So Long For Now

Clematis, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

Jordan and I are going to Iowa City and St. Louis with his father and stepmother, so I won't be looking at my computer screen for a week... I might start suffering from withdrawal symptoms, but other than that, it should be a great time.

Have a good week, loyal readers!

Which One?

Blueberries Blueberry

I posted these two photos in a group on flickr. They are a couple of my favorites from blueberry picking earlier this week. A lot of people seem to prefer the one on the left, but I really like the one on the right. What do you think? You can click on the photos to see a bigger copy.

Public Makeout!

Sarah and I took a trip to Michael's today to buy some picture frames for a set of photos she's been meaning to re-accessorize. On the way, we were discussing relationships, as we are wont to do, and she told me that the-guy-who-lives-in-the-basement thinks it's worrisome that Jordan and I aren't crawling all over each other continually. Our lack of public displays of affection bodes ill for our future. Hmmm... Makes me wonder what he would say if we were being gooey and affectionate all the time.

We just aren't those people. I would be comfortable with more affection when other people are around, but I know that Jordan wouldn't and it doesn't bother me.

Any thoughts, friends? Should Jordan and I be shnogging in public?

In a Bowl

In a Bowl, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

Fresh strawberries always hit the spot.

A Few Favorites

A Few Favorites, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

It's sort of hokey to make mosaics, but I thought this one turned out nicely. These are a few of my favorite photos from the past two months or so. To see the full photos, you can click these links:

1. One Orange Milkweed, 2. Blown, 3. Lady's Thumb, 4. I Don't Think It's a Daisy

One Orange Milkweed

One Orange Milkweed, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

I am very proud of this picture. This is exactly the way it came out of the camera; thoughtful composition, nice depth-of-field, vibrant colors, and several non-distracting points of interest. Not to blow my own trumpet, but I think it's a lovely shot. It's hard to believe that this beautiful flower is considered a weed by some.

Wikipedia tells me that Carolus Linnaeus named this flower after the Greek god of healing because of all the folk remedies for which milkweed was used.

New to Monday

So, I took the weekend off because I had a visitor and wasn't spending that much time with my computer. Little Miss Laura, my college roommate, made the drive up from Lancaster County to enjoy the Pennsburg hospitality.

On Friday, the most exciting thing we did was go to Wegman's. THAT'S EXCITING!!! Have you seen the international foods section of that store? We actually had a fun time walking around the store discovering lots of interesting foods and, of course, getting the items on my shopping list. We also got lost on the way to lunch, but that's not a very interesting story.

Saturday, we drove up to Hawk Mountain to go for a hike. Our trail began going down down down to a rock field. It was lovely, but all that down meant a whole lot of up. When you look at a map and see a 175 foot increase in altitude over a mile, that's a lot. The beginning of the trail wasn't that bad, but as we continued, it get steeper and steeper. Since Laura and Jordan are both in better shape than I, they were up the hill 5 or 10 minutes before I made it, but I made it (and identified a couple flowers along the way).

Getting to the top was a relief. We rested for about 10 minutes and then headed out along the Skyline Trail. Lovely views and lots of rocks. Near the end, we were having difficulty finding the blue blazes (haha!). That's when we realized they were going straight over the top of 15 foot rock faces. "Rock face" may be an exaggeration, but there was definitely climbing involved.

As we were clambering over various rock formations, I was still carrying my flower ID book. I tossed it to a rock further on once and it came to a rest, waiting patiently for me to retrieve it. The second time I tossed it, the book tried to make an escape down a hole between two boulders. Immediately ready to give it up for lost, I shouted to Laura and Jordan that I lost my book. They were not so easily daunted. Jordan spotted the bright green cover and Laura wriggled her tiny body into the crack to get it. The book was rescued and we moved on.

Shortly after that, we arrived at the North Lookout, also known as the end of the Skyline Trail. There we found a sign that read: "Skyline Trail: Most Difficult. Rocky and rugged throughout, need to climb up or down rocks, MUST HAVE HANDS FREE. Stay on trail." Not only did we finish the most difficult trail, but I did most of it carrying a book!

We were all famished after our three-hour tour, so we took the nice, easy touristy trail back to our car to get our lunch, which we ate at the South Lookout, where our hike had begun. It was the perfect day for a hike. I saw new flowers, Jordan saw new birds, Laura rescued my book. We had a great time.

Next time, though, I'm taking my backpack...and maybe an easier trail.

