...sometimes even a single feather is enough to fly. (Robert Maclean)


will to live

It amazes me how strong the life instinct is...
As my partner would say, it's the beauty of the 'vital force'...
Life just wants to live.

It's evident in so many ways,
especially this time of year when the act of living is so visible...

Even with these terribly neglected potatoes. 

This is essence of resilience. 

When I work with children who have dificult circumstances...
If they've been abused or neglected, or their needs simply far from met -
I hope they have some of this resilient spirit inside them. 


let us not forget the robins

For awhile I was so preoccupied with the gorgeous and extraordinary herons and hawks that I failed to pay attention to the beautiful winged things right under my nose... 

Let us not forget the sweet robins... There may be nothing flashy or extraordinary about their looks, but they are, after all, our faithful companions at home.  They sing their cheery song every morning, and we catch sight of them off and on all day long, hopping around the yard in their quest for worms.   

Here's a robin's nest made under our pool deck this spring, which is where this particular robin has made a nest every year for 3-4 years now.  It is not the greatest location.  It's only about 4 feet off the ground, and every year it has ended in some version of disaster, thanks to our dog Bella who always finds the nest...  and you can figure out the rest.  It's not a pretty ending.

This year, finally (!) we outsmarted Ms. Bella!  Our friend Arnold helped us put some fencing around the nest, so the mama could fly in and out and the little fledglings would be protected as they were learning to fly...  

The only downside is that I was not able to get any other pictures of the babies due to the fencing... But at least some young robins made it out into the world!  


local culinary oil!

Being a locavore in the Finger Lakes just got even better!
makes artisanal roasted seed oils
from locally grown non-GMO squash seeds. 

 If I were to describe them as best I could,
only expletives could truly capture how good they are. 
(Good enough to deserve expletives I reserve only for special occasions.)
This oil is worthy in every way.

They had a tasting last weekend at Greenstar and
the nice fellow who was talking to me about it said that
he loves to roast and grill with the oil
add it to mashed potatoes or couscous
and garnish soups with it.

I came home and dipped fresh bread in some oil... simple and divine.

Check out some of their recipe suggestions here.

Since I love brussel sprouts with bacon,
I'm excited to add some squash oil and see how that changes the flavor profile...
and to try Ruth Reichl's adaptation of a squash puree
and Chef Samantha Izzo's vinaigrette.
AND the goat cheese crostini looks amazing
but then again I don't think I ever met a goat cheese crostini that I didn't like!


pea shoots

- organic pea shoots -
fresh from the Farmer's Market.

I had never eaten pea shoots before this weekend and
man oh man, what I have been missing!!!

Just look how gorgeous they are...! 
Those lovely delicate tendrils...!
Juicy, crispy, crunchy yet tender...
And the biggest joy is in the taste buds
 because they taste just like peas!

So flavorful!

Apparently pea shoots are a big deal in Great Britain.   
In fact, a quick google turns up the British site http://www.peashoots.com/ 
because pea shoots are so amazing they DO need their own website!  

They're so easy to eat just by their lovely selves,
and the salad applications are endless. 
Some folks also bake them or stir fry them
or use them in vinaigrettes, or wilt them in risotto...   yum!

There are some recipes on that site that look worth a shot, so check them out...
(accompanied by feta, goat cheese, mint, etc...)

Here are some nutrition facts (also from that site) to munch on:
7x more vitamin C than blueberries
8x more folic acid than bean sprouts
4x more vitamin A than tomatoes

Though obviously all vegetables and fruits have unique value,
so I find it kind of funny how advertisements often pit them against eachother in a competition...
as if one would ever stop eating blueberries or tomatoes because something else
had a higher concentration of a particular vitamin...! 

Another beauty is how quickly these babies grow...
Regular peas take quite awhile but shoots can be ready in 2-4 weeks,
so you can sow them virtually all season long.

Hooray for pea shoots! 


feelin' groovy

I love this crow. 

This one has been coming to our yard for a few weeks now.
Based on the beak, I think it might be female, but I really don't know. 

She's begun to feel like a familiar friend...

It's not often that we get to know with any certainty that a bird
we are seeing in our backyard is indeed the same bird each time,
and every time I see FG, I smile.

I feel for her that she has these absurd tags bothering her wings, but alas,
something in the name of research, I am sure. 

I have no idea what the FG means,
but for now, I'm going to call her Feelin' Groovy.

As long as we're feelin' groovy, here's one of my fave Simon & Garfunkel tunes:

The 59th Street Bridge Song (aka Feelin' Groovy):
Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobble stones.
Looking for fun and feelin' groovy.

Ba da, Ba da, Ba da, Ba da...Feelin' Groovy.

Hello lamp-post,
What cha knowin'?
I've come to watch your flowers growin'.
Ain't cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in' doo-doo,
Feelin' groovy.

I've got no deeds to do,
No promises to keep.
I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep.
Let the morning time drop all it's petals on me.
Life, I love you,
All is groovy.