Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Girl Scout Cookies

A little Girl Scout lives next door to us and last night she delivered our cookies. We all did a little happy dance as we whisked them into the kitchen. Who doesn't love Girl Scout cookies and all that they stand for?
I remember when I was a little girl - too young to be a Girl Scout myself - my mom was the Den Mother for my sisters. And I distinctly remember boxes and boxes of cookies stacked in her bedroom when it was cookie sales season. They smelled so good and looked so tempting. And every now and then we would purchase a box - and they tasted good too.

The boxes may have changed; they seem smaller to me now. The labels may have changed; they are much more colorful now. But the cookies still taste like they used to. It's good to know some things never change.

Would anyone care for a Thin Mint?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Mushrooms of Spring

This could almost be a mystery photo, couldn't it? But I'm going to tell you right up front that it's a shaggy mane mushroom, Coprinus comatus.
In the photo above you can see a whole crop of them sprouting in someone's front lawn. They are said to be delicious, but don't gather the ones that are starting to drip inky black stuff. They are starting to deliquesce, which is the mycological term for decompose. It helps the maturing spores to be in exactly the right spot to float away on puffs of air, thus continuing the species.

They may be kind of creepy when they start dripping, but they sure are cute when they're little. The ones in the photo above were about 3" tall. The one in the photo below was about 7" tall.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Almond Blossoms

Right on schedule the almond trees are in full bloom all around our area. My mother always used to say they were blooming for her birthday which was yesterday. Thank you almond trees, for all the birthday bouquets for Mom.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

I'm waaaaaay behind on my pretty posts, aren't I? It's been hard lately to find anything pretty to post about. But today is Valentine's Day, and pretty things are everywhere. Hearts, flowers, cards and these chocolates from Sees Candies. So enjoy everyone. And Happy Valentine's Day from Amongst The Oaks.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Featured English Blog

For the last month or so I've had a "Featured English Blog" link on the right side of my blog. I hope some of you have clicked on it and actually visited the featured blog, but if not please do!

This latest one is called Cotswold Peeps and is about Gretel's rambles through the Cotswold countryside via footpaths and lanes. She shares beautiful photos of villages, fields, woods, and churches with a little local knowledge and history thrown in.
Her most recent post has a bit about hedge laying. I'll bet you had no idea all those English hedgerows have different styles dependant on their purpose. And did you know they would grown into a line of trees if not cut and "laid" over now and then? Thankfully, the UK is seeing a resurgence in their construction, because the UK just wouldn't be the UK without hedges.
So if you enjoy hedgerows and wildlife, mushrooms and wildflowers, quaint villages and old churches, checker board fields and honey colored stone, this is definitely the place to visit.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Can Fog Be Pretty?

I'm behind on my pretty things posts, aren't I?

Usually I think of fog as ugly, dirty, cold and depressing, but this photo of fog is rather nice. It was taken early in the morning and the fog was lifting and burning off but still tucked amongst the hills. I guess fog can be pretty.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Third Day of Beautiful Things

As I said on February first I'm going to share only pretty things this month, so here are some quince blossoms after last night's rain. And the sky promises to be blue blue blue again today. Joy here Amongst The Oaks.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

the California Coast

Recently the Lord of the Manor and I went to Pacific Grove to install some stuff. It was a typical dreary Central Valley winter day, but on the coast it was BEAUTIFUL! Rugged rocks, windswept cypress trees, smashing surf, clear blue sky, plenty of birds, the fresh fresh scent of the ocean - perfect. It's no wonder so many folks want to live here and their real estate costs show it. We couldn't afford a shack here, but a day trip like this is certainly affordable. Visit the coast sometime this winter for a little pick-me-up. You won't regret it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Accent on the Positive

Things are looking up here Amongst The Oaks for a lot of reasons. The weather has been marvelous lately: slightly foggy mornings with bright clear afternoons. Flowers are beginning to bloom: camellias, violets, quince. My father is recovering nicely although it is much more difficult than he imagined.

I am enjoying my new tasks at work; cutting and preparing vinyl letters and installing them all around town. Cleaning and organizing the vinyl room and helping in production.

I think we all need more beauty in our lives right now so for the month of February I am vowing to post a picture of something pretty every day. Nothing more complicated than that; just something pretty. Hopefully it will take our minds off all the problems in our world even if just for a few minutes.