Flax Flower

There are many varieties of flax flowers (the plant from which linen is made), but I would have to say this is the prettiest. Blue is my favorite color, so I'm always glad to stumble across blue petals.

Flax Flower, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

Red Osier 2

Red Osier 2, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

They Do Look Like Little Monsters or Something...

My mother worked the very early opening shift at a convenience store for much of my childhood. She was usually home from work well before I got home from school. Oftentimes, dinner would already be on the table when I walked through the door at three o'clock. We had the same eating schedule as old people who go to sleep before it's dark outside because my mother took to bed fairly early.

Jordan's house is just the opposite, especially when the whole crew is home. Usually we eat around 7, which is my preferred time; not too late and not too early. There have been times, however, when our meals weren't ready until 8 or 9 o'clock. Sometimes it's because the guys will suddenly decide to leave at 7 and we try to keep dinner for their return. Sometimes it's because we (read "I") don't read the recipe through all the way and miss the fact that whatever meal I'm putting in the oven needs to bake for two hours. But, one time, we didn't eat until nearly 10 p.m. just because our food hadn't arrived.

A family friend went to the Jersey shore for the day and promised to bring back crabs for our supper. So we had a late lunch and went about the rest of our day anticipating the arrival of our clawed meal. Josh is notorious around here for being late, so his promised arrival at 8 happened around 9. Pots of water were already boiling on the stove, full of Old Bay seasoning. Within minutes of their arrival, at least a dozen of our crustacean friends had met their fate, but only after giving our chefs a few love bites with their powerful pincers.

To eat, we dumped the cooked crabs on a newspaper covered patio table. The porch light was dim, but everybody (except) me could have torn apart and eaten their crabs without any help from the sun. They dove in. I was slightly more reluctant. In the low light, the crabs looked as if they were still alive. Their beady eyes stared at me, their claws appeared at the ready. With a little help from Jordan, I managed to eat one whole crab, but after the first one, I couldn't bring myself to touch another, so I stuck with the legs that had fallen off and were scattered about the table. I promised I'd try daylight.

For now, I'll content myself with the pictures I got of these little monsters before they went into the pot. Just look at that blue. And, I'll give you a gold star if you know what movie I'm quoting in my title.

Before the Water, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

Pink Spike

Pink Spike, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

I'm trying to avoid the puppy pictures because I don't want to hurt rgr's heart anymore than I already have. So, here is an unidentified flower. Enjoy!

Redeye Daisy

Redeye Daisy, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

I like the naturally yellow center of oxeye daisies, but I've been taking so many pictures of yellow flowers lately that I've been getting a bit bored. So, I used my free trial of Photoshop CS3 to change the hue of this little flower. I also did a little cropping, but mostly so that the flowers looked bigger.


I detest how anti-climactic conflict is. So much loudness, so much tension, so much emotional energy for nothing much. Not that I'm saying I want more blood, I'm saying I don't want the build up in the first place.

Conflict has puzzled me since childhood. My mom and brother would get into these knock-down-drag-out fights over nothing. Then there would be a time of tense silence. This was generally followed by a time of stilted conversation during which we carefully avoided talking about the elephant in the room and nervously laughed about only moderately funny things. Finally, everyone would realize that it was alright to breathe and things would go back to normal. My family's process normally skipped the step wherein we dealt with whatever freaking HUGE elephant we were housing.

Even if the issue is addressed, most of the time, life just goes back to the way it was before, maybe with some minor change. Deep inside me, I always wish for something bigger, something more noticeable. Imperceptible change infuriates me. Basically, I want a bigger payoff for the emotional energy invested in living.

Perhaps this is why I furiously cling to the idea of an afterlife. I want the not joyful times in life to mean more, be more important, have some kind of impact that lasts. Of course, saying such a thing makes me wonder if there is something in my life that should be changed to make what's happening here and now mean more.

Angst angst angst!

Holding Pattern

Holding Pattern, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

Molten Thistle

Molten Thistle, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

This thistle gone to seed made me think of a dreadlock wig that I once saw in Disney World.

My New Hobby

Laurel Blooming, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

This is one of my favorites from the past few weeks. Mountain laurel is so beautiful.

With the amount of flower pictures I've been taking in the past few months, I've recently taken up a new hobby: flower identification. I have a species list that I began in early May, which already has almost forty flowers on it.

