tree

Voila! A lavender asparagus spear peaks through the dirt.

Voila! A lavender asparagus spear peaks through the dirt.

Lots of new growth on the blackberry bush

Lots of new growth on the blackberry bush

Hardneck Garlic

Hardneck Garlic

The teeniest of flowers popping up in the lawn

The teeniest of flowers popping up in the lawn

I planted this Great Burdock from seed last spring and it grew very slowly all season but popped up this spring and is growing like crazy!

I planted this Great Burdock from seed last spring and it grew very slowly all season but popped up this spring and is growing like crazy! Here are some ideas for cooking burdock roots.

Dexie Close-Up

Dexie Close-Up

Chalk

Chalk

Green Thumbs Up!

Green Thumbs Up!

Featured post

Springing in Spy Garden

Hasta la Vista Eucalyptus (and old leaves)

Hasta la Vista Eucalyptus (and old leaves)

Wow! Now it looks like spring!

Wow! Now it looks like spring!

The two large shrubby plants at either end of this row are thyme; they've gotten so huge! I may move them as they are taking up a lot of prime real estate.

The two large shrubby plants at either end of this row are thyme; they’ve gotten so huge! I may move them as they are taking up a lot of prime real estate.

Burning the last of the leaves

Burning the last of the leaves

I think I will be growing pumpkins in this patch in a few months. For now it has: tulips, onions, love-in-a-mist flowers, red romaine and Monstreux de Viroflay spinach

I think I will be growing pumpkins in this patch in a few months. For now it has: tulips, onions, love-in-a-mist flowers, red romaine and Monstreux de Viroflay spinach

Tulips (soon!)

Tulips (soon!)

Spring light on an old tool, looking very bird-like to me

Spring light on an old tool, looking very bird-like to me

Thai red roselle seedling

Thai red roselle seedling

Fort (and see the seedlings in the window!)

Fort (and see the seedlings in the window!?)

Pretty Sorrel

Pretty Sorrel

New walking stick (made by Smoochie)

New walking stick (made by Smoochie)

In Squirrely Garden…

The blank canvas of soil...

The blank canvas of soil…

Is ready for planting!

Is ready for planting!

My kind of fun!

My kind of fun!

On the bulletin board in the dining hall

On the bulletin board in the dining hall

Baby checking out the seeds

Baby checking out the seeds

And springing around St. Louis…

Smoochie took the kids on a SIX mile hike last Sunday; SIX miles!

From their long hike in Babler State Park; posing next to an old gravestone in the woods

From their long hike in Babler State Park; posing next to an old gravestone in the woods

Aunt Alison (and Maggie) and Baby and I enjoyed a shorter hike in Castlewood this week

Aunt Alison (and Maggie) and Baby and I enjoyed a shorter hike in Castlewood this week

The view at Castlewood State Park

The view at Castlewood State Park

Kiefer Creek in Castlewood

Kiefer Creek in Castlewood

Baby next to a cool tree

Baby next to a cool tree

Look at that branch!

Look at that branch!

Love these...

Love these…

Horseshoe Tracks

Horseshoe Tracks

Ozark Ridge Riders

Ozark Ridge Riders

The other day Smoochie saw this sign/a bunch of riders with their horses and pulled over for the kids to get a closer look.

One woman was very friendly and let the kids hop on her horse for a few minutes!

One woman was very friendly and let the kids hop on her horse for a few minutes!

Baby loves horses (and so do I!)

Baby loves horses (and so do I!)

"Spladel" hahah see the Spy? This is from a free wrestling clinic at a local university.

“Spladel” hahah see the Spy? This is from a free wrestling clinic at a local university.

Baby, in green, in the garden on St. Patrick's Day

Baby, in green, in the garden on St. Patrick’s Day

Ahhh spring!

Ahhh spring!

Featured post

The Gem of the 90’s

I was born in 1982 which means that probably at no time in the 1980’s was I thoughtfully considering fashion choices. This means I was never fully responsible for wearing neon. So really, I’m more like a child of the 90’s. The glorious 90’s. The renaissance of nail polish. Over-the-knee stockings with pleated skirts from Contempo. Melrose Place. Clueless. Ferngully: The Last Rainforest.
Recently, I noticed something weirdly familiar in my rare sporadic shopping escapades: The 90’s are back! While not all of it is wearable for a second go-round (i.e. anything I ever owned from Contempo)…

Dark floral prints...

The dark floral prints…

The nails…Vamp? Very Vamp? Totally doable!
Teva’s also had a 90’s moment.

Here, Baby, unprompted, treads the waters of socks and sandals very carefully.

Here, Baby, unprompted, treads the waters of socks and sandals very carefully.

Fashion is generally an extracurricular pursuit in the land of Spy Garden.
I rarely pick out Baby’s outfits as she is quite capable of dressing herself. And at Forest School there’s little room for fashion. They get really, really dirty. And have to stay really, really warm in the winter months.

Not Fashion. Warmth.

Not Fashion. Warmth.

(and really waterproof, bugproof, etc. in other seasons). They wear a green uniform t-shirt everyday too. So there’s not really much fashion going on there, its mostly all about utility. But they do learn to sew, make costumes for performances and so forth. And they dress up for picture day. And the dress code allows for NO characters of any sort. Which actually is a great victory for fashion when you think about it. So amid the framework of utility there is fashion, right?

And there's always church!

And there’s always church!

Hair clips are so 90's

Hair clips are so 90’s

But enough about Baby…

I am a nurse and believe nurses should look like this:

Doesn't this just make you want to get a vaccination like right now?!

Doesn’t this just make you want to get a vaccination like right now?!

What ever happened to those hats? And white pencil skirts, how did those go by the wayside? I mean how on earth did we go from…

To scrubs? Is there anything less fashionable than scrubs? I think not.

AGGGGHHHHH My eyes!

AGGGGHHHHH My eyes!

I think the scrub infiltration might have actually started in the 90’s now that I think about it. Fortunately I don’t have to wear scrubs in my nursing position. But I digress.
Fashion before function is great in theory. But what is great for feet are Birkenstocks. It is so hard to wear shoes other than Birkenstocks once you know how glorious they are.
In order to fully express my affection for these shoes and the excitement of rediscovering them via my consideration of 90’s fashion I have written a Shakespearean sonnet.
Enjoy…

Ode’ to Birkenstocks*

In sumptuous suede or gold burnished leather
At your stamped bronze buckle a few may baulk
But on cloud-like cork I’m light’s a feather
Dearest beloved, easy, Birkenstock
If Choo, Weitzman, Blahnik or Louboutin
Are height, narrow toes; lithe ballet for feet
Chic and hip, happiness to see, to don
But is comfort luxe? Or modest, discreet?
Bunions, blisters, heels stuck in sidewalk cracks
Are sometimes worth the pain. But must one trade
Pretty shoes for pretty feet? With socks*, slacks,
Birkenstocks, in your favor I’ll crusade.
Plush pedal succor; if a bit ugly
Down with fashion; I shall wear them smugly!

So there you have it; Birkenstocks, the Gem of the 90’s ( I do realize they’ve been around a lot longer than that, but that’s when I discovered them). What’s your pick for Gem of the 90’s (fashion or otherwise)? Leave it in the comments!

*Yes, the clogs, with socks. So sue me.
**My Birkenstocks were unable to be visually represented in this post because they are too ugly.

Hahahahhaha

Featured post

Early March in Three Gardens

From the Orchid Show at the Missouri Botanical Garden:

This was my favorite; love the loooong tendrils

This was my favorite; love the loooong tendrils

Purple and white

Purple and white

Peachy

Peachy

Spy Sister taking a pic with her iphone; taking WAY clearer shots than I got with my Nikon. (indoor-photography is NOT my forte)

Spy Sister taking a pic with her iphone; taking way clearer shots than I got with my Nikon. (indoor-photography is not my forte)

This weird orchid (not currently blooming) was quite large; those bulbous things were soft-ball size

This weird orchid (not currently blooming) was quite large; those bulbous things were soft-ball size

Tulip-like

Tulip-like blooms

And outside at the Missouri Botanical Garden…

Reflection pools reflecting mostly gray

Reflection pools reflecting mostly gray

But it's not all gray...

But it’s not all gray…

Baaaaaaa

Baaaaaaa

MBG; my happy place!

MBG; my happy place!

Flower...

Flower…

Power (the sculpture matches the print of Spy Sister's purse, see? ;)

Power (the sculpture matches the print of Spy Sister’s purse, see? ;)

Cool tree (forgot what variety)

Cool tree (forgot what variety)

Beautiful bark; a Chinese elm

Beautiful bark; a Chinese elm

And back in the land of Spy Garden…

Little jaune paille de vertus onions (from last year!) going to replant as onion sets

Little jaune paille de vertus onions (from last year!) going to replant as onion sets

Baby sledding

Baby sledding

Who needs tv or video games when there's books?

Who needs tv or video games when there’s books?

Glorious books

Glorious books

Dexie in Spy Garden

Dexie in Spy Garden

Very cool WWI helmet on display at the library; I think it is Prussian

Very cool WWI helmet on display at the library; I think it is Prussian

Delicious vegan peanut butter cup at Frida's

Delicious vegan peanut butter cup at Frida’s

And in Squirrely Garden…

Last Saturday they began installing the deer fence. They were able to mount most of the fence to the existing fence.

Last Saturday they began installing the deer fence. They were able to mount most of the fence to the existing fence.

By “they” I mean Smoochie and a few other parents and staff. I only have these few photos as I was not in attendance for this fence-install (thankfully; it was freezing!)

Teamwork!

