Monthly Archives: June 2015

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!

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

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!