Sunday, June 12, 2011


I have five good friends, scattered about the country, each of whom is a very gifted painter. I anxiously await emails containing their new work and I am always spellbound by their ability to take an ordinary subject and turn it into a thing of beauty to be seen in a more vibrant and thought provoking way.

So it is with a bit of reluctance on this quiet Sunday morning that I decided to share with you these lovely lilies I found in my rock garden early this morning while out taking a walk. Any one of those five extraordinary people could paint the subject with more identity and imagination. I cannot draw a stick man that would be recognized as a stick man.

But I, with my modest (meaning inexpensive) camera could not pass up the opportunity to capture these beautiful, fleeting treasures from the earth because I wanted them to be seen by eyes other than my own. I hope you agree.

Peace to all!

Friday, June 3, 2011


When I took Bob the Beagle out to potty before bedtime tonight and noticed we had a visitor......

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Vineyard and What It Brings

For the past three years, since the day we planted the tiny little fragile vines in the ground, I have entertained a fantasy about our first harvest.

Dennis and I would work in the hot sun, side by side, snipping clusters of grapes from the six rows of vines as we discussed politics, music, mutual friends and current events. In my vision of that day, we would be so excited to see our dream come to fruition after over five years of planning that we could hardly contain ourselves as we carried the buckets of fruit back to our kitchen.

I think about that day a lot.

Two weeks ago, the Chardonnay grapes were abundant and beautiful as they began to blossom and hang down from the cordons. The quantity of the clusters was almost overwhelming.

But then on May 23, we got an enormous amount of much rain it sat on the ground for days. Soon after, we noticed a distinct change in the beautiful green grapes. Some of them began to turn dark.

After consulting the professionals, we learned two very distinct and somewhat disappointing things. First, all of the grape clusters that were discolored would have to be removed. And secondly, our plan to grow organically would have to change in order to preserve our fruit.

So, today in 93 degree temperatures and without Dennis, I had to do what was technically the first cutting to protect future growth. And it was sad.

At the end of the afternoon, after carefully examining and clipping two rows of Chardonnay, vine by vine, branch by branch, I ended up with these two buckets full of precious grapes that we could no longer use.

But there always is an up side to a dismal situation if you look hard enough. And my up side was surrounding me.

This mountain really belongs to the many inhabitants that live deep in these wood...we are just the caretakers. I don't see them often, but their presence is always with me. Sometimes, I feel their eyes on me as I work and there is evidence of them everywhere.

After my disappointing harvest today, I decided there was only one thing that could be done to justify our loss.
So tonight, when my fellow mountain inhabitants come out to search for food under the protective blanket of darkness, they will find a surprise. Deep in the woods, in various locations, the table will be set with a feast of Chardonnay grapes........ all they have to do is show up.

And my long walk back to the house this evening wasn't near as sad as the walk I had made earlier in the day to the vineyard.

UPDATE: So far, the rows of Cabernet and Cynthiana grapes are doing fine.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Sensitive Side of Teddy

I have no idea what this is all about, but I suppose it makes sense to him.