Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fourth of July!!!

I found a broken chair a couple of weeks ago and brought it home.
  I painted  it a bright "Cherry Red"  and turned it into a 4th of July garden chair.
It's bed is lined with moss.  It was a lot of fun to make and I love the
way it turned out.

American flags, fireworks, parades, baseball, and apple pie,
really sum up this American holiday.

It's a good day to be thankful for all we have
and ask for God to continue to 
bless our country.

Happy 4th of July to you all!!!

God Bless You!

And enjoy my favorite part....
 the fireworks!!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Trinity Greenhouse in Kenai

Trinity Greenhouse in Kenai is one of my favorite places 
to go and buy flowers, trees and shrubs.
I think its one of the nicest greenhouses in Alaska.

They always have the most beautiful hanging baskets.

Taking a walk through this greenhouse is like going
on a mini vacation for me.

Blooming in the main house were spectacular cactus's.
Each flower must have easily been 6 inches in length.
The first photo is of one of those 
amazing flowers.

Beautiful baskets....this red, white, and blue one would be great for the forth of July!

Roses line the walls
and there is a riot of color everywhere.

I have never seen such a neat and tidy 
greenhouse in Alaska!
You can really see the pride of ownership and  hard work
at this greenhouse.

I love the baskets.

And look at these gorgeous snapdragons!

So much fun to wander through

They had the most amazing dahlias, perennials, and clematises, but
I just kept coming back to look at 
those cactus blooms.
They were fabulous!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Arctic Tern!

I was out at Potter's Marsh again
the other night and this cute 
little Arctic Tern sat down right in front of me.   
He was pretty proud of the fish he caught
and sat and showed it off for
about a minute.

These little birds have the longest migration in the world.
They migrate over 22,000 miles (35,000 km) each year.
These birds live in  more daylight than any other bird.

Hope you like him!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Solstice

I celebrated the summer solstice last night out at Potter Marsh

The sun was starting to set around midnight.
The above photo is a view looking out over Cook Inlet towards the Sleeping Lady.
You can see her if you look left of the sun.  

I was busy taking photos of flowers in the area.
Purple vetch was everywhere. 
I love this flower because it has such a strong sweet smell.

The bottom photo is looking out over Cook Inlet towards the Kenai Peninsula.
You can see how light it is still around midnight.
I love Alaska, especially in the summertime!
The Marsh is home to hundreds of birds in the summer.
Tonight I'll go back out and try to take some photos 
of the birds in the area.

Happy Summer Solstice to all of you!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Random Thursday Photos!!!

I am posting a couple of my favorite photos that 
were taken in Alaska.
The first photo is of a male Grosbeak.  I love his beautiful 
raspberry red color.  The females are a very soft yellowish green color.
They really blend well with the moss this male is sitting on.

I'm spending a lot of time outside, so I am very
busy taking nature photos.  These photos
will get me through our long dark winters.

I found this squirrel skull this last weekend on one of my walks.  
I think it's so beautiful.   Those tiny little back teeth.  
A wonderful skull laying on a white bed of 
caribou moss with cranberry flowers close at its side.

When I was walking around in one of the mountain passes I found
this tiny little bee fly resting on these magnificent leaves.

 I love taking pictures of mushrooms.  This is a brain morel,
it's very toxic and should never be eaten.  It's a
wonderful example.  When you cut these 
mushrooms in half you will not find the
empty chamber that an edible morel has.

 You can see how late our flowers are compared to many other
countries and states.  This photo is of a flowering  mountain ash 

Below is one of my favorite photos.  Meet a tiny baby squirrel named "socks".
Socks, was found by my daughter in a mud puddle just before a cat picked him
up.  It's hard to resist a sweet face like his!!!  What a sweetie!

I have seen a lot of these very tiny blue butterfly's this year.
This one is about the size of a dime.

Alaska's state flower is the, "Forget-me-not"
I have a lot of them planted around my house.

And last but not least is one of my favorite bugs, it's a little snout weevil.
I think he looks so prehistoric, he is amazing!!

I really hope you enjoyed these photos.  I love taking photos for you!!
Take care of yourselves!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mosquitoes at the Botanical Gardens!!

Anchorage has a very small botanical garden that has an assortment
of perennials, herbs,  and natural plants to the area.
 Today it also had thousands of mosquitoes lurking in wait for me.
The mosquitoes were relentless and made my relaxing walk turn
into a cross country run.
I took a lot more photos, but only had time to download these.
So many bugs....I'm still itching and scratching as I write this blog!
I"ll go again and take more photos, but only when we have a good strong wind!

As you can see the ferns are just starting to uncurl and the
bulbs are in their full glory.
They will only last for another week then they will be spent.