Teamwork!

Now that you’ve seen how fun it is to share how gardens grow, check out…

A photo challenge from Sweet Domesticity!

A photo challenge from Sweet Domesticity!

March 1, "Start"

March 1, “Start”

March 2, "Potential"

March 2, “Potential”

March 3; "To Do": Renew membership at the Missouri Botanical Garden; done!

March 3; “To Do”: Renew membership at the Missouri Botanical Garden; done!

Happy March/Happy Spring!

Featured post

Seed Starting 2015!

Baby helping to plant seeds

Baby helping to plant seeds

We’ve started peppers and eggplants (three varieties of each), Thai Red Roselle, ground cherries, red celery, blue hyssop, red cabbage and an herb called wild dagga (which we’ve grown before for ornamental value; it’s a great Halloween plant).

Also, Tarwi Q'Ollo

Also, Tarwi Q’Ollo…

(Lupinus mutabilis) The Tarwi Lupine is another one of the “lost”foods of the Incas. Originally cultivated only in the high andes, Tarwi is a plant supremely adapted to the stress of high altitudes-it can take drought, cold and wind and still be very productive. Nowadays agronomists and gardeners are taking a look at Tarwi for growing in other places other than the high mountains. In Denmark and Northern Europe it is being trialed as a new pulse crop. The beautiful white seeds are choc full of fats and proteins. Tarwi has been cultivated/domesticated for probably close to 2000 years. The seeds themselves cannot just be eaten without a little simple preparation. The seeds contain alkaloids that are bitter, fortunately they are quite easy to remove just by soaking and rinsing them over a few days period. In the past this noble crop of the Andes was known only by the poor indigenous peoples, today thanks to modern systems for rinsing large quantities of seeds it is now a “chic” food of the Urban wealthy. Our own friend john Glavis is raising Tarwi with great success on the California coast north of San Francisco. The seeds offered here are from select Peruvian strains tracked down by Joe. They need a long growing season but really like cool weather too, so the Pacific Northwest coast is a great place to try them, everyone else could just give them a shot and save any seeds produced to select them to adapt to new climates. (from the Baker Creek website)

Mud: so fun!

Mud: so fun!

I’m largely showing these pictures to prove how simple it is to start a garden. Dirt in containers of your choosing (that long clear thing is a box that a poster came in!) and a few seed packets is all you need. Then put the cups in a windowsill that gets some sun, keep them moist and in a few days you will have little plants! We’ve advanced a bit from just a windowsill and now have a wooden box that can sit atop a dresser or desk and two grow lights clip onto it.

If you look out the window you can see the deer fence and the garden living room

If you look out the window you can see the deer fence and the garden living room

Our windows are pretty drafty so the extra heat from the grow lights is important when it is still pretty cold out.

Brrr! We've had some cold days around here!

Brrr! We’ve had some cold days around here!

Nice weather for curling up to read, write...

Nice weather for curling up to read, write…

Draw...Baby is getting quite proficient at sketching...

Draw…Baby is getting quite proficient at sketching…

This one is entitled, Sharpie on Couch

This one is entitled, Sharpie on Couch ;)

Babyzilla

Babyzilla

A hill of snow beyond the trees (not quite enough for proper sledding yet! Still a few weeks of winter yet...)

A hill of snow beyond the trees (not quite enough for proper sledding yet! Still a few weeks of winter yet…)

For way more details and information about seed starting check out my glogging friend Maria at Sweet Domesticity for some Seed Starting Q & A!

Featured post

Greensfelder Park

A hike in Greensfelder Park

On the trail

On the trail

Mossy Rock

Mossy Rock

Winter Colors

Winter Colors

Little Hiker

Little Hiker

Exploring

Exploring

Valley

Valley

Little buds

Little buds

Beautiful day!

Beautiful day!

A horse!

A horse!

Rock

Rock

Hollow Trunk

Hollow Trunk

Rock

Rock

Creek

Creek

Crocodile Rock

Crocodile Rock

Mossy

Mossy

Walking

Walking

Grass

Grass

It was 11 degrees just this past week, but it’s been in the 60’s all weekend!

Baby at school last week with a special visitor: a real cowboy!!

Baby at school last week with a special visitor: a real cowboy!!

Weeeee!

Weeeee!

Featured post

January Retrospective

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus in January

Nasturtium Vines of Yore

Nasturtium Vines of Yore

Anyone know what type of plant this is?

Anyone know what type of plant this is?

Marigold seeds waiting for spring

Marigold seeds waiting for spring

Bald Eagle Sculpture made from an old tree (with a chainsaw!) near Spy Garden

Bald Eagle Sculpture made from an old tree (with a chainsaw!) near Spy Garden

Russian Red/Ragged Jack Kale

Russian Red/Ragged Jack Kale

And the rest of the plant...looking like some sort of sea creature

And the rest of the plant…looking like some sort of sea creature

Silvery dried tree marigolds

Silvery dried tree marigolds

Eucalptus

Eucalptus

Even if this eucalyptus doesn't survive our cold winter, it was worth sacrificing for all the photo ops!

Even if this eucalyptus doesn’t survive our cold winter, it was worth sacrificing for all the photo ops!

Front Yard/Driveway

Front Yard/Driveway

Moon

Moon

Ready for spring baseball season!

Ready for spring baseball season!

Detail of "Setting Sun Descending Night" bronze sculpture by Adolph Weinman (in the library whence I study)

Detail of “Setting Sun Descending Night” bronze sculpture by Adolph Weinman (in the library whence I study)

1960-70's Books (by Martha Rogers, a nursing theorist)

1960-70’s Books (by Martha Rogers, a nursing theorist)

Photograph of a detail of a painting (in the libary) called "For the Love of Books" acrylic on canvas, by Rodney Winfield

Photograph of a detail of a painting (in the library whence I study) called “For the Love of Books” acrylic on canvas, by Rodney Winfield

January was been Jan-packed with exciting new things. Graduate school (reading…and writing, writing, writing…lots of new things!). Squirrely Garden (the garden at Babyzilla’s school) had a big beginning-of-the-season planning meeting. I gave myself a new title; Honorary CEO. As I just can’t commit to my Squirrely Garden CEO duties of yore. But they are using the Spy Garden deer fence plans as inspiration for a new deer fence and I still plan to photograph the garden as it grows. There will also be an orchard planted at Baby’s school this year; and a whole load of berry-bushes! In other news, Babyzilla has learned the art of photorealist portraiture:

Our family; the resemblance is uncanny!

Our family; the resemblance is uncanny!

And the Spy has been slaying it in school and reading lots of good books (including the Hardy Boys; I loved Nancy Drew at his age!). Frigid cold in Spy Garden, and dry, not much snow this year (so far!). At this time in winter all the cold has sucked the color from withered vines and only the hardiest of plants show bits of green. The landscape is all blues and greys and tans; very nice and unfettered, methinks.

Featured post

DNP Beginnings

A year ago I became a registered nurse. On this site, I never shared anything about nursing school while I was attending. The first I mentioned it was the night of my graduation with a bachelor of science in nursing (December 2013). I tend to prefer “afters” to “befores” or “durings! I’ve shared with you all that I’m gainfully employed as a nurse, but never shared what field or anything about my work (other than my lovely commute!). It’s nice to have Spy Garden as a place of leisure; where I don’t think about work, where the focus is purely on art and plants and other things I find interesting.
This month I started graduate school, I am seeking a doctorate of nursing practice (DNP). I sort of freaked out at first; grieving the loss of my leisure pursuits.

Would there be no more drawing, painting, sonnet-writing or gingerbread-Eiffel-tower building? No more socializing? No more contemplative and thoughtful gardening-as-art? So long to  documenting the growth of the garden in hundreds of photographs! What about outings? Hiking? Yoga? Ever again? Maybe I can just throw some seeds down and see how things turn out?!

I was being a bit dramatic. There will still be gardening; there will ALWAYS be gardening! It’s just an adjustment. For now, the program is online (the clinical practice hours won’t start for another year or so) and so I can be really flexible with when I complete coursework (i.e. 4-6AM haha!) LOTS of reading, writing, discussions and research. Everything in APA format; no ellipses or sentence fragments or ambiguity. But these academic pursuits are not unimaginative and cold. There is a science AND art to nursing. There’s loads of room for creative and artistic expression in both nursing practice and in graduate nursing education. The expression is just distinct from the Spy Garden Status Quo I’d grown accustomed to. But change is the stuff of progress and growth. And you all know I love growth!

Growth!

Growth!

Spy Garden (both the garden and this website) shall still be cultivated. Maybe my post-format will change, maybe it won’t. Spy Garden may be my escape from citations and peer-reviewed journals and evidence-based practice…or it might be a place where I share these things. I’m not really sure! I do know that the frequency of posts will decrease; I’m aiming for a post a week. And so goes the beginning…I’m just a few weeks in…3-4 years to go!

Kalanchoe Blooms

Kalanchoe Blooms (indoors)

Snail shell

Snail shell

Monotone

Monotone

You have to look closely for the color!

You have to look closely for the color!

Baby with Magnolia and Dexie

Baby with Magnolia and Dexie

Dexie

Dexie

Aunt Spy

Aunt Spy

Moss

Moss

The Spy with a...

The Spy with a…

Deer Skull

Deer Skull

Wonder who lives here?

Wonder who lives here?

Blue Sky, Bare Trees

Blue Sky, Bare Trees

Frilly Fungus

Frilly Fungus

Baby and Magnolia

Baby and Magnolia

Fern

Fern

Moss Close-Up

Moss Close-Up

Ready...

Ready…

Sumo!

