5/8/15

The Green Green Grass of Home

Sue and I had a sensational walk this morning in our stunning May sunshine. It can go either way this time of year, and today was a jackpot kind of day. We walked this loop I call the "Lower McCormick Hill Loop". You can't see it, but to give you some perspective, the Three Cats Ranch is located on the ridge that runs outside the lower left corner of this image:


If there weren't so many trees in the way, we could look down into this valley from our field.

Sue and I have been walking this loop for several years. We've always walked straight ahead and turned left when we reached the uppermost part of the image. Lately, we've taken to turning left at the first left turn. There is a long hill there that we can get out of the way at the beginning of our walk. When we go the other way, we get it at the end, and we are quite tired by that time. Here's what my FitBit logged on the walk this morning:


Yeah. It's a long walk. The scenery was spectacular today. We first came upon the red clover blooming all over the rural countryside at the moment. Clover puts nitrogen back in the soil, but this is also a crop. The seeds are harvested for (you guessed it) more clover for more nitrogen. 


Along this same stretch of road we saw these poppies. 


If I'm not mistaken, these are the illegal opium poppies, banned in the United States. It's a ridiculous law, if you ask me, but there you go. As is always the case with this kind of legislation, no one consulted me. Anyway...some lucky person got theirs to grow. I smuggled some seeds back from Ireland in my suitcase, but they didn't come up when I planted them. It's a good example of cheaters never prospering. It did give me the satisfaction of being a bad girl, however. I know. Scandalous, as always.

When we got to the top of the hill and turned the next corner (so that would be the lower left corner of our loop), this was our view:


Almost smack in the middle of the skyline above, you can barely make out Mt. St. Helens, which is one of the mountains we see from our living room windows.

About halfway down the hill on that portion of the road we pass a very old and small cemetery, Mt. Olive Cemetery. Some of the graves are from the mid-1800's and many of the names are the same names we see on the local street signs. Oregon didn't become a state until 1859, and so I'm thinking some of these folks were among the earliest settlers...maybe they came on the Oregon Trail. Sterner folk than I, you can be sure. This golden chain tree grows at the edge of the cemetery, and you can see some of the headstones in the background.


When we turned the next corner and walked to the middle of the upper-most portion of the loop, this was our view. The wheat was green as green could be.


When we turn the final corner on the home stretch, we pass two large oak trees growing by the side of the road.


A little farther on, I took this 180° panorama. You can make it larger by clicking on the image. These are wide open spaces.


So that was our walk. Sue was meeting another friend afterward. I was headed home to meet up with some window guys who were going to replace two windows in our house. Two of our double pane window seals have broken, and the windows have moisture and other grime collected between the two panes of glass. They've been like that for a couple of years, and Mike and I have reached a point where we can no longer stand it. (I really hate spending money on those kinds of things.) 

As it turns out, the window guys called to reschedule, which was fine with me. I fed the birds and watered the pots. And then I was pretty lazy this afternoon. That is a wonderful, but tiring little trek that Sue and I make.

I haven't done any sewing the past couple of days, although I always manage to get in a little embroidery. I'm almost finished with my latest quilting snowlady. This morning, I gave her some little French knot pincurls. 


Usually, I do my baking project on Friday, but since yesterday was Mike's birthday, I did it yesterday instead. This is another recipe from Christina Lane's book, Dessert for Two. These are her "Old Timey Pudding Cakes"...lemon, if you must know.


Super yummy. I would have liked a little more lemon flavor. If I make these again...and I will...I'm going to add just a touch of lemon extract to see if I can punch up that lemon flavor a little.

My little cat knows how to spend a sunny day when mom is sitting at her boring computer writing blog posts.


And after all that walking in the sunshine, I could use a shower. That's what I'm off to do now. Tomorrow I'm heading to the Farmer's Market with Erik and Mae for the first time this season. I can't wait!

5 comments from clever and witty friends:

Bonny said...

Oooh, your walk looks lovely! Your pics makes me want to come along :)
That is a good healthy walk you have! It is nice you have a friend to walk it with! I seem to wear out my walking friends. I walk 3.5 miles 4-5 times a week and it seems most people aren't up for that... I'm from Washington state - and love your state of Oregon :)

Dana Gaffney said...

I may need to get a FitBit, I use a nothing app on my phone and comparing my walk to yours, I had less steps, more miles and a lot less calories burned.

Kate said...

What a beautiful walk. Enjoy your weekend.

quiltzyx said...

What a gorgeous day for a walk - thanks for sharing it! We've been mostly overcast the last few days & even had some actual, turn-on-the-windshield-wipers rain! Woohoo!

Brown Family said...

Beautiful country to walk in! I have not tried the lemon pudding cakes. I did make the Carrot cupcakes, but I baked them in two 3 inch cake pans. My husband loves carrot cake but I am not fond of it. I also made the lemon cake. It filled 4 of my 3 inch pans. I learned that I can not follow the recipe for the mousse. I whipped the cream and it was OK. I melted the white chocolate and it was good. Then the book told me to whip the chocolate into the cream. BAD! It started to clump, so I made chocolate butter. I tried again the next day after several friends told me to FOLD the chocolate into the cream! It worked and was wonderful, although the cake was a little dry after waiting for its mousse!