The difficult thing about the list is that you can't cheat and put flowers on it that you have seen before, you are supposed to document them as you find them. Fortunately, Sarah has a beautiful garden with new flowers blooming every couple of weeks. Hopefully, when I get back to Princeton, I will be able to add even more flowers to the list.

I'm working on trees a little bit, too, but the flowers are so plentiful and vibrant now that it's difficult to concentrate on leaves and twigs and green and brown. I'll save that for fall and winter.

What's the Buzz?

So, my former roomie told me that I need to blog something other than pictures, so here I am blogging something other than pictures. There's been a lot going on lately, but nothing momentous since the wedding in Ohio.

I've mostly been playing house since I don't have a job here in Pennsburg. I've made about 20 delicious dinners, for which I should post the recipes, but probably won't. My favorite is definitely the felafel (from the Moosewood cookbook), homemade olive and cilantro pita, and from scratch tzatziki sauce. I made it last night for the fourth time this year. It's time consuming, but so delicious I don't care.

Sarah just got done with school for the year, but for the few weeks that she's been working while I was home alone, I've been doing the cooking and shopping and such. I don't think I ever realized before now how much planning it takes to run a home. The thought of doing all of this with an infant around the house is frightening.

Other than cooking, I've also been taking care of the puppies. Sadie does most of the work, but I give them love and clean their blankets. Their eyes have been open for about a week and they've begun toddling around the baby pool. I took them to Sarah's school on Monday. The kids were crazy about them. It was a good time. Everybody loves puppies. Today, we bought some wire to make an outdoor enclosure for the pups. It should be fun to watch them romp and bite each others' faces in the grass.

School begins again soon for me. I'm a little reticent to go back. I like my days spent playing with puppies, baking bread, identifying wildflowers, and spending inordinate amounts of time playing on flickr. It will be good to get back into the swing of things, but hard to have obligations again.

I'll try to write more...promise.

Top Half

Top Half, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

Over the Edge

Over the Edge, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

This is one of my favorite photos from our time at Bushkill. I made it black and white because the colors distracted from the form of the drops. I also bumped the contrast a little to help the spray stand out a bit more.

Jordan at the Falls

Jordan at the Falls, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

On Memorial Day, Jordan and I took a jaunt to Bushkill Falls. When I get all of my photos from that trip uploaded, I will post a slideshow. For now, here's a profile shot of Jordan at the main falls.

Blowing Away

Blowing Away, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

They Always Like the Weird Ones

Change Is in the Air

When I post pictures on flickr, I am almost always surprised by the ones most people like.

Not Edited...Not One Bit

Red Clover

It's not often that I take a photo that turns out exactly how I want it without a little touch-up at the end, but this one came right out of my camera looking just how you see it here. For a larger view, you can click on the photo to go through to my Flickr page, which has lovely viewing choices.

Puppies for Sale

These are the puppies still for sale: a female in the middle and a male on either end.

State Flower

Last Thursday evening, Jordan and I went for a hike at a local park. It was a beautiful evening and the woods were cool and shady, a nice place to get some exercise. We saw lots of fish in the reservoir and a family of ducks with nearly fifteen ducklings. I was able to indulge my new hobby of wildflower identification (finding nearly ten species to add to my list of flowers seen) and Jordan spotted one or two birds.

Little did Jordan know that our fun hike was going to put him out of commission for several days. Around midnight he awoke to discover that poison ivy had taken over his entire face. It was all around the trail, but he thought he'd avoided touching any of it. Unfortunately, he didn't only come into contact with the oils from this irritating plant, he rubbed it into the skin surrounding his eyes and mouth. I may have come into contact with it, as well, since I'm not careful about where I step or what I touch, but somehow, I didn't have any reaction.

Even with the prescription steroids, the rash is bad. Jordan's face is red and puffy, his eyes are constantly at half mast, and, for the past few days, he's done little more than lie on the couch holding ice packs to his burning, itchy eyes and mouth. It's difficult to see him so miserable and be helpless to do anything to make him better. And all from the oil found on some shiny, reddish leaves that are actually kind of pretty.

Here's hoping that Jordan never runs into the unofficial state flower of Pennsylvania again.

I Wish I Could Have a Puppy

Tongue Out

Another Something Dead

Teasel 2

Actually, it's not dead. It hasn't even bloomed yet. When it does, there will be tiny purple or white flowers covering the spiny head. The whole field of these was beautiful.