Sumo!

HhHahahaha

HhHahahaha

Happy Saturday all!

Featured post

TGIF

Happy Friday! Some random images from the week…

Mushrooms that remind me of shells

Mushrooms that remind me of shells

Same mushrooms, other side

Same mushrooms, other side

Spy Garden painting (by the Spy from a few years ago). Those green shapes are a bird's eye view of the garden (sans a couple of plots)

Spy Garden painting (by the Spy from a few years ago). Those green shapes are a bird’s eye view of the garden (sans a couple of plots)

Candle at our church

Candle at our church

One of the stained-glass windows at our church

One of the stained-glass windows at our church

Baby working on Christmas thank-yous. Those pink prints were made by pressing a dragon fruit onto paper (the dragonfruit is a great source of pink ink!)

Baby working on Christmas thank-yous. Those pink prints were made by pressing a dragon fruit onto paper (the dragonfruit is a great source of pink ink!)

Princess Fallulah...made by my sister. Her shoes are blue because she ran through a field of blueberries.

Princess Fallulah…made by my sister. Her shoes are blue because she ran through a field of blueberries.

(Kid-Made) Teepee at Baby's Forest School

(Kid-Made) Teepee at Baby’s Forest School

Carrot seeds, dispersed

Carrot seeds, dispersed

Mushroom; I'm so amazed that they can grow in subzero temps!

Mushroom; I’m so amazed that they can grow in subzero temps!

More mushrooms

More mushrooms

Happy weekend all!

Featured post

ROA!

My daughter (known in Spy Garden as Babyzilla!) attends a Forest School. Rather than have daily themes or weekly lessons, the kids do semester-long projects on topics of their own choosing. My son (known here as The Spy!) also attended the school when he was younger so I’ve seen a wide variety of really cool projects. At the end of each semester the project comes together with some sort of event or “store” or publication or art installation or field trip. The Ocean Project concluded with a child-written play. The kids made the set, designed and made the costumes (learning to sew with the teachers’ assistance) and performed for the parents.

The Spy 2011 Ocean Project

The Spy 2011 Ocean Project

Hammerheads. The Spy. 2011

Hammerheads. The Spy. 2011

There’s been a Dog Project which concluded with parents bringing in their dogs and walking them through different stations of a Dog Spa…

Maddie (our late golden retriever) in the Reading and Relaxation Station of the Dog Spa hahahah

Maddie (our late golden retriever) in the Reading and Relaxation Station of the Dog Spa hahahah

There was a City Project, Animal Project, Dirt Project and many more (and many more to come for Babyzilla!) Often when the kids are working on a project they will write letters to various individuals or businesses asking questions or making requests to learn more about the topic. Teaching kids to seek out experts in fields they are interested emphasizes that their inquiries are part of a world outside the classroom walls (or treeline)!

From the school’s website…

Our phi­los­o­phy is based on the truth that young chil­dren are best chal­lenged in the arts and sci­ences when they are given mean­ing­ful work in the dynamic set­ting of the real world. Here, their expe­ri­ences have big impli­ca­tions. Con­tent is con­tex­tual, not iso­lated. It is all con­nected to the world that sur­rounds.

Sounds impressive. But do preschoolers really feel connected to the world beyond what they see in their immediate surroundings? Do they really feel they have the power to influence their environment? Are these concepts farfetched? The school proves over and over again it is possible!

Recently, the kindergarten class at the school was doing a “Bone Robot Project” (remember the project topics are of the kids choosing!) While this project was underway, one student, in researching his first name (Roa) came across a Belgian street artist, whose pseudonym is ROA. ROA’s art often depicts the bones and other internal aspects of animals.

ROA. Vardø-Norway Photo © by Ian Cox 2012 (source)

ROA. Vardø-Norway Photo © by Ian Cox 2012 (source)

Excerpts from an email from the school…

When Roa brought examples of ROA’s work for them to see, they were inspired. They still mention his work often, and it has influenced the direction of the project. In fact, they were so inspired, they decided to write to ROA and invite him to paint a mural at [the school]. He’s kind of a big deal in Europe, so we really weren’t expecting a reply.

ROA said yes!!!

We believe in empowering children to change the world. This is not an empty, grandiose statement. When we say “change the world,” we mean the immediate world—the world within reach. We want our students to internalize an “I can” attitude. I can climb that rock. I can build a bone robot. In short, I can imagine a change in my environment and then make it happen. We believe that fostering this attitude can lead to the more grandiose outcome later in life. Writing a letter to a well-known artist and having him accommodate the request definitely serves this purpose.

This spring ROA will be coming to the school to do a mural. So exciting!!!

ROA. San Juan (source)

ROA. San Juan (source)

The animals ROA chooses to paint are those that live in the area surrounding the location of the mural. I wonder what he will choose? A bunny? Racoon? Deer? Ladybug? Groundhog? A turtle, snake or crawfish? He’s got a lot of great options of special creatures that live right in the woods of the school’s eleven acre campus.

ROA. Barcelona (source)

ROA. Barcelona (source)

ROA. Johannesburg South Africa. (source)

ROA. Johannesburg South Africa. (source)

ROA. Belgium (source)

ROA. Belgium (source)

What makes even more exciting is that ROA has a secret identity. ROA is a pseudonym. And I just love the concept of a secret identity. Spy Garden is sort of my own pseudonym. (Or is it Mrs. Spy Garden?!) Can’t wait to watch the mural in progress and to share the final masterpiece with you all!

Featured post

January in the Garden

I really enjoy winter. It may even be my favorite season. Which may sound strange coming from someone who lives for dirt and plants (and who was born and raised in southwest Florida!). The gardening possibilities seem endless in winter.  Winter shades of taupes and tans are like a blank canvas.

I can expand there. Maybe plant the tomatoes over there? Sunflowers here?

Winter is a time of inspiration. Tomorrow the high will be seven (degrees Farenheit). Seven is my favorite number. (See? There’s always a brighter side!) Blustery, windy frigid weather can be inconvenient. Long hair sticking to the velcro of coats and rising up with static electricity and tickling your face and obscuring your view (I’m thinking of Babyzilla here haha). Gloves, scarves, mittens, hats. Scraping ice off windshields, salting the driveway, shoveling heavy snow. Winter adds elements of adventure and survival to prosaic activities and errands. Watching the sunrise, listening to the radio and wandering thoughts are the commutes of summer. In winter, a commute is often a silent ride of hypervigilance. Eyes wide scanning for black ice, creeping slowly down steep, snowy roads with short and fervent prayers. More darkness, more fear (don’t worry Mom, I drive very slowly and carefully!) Winter is a harder season. Maybe I like the challenge? What I really like is to daydream of garden futures (not whilst driving of course!)

A large covered stack of straw near Spy Garden

A large covered stack of straw near Spy Garden

I love spotting covered things in winter. They remind me of the sculptures of Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

Wrapped Coast. Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Sydney Australia 1968-69 (source of image)

Wrapped Coast. Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Sydney Australia 1968-69 (source of image)

Taking time to explore art in winter inspires the spring garden.

What sculptural elements could we add to Spy Garden? How can we add more whimsy and interest? How can we make the garden unique this year?

Per Kristian Nygård, a Norwegian artist, had a recent exhibition in Oslo that is very inspiring…

Not Red But Green Installation at NoPlace Oslo. 2014. Per Kristian Nygård (source of image)

Not Red But Green
Installation at NoPlace Oslo. 2014. Per Kristian Nygård (source of image)

Walter de Maria’s Earth Room (from 1977) is also rife with possibility…

Walter de Maria. Earth Room. 1977. New York.

Walter de Maria. Earth Room. 1977. New York. (source of image)

Wouldn’t it be fun to have a greenhouse like that?! Many people question “That’s art?!” What do you think? Back in Spy Garden, we re-hung a lot of our own art work. I find changing the position of art can do wonders for freshening up the house.

Same art, different view!

Same art, different view!

A little square of sunset

A little square of sunset

Sunset over Spy Garden 1.5.15

Sunset over Spy Garden 1.5.15

Lights on!

Lights on!

All of the Christmas decorations are packed away, but I like to keep the outdoor lights on for as long as possible (maybe through the whole month of January!?)

Just watering the plants (hahahha tiny bonsai succulents)

Just watering the plants (hahahha tiny bonsai succulents)

Baby looking quite civilized.

Baby looking quite civilized.

Enjoying a hot cup of tea

Enjoying a hot cup of tea

And here looking a bit less civilized. This is the face she makes whenever a camera is pointed in her direction. Hahha

And here looking a bit less civilized. This is the face she makes whenever a camera is pointed in her direction. Hahha

Love-in-a-mist flowers are very hardy and volunteers pop up every time the weather warms.

Love-in-a-mist flowers are very hardy and volunteers pop up every time the weather warms.

Fungus on the base of a tree stump

Fungus on the base of a tree stump

Fungus of some sort

Fungus of some sort

Peep hole

Peep hole

The work of woodpeckers

The work of woodpeckers

Lots of different species of woodpeckers live in and around Spy Garden

Lots of different species of woodpeckers live in and around Spy Garden

Little mushrooms

Little mushrooms

Silvery Tree Marigolds

Silvery Tree Marigolds

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus

Blackberry Bush

Blackberry Bush

Fallen Sorghum Stalk

Fallen Sorghum Stalk

Garlic; so hardy. Amazing how things can grow when it is so cold!

Garlic; so hardy. Amazing how things can grow when it is so cold!

