05 November 2011

Four Random Photographs

I haven't posted any pictures in a while. Well, I haven't done much with the blog in a while, but, more to the point, I have some pictures I took over the last couple months that I guess I intended to blog, but never did. And I also have two I took this morning.

My okra has succumbed to frost, and I don't think the tomato is long for the world (it's still ripening tomatoes, at about 1/3 normal speed, but we've had three frosts so far and it has managed to survive. I don't expect it make it to Thanksgiving but I'm also not going to complain if it does).But with the end of one season comes the start of another, and I have Brussels sprouts and arugula and fun things like that. And, this amusing little seedling. This is a red buckeye (Aesculus pavia), not a tree I even had on my list of trees to try to grow, mainly because my list is a couple years old and I don't know of any red buckeyes around here. But I collected this seed from a buckeye tree up at Biltmore, in Asheville, about six weeks ago. I brought it home. It sat on the kitchen counter for about three weeks. According to my notes the seeds need to be kept moist and planted immediately; if they dry out at all, they die. Very finicky seeds apparently.
Or not. I soaked it overnight and stuck it in a pot and figured there was no way it would grow. But here we are! I have no idea what this is going to turn into--I can't even tell if those are leaves or what. But it's sort of exciting. (The plant next to it is New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus), which has been growing for about two months. I have several of them sprouted now and I'm looking forward to actually trying the tea from them next winter.)

Back in the summer I made several ratatouilles. They were all delicious. I should post a recipe sometime. But it's a lot easier to just post this picture of the stew in the pot. So colorful. Of course summer is over; now it's gumbo season, so I'll have to blog the next time I make one of those.

I grew a lot of vegetables this summer and enjoyed them (the tomatoes and tabasco peppers were particularly great), but nothing was as exciting as this.I have three grape vines in pots here; some year soon they'll go into the ground but grape vines can live for 100 years or more so they'll be fine in pots for a few. How exciting to harvest my own grapes off my own vines... while living in an apartment. They were really good, too--although they were sold to me as "seedless," and they are anything but. But these are Concord grapes, the native Vitis labrusca, the ones Alton Brown talks about in the tv commercials for Welch's. Maybe some year the vines will be big enough to get enough grapes to try a few bottles of homemade wine. Not any time soon, though.

I've mentioned Schrodinger before. He needs a picture. Like all black cats he is very difficult to photograph. Most of my pictures of him are a black smudge with glowing green eyes. I have not yet managed to get a picture that matches up with the best picture ever taken of his mother, Batgirl, but eventually.

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