Shamoo and I have been doing a little bird watching every morning out our back door. I’ve only seen a couple migratory birds this year, so I’m a little disappointed. Other years I’ve seen warblers and even an oriole, but this year the back yard has yet to yield much. There is a white crowned sparrow that has been hanging around since last weekend, a thrasher, and a little thrush, but that’s about it. Shamoo’s a lot easier to please. He’s happy with some squawking starlings.
I don’t have photo equipment for taking bird photos, but here’s a blurry one for you. Lately the cardinal has been landing on my red squash supports, and I love all the red on red on red.
My neighbor Alan told me that my honeysuckle was already smelling great. I hadn’t even realized that I had honeysuckle in bloom so soon! Right now there’s only enough blooming to tickle your nose. Soon it will be so powerful you will feel drunk on the sweetness with every inhalation.
And my blackberries have been blooming beautifully as well:
As a treat for myself, I recently got a beautiful 2-inch-thick book about fruits and cooking with them. It’s called Ripe and is by Nigel Slater. I got myself his book on vegetables for Christmas and have enjoyed his food and garden writing.
Each chapter outlines a different fruit, the author’s experience growing it, and his experience cooking with it. He is extremely exuberant about food. Here’s a sample from the section on apples:
“An apple that will bake nicely without collapsing is the Grenadier, but it carries a hefty dose of sweetness too. My own reverence is kept for Peasgood’s Nonsuch, a generous, beaming apple with the geniality of a pumpkin. Handsome, striped, and slightly russetted, it combines cloudlike froth and deep flavor.”
I’m not exactly clear on the geniality part, but it’s sure fun to read. From the cookbook, I may have a few new things to try come blackberry season.
Meanwhile, my garden isn’t the only one in the neighborhood with art in it. A couple friends of mine, Billy and Tom, have turned their garden into a sculpture park in a way that’s much different from mine. They’ve found a machinist who started making sculptures and now they have a nice collection of these sculptures among their plants.
It’s near Patchwork where I work, so I go by regularly. I’m interested to watch the plants grow and change around the sculptures throughout the summer.