Parsley

Parsley

Rocks, dirt and ice

Rocks, dirt and ice

Strawberry

Strawberry

Amaranth and Marigold

Amaranth and Marigold

Frozen Marigold

Frozen Marigold

Featured post

Happy 2015!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Meyer Lemon just starting to turn yellow (indoors)

Meyer Lemon just starting to turn yellow (indoors)

Succulents (cuttings from my dad's plants in Florida)

Succulents (cuttings from my dad’s plants in Florida)

A Spice Island in a sea of bubbling hot blackeyed peas!

A Spice Island in a sea of bubbling hot blackeyed peas!

(storebought) dried blackeyed peas; I can't imagine having this type of success saving my own dried beans; it seems like it would be SO MANY plants! And a bag of dried blackeyed peas only cost like $1.50

(storebought) dried blackeyed peas; I can’t imagine having this type of success saving my own dried beans; it seems like it would be SO MANY plants! And a bag of dried blackeyed peas only cost like $1.50

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Painted model airplane

Painted model airplane

Blurry shot of the Spy

Blurry shot of the Spy

Celery, Pineapple and succulents growing in the window

Celery, Pineapple and succulents growing in the window

Succulent...like a bonsai palm tree!

Succulent…like a bonsai palm tree!

Garlic, still not in the ground (maybe tomorrow?!)

Garlic, still not in the ground (maybe tomorrow?!)

Indoor Wildlife (a ladybug! and an origami turtle)

Indoor Wildlife (a ladybug! and an origami turtle)

Teeeny tiny planter (made from clay)

Teeeny tiny planter (made from clay)

January Blooms (kalanchoe, indoors)

January Blooms (kalanchoe, indoors)

Chalkboard

Chalkboard

Babyzilla with the Gingerbread Eiffel Tower

Babyzilla with the Gingerbread Eiffel Tower

Thumbnail-sized pots (made from clay) with teeny succulents

Thumbnail-sized pots (made from clay) with teeny succulents

Succulents on the kitchen window sill

Succulents on the kitchen window sill

Cheers to a happy and healthy 2015!

Cheers to a happy and healthy 2015!

Featured post

Best of Spy Garden 2014

Best thing about 2014?

“My first homerun.” (The Spy)

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Baby at the baseball game of the Spy's first homerun in 2014

Baby at the baseball game of the Spy’s first homerun in 2014

Best thing you ate from the garden?

Smoochie and the Spy say, “Pumpkin Pie!”

Rouge Vif d'Etampes Pumpkin Pie

Rouge Vif d’Etampes Pumpkin Pie

Best Harvest?

Pumpkins!

Pumpkins!

Also a great garlic harvest in 2014!

Also a great garlic harvest in 2014!

Best addition to the garden?

Garden Living Room Furniture

Garden Living Room Furniture (made by Smoochie)

Garden Living Room Furniture in Progress

Garden Living Room Furniture in Progress

Best Outing?

Shaw Nature Reserve every time! Shaw Wildflower Market in May, The Meramec River in Shaw in December, Shaw in July (the wildflowers!!!) Shaw Nature Reserve is the #1 Spy Garden Don’t Miss St. Louis Garden Outing Destination!

This tree climb was also pretty cool!

This tree climb was also a pretty cool outing!

Best Plant of 2014?

I’m voting for the Eucalyptus.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus

Smoochie says, “The blackberries”

Mmm...

Mmm…

Best wildlife photo?

A fox!

A fox!

Best Photo of 2014?

Monarch in Spy Garden

Monarch in Spy Garden

Monarch Cocoon!

Monarch Cocoon!

Pumpkin Yoga

Pumpkin Yoga

Best Media Moment?

Spy Garden 2014

Spy Garden 2014 featured in St. Louis Homes and Lifestyles Magazine

Click here to read about Spy Garden in the November/December 2014 issue of St. Louis Homes and Lifestyles Magazine!

Favorite Blogs of Spy Garden?

Draped in Cloudlets

Draped in Cloudlets (source of image)

Sweet Domesticity (source of image/text)

Sweet Domesticity (source of image/text)

Sanctuary (source of image)

The Road to Serendipity. Sanctuary (source of image)

Photo of a Cedar Waxwing by Eliza Waters  (source of image)

Photo of a Cedar Waxwing by Eliza Waters (source of image)

GardenGrab, Nothing by the Book, funnybeautiful, You’re So Mummy, Design Mom and Nest of Squirrels are a few more favorites of Spy Garden!

What were your Spy Garden favorites of 2014?

dhfhfgh (700x513)

ddfgdfg (692x500) (2)sdfsdfsdf (700x469)Thank you all for visiting Spy Garden and hope to see you here in 2015!

A few more favorites from 2014…

Baby on the Fourth of July

Baby on the Fourth of July

Can you spot him?

Can you spot him? The Spy at the St. Peter’s Formation

Spy Sister! On the cover!

Spy Sister! On the cover!

Easter 2014

Easter 2014

Pre-game (can you spy the gnome?)

Pre-game (can you spy the gnome?)

Petite Dauphine de Spy Jardin

Petite Dauphine de Spy Jardin

Great hike in Colorado!

Great hike in Colorado!

Spy Garden April 2014

Spy Garden April 2014

Scouting the location of Squirrely Garden January 2014

Scouting the location of Squirrely Garden January 2014

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower Seeds

Spy Garden 2014

Spy Garden 2014

Featured post

La Gingerbread Tour Eiffel

Eucalyptus and Parsley

Eucalyptus and Parsley

Eucalyptus: a most photogenic plant! (and my favorite scent!)

Eucalyptus: a most photogenic plant! (and my favorite scent!)

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus

And what's this?! The Eiffel Tower in Spy Garden?

And what’s this?! The Eiffel Tower in Spy Garden?

RRRAAAAGhhhhhhh! (It's Babyzilla AHHH!!) haha

RRRAAAAGhhhhhhh! (It’s Babyzilla AHHH!!) haha

I was going to make this garden teepee out of gingerbread...

I was going to make this garden teepee out of gingerbread…but remembered I already did…

2012 Gingerbread garden teepee made as a model for the real thing built the following spring (2013); and what's really funny is that reindeer head; since that too eventually became an addition to the garden haha

2012 Gingerbread garden teepee made as a model for the real thing built the following spring (2013); and what’s really funny is that reindeer head; since that too eventually became an addition to the garden haha

2010 St. Louis gingerbread (see the Arch?!)

2010 St. Louis gingerbread (see the Arch?!)

Gingerbread is not just for Christmas; use the leftover dough for New Year's cookies!

Gingerbread is not just for Christmas; use the leftover dough for New Year’s cookies!

Gingerbread Eiffel Tower; good shape for a garden trellis...

Gingerbread Eiffel Tower; good shape for a garden trellis! haha

Heart Rock

Heart Rock

Succulents in the Window

Succulents in the Window (outside looking in)

Sage

Sage

Little fungi on the trellis

Little fungi on the trellis

Strawberries; very hardy!

Strawberries; very hardy!

Baby and la Gingerbread Tour Eiffel!

Baby and la Gingerbread Tour Eiffel!

Featured post

Warm Winter Day

Hammocks (and bare feet! On December 26th!)

Hammocks (and bare feet! On December 26th!)

It took a lot of coaxing for him to hold this up for a picture...

It took a lot of coaxing for him to hold this up for a picture…

(Abandoned) Hornet's Nest

(Abandoned) Hornet’s Nest (given to us by a friend who knew we’d appreciate it!)

Insect Sculpture!

Insect Sculpture!

Baby's room; quite clean as she has been sick :(

Baby’s room; quite clean as she has been sick :(

Poor little sick girl (she's on the mend!)

Poor little sick girl (she’s on the mend!)

Three Plum Trees

Three Plum Trees

Hammocks

Hammocks

Raspberry Bush

Raspberry Bush

Spy Garden 12.26.14

Spy Garden 12.26.14

Deer tracks in the garden (there is an area of the deer fence in need of repair)

Deer tracks in the garden (there is an area of the deer fence in need of repair)

Dexie

Dexie

Dexie helping to dig up the eggplants.

Dexie helping to dig up the eggplants.

Garden helper

Garden helper

Skins of yellow cherry tomatoes

Skins of yellow cherry tomatoes

No sledding today!

No sledding today!

Bunk Hammocks

Bunk Hammocks

Enjoying the warm winter day

Enjoying the warm winter day

Dexie and the Spy

Dexie and the Spy

Snuggling

Snuggling

So cozy

So cozy

Baby

Baby

Hammocks

Hammocks

Cedar

Cedar

ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz

ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz

Featured post

Merry Christmas!

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus

We were dreaming of a white Christmas; but the blue sky is nice!

We were dreaming of a white Christmas; but the blue sky is very nice!

Meyer Lemon will be ripe soon! (indoors!)

Meyer Lemon will be ripe soon! (indoors)

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Key Rack; handmade by my sister!

Key Rack; handmade by my sister!

Violin!

Violin!

Nothing says Christmas like zombies...and T-Rex. Hahah (and there's Shane!!)

Nothing says Christmas like zombies…and T-Rex. Hahah (and there’s Shane!!)

Christmas Day

Christmas Day

Christmas Dexie

Christmas Dexie

Slackline!

Slackline!

Naughty or Nice? (Definitely nice!)

Naughty or Nice? (Definitely nice!)

Garden Living Room Christmas 2014

Garden Living Room Christmas 2014

Spy Garden Christmas 2014

Spy Garden Christmas 2014

Xylophone

Xylophone

Tree in our backyard

Tree in our backyard

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus

Fancy! Baby got lots of cool new clothes!

Fancy! Baby got lots of cool new clothes!

