St James City and Galt Preserve

Maybe it is because it has been cold here recently.

Maybe I just want to remember what it feels like to have warm sun on my bare skin and brightly colored flowers blooming.

 Maybe it is because my screen saver popped up a few of these photos and I just felt like sharing them with you.

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silly in the shade

purple rose of sharon

purple Rose of Sharon

Our Rose of Sharon trees are in full bloom.

Hibiscus syriacus is a species of flowering plant in the family Malvaceae, native to much of Asia.  Common names include Rose of Sharon, in North America, rose mallow in the UK and St. Joseph’s rod in Italy.


The bees and the humming birds are attracted to them.

 They aren’t alone.

From a distance, I spy That Cat laying in the shade from the Rose of Sharon.  Spent flowers all around him look like purple cigars.



He turns and spies me.


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And then plops down at my feet.


Cause my feet are the perfect place for a cat to lean on and take care of business.


To make sure I don’t go anywhere he rolls on both feet.

Pure silliness.


What a big smile!


Hope y’all have found some time for silly in the shade.

See you later, Bye


squash or one-eyed squid

Macro Monday – squash

I  attach my favorite macro lens and head out to the garden.

Our squash plants are finally putting on a good show.

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Do you see it?


I see plants that resemble underwater oddities.  You know deep ocean intricacies.

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Oh and those wicked thorny hairs.

Is that squash or a sea urchin?

sea urchin


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Beware of the white fury monster that lurks behind the leaves.

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In a day or two my plate will be full with one-eyed squid.


See you later, Bye!


Mr. Cottage gets crafty

A couple of months ago Mr. Cottage dug through our  scrap copper pile and came up with the idea to make a trellis for one of our clematis plants that was sprawling all over where it shouldn’t.


He played around with a couple of different designs and then he got to work soldering everything in place.

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He used silver solder, even though it is quite a bit more expensive; because he says that the silver is a lot stronger and he felt it would hold up better over time.

Putting the finished design in place.

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Not bad for his first attempt – don’t you think?

We call it the StarTrek Trellis.

Then the wait for the clematis to grow and take a hold on the trellis.  Little by little, it climbed on up and buds started forming and finally… TAA DAA

The clematis has sprawled all over the trellis and has reached the top.

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Hoo-ray for crafty husbands!

See you later, Bye


squirrel pie and mulberry squeezins

It is mulberry season!

The ripe fruit is edible and is widely used in pies, tarts, wines, cordials and tea. The fruit of the black mulberry, native to southwest Asia, and the red mulberry, native to eastern North America, have the strongest flavor. *

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Oh so many lush berries.

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I wonder why we thought it a brilliant idea to place the picnic tables under the mulberry tree?



All that icky stuff constantly has to be cleaned off, and the fact that the garden hose doesn’t reach that far means it doesn’t get cleaned often enough.

For a week or two each year this tree is a hub of unbelievable activity.  I swear to you, birds travel for miles around to come pluck this ripe fruit.  Forget trying to make pies, or jams or Squeezin’s.  The wildlife gets it all before I have a chance.


The Darlins made mulberry squeezins, and Barney got gassed on it once.

The Cedar waxwing thinks the berry to be devine.



I think he looks like he is wearing cool rock-n-roll sunglasses



The Thrasher gets some action too.

The Woodpecker – I love that plumage.

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Oh and here comes Willie the squirrel and his cousins Earl and Minnie Pearl.



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Perhaps the best entertainment comes from watching Mr. Bonez (aka Buddyru) watching all the activity.

He thinks he invisible while hiding in the tall weeds ornamental grass.

1-IMG_4839He happily lays there looking up in the tree and chatters away licking his lips and dreaming of squirrel pie and mulberry squeezins on the side.


See you later, Bye!


* source Wiki

dirt glorious dirt

Here at Coral Cottage we spent the entire weekend digging in the dirt.   Some of it was good, some not so much.

Mr. Cottage tilled up additional garden space.


Mr. Cottage tilling away

Mr. Cottae tilling more space

In addition to more tomatos, and peppers, I put in seeds for sugar snap peas, wow my mouth waters at the prospect of going out and picking fresh sugar snaps!  For the first time, I put in Swiss Chard, a variety called flamingo, just because I love the name.  Hopefully mine will look this good.

swiss chard - flamingo

swiss chard – flamingo

these too for the name – purple tomatillo – the seeds were a serious pain in the you know what to deal with.

purple tomatillo

In keeping with my companion planting, I sowed nasturtium seeds around my cucumbers. I love the pepper smell and taste of nasturtiums.  The flowers are a beautiful bonus.

A section out on the north 40 was started for the corn field – we will plant corn later in the week.

future sight of corn field

future sight of corn field

The lettuce I planted last week is making an appearance.

hoo-ray lettuce

hoo-ray for the lettuce remember the toilet paper from last week?

The cats have been enjoying digging in the fresh dirt and I’m glad to not have to empty the litter box as often.


As for the bad part of digging in the dirt, Mr. Cottage had to deal with that on his own.

We had a water leak out by the studio.  A couple hundred dollars and several hours of digging and he got the job done.


the dirt pile just keeps getting bigger



We harvested the first of the spinach that was planted last month – most excellent.



Several tasty salads were enjoyed this week.  Tomorrow I think I will make braised spinach with onions and cranberries.

Hope your weekend was amazing.

See ya later, bye