2009

Looking towards apple orchard and canyon
Looking towards apple orchard and canyon

A photograph of the first snow of the season in eastern Oregon mountains.

Bat in the Closet

My nephew – an expert critter finder – has been visiting this week.  He was exploring the old homestead on our property in northeast Oregon and found this gorgeous bat…

Walla Walla Sweets

In other gardens, I haven’t had much luck with bulbing onions.  Rationing bed space in small spaces, I lavished most of my attention on more flashy vegetables: tomatoes, eggplants, peppers,…

The Princess Blooms

Some girls dream of being princesses.  I’ll admit I dabbled in that too.  I used to dress up in rummage store gowns and high heels and parade around with my…

Dealing With My Own Sh--

I’d like to keep this a family friendly blog, but what else should I call it? Feces? Excrement? Waste? Poo? They all sound too distant, clinical or childish. It’s so easy to refer to it in euphemisms when clean water washes it far away, into rivers, oceans, or sewage treatment plants. But when you have to figure out how to deal with it yourself, it turns to shit….

My Remote Office

The dilapidated house is home to many packrats, a frog that lives in the old stove, a few birds, and many wasps. But the phone line goes to the house (and thanks to Jerry’s engineering now goes to the shady side), so that’s where I do my online work. It’s a lovely quarter mile walk from the yurt….

Harvesting Garlic

I planted fifteen pounds of organic garlic last October and finished harvesting it this morning.  Given that my soil needs more improvement (mostly a few more years of working in…

Baby Bitter Melon

It’s kind of ugly and horribly bitter, but the years I spent in Nepal have made it into comfort food — and one I sorely miss.  How shall I prepare…

Cauliflower and Broccoli

Now that I’ve set up a shady place to work, I hope I can cultivate more patience for my dial-up connection.  After all, what’s the hurry?  While I wait five…

I left our yurt and garden in northeastern Oregon a week and a half ago for a brief vacation in central Oregon and a few days in Portland to catch…

Sagebrush

One of the things I like about writing regular posts on various species is that it challenges my own tendency to overlook or take for granted species that are common, mundane, or unpopular. Last week, I had the good fortune to take a brief vacation in the high desert country of Central Oregon. I decided it was time to learn more about a plant I see everywhere throughout the Great Basin but know little about: Artemesia tridentata, or sagebrush.

More Chipping Sparrows

Last week,  I mentioned a late nest of chipping sparrows in a small tree near our parking area.  Now I have some pictures.  You can see how tiny the tree…

Mystery Eggs Update

I’m in Central Oregon this week with a steady wi-fi connection, so I can begin to catch up on some internet work, including long overdue reports on the latest bird…

Mystery Eggs Hatched

The eggs hidden in the rusty tool box have hatched. Hatchlings hoping the camera will feed them. Haven’t been able to spot the parents yet. If anyone knows what species…

I’ve been in Portland the last week, attending a graduation, visiting my son, and catching up on computer-related work.  I’m heading back to the yurt and garden in Wallowa County…

Pacific Tree Frog

In a post several months ago, I pondered where Pacific tree frogs go after breeding in watery places.  I don’t have a general answer for that question, but I found…

I retired from teaching at an independent high school several years ago to free up time for writing and growing food.  One of the things I miss most about it…