Bonjour sweatshirt

Bonjour sweatshirt

Christmas Nails

Christmas Nails

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus

Hope you all had a very merry Christmas!

Featured post

Christmas Eve Eve

Lamp

Lamp

Baseball Lamp Shade

Baseball Lamp Shade

"Say Cheese!"

“Say Cheese!”

Plaid Sheets

Plaid Sheets

Scissors

Scissors

Plaid Curtains

Plaid Curtains

Figure

Figure (with hook hand!)

Room (where drawings were found!)

Room (where drawings were found!)

"Ahhhh! A monster!"

“Ahhhh! A monster!”

Feathers

Feathers

Sunset Sky

Sunset Sky

Succulents

Succulents

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus

A few pictures from Christmas last year…

Gingerbread Church (2013)

Gingerbread Church (2013)

Orange Slice Oculus and carmelized sugar stained glass windows (waiting to be installed haha)

Orange Slice Oculus and carmelized sugar stained glass windows (waiting to be installed haha)

Working on a gingerbread Eiffel Tower for this Christmas!

2013: Joseph and a little lamb. (This year it'll be a wiseman and an angel!)

2013: Joseph and a little lamb. (This year it’ll be a wiseman and an angel!)

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

2013

2013

2013

2013

2013 Spy Garden with Snow (before the deer fence expansion)

2013 Spy Garden with Snow (before the deer fence expansion)

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas this year; will it snow?!

Santa

Santa

Nine year old piggies in a blanket haha

Nine year old piggies in a blanket haha

Teepee

Teepee 12.23.14

Featured post

Christmas Garden

It's winter thyme!

It’s winter thyme!

Maggie and Dexie

Maggie and Dexie

Our street

Our street

Woodshed attached to breezeway by the back door; made by Smoochie

Woodshed attached to breezeway by the back door; made by Smoochie

Captain ship treehouse

Captain ship treehouse

Snowy steps

Snowy steps

Top of the teepee

Top of the teepee

I spy Dexie.

I spy Dexie.

Garden Living Room furniture made by Smoochie

Garden Living Room furniture made by Smoochie

Snow Boots

Snow Boots

I spy...

I spy…

Turkey (at Shaw Nature Reserve)

Turkey (at Shaw Nature Reserve)

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Cardinal in Cedar Trees

Cardinal in Cedar Trees

Fire Pit

Fire Pit

Table covered with snow.

Table covered with snow.

Fire Pit

Fire Pit

Very colorful!

Very colorful!

Tree table and two chairs

Tree table and two chairs

Heart tree stump

Heart tree stump

Moss

Moss

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Featured post

Christmas Gardening

Garlic Seeds

Garlic Seeds

Garlic in the Spy Garden Winter Basement Garden of Dormancy

Garlic in the Spy Garden Winter Basement Garden of Dormancy

Purple Garlic Seeds

Purple Garlic Seeds

The skins of each clove of this variety of garlic are purple as well. All of this garlic was started with a small handful of seeds given to us by some friends 5+ years ago. Garlic grown from seed takes three years to make a full head of garlic; if dug up in the first or second year of growing it is still edible; the heads will just only have 5-7 cloves on them. If garlic is grown from an individual clove you can plant it now (winter time) and harvest full heads of garlic by late spring/early summer.

Haven't watered these since they came indoors (back in October!)

Haven’t watered these since they came indoors (back in October!)

From one pineapple stem; two pineapple plants! Click on the How To tab to find the instructions on how to grow them!

From one pineapple stem; two pineapple plants! Click on the How To tab to find the instructions on how to grow them!

White twinkling lights on juniper bushes with snow

White twinkling lights on juniper bushes with snow

Taken in Spy Garden looking up toward the house.

Taken in Spy Garden looking up toward the house.

Salt Lamp

Salt Lamp

I spy!

I spy!

It has a dimmer switch. Best $10 lamp (from Walgreens) ever!

It has a dimmer switch. Best $10 lamp (from Walgreens) ever!

Old Barn near Spy Garden

Old Barn near Spy Garden

Making Christmas cards

Making Christmas cards

Christmasy

Christmasy

At church practicing bells for Christmas Eve service.

At church practicing bells for Christmas Eve service.

Ringing bells

Ringing bells

Good job!

Good job!

Christmas Plaid

Christmas Plaid

Say cheese!

Say cheese!

HAHhaha

HAHhaha

Woooo! Christmas is in seven days!!

Woooo! Christmas is in seven days!!

Christmas came early for the garden (“the garden” here as anthropomorphic figure as it is a force larger than myself HAHahhaah)…

The new 2015 seeds have been shipped and delivered! (Though let’s face it, these aren’t the only seeds/plants I’ll procure for the 2015 growing season). Sunflowers…herbs…giant pumpkins…plant cuttings from friends/neighbors/etc. aren’t included on this list below. The list below are the varieties I ordered from http://www.rareseeds.com which is the website for Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds located in Missouri. They have a location in historic Wethersfield, CT and a seed bank in Petaluma, CA.

Rare you say? Then I better order them quick; before they're all gone!

Rare you say? Then I better order them quick; before they’re all gone!

Along with the name of each type I’ve added a note about why I chose that particular variety…

Mammoth Red Mangel Beet: A white fleshed beet with blushes of red. We have hard clay soil and growing large root vegetables really improves the dirt. Plus who doesn’t want a giant beet?

McGregor’s Favorite Beet: Because I used to live off of McGregor Boulevard. hHahaha

Giant Red Re-Selection Celery: Ooooo red celery?

(Kulli) Black Incan Corn: Onyx-black shiny kernels. Perfect for Halloween décor! And my parents recently took a trip to Peru. And we love alpacas and llamas and they’re from Peru.

Dragon Tongue Bush Bean: These were a 2013 favorite of the kids; tasty eaten raw right in the garden or with dips. Pretty purple stripes down flat pale yellow pods; pretty and tasty!

Dragon’s Egg Cucumber: Because of Game of Thrones; isn’t it coming back in 2015?! Winter is here! Spring is coming and there shall be the eggs of dragons in Spy Garden.

Sikkim Cucumber: Also looks like a dragon’s egg.

Tarwi Q’ollo Lupine: The description is very interesting:

(Lupinus mutabilis) The Tarwi Lupine is another one of the “lost”foods of the Incas. Originally cultivated only in the high andes, Tarwi is a plant supremely adapted to the stress of high altitudes-it can take drought, cold and wind and still be very productive. Nowadays agronomists and gardeners are taking a look at Tarwi for growing in other places other than the high mountains. In Denmark and Northern Europe it is being trialed as a new pulse crop. The beautiful white seeds are choc full of fats and proteins. Tarwi has been cultivated/domesticated for probably close to 2000 years. The seeds themselves cannot just be eaten without a little simple preparation. The seeds contain alkaloids that are bitter, fortunately they are quite easy to remove just by soaking and rinsing them over a few days period. In the past this noble crop of the Andes was known only by the poor indigenous peoples, today thanks to modern systems for rinsing large quantities of seeds it is now a “chic” food of the Urban wealthy. Our own friend john Glavis is raising Tarwi with great success on the California coast north of San Francisco. The seeds offered here are from select Peruvian strains tracked down by Joe. They need a long growing season but really like cool weather too, so the Pacific Northwest coast is a great place to try them, everyone else could just give them a shot and save any seeds produced to select them to adapt to new climates. (source)

Mitoyo: A nearly black eggplant; the description said it was one of the most delicious eggplants and can even be eaten raw.

Thai White Ribbed Eggplant: grew this one before from a free seed packet from Baker Creek and the variety did really well. Eggplants always seem to take FOREVER to mature in Spy Garden; so I’m going to start them indoors early this year.

Strawberry Spinach: I’ve tried growing this one before without success. Little red berries (that in the picture look like raspberries) and flat broad leaves that can be eaten like regular spinach.

Dwarf Banana Collection (PRE-ORDER): Mmmmm!

Hardy Kiwi Collection (PRE-ORDER): MMMmmm!

Rare Fig Assortment (PRE-ORDER): MMmmm!

Dishcloth or Luffa Gourd: A gourd you can wash dishes with? Had to see it in person! I’ve had my eye on this variety for years and finally gave in to my curiosity.

Quinoa, Shelly 25 Black: Because our good friend is named Shelly. And she’s a vegetarian and quinoa is an excellent source of protein!

Black Seeded Sesame: Mmmmm!

Flax: Flax fibers for making our own rope?! And seeds for eating! And pretty blue flowers!

Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry: We have grown giant cape gooseberries for the past two years and they took a long time to mature and didn’t produce too many berries. So trying a more classic variety of ground cherries.

Early White Vienna Kohlrabi: Baby picked this one. Kind of looks like a space-ship! We’ve grown the purple ones before. Tastes like cabbage.

Charentais Melon: French varieties always seem to do well in Spy Garden and we’ve grown Delice de la Table the past two years so wanted to try a new melon (like cantaloupe) this season.

Orangeglo Watermelon: Mmmmm! We grew this variety in 2013.

Royal Golden Watermelon: The rind turns a bright yellow/orange when ripe! Have tried unsuccessfully to grow this variety in the past.

Noordhollandse Bloedrode Onion: Like the looooong name haha; and the color is a striking, deep purple. Baby picked these.

Black Hungarian Pepper: We’ve grown these once before. Perfect amount of heat in a smooth, small black pepper. The plants themselves are also deep shades of green/purple and the blooms are purple.

Yellow Monster Pepper: In the pictures these were HUGE yellow peppers with green striations.

