Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Very Happy in My Own Back Yard....

     It's summer in our sleepy little Northern California college town. The students have left and the permanent residents are enjoying having the place to ourselves. It occurred to me today that, although ungodly hot at times, I truly, madly, deeply love my hometown in the summer. There's a little creek that meanders though one of the largest municipal parks in the country (perfect for a bike ride and quick dip), a historic downtown with local shop owners who know your name, a farmer's market just about any day of the week, and a thriving art scene to keep the creative juices flowing. But my favorite part about all of it? My own back yard.
     I have always been a homebody. When I was a kid I'd spend my entire summer making mud pies in the "Shoppe" my dad built in the back yard (real mud pies....

....made of mud, not the kind I like now, made of ice cream and Oreo's). I guess it's only natural to graduate to a veggie garden and some adirondack chairs. And cocktails. But my point is, I'm still spending the summer playing with dirt, and never tire of the wonders of my world. Take a peek, you'll love it, too:

This is Aries. He is too skinny and a little odd, but he is the neighborhood gopher control agent. We are a pit-stop on his nightly smorgy tour, and we always oblige. He doesn't think our dog Echo is much of a threat, but Echo is 14 and doesn't have many teeth left. And he's scared of cats.

After a really mild spring we are finally eating our own veggies and are off of the tomato grid! We are giving away zucchini, and are drying and storing herbs every week.

Last year I attempted to grow beans. It gave me Tourette's Syndrome. Not a single bean was edible and I vowed to never grow them again. 

Today I found this winding up my hoe.... 

I'll bet they'll be the best beans ever.

This evening we were welcomed home by a swarm of dragonflies the size of hummingbirds. There were hundreds of them and they stayed for hours. What a treat!

This is the view from my adirondack chair. It's the perfect place for winding down and hanging out. The drinks are cold, and it's the best barbeque around. Come on over!