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There’s lots of activity at the feeder these days. I do have to get outside to fill the feeder, but viewing the birds is done as I wash dishes at the kitchen window.

A whole extended family of mourning doves showed up for breakfast a few days ago. Then a bluejay or two arrived…


to be shooed off by a visiting squirrel.


Then it was the cardinal’s turn.


All the while at the suet feeder, the woodpeckers dined…


until this fellow arrived for his dinner.


And that was the end of the woodpecker.


With no enemies, this little Cooper’s hawk took his time over his supper, and all that was left was a scattering of feathers.


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Look what I saw outside my window this morning.


Not that it’s all that unexpected. But I’m not ready. The garden has not been cleared out, the tomato cages are still outside, leaves abound, and I’m just not in the mood for winter.

This blog cannot be called Heading Outside today. My photos are all taken from indoors. Lazy me. I did manage to find my boots at the back of the closet so I could feed the chickens, but the rest of my morning will be here inside where it’s warm.

Here’s a very wintry view looking past the old well to the pond below.


The poor birds have to endure. I have a good view of the suet feeder from my kitchen window. The feeder has had many visitors this morning.


Before heading to work I will do a little rearranging of my houseplants. These, which are mostly ones I inherited from my daughter when she moved to Seattle, will be moved to the kitchen for the winter, where it’s warm.


I don’t head outside as much as I used to do. I lost my little dog Bo a month or so ago, and I find it sad to walk the trails without my companion. Besides that, I have been spending so much time painting that I can barely tear myself away to get outside.

I am reviving my other wordpress blog which has been dormant for almost four years. Today I made another entry (see bellartwork.com). I find I must get busy with the business of trying to sell art work. I will soon have a website and a link to the blog.

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Early spring before I’d started my garden I came across an article about Purslane, a common “weed” which is extremely nutritious, and grows just about everywhere. I was astonished. I’d been pulling it up and tossing it for years. [Edible and Delicious Weed]

Yesterday I headed out to the garden to make a stab at the weeds that were growing abundantly in my vegetable garden.

Vegetable Garden July 3 2016

It’s hard to tell the weeds from the sprouting veggies.

While weeding, what should I come upon but Purslane – in abundance!

Edible Weeds

One little patch of Purslane among many in the garden.

So…I picked and washed the Purslane and then removed the root portion. Quite an easy job.

Washing the weeds

The roots are easily pinched off. I had several meals worth just in that one little patch.

You eat the Purslane raw in salads.

My Supper

I will have the same meal tonight! (Well, not the same meal .)  Remove the egg and you have a perfect vegan supper.

I waited to post this today so you would know that I survived without any ill effects.


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I haven’t made an entry here for months – years even. But today I had a visitor to the suet feeder, and I feel inspired to share, and to perhaps resume my blogging.

Look who showed up. I’ve never seen a crow at the feeder before. I love crows, and know they are very spiritual beings, bringing magic into ones life.

Who doesn’t like magic? Unusual Sight - Crow at the feeder IMG_4891

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Loving those dandelion greens

This is a posting I started a week ago. The arrival of two little grandsons for a week put it on the back burner.

The A-frame is now devoid of greens. I toss in corn and grains for the chicks to forage, but today Audrey seemed to be clucking at me to let her and the chicks out into the yard again, so I did. I got my camera as settled into my chair. Audrey brought the chicks out in no time. Bo was delighted to have some new entertainment. For an hour or so, he followed along as Audrey led the chicks all around the yard. I kept expecting her to chase him away, but she didn’t. She seemed to know he meant no harm. The chicks ran from Bo initially, but eventually they too, ignored him. I ended up taking over 200 photos. The best are here. 

Curious Bo

At first the chicks ran from Bo

Creeping closer

Bo follows along everywhere

Audrey seems to know he means no harm

Heading for the Jerusalem Artichoke


Under the Jerusalem Artichoke


Searching for bugs

Got one

How exactly do I eat this?