Paradicsom Alaku Sarga Szentes Pepper: Love the looooong name of this variety. Hahaha! These were one of Baby’s favorites for eating straight off the plants in the garden. Sweet and crunchy; these peppers turn yellow but we ate them before they ever got to that stage!

Thai Red Roselle: Very pretty plant we grew in 2013. Roselle is the tangy ingredient in the “zinger” varieties of tea.

Monstrueux De Viroflay Spinach: I always buy this variety. Good, tasty spinach!

Red Malabar Spinach: We had a small plant of this type in Squirrely Garden (the garden at Baby’s preschool) and I was intrigued. It looks like a succulent but you can eat the fleshy leaves.

Beleah Rose Lettuce: Baby picked this lettuce. Looks like a tutu!

Iran Squash: I bought this one because it reminded me of the show Homeland. I consider myself a master of diplomacy; having a symposium of seeds from many nations represented and all getting along famously right in my own front/side yard. Hahhaha

Triamble or Shamrock Squash: I have tried unsuccessfully to grow this variety of squash 2009-2013 and am still determined to grow it. It is a blue winter squash that has three lobes (like a shamrock). Maybe 2015 will be its year!

Victor or Red Warty Thing Squash: I don’t know if I’ll try to grow this or not; it was sort of an impulse buy. I want to get some pumpkin seeds from some 700+lb Atlantic Giants (from specialty pumpkin growers like this one) and try for some giant pumpkins. So may not have room for these bumpy round red fruits. I also had great success with Rouge de Vif d’Etampes pumpkins so am tempted to grow those again.

Delicious Tomato: We’ve grown these before. And yes, they’re delicious.

Wagner Blue Green Tomato: Because it looked very colorful in the picture.

Copia (Tigercopia) Tomato: A pretty yellow/red striped tomato.

Hyssop, Blue: I’ve grown this before. Lovely deep royal blue/purple blooms that grow on stalks (similar to lavender). It is supposed to be a natural cough suppressant.

Lion’s Tail or Wild Dagga: I’ve grown this one before. It is a perfect Halloween plant; orange and fuzzy flowers peek out through sharp and spiny seed pods. The time we grew this it was 10+ feet tall.

Dwarf Coral Garden Mix – Cockscomb: Perfect for the “coral reef” (an area of the garden which has ever-bearing strawberries).

Celosia, Pampas Plume Mix: So colorful! Very similar to the magenta amaranth we grow (Hartman’s Giant)  but shorter (about 4 feet tall).

Alaska Red Shades Nasturtium: A deep red nasturtium; seemed unique to the usual bright, tropical shades of nasturtiums we normally grow.

Yellow Canary Creeper Nasturtium: A very weird looking flower (on the seed packet drawing); I’ve tried growing this twice before but it never made it. I’ve since found that nasturtiums do best with a fair amount of shade.

Yeti – Nasturtium: Because it’s Christmas! And don’t Yeti’s live near the North Pole?!

Seeds, seeds, glorious seeds!

Seeds, seeds, glorious seeds! (Photos from http://www.rareseeds.com) these are pictures of most of the varieties listed.

Featured post

Shaw Nature Reserve 12.13.14

A (three hour!) hike through Shaw Nature Reserve today…

Prairie Oats: love these golden chevrons!

Prairie Oats: love these golden chevrons!

Hitting the trail

Hitting the trail

Burnt to a crisp! You can spot lots of lighting damage to trees at Shaw

Burnt to a crisp! You can spot lots of lighting damage to trees at Shaw

The Spy

The Spy

Balance

Balance

Baby and Smoochie

Baby and Smoochie

Prairie/Tree Line

Prairie/Tree Line

Golden Grass

Golden Grass

Right or left?

Right or left?

Stump

Stump

Sumac

Sumac

Hmmm what's this?

Hmmm what’s this?

Rock/Moss

Rock/Moss

Cliff

Cliff

Likin' this lichen

Likin’ this lichen

Red berries, red sweatshirt

Red berries, red sweatshirt

Teepee

Teepee

Huge...

Huge…

Sycamore

Sycamore

Gravel Bar

Gravel Bar

Throwing rocks into the Meramec

Throwing rocks into the Meramec

Silty

Silty

Showing off rocks

Showing off rocks

And shells!

And shells!

A purple plant (covered in silt)

A purple plant (covered in silt)

A heart

A heart

Meramec River

Meramec River

Silty Sand

Silty Sand

Crystal-ly

Crystal-ly

Sycamore bark is my favorite! Looks like paint by numbers.

Sycamore bark is my favorite! Looks like paint by numbers.

Narrow Trail

Narrow Trail

Overhang

Overhang

Ridge

Ridge

Boardwalk through the prairie

Boardwalk through the prairie

This would be a great tree for a treehouse!

This would be a great tree for a treehouse!

Nice view (even with a gray sky)

Nice view (even with a gray sky)

Prairie

Prairie

So dreamy

So dreamy

Path through the prairie

Entrance of a path through the prairie

Featured post

Spy Garden du Jour

Salt Lamp

Salt Lamp

Hedgeapple

Hedgeapple

Ornament

Ornament

Teepee by Day...

Teepee by Day…

Christmas Tree by Night!

Christmas Tree by Night!

See the teepee in the background down in the garden?

See the teepee in the background down in the garden?

From left: amaranth, tree marigold and marigold (saving seeds)

From left: amaranth, tree marigold and marigold (saving seeds)

Why do colored icicle lights have so many pink bulbs?

Why do colored icicle lights have so many pink bulbs?

Spy Garden in St. Louis Homes and Lifestyles magazine! (bottom right on the rack!)

Spy Garden in St. Louis Homes and Lifestyles magazine! (bottom right on the rack!)

Spy Garden on stlhomesmag.com !

Spy Garden on stlhomesmag.com !

And…

Baby's Forest School dining hall; seen here on stlmag.com (another local magazine)

Baby’s Forest School dining hall; seen here on stlmag.com (another local magazine)

Imagine grade school if Ranger Rick were the headmaster…the state’s only Forest School emphasizes the outdoors. Children from ages 2 to 6 play on logs and boulders, rather than slides and monkey bars. They help grow their own food on-site, and prepare it in a teaching kitchen led by a chef. They follow the Reggio Emilia approach to learning, choosing their class projects and gaining essential skills along the way. “Our belief is that if you can learn it inside, you can learn it outside,” says president Ilya Eydelman. “It’s more than just a school with trees around it—although we do have more of that than most.” (from stlmag.com)

Baby's Forest School

Baby’s Forest School

Baby

Baby

Sidewalk

Sidewalk

Lots of lights

Lots of lights

Free Calendar with a good shot of the Botanical Garden on the cover

Free Calendar with a good shot of the Botanical Garden on the cover

Four new outfits for Baby!

Four new outfits for Baby!

Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights

Spy Garden 12.9.14

Spy Garden 12.9.14

Smell that fresh winter air

Smell that fresh winter air

Featured post

Early December in Spy Garden

Dexie; cruising

Dexie; cruising

Twinkling net lights on juniper bushes

Twinkling net lights on juniper bushes

Hello friends!

Hello friends! (our llama and alpaca neighbors)

I think this one's name is Merica

I think this one’s name is Merica

This llama is very equine-esque.

This llama is very equine-esque.

Baby in Squirrely Garden (the garden at her school, of which I am the CEO;)

Baby in Squirrely Garden (the garden at her school, of which I am the CEO;)

CEO of mostly only dirt right now (and a few dormant things)

CEO of mostly only dirt right now (and a few dormant things)

In the above photo the frothy yellow plant is asparagus (which we also grow in Spy Garden). I would actually like to dig up our asparagus and relocate it before spring but it has been VERY rainy/snowy/cold and still haven’t even gotten a chance to plant the garlic yet.

Spy House with a little snow

Spy House with a little snow

Spy House with a little glow (and check out that moon)

Spy House with a little glow (and check out that moon)

Dexie through the deer fence

Dexie through the deer fence

Looking in living room window...we have another tree in the man cave with loads of ornaments.

Looking in living room window…we have another tree in the man cave with loads of ornaments. I like how the lights reflecting in the window are “decorating” my Meyer lemon tree!

A nice winter day

A nice winter day

In the woods in front of our house

In the woods in front of our house

Can one ever have too much camo?  Bahahahaha

Can one ever have too much camo? Bahahahaha

Lichen reminds me of mussels

Lichen reminds me of mussels

Lichen like seashells

Lichen like seashells

Aunt Spy and Baby

Aunt Spy and Baby

Nana picking sage

Nana picking sage

The kids with Nana and Pop

The kids with Nana and Pop

Maggie (Aunt Spy's dog)

Maggie (Aunt Spy’s dog)

I spy Dexie in the garden

I spy Dexie in the garden

Teepee by Day...

Teepee by Day…

Christmas tree by night!

Christmas tree by night!

Teepee in the Garden

Teepee in the Garden

Spy Garden Garden Glow!

Spy Garden Garden Glow!

Featured post

Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden

The Climatron

The Climatron

The Spy and Baby...

The Spy and Baby…

Snowkids

Snowkids

I like this classic style of lights

I like this classic style of lights

In the Maze

In the Maze

Ground Lights

Ground Lights

Tunnel of Lights

Tunnel of Lights

Reflection

Reflection

This tree was my favorite light display

This tree was my favorite light display

Blue Tree

Blue Tree

So pretty!

So pretty!

And because I am a sucker for the abstract…

Lights

Lights

Abstract Climatron

Abstract Climatron

Tree

Tree

I spy a little elf!

I spy a little elf!

After walking through through the Garden Glow we also visited Gardenland Express which is an indoor display of holiday flowers and plants and trains.

