Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Senior kitty

I don't want to lay it on too thick, but kitty turned 12 last month. Elmore was only 13 when we lost him. They say that indoor-outdoor cats tend to live about 13 years. I don't think that Sisco's behavior has changed one iota over the five years that we've had him. But you'd better believe that I'll be watching closely!

Wistfully, wisteria

We have a smattering of bloooms, still, on our trellis. Nothing like what we had when clematis clung to the vine, but enough to sustain belief that summer won't end for another three weeks.

Prepare for fall

We had to pull our boat off the water for Irene. That really hurt. We might have gotten another six weeks of enjoyment out of the season.

The close-up picture is a few days old. The side-of-the-house pic is from last year, but you get the idea.

Then, when we went to Rocky Neck to look around -- to see what other boats had been pulled -- we saw chestnuts on the ground. Of course, you may think that the hurricane knocked them down. But the hurricane was not able to bring down our tree's last apple, which Victor really wants to eat. It's going to be fall too soon.

After Irene: Personal

We had not limbs but twigs and leaves down in the yard. Pots blew over, and our sunflowers out front bit the dust. So we now have a lovely vase of sunflowers on our table.

Hatteras, post-Irene

Seriously, new inlets? We didn't really need new inlets... or did we? Would nature create what it does not need? I don't think that Mother N is prone to redundancy. Below, that water is pretty blue, which means: deep.

Note: These pictures are in pairs as each pair depicts two views of one area (three areas in all). Two images were provided by the N.C. Coastal Federation; the others I gathered in shock and did not note from whence they came.

On Hatteras they were debating last year whether to extend the Bonner Bridge through Pea Island (the uninhabited, protected stretch of northern Hatteras). It looks like they should have decided to do so, but they did not.

The segmented roadway is what has isolated approximately 2,500 Hatteras residents. You can't get there by car, and the ferry from Ocracoke has stopped because Ocracoke is having some highway issues: The dunes are completely gone along some stretches, which must be cleared to ensure that they remain whole.

We are supposed to be vacationing there in, I believe, 53 days. Despite what NC Governor Purdue has said on the news, I *believe* (believe, believe) that our oceanfront cottage will be accessible via Ocracoke. As long as no additional storms blow through.

After the storm: Local

It feels mean to describe the minor damage that we have here in Gloucester. From North Carolina to Vermont, people are truly being pushed to the limit. (You probably just saw some North Carolinian imagery, intended to be one of the posts atop this one. Awful.) Here on Cape Ann, the storm brought out more gawking than distress.

The top two pics here are lifted from area blogs and papers. Number One is credited to John McLaughlin, and Number Two bears a credit. Three and four were taken during the "eye" -- not that the clearing is bright enough to be noticeable.

Below is what happened on our sea-glass beach on Rocky Neck.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Victor glasses

Victor keeps finding opportunities to get over to Ten Pound Island, often when I'm at work. Nearly all the glass that we've collected so far this year (in the big pile) was collected by him.

The pieces that are segregated are some of the nicest ones collected during his Saturday trip. (I was, again, at work. Harumph.) My favorite is the dark green triangle, sort of in the middle.

Complementary yellow

I tend to see the aggressive yellows of a late-summer garden as over the top. However, when contrasted with a rich, deep purple, such as you find in our morning glories, those yellows appear equally rich.

Pretty shady

I think that the small hosta in the middle is the last of our hostas to bloom. Throughout the shaded areas of the back yard, such loveliness arises.

I'm re-ordering the all-phlox package today. Phlox just blooms and blooms, and the intensity of the color draws the eye irresistibly.

Continuing the harvest

Our nephew James made a wondrous pesto sauce for pasta (farfalle) on Sunday. He harvested the basil from our yard, obtaining nasty mosquito bites (he's allergic) in the process. Such bravery! And it was goooood.

I like how the gorgeous nasturtium flower is surrounded by its own greenery and some purple lettuce: orange, green, and purple. Love this pic.

The eggplant plants are now minus their largest output, which we picked and which is depicted at bottom. Look how the next-largest eggplants are now quite big! Then you see our first harvest, including those large eggplants. Look at all those nice tomatoes...

The Front: Beauteous

Here is the aspect of the house that, in the current moment, is my favorite. I love the color and blossom combinations.

Red, red rose (and white ones, too)

Our roses out front are in bloom again! Numerous buds and plenty of blossoms. These are just as heavily scented as the bicolor rose (the red more so than the white, perhaps).

Rose varieties

Predominantly pink: One we inherited; it's a classic single rose. The other is a heavily scented, bicolor variety -- Victor chose it, and I don't know what it's called!

No-sailing Sunday

We were putt-putting away from the dock when we heard the nautical weather report: Seek shelter, dangerous lightning, high winds. James and Alexandra (nephew and niece) were all set for their only water-borne excursion of the year. But we had to turn back.

Had time to snap only these hastily framed shots of the whole thing!

Expanding tomato crop

What we have here is cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, Sun Gold orange cherry tomatoes (I gave you the trade name because they're fantastic), and yellow pear tomatoes, yum. With our first big harvest of these tomatoes, we made a nummy caper-tomato-hot pepper salad -- which we forgot to eat! We had to throw it out yesterday. So idiotic.

The salad wasn't the only thing we made. We also made the recipe that I listed here last year, for tomato-parm pizza. That's some good eating.

Above is our first-ever Brandywine. More specifically, it's the first on the plant to begin to show color. I can't wait to sample it.