Sunday, July 6, 2008

Beauties of Summer

The lisianthus is finally blooming!!! Elegance has once again returned to the fields. There is still one color that hasn't started opening yet, but so far, wow, they really do make my heart patter and sing. We have a wedding to do this weekend and I can't wait! It might be the best one yet as we have lizzy, gladiolas, sunflowers, celosia, gomphrena, and maybe even our first oriental lilies to work with....oh boy. I'll try very hard to take some pictures and post them. Meanwhile, Stuart and I have discovered a huge nuisance on the farm. A BIG FAT GROUNDHOG!!!! I spotted it gallumping off the field into its safe haven of briers, poison ivy, and rotten wood. It has already eaten 300 ft of soybeans and about 200 ft of green beans. Needless to say, we are worried and are trying to break out all our WMD's. This lovely gun pictured here is kind of but not really a joke of a present from my younger brother Aubrey. His way of being funny. Yep, that is a scope on a 22, and yes, that is Stuart looking very menacing waving to our neighbors. The embarrassing part of it all is that Stuart and I had some trouble hitting a target fifty ft away. Let's hope we can get closer to the groundhog before killing it. I never thought I would be able to shoot anything, much less enjoy the experience. We'll see.
We spent an exhausting day today watching Nadal and Federer battle it out on the court. Damn those fellas can play some tennis! Incredible athleticism. I didn't really watch tennis til' Federer came around. We call him the swan. What a beauty of a man. Too bad he does all those cheesy commercials. Speaking of swans, I think I'll do a rare turn to some poetry as I'm in the mood for something above and beyond the ordinary right now. Here is one of my favorite Rilke poems titled The Swan.

'The misery that through the still-undone
must pass, bound and heavily weighed down,
is like the awkward walking of the swan.

And death, where we no longer comprehend
the very ground on which we daily stand,
is like his anxious letting-himself-go

into the water, soft against his breast,
which now how easily together flows
behind him in a little wake of waves....
while he, infinitely silent, self-possessed,
and ever more mature, is pleased to move
serenely on his majestic way.'
And since I can't stop, and evening is upon is another favorite.


Slowly now the evening changes his garments
held for him by a rim of ancient trees;
you gaze: and the landscape divides and leaves you,
one sinking and one rising towards the sky.

And you are left, to none belonging wholly,
not so dark as a silent house, nor quite
so surely pledged unto eternity
as that which grows to star and climbs the night.

To you is left (unspeakably confused)
your life, gigantic, ripening, full of fears,
so that it, now hemmed in, now grasping all,
is changed in you by turns to stone and stars.


marko said...


1 groundhog
2 onions, sliced
2 bulbs garlic, minced
1/2 cup celery, sliced
Vinegar and water
Salt and pepper
5-6 sprigs fresh thyme

1. Remove .22 slug from groundhog
2. Clean groundhog; remove glands; cut into serving pieces.
3. Soak overnight in a solution of equal parts of water and vinegar with addition of half of onions, garlic, and pinch salt.
4. Drain, wash, and pat dry.
5. Parboil 20 minutes, drain, and cover with fresh boiling water.
6. Add one remaining onions, celery, a few cloves, salt, thyme, and pepper to taste.
7. Cook until tender; thicken gravy with flour.

Sarah said...

my grandfather, who maintained an excellent garden would shoot groundhogs and woodchucks. as a kid it made me cry.

Is the groundhog stew a joke?

Alice and Stuart said...

Groundhog stew.....tempting, although Erin (stu's sister) did an experimental taste with her boyfriend Gerard and it was a no-go. We may stick to squirrel stroganoff.

marko said...

I also prefer squirrel to groundhog, but both do make great bruschetta. If the groundhog pan gravy is not your thing, I also recommend making a reduction sauce with the drippings, a full-bodied red wine (a 2005 Bordeauxs would work), juniper berries, and dried sage. Really amazing with toasted baguette.