Archive for August, 2010

the view from my studio

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

For the last fortnight the hummingbird activity at the feeder on the porch has been intense. A couple of times I’ve seen ten birds at once.

For such tiny creatures they have big attitude, reminding me of New Yorkers with their fast moves and “You lookin’ at me?” moxie.

(It was raining when I shot this, which made for noisy background, accentuating the traffic sounds.)

Indoors there’s been a lot of silent, focused, staring.

watching the hummingbirds

watching the hummingbirds

One morning I was standing looking out the side door at the garden. I was waking up, sipping my coffee, with Noola draped across my shoulders (she likes it there).

A hummingbird perched on the fence next to the tomato plants. All of a sudden he flew directly towards us and stopped at eye level, a foot away, hovering and checking us out, and then just as suddenly flew off into the trees.

Noola and I were both blown away by the experience.

stalking the wild blueberry

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

The Shawangunk ridge above Ellenville is covered in wild blueberry (or huckleberry) bushes, which a hundred years ago supported a berry-picking industry.

While living in New York I never went to Times Square or Central Park unless friends were in from out of town; to this day I still haven’t been up the Empire State Building.

It’s the same here, there are unbelievable hikes and views just minutes from the house but we never seem to go unless we’re entertaining visitors. So it was a lucky coincidence when family came to stay at the peak of the blueberry season, and got us out of the house.

We went up to Minnewaska Preserve and followed a narrow path on the far side of the lake, climbing down the side of the mountain to where the blueberry bushes were plentiful.

Look down and see blueberries all around. Look up and see this view. Pick, pick, pick.

Afterwards we sat high up on the rocks where one of the hotels used to be, looking down at the lake and some long-distance swimmers cutting through the water with perfect form.

A couple of days after our guests left I cooked up a small batch of intensely-flavored blueberry jam.

So good. So unbelievably good.


Sunday, August 1st, 2010

When I got home from the city on Monday, there was a wonderful still life of old objects set up on my kitchen table, left for me by my friend Susan who takes care of the cats when I’m away, and has been cleaning out her basement.


She gave me this lovely, simple, old apple corer. I love the way the handles are a twist in the wire frame.

This useful jar lifter with soft wooden handles. Feels so much nicer than plastic.

And two little flower frogs, of which this round one is my favorite. The shape is so satisfying, I want to keep it where I can look at it all the time.

Thanks, Susan!!