These were my favorites of the holiday flowers on display (Cyclamen; Rainier White)

These were my favorites of the holiday flowers on display (Cyclamen; Rainier White)

Click to learn more about Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden and Gardenland Express Holiday Flower and Train Show (both running now through January 3/4, 2015).

Featured post

Farewell Fall

Yellow Tree Stump

Yellow Tree Stump

Center of the Stump

Center of the Stump

Dexie and Yellow Stump

Dexie and Yellow Stump

Rouge Vif d'Etampes...

Rouge Vif d’Etampes…

Bottom of the Pumpkin

Bottom of the Pumpkin

Skinless Pumpkin

Skinless Pumpkin

Roasting another Rouge Vif d'Etampes pumpkin with the skin on (which makes it more moist)

Roasting another Rouge Vif d’Etampes pumpkin with the skin on (which makes it more moist)

Rouge Vif d'Etampes Pumpkin Pie

Rouge Vif d’Etampes Pumpkin Pie

The Spy

The Spy

Smoochie

Smoochie

Tree

Tree

Pink Stump

Pink Stump

Dexie Marie

Dexie Marie

Fire Pit

Fire Pit

Tree Fort

Tree Fort

Sleepy Baby

Sleepy Baby

Sleepy Smoochie

Sleepy Smoochie

Tree at Sunrise

Tree at Sunrise

Missouri River Sunrise

Missouri River Sunrise

St Louis Homes and Lifestyles Magazine on the rack! Featuring Spy Garden!

St Louis Homes and Lifestyles Magazine on the rack! Featuring Spy Garden!

Click here for a direct link (it will open in a new window) to the article in the November/December issue of the magazine!

DSC_3827 (536x700)

Here is an excerpt from the article about the pumpkins pictured earlier in this post…

Bright-red ‘Rouge Vif D’Etampes’ pumpkins dangle from a lattice arbor that also frames a garden vista centered with gray-green eucalyptus and frothy asparagus foliage. The decorative and highly edible squash were the most popular pumpkins in the Central Market in Paris in the 1880s and were used as the model for Cinderella’s coach.

November Issue of Missouri Conservationist, another great local magazine!

November Issue of Missouri Conservationist, another great local magazine!

Featured post

November 25, 2014

Photogenic Coneflower

Photogenic Coneflower

Spy Garden 11.25.14

Spy Garden 11.25.14

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus still hanging on. Still have plans to dig it up.

The eucalyptus is still hanging on. Still have plans to dig it up.

Soggy, frozen, wrinkly pumpkin

Soggy, frozen, wrinkly pumpkin

Tree Marigold still photogenic long after blooming

Tree Marigold still photogenic long after blooming

Coneflower

Coneflower

Parsley still quite green and perky despite the cold

Parsley still quite green and perky despite the cold

Wisps of a lemon cucumber wine

Wisps of a lemon cucumber wine

Snowman's Noses Carrot Patch

Snowman’s Noses Carrot Patch

I like to leave some carrots in the ground through winter to dig up for snowman’s noses. You can see in the above picture where the carrot greens have been gnawed off by deer. The deer fence has a large opening that we have not repaired yet, so they are sneaking in and taking what they can get (which at this point is not much!)

Coneflower

Coneflower

Russian Red (also called Ragged Jack) Kale

Russian Red (also called Ragged Jack) Kale

A fallen and forgotten tomato

A fallen and forgotten tomato

And who do we have here?!

And who do we have here?!

He was moving very slowly (cold blood!) so it was easy to catch him and bring him inside for a closer look (and photoshoot of course haha) before releasing him.

Baby trying to sneak a touch

Baby trying to sneak a touch

Having a look

Having a look

 

Spotted Salamander; the spots look painted on!

Spotted Salamander; the spots look painted on!

Featured post

Vantablack, Garden Glow and Some New Music

Happy Friday friends! Hope you all had a great week. Cold and darkness has enveloped Spy Garden as of late and we’re a bit behind in the raking, garlic planting and other fall garden to-dos…But one highlight of our week was watching Disney’s The Humpback of Notre Dame. Makes me want to read the original by Victor Hugo. As we watched it, the Spy (he’s 9), remarked,

“This is a little dark for Disney.”

Hahhahaha

Speaking of darkness, here is an excerpt from an interesting article about a new invention called Vantablack…

…the blackest black ever seen, or, actually, not seen….

Vantablack, for Vertically Aligned NanoTube Array, is made by “growing” carbon nanotubes on a metal surface. (A nanotube is a billionth of a meter thick, or about the width of three gold atoms.) Light is trapped between the tubes and bounces around until it’s absorbed, so almost no light gets out.

Vantablack has enthralled not just the tech world but also artists and architects. Ben Jensen, 48, a founder and the chief technology officer of Surrey NanoSystems, spoke by telephone from his laboratory in Newhaven, England, about the material’s applications and why it might not be quite right for your home. (This interview has been edited and condensed.)

Q. Why are people so excited about Vantablack?

A test sample of Vantablack Credit Surrey NanoSystems

A. The coating reflects so little light, three dimensions seem to disappear. When you look at Vantablack on some wrinkled aluminum foil, it looks like a black, flat, featureless void, even with your eyes right up to it. That and the fact that it’s the darkest material ever created.

How did all this start?

­Growing carbon nanotubes isn’t new. But typically they’ve been grown at a very high temperature: 750 degrees centigrade. That would destroy most underlying materials, so they grew them on things like silicon, diamond and sapphire, which can stand high temperatures. We’re building on work to grow nanotubes at a lower temperature for microelectronics.

What’s special about carbon nanotubes?

­It’s almost like an alien material from “Star Trek.” Imagine a drinking straw, closed at one end, with a wall one-atom thick. This straw is one-ten-thousandth the diameter of a human hair, but it is 10 times stronger than steel, and 10 times better at conducting heat than copper. It’s been known to exhibit what is called “ballistic transport”; electrons travel through it with almost no resistance. Vantablack packs billions of these straws together. (to read the full article in the NY Times click here)

Fascinating concept; and imagine the possibilities for artistic application of vantablack! In other color and light news…We are excited to visit Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden next week. Garden Glow is expected to sell out, so get your tickets soon!

I hope I can get some cool shots at Garden Glow; I always struggle trying to take decent photos at night. I’d also like to make a Spy Garden Garden Glow one day!

It's a start! hahahaha

It’s a start! hahahah

I’ve also been doing a little crocheting this week. Crocheting is such a great thing to do when it is frigid out!

Hat for our friends' newborn!

Hat for our friends’ newborn!

I do love a good pom pom

I do love a good pom pom

I made the same shaped hat for myself in black wool. I’m making some leg warmers for Baby out of the same purple (super soft!) yarn. Baby demanded the leg warmers. Then she demanded I unravel them (a request I did not accommodate) Hahah She also demanded this morning…

“I want to listen to Taylor Swift RIGHT NOW!”

What Baby wants, Baby gets!

What Baby wants, Baby gets! hahahhaha

And some “new” music for the Spy too…

Notice the similar aesthetic in the album insert.

Notice the similar aesthetic in the album insert.

And some Led Zeppelin, one of the Spy's faves.

And some Led Zeppelin, one of the Spy’s faves.

A few more random shots from the week…

Choo Choo

Choo Choo

24-Karat Carrot Cake Cupcake at Jilly's

24-Karat Carrot Cake Cupcake at Jilly’s

Missouri River Sunrise

Missouri River Sunrise

A Cold Road

A Cold Road

Have a great weekend!

Featured post

Snowy Spy Garden

The Spy

The Spy

Running in the garden

Running in the garden

Baby

Baby

Snowy Garden

Snowy Garden

Wooo snow!

Wooo snow!

Pineapple Sage

Pineapple Sage

Lime basil stalks (full of seeds); the lime basil always self-sows vigorously

Lime basil stalks (full of seeds); the lime basil always self-sows vigorously

Hardy Mum

Hardy Mum

This amaranth has lost all of its color; it was vibrant magenta just a few weeks ago!

This amaranth has lost all of its color; it was vibrant magenta just a few weeks ago!

Snowy Garden

Snowy Garden

Mexican sunflower

Mexican sunflower

Carrot seed head

Carrot seed head

Frozen squash leaves

Frozen squash leaves

Once a lemon cucumber vine

Once a lemon cucumber vine

And inside…

Our basement garden (of dormancy)

Our basement garden (of dormancy)

Each of these succulent leaves will grow a whole new plant

Each of these succulent leaves will grow a whole new plant

Our fridge; that is a little succulent in a magnetic pot!

Our fridge; that is a little succulent in a magnetic pot!

Our backyard seen from the kitchen window.

Our backyard seen from the kitchen window.

Featured post

Mid-November in Spy Garden

Spy Garden November 2014

Spy Garden November 2014

Swinging

Swinging

Weeeeee!

Weeeeee!

Circus...

Circus…

...practice. haha

…practice. haha

Circus Harmony does weekly circus training classes at Baby’s Forest School. They offer flying trapeze lessons and other fun classes. Here is an excerpt from their website:

RUN AWAY & JOIN THE CIRCUS & STILL BE HOME IN TIME FOR DINNER!

At the Circus Harmony Center on the third floor of City Museum and at numerous outreach locations throughout the St. Louis area, we offer a wide array of circus arts classes for ages 5 through adult. We have Fall and Winter/Spring and Summer sessions. You can also book workshops and private lessons any time of the year at City Museum or to come to you. Click on the link below for our current class schedule.

