Tuesday, July 28, 2009
How can you tell the difference between a mushroom and a toadstool? Back on the Stoney Swamp Trail for an hour-long hike, we saw lots of mushrooms and toadstools that we hadn't seen last time, thanks to all the rain we've had in July.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Gathered together, their warm and delicate shades blend together harmoniously to create a gentle palette that is so pleasing to the eye. They are the colour of ballet slippers, of soft wedding bouquets. Their pastel hues make me feel like I am wrapped in a blanket of the softest cotton imaginable. They are deliciously soothing to the senses. And the fragrance! Have I told you about their fragrance? They have the sweet scent of Old World roses, potent but not in the least cloying.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Fireweed as been found to have anti-inflammatory properties and is used for skin problems such as diaper rash. It is used in after-sun and after shave products, as well as in mouthwash for sore gums.
Fireweed is the official flower of the Yukon.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Chicory is a perennial herb that grows wild along roadsides and in fields. It is also known as corn flower, blue sailors, succory and coffeeweed — the latter because of the use of its roots as a substitute for coffee. Chicory roots, when roasted and ground can be used to produce a bitter coffee-like beverage.
Chicory has many medicinal uses. Tea and juice from the plants’ flowers and leaves is said to clear the liver and treat gallstones, constipation, jaundice, and skin inflammation.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Cow vetch was another wildflower we came across on the Stoney Swamp Trail. There are lots of different vetches but the only one to be found on this trail was the Cow Vetch (Vicia cracca). Or at least the only ones we saw walking along. Cow vetch grows in meadows and fields, in woods and along roadsides. It was introduced to North America from Europe. I've always thought it quite graceful with its arching tendrils and the colour is so pretty too.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
On our weekend hike along Stoney Swamp Trail, there were portions of the trail that led through sunny meadows of wildflowers. One of the blooms we spotted was this blue-weed, also known as Echium vulgare, a European medicinal plant naturalized in North America.
Note: Thanks M. for pointing out that this plant is also known as Viper's bugloss, which is a much more interesting name for it, don't you think? After learning this, I did some additional reading and apparently in earlier times they thought that the flower was shaped like a snake's open mouth and therefore would be helpful in snake bites.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
It hadn't been the best of mornings and having brought nothing to work to eat for lunch I thought I would let the Sconewitch work her magic. The salad at The Sconewitch is spell-binding and their cranberry scones, my favourite, are mesmerizing.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Steps worn with time. The years go by and only our imprints are left behind to bear witness that we were ever here.
I was sitting here this morning thinking about a dear dear friend I met when I was a teenager. She was our neighbour and quickly became family. She died in 1992 at age 94. I have not been back to the little country cemetery since her burial and over time I have forgotten where she was buried.
Such are the miracles of the Internet that starting with a search for Brome County (the only location I could recall that might be nearby), the links led me to the placename Bolton, that sounded right. I then searched for Bolton cemeteries. And there it was... a link to
What were the chances. To find the right place is amazing in itself, to be led straight there is incredible. I have missed Margery so, and have always wanted to go back and visit her gravesite. Now I will be able to. What a gift I was given today. I have so much gratitude for the person who made the effort to transcribe all the tombstones and made them available for others.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Doesn't this fushia gerbera and blue wine bottle make a great combination? I was invited to my friend M's this morning for brunch, and it was on her table. What a great choice. Two big hits of colour. Sometimes simple is really the most effective. And isn't the dragon-fly label lovely?
Thanks M. for the brunch, the meaningful conversation and the thrift shop outing!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Hot runny jam, as it pours into the waiting jar, is just like liquid jewels, and when the sun shines through, its ruby beauty springs to life.
I have just completed my fifth batch of strawberry jam for the season. Tonight as I was picking a basket for this latest batch, the clouds opened and the rain poured down. I had barely started to fill my basket so there was nothing to do but hunch over against the cold drops and get the job done.
Back home and changed into dry clothes, this latest batch was cooked, jarred, and ready to go. Does jam made with your own handpicked berries taste better than jam made from berries picked by someone else? Possibly. What is certain is that it tastes so very much better than store-bought jam!
And if you can bear to part with any of your delicious homemade jam, take one of the jars and embellish it with a cover cut from decorative paper (I used a snippet of wallpaper) then place it in a gift basket in the midst of freshly baked Devonshire scones.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Vintage aprons can still be picked up fairly easily at flea markets and thrift shops for almost nothing. The one pictures here range in price from $1.99 to 7.99.
Nowadays, I suppose it’s the long versions we see most often, worn by men at their barbecues. Or perhaps your local butcher, if you’re lucky enough to still have a local butcher. Oh yes, and I believe the baristas at you-know-where still wear a green apron to protect them from flying foam and steaming milk.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Poppies. Such fragile beauty. Yet so exuberant. These blooms were photographed in my dear friends G. and R.'s country garden. My friends sowed one of their beds with these cheery blooms, the other bed seeded itself. It's all a glorious mystery.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I've said it before and I'll say it again... I love love love these roses. They are David Austin roses (except for the coral ones), a blend of modern hardy roses and the Old World fragrant ones. The result is a gorgeous full bloom with strong rose scent.
Friday, July 3, 2009
It was one of those rain-all-day days today so there was nothing for it but to just get on with it. My youngest son and I drove up to the Gatineau Hills and took a walk around Pink Lake... in the rain. We walked along the trail, peeking out from under the umbrella, pausing to look at the lake and watch the raindrops hit the water.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I made a new addition to the garden. Was in Pier 1 Imports and noticed this ceramic sculpture in the clearance area. Marked down from $70 to $17.99, the price was right. I brought it home and placed it in the garden, and it looks like it has always been there.