Monday, July 30, 2012

#417: A Child's Nantucket Summer

Sadly, this guy only gets to come for short visits.
We hope he'll be able to stay longer when he's older.
Also, his folks don't want his recognisable picture
on the internet so you don't get to see
how cute he is.
You can see me, tho'.
He had lots of fun with my camera.

And with his Grandpa.
Catching scup at Brant Point.

An entire day was spent reading stories
with his dad off and on in the tent.
He pounded the stakes all-the-way-down.

Another day for surfing practice.
A boogie board is too flexible for surfing.
Many hilarious shots of him falling off,
but he always got right back on.

Burning off energy jumping.
Kids on the autism spectrum 
have lots and lots of energy.

And lots of curiosity.
A Maria Mitchell Association intern
teaching him how to measure flounder.  

And lots of imagination.
Mommy and Gabe as spies.
Cool mustaches, hmmm?

We miss you, Gabe, come back soon.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

#416: Purple Pictures

The sun rises purple over the moors
of Nantucket.

My grandson, Gabriel, took these purple plant pictures:
Lovely lavender scents the path into the garden.

Providing nectar for an ailanthus webworm moth.

Charming chicory pops up wherever it can.

A trellis supports Grandpa Ott morning glories.

Deep in the trellis.

And in the prayer garden.
A quiet corner under the grapevines,
tucked in behind the morning glories
 and popcorn plants.

The chickens get to enjoy the Grandpa Otts, too:
They nip off any vines that stray into their yard.

All nature sings.

Friday, July 27, 2012

#415: Pandora Sphinx Moth

Isn't it a beauty?

 The caterpillars of these moths are voracious eaters
of grape leaves and virginia creeper.

As we are growing grapes (for eating, not wine)
they ought to be considered 'enemies'.

We don't think so.
Look at that soft sparkle!

We'll just plant more grapes and share.
Gardening is more about finding a balance
with God's creation.
Except for tomato hornworms.
They get fed to the chickens.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

#414: Threshing Grain

Usually we turn the winter rye
into the garden as a green fertilizer.
This year we let a patch grow to harvest.
Farmer Tobias

The harvest, one generous bushel.

As the 'farmer' didn't line up the heads,
I cut them off to thresh them,
in my handy-dandy new invention:

The oscillating floor fan.

 Fill with rye heads.

Put guard back on and cover.
See? The grain falls out the bottom.
Only it doesn't work.
The blade won't spin with all that stuff in there.

Plan B:
Cut a hole in the screen with wire cutters.

 Feed the heads into the blades.

Head full of seed.

Four seconds later--no seed.

Little Red Hen,
I'll help thresh the wheat.

#413: Nantucket Harbor Crabs

The Maria Mitchell Association Aquarium
does Marine Ecology Field trips in the summer.
First, the interns pull a seine net through the water:

 Then we quickly pick everything off the net
with cries of wonderment
(a baby flounder! A tiny blowfish! What's this???)

And sort it all into buckets.

Next, the interns tell us about our finds:
Here's a crab

Here's her egg mass. Cool.

 Here's a blue claw crab. 
You never see them with this much seaweed.
Usually they shed their shell, that's what
we eat as 'soft shell crabs'.
They have this defense mechanism where if they feel 
threatened they can detach a claw then grow a new one.


Monday, July 23, 2012

#412: Summer celebration

Mom's here!
Usually she's in Georgia helping with Timmy,
my nephew with Down's syndrome,
so his mom can work.
But for this week we get her.
She's been working in the garden and doing dishes,
lots of dishes.
With all the no-longer-kids home and mom here,
it's time to celebrate.
Garden tomatoes and cukes,
garnished with lemon basil and nasturtiums.

Lobster, of course.
We had Glidden's Island Seafood cook them
for us so we didn't heat up the kitchen.
We did our own cracking.

Bartlett's corn, steamed,
so early this year.

 White wine or sun tea?
No pictures of the actual feasting,
it's never pretty with lobster...
But here's what's left.
So glad to have you here, mom!

Friday, July 20, 2012

#411: Fabulous Fashion Finds

Since I've started working at the Consignment Shop
on Nantucket, I have first dibs on what comes in.
In fact, for the last 20 years,
I've taken away the unsold clothes--
sometimes donated to charity, 
sometimes taken to the Take-it-or-Leave-it,
but always sorted through first by my kids.
God is good, for 20 years all
I've ever had to purchase clothing-wise is
socks, underwear, and soccer shoes.

Every Friday, I'll be giving you a taste 
of what the Consignment Shop,
or Joyce's, as everyone calls it,
has to offer:

 Bieber Fever.

Aren't you sorry you missed it?
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