Biking to CBG

From HP to CBG’s Bike the Garden event.  To and from, with three laps around the campus, makes for 14.5 miles and one tired nine-year-old.

The ridge across our east-west path is the edge of the Highland Park Moraine, and it’s about a 50′ elevation change.  More about that local geography here.

kml from GPS

Spring birds

At the feeder in April and May,

  1. Junco
  2. Robin
  3. Black-capped chickadee
  4. Goldfinch
  5. House finch
  6. Brown-headed cowbird
  7. Red-bellied woodpecker
  8. Northern flicker
  9. White-breasted nuthatch
  10. Chipping sparrow
  11. White-crowned sparrow
  12. Mourning dove 5/10
  13. Rose-breasted grosbeak, M and F 5/11
  14. Baltimore oriole 5/11
  15. Common yellowthroat 5/11
  16. Indigo bunting 5/12
  17. Blackpoll warbler 5/12
  18. Yellow warbler 5/12
  19. Palm warbler 5/12
  20. Blue jay 5/13

Gordon the Hound

In memoriam, 2001(?)-2016.


Remember that time when we left the garden alone for an entire weekend?

garden cucumbers
It’s a cucumber year.  Pickling cukes, though soon enough those become munching cukes and salad cukes and target-practice cukes.

Good garlic, too, and a fair number of big multicolored tomatoes.  The jury’s out on the tomatillos; depending how many growing weeks remain, we might have 10 or 20 or 150.

We also conclude the weeks of cake bounty, as illustrated by mister 3 and his “here’s my cake, what are you having?” expression.

L third birthday cake


Nearing the end of September, the harvest is still going well.  Frequent, large toms, return of the occasional strawberry, and – maybe – a successful eggplant?   We have begun overgrown-yellowing-mushroomy season. 

Last year’s strawberry box is weathering elegantly.    Go go grow!

Early spring study in blue

All photos: iphone 5

Weekend notes, October

10/4: No swimming on Saturday, on account of the holiday, so we met friends at the orchard to pick a peck of golden Ds, stopping in at Hansa to warm up from the mid-40s with a gaggle of kids-sized hot chocolates.  A great day, then, for house chores, general tidying and rehash of the laundry room.  Concorde grapes, jammed.  Peaches, buttered.  Pie pumpkin, roasted.  Cookies cookied.  Sunday, more house chores.  Guatamala Piedra Azul, smooth and a bit bitter – good for weekday mornings. A naptime (and beyond) first game of Agricola with young J.  (Come to think of it, we’d tried Taluva on Saturday; we’re gong to run out of new ideas in the game cabinet soon.)  Hand-tilling of the side-yard (i.e. sunflower) bed for garlics, followed by digging of holes (by E), careful planting and covering the cloves (by me), and “ooOOooh!” behind me as L discovered a few earthworms and, I then noticed, recovered many of the freshly-positioned garlics.  For reference in the springtime, the cloves made it back into the ground; we know not which variety where.


10/11: Saturday, morning swim lessons (S and the L). Sunday, a morning-to-afternoon excursion to the Museum of Science & Industry. What did we remember that evening?
L: Horn! [i.e. the lightning warning alarm in the weather exhibit]
E: One of them was the [historic, racing] cars. We went to the coal mine; the thing I liked best was riding on the coal mine train. We watched the ball going through the ball machine.

I liked the ball machine, designed for the Swiss tourism bureau, too. It was a different arrangement than the one they sent to Vancouver in 1986.

List of squashes we ate this week

10/18: Saturday morning, Bittman’s overnight waffles. Swim. Whole-house dusting to Supertramp’s pre-1980 discography.  An afternoon train ride to the Highwood Pumpkin Festival.  (Train ride there: 3:27-3:30; train ride back: 4:31-4:34. Just about right for the extent of entertainment available, including each carving a pumpkin.)

J is experimenting with his oil pastels.  He requested to photograph it four times during the process in order to make the following collage.  (Gimp for perspective correction and brightness balancing, then into Picasa for the quick concatenation.)


Sunday, a guatemalan from Hansa, pressed with a 1:30 bloom and 3:45 brew.  Our go-to scones (i.e. “butter for breakfast”).  A crisp and sunny outing to Sunset Woods for the Community School fall celebration.

10/25: There must have been a weekend here. I wonder what we did?