This is the Post Where I Show You My Buns


The semi-lazy, outdoor days of fall are fully underway.  Now that we are spending 100% of our time at home during the week — school, work, chores — we take as many breaks as possible to soak in the sun and revel in the cooler fall temps.

The fruit trees from the keyhole garden nursery finally made it into the ground.  It only took me a year-and-a-half to get it done, but our property — already replete with dozens of trees — just acquired three more fruiting variety:  a Satsuma tangerineNavel orange, and a Pomegranate.  This is the beginning of (what I’m hoping will be) an espalier grove.  More hole-digging, first.

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Beaches and Birds


“We sit in the mud…and reach for the stars.” ~ Ivan Turgenev

Twenty years together is a milestone for a married couple, but it seems like yesterday that he and I made the transition from friends to lovers.  Where does the time go?  Oh yeah.  I forgot about the four kids we threw into the mix.  That really eats into the daytime hours.

The first week of October in Houston, coupled with even the slightest drop in temperature (woke up to 58, a high of 82 today!), gets us itching for one of two things:   camping or beach going.  As it may be another month before the mosquitoes will even allow us to camp comfortably (i.e., they are completely gone), we opted for the beach instead.  The kids, of course, couldn’t wait to put their little toes in the Mississippi silt Galveston sand.  Mom and Dad had other plans; we wanted a few fall migratory birds for our list.

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Butternut Squash, September Captured


“Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.” ~ Samuel Butler

Speaking of fruits, the squash, for me anyway, screams autumn! And not in just a jack-o-lantern of way. A perpetual squash-something-or-rather can be plucked from our fridge here through January.  They’re cheap to buy, easy to grow, [most] can be stored right on the countertop or in a cool basement or garage, and their flesh adds vital winter nutrients and texture to just about any cooked dish.  My absolute favorite squash recipe is Curried Butternut Squash Soup.  I like to keep some on hand for those comfort moments where others might lean on a Starbucks latte.  It just feels like a warm hug in a mug…without all the nasty stuff or a long wait in the line.

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Hummingbird Banding Xtravaganza


“The hummingbird competes with the stillness of the air.” ~ Chogyam Trungpa

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The coming of autumn in Houston is always marked by the Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration to the south.  We are smack dab in the Texas flyway, through which these little jewels have traveled hundreds of miles already from as far north as Alaska — just to tank up at my backyard feeders.  With the goal of building up fat stores with lots and lots of sugar water, they will finish their journey to the south — flying several hundred more miles directly across the Gulf of Mexico.

It is an amazing journey for an amazing species.

Because I go through the trouble of maintaining feeders in my yard year after year, they return to guard them like it’s the last meal they’ll ever have.  They will linger in significant numbers, through October.   See for yourself!

Our Big Year journey coupled with prodding birding friends have had my family eager to attend a hummingbird banding session before the year end.  Lucky for us, the great folks at the Gulf Coast Birding Observatory had one this weekend.  The event is geared specifically toward enlisting all the young, budding naturalists into the field of ornithology; adults pay $2 each, but if you’re a kid, you get to enjoy it all for FREE.

And what each child takes away is just priceless.

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