Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pheasant Under Grass

September seems to have thankfully brought back Summer. It has been lovely and warm - not hot - but in the 70F. range for the most part, and the garden is taking advantage of it.

This morning, and all last night, was windy. The infamous "Gale Force Winds on the Straits of Juan de Fuca" blowing like mad. This afternoon is what I would refer to as "breezy" but not "windy". There were lots of windfall apples on the ground this morning when we struggled in the wind to tie up the beach mats and shower curtain on the boat. As I tried to deactivate a doggy mine, using my doggy mine deactivation tools of course, it blew up...all over my hand. GAK! I am not a squeamish person, but doggy mines on my hand...eeeeewwwwwww! Needless to say, I dropped everything and ran - ok, for you purists, I hobbled quickly - to wash my hands!

Richard left to begin work at noon, and I reminded him to pick me up a case of tiny 125ml jelly jars. I found recipes and instructions online, at Not Martha's Blog, for making "tiny pies", that is, making and freezing or baking miniature fruit pies in the tiny jars and I just HAVE to try it. Last night I let my mind roam, free associating to see what other recipes for tiny items baked in a tiny jar to try, and came up with several: mini deep dish pizza - a suggestion from someone online - scones, focaccia, tiny cinnamon pull-aparts, mini cheesecake, Brioche, Christmas cake, fruit crisp, tiny cinnamon rolls, yeast buns. But I need the tiny jars. Yes, I had several boxes of them. No, I can't find them anywhere. Yes I am fixated on this.

In the afternoon, the kids and I wandered back out in the sunshine to the garden yard, where I did some more watering and they did doggy things: sniffed out bugs, rolled in things I don't want to know, lazed in the warm sunshine. Once I heard a strange noise coming from behind the house. The dogs looked that way, then went back to their sun tanning. I didn't get concerned, but I did tiptoe to the fence and try to see what made the noise, a kind of cracking, like maybe a tree branch broke. Hmmmmm. Maybe we should go inside.

Inside, I read the news online, sort digital photo files to take to Walmart for prints to send to Mom and Dad, drink an ice tea. A few times
I peripherally take note of the cry and wing beating of a Ring Necked Pheasant in the yard, something I haven't heard since last spring.

As I walk into the laundry room, I see movement outside the window blind. It is the pheasant! And he sees me. I turn quickly, going to get my camera. Pheasants are wily creatures and I was unsuccessful in the spring trying to photograph him. Maybe this time...

...through a mini blind, and the dirty window behind it, half way down the photo, in the middle, there, right there, there he is. Not a Pulitzer Prize winner, but I did manage to get him, sort of. I preset my camera, zoomed the lens in a bit, slithered into the room around to the right, sneaking up like a Ninja, pointed the camera, set the focus and snapped. Twice. He ducked down, then scurried through the tall grass. Sigh. Better luck next time.

Hah, not bloody likely.

After dinner the dogs alert to something in the yard. A Cute Little Island Black Bear? A Cute Little Island Mule Deer? A Mole Person? Nope, just a cat. A black and white one we call Sylvester, who hangs around the farm, hunting in the fields and fishing in the creek. Time to take them out to the garden yard and put the boat to bed.

As I go, I deactivate more doggy mines, but this time, I am smart. I wear plastic gloves, just in a case a doggy mine blows up again.

Back inside there is an e-mail from Kelly. He asks: "Hows the great spider hunt going? I can see one of the dead spiders kids coming after you, ala the Mandy Patinkin character in Princess Bride, saying: my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die!"

Gee, thanks Kelly. Like I needed THAT visual in my brain!

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