Monday, September 27, 2010

Pondering the cosmos

Originally uploaded by norvegal

I was wandering around the garden this morning, checking to see if I'd caught the woodchuck that's been wreaking havoc on my vegetables. I always feel bad about relocating an animal from its chosen habitat. Just because I'm bigger and have opposable thumbs and know how to fix a leaky toilet, who am I to dictate where another living creature should live? That's just not right.

But all noble thoughts end the moment there's an incursion into the garden. Which happened this week. First it was the kale - tender, perfect, beautiful little leaves of kale that were planted from seed and finally ripe. I planned to harvest them for dinner the next night, but when I woke up? Poof. Gone. But the worst part was when it got the tomatoes. It didn't just pluck a few and discretely take them away, no, it sloppily bit into them right on the vine, leaving a perfectly ripe and beautiful but slobber-covered uneaten half right there. As if a frat boy had been using my garden as its kitchen.

So, out came the Havahart trap. I first baited it with cabbage, but no dice. So I went to the grocery store and got Mr. Woodchuck an especially plump head of broccoli. Did he take the bait? Nope.

Fall produce aside, the garden is getting ready for its long winter nap. But this morning I came upon this cluster of cosmos, so perky and happy, finally entering is prime (cosmos is, after all, part of the aster family). Lucky for me, it appears that woodchucks don't like cosmos. At least not yet.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ever notice that you seem to be surrounding yourself with a particular color? My friends joke about my fondness for oranges and pinks, but today's accidental palette seemed decidedly autumnal.

I spotted it while I was sitting at the kitchen table, fiddling over a bind-off for an upcoming editorial project. I can't say more about the yarns just yet, but I can tell you that the book is delightful.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

And if you thought I was kidding about the marshmallows in my last post, I wasn't.

Delicious, insanely easy, and very, very satisfying. I urge you to grab your candy thermometer and give them a try.

Boy that went fast. I'm staring across the pond at a band of trees that have already turned deep red. The ferns in the field have all died back, even the goldenrod is done. The summer visitors are long, long gone. And my onions - the few that managed to grow during what was a very dry summer - have all been cured and stored away.

I'm feeling rather like the garden these days, a bit spent and overrun, tired from a full summer of bloom and ready for a spell of restorative dormancy. Just a week ago, I bundled up my new baby book - of which I'm extremely proud, but aren't we always? - and sent it off to my editor in New York. This step marks the beginning of a whole new flurry of activity of a different editorial nature, but the core birthing process is complete.

Time has become mine again, but it'll take a while to replenish my creative well. Taking time to walk, knit for myself, bake beautiful treats, and be with friends, that will get me there.

I don't know about you, but there's much to look forward to this fall. My father and his wife are coming for a long-overdue visit, then I get to spend time in Rhinebeck with some of my very favorite people (and fiber-bearing animals) in the world. Then, dear friends from San Francisco come for a celebratory birthday visit (not mine), and finally, the piece de resistance, the KR Retreat. I feel lucky and grateful.

And as for today? It's Thursday, traditionally my day of rest. Would anybody like to join me in making some homemade marshmallows?