The colors were beautiful.  The garden has a lot of natural vegetation surrounding
it.  I will return and share more photos with you.
I'm going to go more prepared next time with both bug spray and bear spray in hand.

Last year they had to close this garden for several weeks due 
to bear encounters.

I'm thinking the bugs may be even worse!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Yummy Morels!!

I went out in search of one of my favorite mushrooms
this week,  the morel.
This tiny mushroom is great at hide and seek.
I can walk the same stretch of area several times and not see a mushroom,
then all of a sudden there it is!
These little mushrooms must have a hollow chamber inside!
If it doesn't have a hollow chamber you should not eat it!
There are look alike mushrooms that are very toxic called brain morels or false morels.
These mushrooms look more distorted and do not have a hollow chamber.

Below is a photo of my precious haul!!


I have included two recipes for you.  I love to put them in cream and I also like to 
put them in scrambled eggs.

I dry these mushrooms and store them for later use!!  They can be rejuvenated with cream!

Whatever you choose...remember the best part is in the hunting!

Stuffed Morels...

1 doz. medium size morels
Photo courtesy of www.countrykitchenmag.com1 can (8oz) flaked crab meat
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup salad oil
2 TB mayonnaise
2 TB chopped sweet onions
2 teas fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
2 Tb melted butter or margarine
In a bowl combine crab meat, egg, salad oil, mayonnaise, onions, lemon juice and 1/4 of bread crumbs. Wash morels under running water. Fill morel "shells" with mixture. Combine remaining 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs with melted butter and sprinkle over mixture. Place the stuff stuffed Morels in a pan. Bake in oven for approx 15 minutes at 375 deg F. Serve Hot.

bar image

More Stuffed Morels...

Use as many large whole morels as you're willing to part with. rinse and boil them for a few minutes. Slice and stuff the morels. Bake for about 45 minutes in a glass pan in a thin layer of white wine. Cut the stems from the big morels and dice fine. Also dice scallions and garlic. Saute all of these in a butter oils mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper Add enough breadcrumbs and white wine to make a doughy mixture. I strongly suggest adding finely grated Parmesan cheese at this point. Let everything heat and get gooey before stuffing.
Bake at 325 for 45 and then try to fight off your friends for a few bites

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Random Thursday!

It's time for a "Random Thursday Post"
I put a little time into my day
so I could bring you all some
 summer cheer. 

This photo above is of an old calendar top. 
I think these soft colors are really beautiful!
I may try to recreate this as a watercolor, if I do
I will be sure to post it.
I think she is so romantic, don't you?

Below are some sweet peachy pink egg cups.
I love the way these colors fade from dark to light.

Random, means random....
So things don't have to make sense!!!  Yay!!

I took this photo of
a duck decoy
and really loved it, so I decided to share it with all of you.
I love the green colors in this mallard.

Here is a close up of a vase I own.
Totally cute little flower blossom!!

I love to plant my flowers in old barrels!  Here's one that I planted the other day!
I love the way this turned out!!
Really makes me smile when I look at it!!

Do you love butterfly's?
I love them so much
that years ago I bought this appliqued quilt in honor of them.
All the butterfly's are the same color and are made out of this 
great old feed sack material.

If you love quilts,
here is the
 front of a quilted pillow
complete with a  crochet embellishment and a cute little
button...totally sweet!

And last for this Thursday's Random post is part of a 
very cute chenille flower pillow!

Enjoy your week and weekend!
I hope you enjoyed this random post
I always love putting them together for you!
Enjoy your summer and be safe!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Flower Fabulous Weekend in Oregon!

I went on a short weekend trip to Utah and Oregon.
As many of you know
I absolutely love taking photos of 
Believe it or not it was actually colder in Utah, and Oregon
than in Anchorage.  I left 74 degree weather to 
a chilly damp and cold 54 degrees.
I was lucky to see so many rhododendron's still 
blooming.  I love these plants, I wish we
could grow them in Alaska!!

These colors are so  beautiful...
such soft pinks!!

And these beautiful daisies just make you
smile when you see them.

Does anyone knows what these beautiful flowers are?   
I'm thinking these are horse chestnuts blooms,
 but I'm not sure.

I fell in love with the bearded irises.
I have a very hardy bearded iris in my garden in Alaska.
 My plant struggles to
stay alive and I get so excited to see it's green spikes
in the spring!!!  

These yellow blooming trees also
really caught my attention.  Of course I would 
love these to grow at home.

 Rhododendron hedges....all I can say is wow!

I made it over to the Oregon coast and spent a day there with
my daughter.  I was a cloudy day, but still absolutely

I loved all the barnacle encrusted rocks.
Barnacles of all sizes competing for space.

It was a great day at the beach and a terrific extended weekend.