Sunday, September 25, 2011

Seaglass Sunday!

Sunday morning walk before a little vacation! The morning was overcast, seagulls bright against the sky and the beach still very littered from Hurricane Irene.

Both "flotsam and jetsam" were in abundance. I have heard that flotsam is natural materials from the sea washed ashore and jetsam is man-made materials thrown overboard. The definition varies depending on the source. 
From a phrase finding site....There's a simple mnemonic that helps distinguish flotsam from jetsam. Flotsam (or floatsome) are those items which are floating as a consequence of the action of the sea. Jetsam are those which have been jettisoned by a ship's crew (although that may float too of course). 

 My seaglass search unearthed a perfect little finger bowl. Not a chip or crack and sadly most likely part of a summer cottage kitchen. Not discarded at all...but tossed about by the waves since Irene's destruction. So which is it? Flotsam or jetsam?

The bowl became my seaglass gathering vessel for the morning. I would gladly return it to its rightful owners if I only knew who they were!

For now, it is in good hands and will continue to be a seaglass container in my home.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Spider Surprises

I have been trying to capture a good spider web for the past couple of months. Sometimes an event sparks an idea for a blog entry and sometimes a visual. Sometimes, I get just a little obsessive and will not quit until I find what I am looking for!  This image has appeased the spider web quest for the moment.

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we 

practice to deceive" Sir Walter Scott



The smallest but most perfect little web. I came upon this half round web this morning. It was foggy, humid, still dark & quiet...there on the side of a clothespin long rusted was my dew drop design.  I will continue my search but for now.....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Autumn Gardens

My autumn, my garden. It is overgrown, unplanned yet colorful and unexpected! The annuals planted have made it through the hot summer, the rainy weeks on end and the winds from mother nature in her glory. The perennials are either done for the season or still trying! And so am I! The autumn garden is worth waiting for. It is like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

The colors become more intense, the plants flourish. The morning dew takes its time to evaporate, leaving little diamonds on the leaves.

My front steps fill in with reseeded allysum.

Collections from summer walks suddenly become small sculptural installations.

And the mums.....just what the garden needs right now!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Sunday Search

Traveling to Baltimore this weekend on Amtrak left me no time to walk the beaches! But, as always, I found a new art form to appreciate. GRAFITTI!!!!

As the train slowed during various times on our journey, I was able to capture some images. I should have started sooner – this idea came to me only half way through the trip. Between reading a great book and the lovely quiet of the "quiet" car, I vowed to do an intensive search on our ride home the next day.

The next day proved futile. The seats were full, I had an aisle seat and the woman by the window was accepting of my artistic idea but I could not see the images in time was all a blur.

We met our son John and his fiance Kate in Columbia, Maryland. A beautiful town! While standing in the town center we were searching for the iconic symbol of the town...many people, diverse, living together. Funny, we were standing right beside it...but did not look up. There is was!  Flower-like to me, sculptural and strong.

Our ride home became night. Lights from the cities, bridges and highways. Still, art and design everywhere you look! If only I had a camera that could capture every detail I see, when I see it and add the footnotes later....if every blink of my eye was a camera shot!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A September Garden Tour

I was fortunate again to visit another Garden Conservancy Open Days event in South Salem, New York. A lovely morning with 2 lovely women! I don't need to say much. The photos tell the story of a landscape design fit for a king or queen (and they just happened to be on the property).

The moss garden was quiet...the smell of the earth, the sound of the trickling brook were so serene.

The grotto had a window looking into the pool and looking up into the sky.

The perennial garden had so many elements, all sophisticated in design yet playful.

And here, the King & Queen in their court.

The pond reflecting another Greek Revival structure and the trees, sky and clouds. 

A poolside antiquity or so it seemed.

Poolside, slate with space between to naturalize, reflections of Greek columns on the bluest water. Circle in foreground looks into the fore mentioned grotto.

What can I say?

Moving onto the next Conservancy Garden Tour location I found myself back in the real world! A true home and working garden. Real people!

These garden elements don't need explanation. They are just beautiful.

Gates, hidden spaces....all personal and deserving of our attention.

Gardens. To each their own. 
To see the time each land owner has spent making the earth a beautiful place ... creating either a statement or or a lifestyle or a legacy?

What do you think?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Small Blessings

During the few days leading up to our nation's remembrance of that fateful and unforgettable day I found myself wishing for signs that we have turned a corner, have conquered and will move on with pride. Of course my beach walks allowed me the time to reflect. But, even on my drive to work this past Friday I was blessed.

I don't remember the last time I saw a rainbow. This one, captured from my car window, trying to escape the traffic on I-95 seems poignant. A dilapidated building is protected by this small miracle of nature.

My next small blessing was during my beach walk on Saturday morning. I have been keeping my eyes out for a small, washed up horseshoe crab. I once saw one in a shadow would fit my beach cottage look so perfectly - but the ones I already found in years past are all slightly damaged. This one was a perfect specimen. Again, small but special for me.

My third small but quite the blessing was spotting a humming bird later in the day! My feeder was a Mother's Day gift from my daughter Claire. As I sat quietly on my back steps overlooking my backyard I saw a large bug...but wait, NO! It was in flight and as it turned away I saw that it was in fact my long awaited hummingbird. So excited. So thrilled for such a blessing.

Remembering a long ago co-worker's gift to my husband I asked him, "where is the photo you have?" And this is it. Taken by Frank Seestrom in Weston, CT in July of 1992. Printed on Kodak paper, pre-photoshop and pre-desk top printing. It is a miracle that he caught this ruby throated hummingbird and we are fortunate to have a copy.

Small Blessings.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

And the Tomatoes Keep Coming

We were fortunate to have our plants survive the wrath of Irene...and they are still quite prolific! What to do with so many ripe tomatoes? Give some away and keep cooking!

This is a cold salad my daughter has made a few times. When I say we have tomatoes, I really mean we are inundated!!! Here, we have the Beet, Tomato and Feta Salad.
Steamed beets, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, a good piece of feta (not the crumbled kind!), red onion sliced extremely thin, olive oil, sea salt and pepper. This photo was taken before we folded the mixture together, creating a pink feta look. Delicious, fresh and no need to prepare hours before. This one can be served immediately!

And the next night, it was baked stuffed tomatoes! I chopped the top off my next in line ripened tomatoes and hollowed out the insides with a small melon scoop. With the chopped insides into a bowl I added fresh basil of course, Quattro Formagio blend from Trader Joe's and a very small amount of olive oil. I seasoned the hollowed out tomatoes with sea salt and coarsely ground pepper....and scooped the tomato mixture into each awaiting tomato bowl.

Topped each with a good dose of panko bread crumbs....and then baked them at 350 until they looked a little toasty!

So good... as the roasting brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes! The insides are hot, be careful! We served with fish and some great, oversized stuffed clams from a local fish market. Friday seems to be our fish night. Some traditions live on forever.