How to Cool Off on a Hot Day

(A Guest Post by Laika the Dog)


Bacon, Brought Home

Matt arrived home from Farmer Pete's with bacons! Every girl likes to see her honey come through the door with bacons, right? Well probably not, but I sure do, and it never happened to me before, so I danced around the kitchen with my wooden spoon twirling in the air.

It just so happened that I had mixed up a pizza crust, and all that my fixins were missing was a little smoky pork.

Clockwise from top right: a small portion of
Matt's Five Pound Cheese Block (an incredibly flavorful
monolith of pastured raw milk mozzarella that arrives
with the bakery order on the back of a truck),
sage from the herb garden, bacon!!!,
and last year's final shallots (still firm).

Gluten-free pizza with all delicious things on top!

The story of the bacons starts here, in case you missed it. Since then, as I gather, Pete smoked and froze the bacons.



We are just now finishing the last bag of our own frozen strawberries from 2010, as this season's berries turn ripe and ready for harvest. This is nice to know: our roughly 120 square feet of strawberries now officially keeps us in pink smoothies year round (32 pounds in the chest freezer so far!).

I'd say strawberries are a highly recommendable crop for urban gardeners, because with a small amount of labor and space, you can get a pretty hefty yield. I thin out old plants in the early spring, throw some shovelfuls of compost on them, mulch them with straw if there is any, weed them once or twice, and spend the rest of my summer drinking bourbon on a picnic blanket beside the strawberry patch. (It's that easy.)

In this picture from early spring, the espaliered fruit trees
on the right side are underplanted with strawberries.
There's also a patch of berries in the foreground.

If you are very lucky, you will attract a small basket-worth of baby bunnies who shoot like furry ping pong balls out of the patch when you pass. If you are not so lucky, said bunnies will nip the tender young stems of your berry clusters, leaving the berries to moulder away in the mulch. Blasted bunnies.


It Takes Every Last Ounce of My Willpower...

...not to snatch one of these rotund baby chickadees out of the mountain laurel, and keep it for my very own.


Oenothera, unfurling

The first few real summer nights, when the backyard is too enchanting to leave before dark, we wait for the evening primrose to open. The plant is a tidy rosette of jaggedy, dandelion-looking leaves, with a little flock of pointed, pale green buds bobbing six inches above.

The unfurling is easy to miss, if you are not there, reclining on the sidewalk with a cocktail in hand. The sheath splits, and then... Well, you can see for yourself, right here (this is in real time, not sped up).


I *believe* this is Oenothera flava or triloba or acutissima, but I am not sure of species. The song is Picador by Calexico, from the Hot Rail album.