Our staff is headed by Jessica Hentoff, who has over 39 years of circus teaching and performing experience and includes Honored Artist of Mongolia, Rosa Yagaantsetseg, International Jugglers’ Association Excellence in Education Award Winner…(source)

Sounds fun, right? We have juggling clubs here (and I can juggle six with another person!) and our have some “circus” equipment; but I think I would like to add a Cloud Swing and Slackline and maybe a tightrope…;) haha

Upside Down

Upside Down

Spy Garden Garlic

Spy Garden Garlic

Still haven’t planted our garlic yet: maybe this weekend! Each one of the cloves will grow a whole head of garlic by early summer if planted now.

Sunset with woodpile in the backyard

Sunset with woodpile in the backyard

Apple

Apple

Mmm apple season! Here are some descriptions of locally grown apples…

Jonathan – Thin skin, creamy yellow meat with a great snap and wonderful balance of sweet / tart flavors and natural spiciness. At home raw on a fruit plate or baked into pie.

Fuji – Firm, dense flesh, reliably crispy, juicy and sweet with great shelf life. Excellent chopped in muffins and cakes; one of the best for serving raw. I served thousands of them on cheese plates raw, sliced, dunked in lemon water.

Granny Smith – Very crisp, tart, refreshing apple that combines well with sweeter varieties in baking, clearly preferable for use in salads.

Golden Delicious – Mellow, sweet apple suffered from years of mass-production abuse. Google it today and you see “very good flavor when home grown”.

Arkansas Black – Pretty dark red right now, they are good storage apples and the skin darkens in storage. A very solid apple, the slices will remain crisp in baking. Good acidity and a touch of astringency make a great back drop for fall spices.

Rome Beauty – 19th century heirloom originating in the township of Rome, Ohio. Very crunchy which makes this an outstanding pie apple for holding its shape and not weeping in the crust. Not super-sweet so takes well of apple pie spices and compliments without clashing on the cheese plate.

Winesap Hard to find heirloom, very juicy, sweet-tart, deep, rich, spicy and, well, winey flavor. Eat raw, bake, excellent with cheese.

EmpireI see the flavor described as “vinous” but I would say melon-like, even elderflower. Great for raw applications or baked in a mix with other varieties.

Cortland – A McIntosh cultivar, red skin blushed with green and white to pale pink flesh. Nearly all US production is in New York State, almost within sight of Cornell University where it was developed at the start of the 20th century. Sweet-tart, all purpose apple good for jelly, pies, apple sauce, cider, fruit leather and all around eating too. Slow to brown when cut.

Crispin – Also known as Mutsu , a green apple with very sweet, honeyed flavors, juicy, crunchy and crispy. Excellent eating out of hand and very good baking.

Braeburn – Great eating apples originated in New Zealand in the 1950’s. Thin, yellow-green skin with a dark scarlet blush, its very juicy and moderately sweet with a remarkable depth of, well, appley flavor that suggests cinnamon before you add any.

Firm Gold – Related to Granny Smith, green skin, juicy flesh with a firm bite of acidity and a caramel-y sweetness.

All Apples mix or match – $2.50 / pound – 20lb case of a single variety – $2 / pound

These descriptions are from Baby’s school: they email out a LOooooong list of locally grown foods each week and you can order things and pick them up at the school. I’ve never ordered before (can’t believe I missed another fall opportunity to sample the elusive pawpaw!) But I do love reading the descriptions…

Missouri Seckel Pears The Seckel (SEHK-uhl) Pear (aka the Sugar Pear) is superb for salads, sliced on sandwiches, for pickling or spicing. It is a true open-pollinated heirloom variety so there are lots of genetic variations and these, from Berger, Missouri are much larger than the standard Seckel. Like most pears, they are harvested pretty hard and ripen after picking. They are great for poaching right away, soften and sweeten in a paper bag in a few days to make a wonderful tart or pear sauce.

$2.75 / pound – 20lb case – $2.25 / pound

Illinois Asian Pears I haven’t had local Asian Pears before so I’m looking forward. They arrive Thursday morning and I’m expecting juicy, crunchy, creamy white flesh with a sweet tang and lovely aroma. $2.75 / pound – 20lb case – $2.25 / pound

Fall Rhubarb There doesn’t seem to be any commercial Rhubarb productions around here, so you have to find fanatics who love the stuff so much that they plant way too much for themselves and have extra to sell. If you are determined to use it with Strawberries, you are in luck. I have beautiful sweet local Strawberries in my freezer from the height of the dearly departed summer season but lots of good Rhubarb preparations do no need the crutch of Strawberries. 6.50 / pound

Frozen Elderberries – Big flavor, deep color, tiny berries, huge anti-oxidants. Associated in European folklore with fairies and elves, here is 100% edible frozen Elderberries packed into zip lock bags like buckshot in a shell. Very good for jam, great in muffins, excellent sauce for game meats. See what you come up with.

Apx. 4.5 lb. bags – $9 / pound

Aren’t they fun descriptions? Maple syrup, milled sorghum flour, flavored vinegars, pickled peppers, brown rice…It goes on, and on and on…for seven more pages! And ALL of these things are grown/prepared right here in Missouri! The descriptions remind me of those in seed catalogs (which we will soon be receiving in the mail)! Reading seed catalogs is a good cold weather activity: and we need lots of those because Baby, it’s cold outside! There were flurries here today. My poor silver dollar eucalyptus; it’s a huge plant in the garden I plan to dig up and bring indoors: hopefully it will survive until I can get out there and brave the cold and dig it up! But not tonight: Brrr! It’s in the 20’s (F) and windy. I prefer swimming laps in a warm pool to gardening while I adjust to the earlier darkness and the weather! Baby and I are also working diligently on our ballet. It’s more like yoga + ballet. So yollet. Yollet TM haha

Yollet. Classical music required.

Yollet. Classical music required.

Baby

Baby

Yollet. It’s a thing. #arabesqueallday

So awesome! (source)

So awesome! (source)

So inspiring! And check out these three pretty ballerina pictures below. They are from the ballerina project 

Garden Gate Inspiration (source)

Garden Gate Inspiration (source)

Tree Ballet (source)

Tree Ballet (source)

Photographs by Dane Shitagi (source)

Photographs by Dane Shitagi (source)

The majority of ballerinas who have posed for the project are currently or have danced for companies such as American Ballet Theater, Boston Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Dresden Semperopera Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Ballet West, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet… (source)

And one more priceless ballet picture I came across this week…

#blackswan HAhahahah (source)

#blackswan HAhahahah (source)

So yes, Yollet, that is how Baby and I are celebrating the beautiful art of Ballet. More on our arabesques soon. But for now, I would like to define the helfie. That’s hair + selfie.

#helfie

#helfie

#hairchopsticks #helfie

#hairchopsticks #helfie

#90scomeback #helfie

#90scomeback #helfie

And a few more random things to share…

My mom's first harvest! It's growing time in Florida! Radishes were the first thing I ever grew and harvested too!

My mom’s first harvest! It’s growing time in Florida! Radishes were the first thing I ever grew and harvested too!

Bonfire

Bonfire

Missouri River; facing north/northeast from the Daniel Boone Bridge

Missouri River; facing north/northeast from the Daniel Boone Bridge

Happy Thursday Friends!

Featured post

Forest School

Forest School Creek

Forest School Creek

In the garden (Squirrely Garden)...

In the garden (Squirrely Garden)…

SsSSssssss

SsSSssssss

Little Hiker

Little Hiker

Forest School Teacher

Forest School Teacher

Forest School Teacher

Forest School Teacher

Baby leading her class in the woods

Baby leading her class in the woods

Examining

Examining

Samples of Dirt

Samples of Dirt

Playing with dirt

Playing with dirt

Learning about dirt

Learning about dirt

Bubble

Bubble

Mmm chocolate!

Mmm chocolate!

Block Stack

Block Stack

Drawing

Drawing

Fall at Forest School

Fall at Forest School

Featured post

The St. Louis Art Museum and Spy Garden Objets d’Art

Ceiling

Ceiling

Saint Louis Art Museum

Saint Louis Art Museum

Interior of St. Peters, Rome

Interior of St. Peters, Rome

IMG_1771 (569x700) (2)

Beautiful White Marble...looks like fondant.

Beautiful White Marble…looks like fondant.

Reminds me of one of my friend’s sculpture installations from 2009…

Stripped (1), fondant, 2009, by Hilary Schwartz

Stripped (1), fondant, 2009, by Hilary Schwartz (source of photo; www.hilaryschwartz.com)

Profile

Profile

This would be great for the man cave!

This painting would be great for our man cave! hah

IMG_1703 (646x700)

Elephant

Elephant

Metal Elephant

Metal Elephant

Detail of Native American (Apache) Dress

Detail of Native American (Apache) Dress

Rock Bowl

Rock Bowl

Cradle (Apache)

Cradle (Apache)

Small stuffed toy made by Crissy Penuel

Small stuffed toy made by Crissy Penuel

A Cow Shark Rock (or a Goliath Grouper?)

A Cow Shark Rock (or a Goliath Grouper?)

Flag with Dexie

Flag with Dexie

Flag, made by the Spy and girl from his preschool around 2010.

Flag, made by the Spy and girl from his preschool around 2010.

Fossils?

Fossils?

Fossils?

Fossils?

Horse (Chinese)

Horse (Chinese)

Zebra (circa early 1900s)

Zebra (circa early 1900s)

Nice Braids

Nice Braids

Teapot

Teapot

DSC_4471 (700x454)

Running Artemis

Running Artemis

My favorite Matisse painting at the St. Louis Art Museum

My favorite Matisse painting at the St. Louis Art Museum

Happy Friday!