Off to the side gardens we all go

Under the redwood tree

Lots to investigate under here

At Buddy’s grave

Under the oregano

In the oregano

Heading up the slope for home

Chessie and Mimi watching from afar

Abbey luxuriating on the driveway

The end

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It’s all a lie.

Step out of your fear.

Listen to your own heart.


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April 23rd surprise

The warm weather does wonders for the spirit. One can’t be absolutely certain that we’ve seen the last of winter yet, but it certainly felt like it today. The air was tropical – heavenly, especially after waking to a white landscape only four days ago.

We’ve had warm days here and there over the past week or so – enough to begin preparing the gardens, and to repair all the cat tunnels. The weight of the snow snaps the poles that hold up the tunnel netting, so many of them need to be replaced. There are also holes that rodents have chewed that need to be repaired. I have two escape artists among my six cats who find all the holes. They are still getting out, so I know there’s at least one hole still to be repaired. I have to spy on these two escapees to see where they are getting out. They know better than to escape with me watching, else the hole disappears. 

Abbey the escape artist in the tunnel

Cat tunnel repaired

Once the snows receded, Max began his routine of showing up for breakfast every other day or so. A few days ago I looked out the window and there was Max with a friend. My first reaction was, “Good grief – not another cat!”
I snapped a few photos of her from the upstairs window, but when I went down to let him/them in, she ran off. I suspect she’s feral. Two of my cats were feral from this neighborhood, and this visitor looks very much like both of my two, so I suspect she’s a cousin. She was very pretty. Of course, she could be a he for all I know. 

It's no good telling him to get down

Max's friend


Ready to go


Today with the fabulous weather, I finished preparing the vegetable garden. Normally I buy seedlings as I have no sun indoors sufficient to start seeds, but this year I purchased a lamp and full spectrum bulbs so that I could be certain to have heirloom seed producing vegetables. Over the winter I purchased a fabulous lot of heirloom seeds, and on Monday, I planted the seeds – those that are agreeable to early starting. 

These are up over the garage - perfect for the hanging light


Last year I grew no root vegetables, but this year I will. I’m thinking of digging a cold cellar during the summer, but if I don’t I can use a fall back arrangement by storing them under the bulkhead in wooden boxes. The parsnips will stay in the ground over the winter to sweeten up. I’ve mapped out the garden and planned my rotation. I am so happy to be gardening again.

 I took the advice given in one of my books of placing newspaper covered with straw in the in between rows to keep the weeds down. I’m not certain this will work in my garden as the weeds had plenty of root-growing time last summer. But maybe I’ll be lucky.

Spring run off (no sitting down here yet)

Pond a few days ago before summer growth


Another reason I’m happy to be back outside is for the exercise. Like many, I have pounds to lose. My daughter recently sent me a link to a NY Times Magazine article on sugar – http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&smid=fb-nytimes. If you go to the article, there’s a video of a lecture by Robert Lustig called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth.” If you take a look at it, you might just manage to get on top of your cravings – at least for a day.

Young dandelion plant - perfect for consumption

I watched the video, went outside and worked in the garden, cleared some of the debris around the yard, and then noticed that the dandelions were coming up.

I had already set myself the goal of eating off the earth as much as is possible this summer here in the woods, so…I picked my lunch. (While picking my lunch, by the way, I noticed the fiddleheads are getting ready for consumption as well. That will be tomorrow’s lunch.)  You can see I made a lovely salad from the dandelions. I added a handful of organic spinach, one hardboiled egg (still hot in the photo so the yolk looks vibrant), tomato, feta cheese, and a bit of oil and vinegar. I have to say that it was really delicious. And to think people spray poison on their dandelions instead of eating them. 

Nice pickings




I found myself outside in the dark the other day, camera in hand. I was unable to not ask the Spirits (or whatever) for a photo. Of the six or seven I took. Here’s the one I got when I asked them out loud to please show themselves.  It’s the only photo with orbs. I’m glad they are still around. 

Spirit orbs


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