Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Stills: Fruit

Most people think of the tomato as a vegetable, but technically it's a fruit.

Rich in lycopene, a phytonutrient, the tomato has the ability to help protect cells and other structures in the body from oxygen damage. Lycopene has been repeatedly studied in humans and found to be protective against a growing list of cancers.

This year I've propagated over 150 tomato plants of 31 different heirloom varieties. Heirloom tomatoes have been handed down over many generations and come from many different countries in all shapes, colors, sizes, and flavors. They are superior in every way to the run-of-the-mill, store-bought tomato which has been developed by scientists for ease of packaging and longer shelf-life without consideration of taste.

Just say no and grow your own! For more images of fruit, visit Sunday Stills!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Finley gives the snow a thumbs hoof up. (Have your sound turned on).

Monday, February 22, 2010

Macro Monday: last!

While the rest of the U.S. has been enduring an unusual winter, we've actually been back to what we consider normal--a couple of days of gentle rains in the 40's followed by a sunny day in the 60's but freezing at night, then the cycle repeats.

Yesterday it felt like the first day of spring! Farmer Rick and I spent the day gardening in t-shirts! The asparagus also thinks it is spring. They are predicting 2 inches of snow tomorrow. That's just how weird our weather can be.

But the most amazing news I want to share is our well is now topping off at 5'9" of WATER which means: I am now able to once again run the washing machine and dishwasher! I have not been able to do this in NINE MONTHS. If you are new to my blog, we have just endured the driest, hottest year on record and our well was entirely without water for four months, and has been limping along ever since. I will never take turning on the faucet and water coming out for granted. If you want to see what it looked like empty check out this post

Here's some highly aerated water down at the river, and a couple of riffles.


Suddenly it comes back to me why I live here!

Just listen to the river sing:

For more up close images, visit Macro Monday!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Stills: The Letter G

Many people out in the blogosphere know me as an artist, photographer, botanist, and the crazy chicken lady. But there's another big side to my life I don't tend to blog about: I am an accomplished guitarist and I teach a handful of students every week. I studied at the college level with Javier Calderon, one of Segovia's students. Farmer Rick and I do a couple of benefit concerts each year as fundraisers for our local library.

So for today's challenge I bring you the Guitar!

The sound hole of a classical guitar is traditionally encircled with a rosette.

On closer inspection it is a mosaic comprised of thousands of independent flakes of colored wood veneer precisely cut and glued into an intricate design pattern. Since it is done by hand it is one of the most time-consuming parts of building a guitar and is often considered the luthier's signature.

I like how the tree above is reflected in the face of the guitar. It feels like the first real day of spring here, so I'm out the door to enjoy some gardening!

For more on the letter G, visit Sunday Stills!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday Stills: Valentines

Sending all my friends in blogland this image of one of my favorite vintage Valentines! This holiday is special to me, as it was on Valentines Day that Farmer Rick proposed.

We have been in San Antonio this week, down on the lovely Riverwalk, attending the state's Music Educators convention. The Riverwalk is the most romantic place in Texas and a good place to do photography.


Everywhere you turn there is something to delight the senses--textures, colors, sounds.


We stayed in a historic district a brief walk away from the convention center. Although we were in the newer part of the hotel, there was an old-world feel to the room. We only wish the lighting had been more suitable to reading!


There are many restaurants along the Riverwalk, and in better weather you can sit outside along the water. The food at most of them is mediocre at best, but you cannot surpass the view.


From our window we could see the Tower of the Americas built for Hemisfair 1968. Somewhere in that plaza my great-grandfather's house once stood. It rained the first day and a half, but Saturday the sun came out and it was a cheerful place.


When you are down along the Riverwalk you become oblivious to the traffic above at street level.


There are little pocket parks, paths, fountains, and art.

This statue is of Saint Anthony, for which the town gets its name.


Artistic detail abounds.


There are many foot bridges to get you from one side to the other without ever having to rejoin the hectic world at street level.


Usually there are more flowers this time of year, but even San Antonio has been having a colder winter than expected.


If you get tired of walking, you can always take a river taxi!

The convention center had a magnificent landscape joining into the Riverwalk.

The landscape architect obviously spent much time studying rocks and waterfalls in nature to be able to design such a pleasant space.


I'd definitely like to come back in a few months when the plants leaf out and the flowers bloom.


It is amazing something that mimics the beauty of where I live could be forged out of concrete in the heart of the city.

For more Valentines, visit Sunday Stills!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Spring has sprung!

One of the benefits of living in the southwest is that while the rest of the U.S. is still entrenched in snow, ice, and mud we are among the first to bid good-bye to winter. Our part of Texas only has two seasons: Summer and January!

It's always exciting in February when suddenly, nestled in the tall, expired grasses, these beauties pop up. They would be our equivalent of seeing the northern crocuses popping through the snow. Wind Flower, or Anemone heterophylla, comes in shades of white, pink, lavender, and blue. Interestingly it has no petals; it is the petal-like sepals that show the colors!

And in the vegetable garden last season's Collards--left to go to seed so that I can collect them--have begun to flower. The local bees have discovered them and I have been giving what's left of the leaves as treats to the chickens.

I am so happy to see the first signs of spring! sigh

Monday, February 1, 2010

Macro Monday: Earrings for a friend

I'm almost ready (finally!) to launch my shop. Life certainly has had a way of interfering. I'm off to the big city for a few days to get some dental work done from a 'chewing accident' and taking these earrings I made as a gift to a friend who wanted something in turquoise.

For more macro imagery, visit Macro Monday!
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