Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Field and Forest

Flora and fauna.

By definition, flora is a word of Latin origin referring to Flora, the goddess of flowers. Flora can refer to a group of plants, a disquisition of a group of plants, as well as to bacteria. Flora is the root of the word floral, which means pertaining to flowers. Fauna can refer to the animal life or classification of animals of a certain region, time period, or environment. Fauna is also of Latin origin. In Roman Mythology Fauna was the sister of Faunus, a good spirit of the forest and plains. - from Wisegeek.com for the wordgeeks among us.

Photos: S. Plasch

Friday, May 27, 2011

It's not Exactly Paris

But it does have its own exotic charms - Northwestern Wisconsin.

Thank goodness we don't have to "Live Like We Mean It" anymore. In 2011 The Fonz is going to help us "Picture the Fun".

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Super Market

If we lived in Paris we'd so be at Supermarket this weekend. Attending what looks like a pretty darn fun and creative two-day crafts event in one of the most wonderful cities in the world just won't be happening for us, but we can enjoy this groovy, stop-motion, animated promotional vimeo as a small consolation.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Garten Spiel

We crossed our fingers that no one else would choose the $1 auction lot of mostly grubby miscellaneous items that we had our eye on. Fortunately the treasure within was either too well hidden or of no interest to the other bidders. This beautiful 1954 vintage Ravensburg game got to come home with us.

Marienkäfer Puck, ein flug durchs blumenjahr (Ladybug Puck, a flight through the flower-year)

Ladybug playing pieces, ceramic dice, charmingly illustrated game board. Nice.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Woodland Wonders

Even if on your woodland walk you don't find the elusive morel there are many other wonderful things to see if you look closely.

Photos: S. Plasch

Monday, May 23, 2011

Making Up for a Lack of Morels

Our initial search for the delectable fungus known as the common morel or morchella esculenta was fruitless so we went to our secret, fall-back location and had great success. Then, in a mushroom glamour shoot of sorts, in our kitchen studio, our artful, guest photographer captured perfectly the grotesque beauty that is the wild morel.

Unfortunately, the most alluring photo was not taken. Once the morels were sizzling in butter and had turned a beautiful golden brown the camera was forgotten. A fork was the only thing we were reaching for.

Photos: S. Plasch

Friday, May 20, 2011


25 years ago we suggested during an over-the-backfence chat with the neighbor man that this, then scrawny tree, with a rather ugly name be cut down. Tom moved to the other hill long ago, but whenever he comes around he never fails to say facetiously, as we stand under the graceful tree in the lovely shade, "Yeah, we should have cut that tree down."

Photo: S. Plasch

Thursday, May 19, 2011

West Side Story

The backyard theme of spring in bloom segues to the sideyard perennial bed. For your enjoyment may we present more images of lush new growth captured by a quick-clicking and quite clever young camerawoman of our acquaintance.

Allium, Hardy Geranium or Cranesbill, Grape Hyacinth (Muscari), Iris, and Allium again.

Photos: S. Plasch

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Northern Exposure

The backyard is bursting with blooms of spring flowers. Here are some images recently taken by a talented young guest photographer of the color show that is going on this merry month of May. Delightful.

Typically we encourage people to enjoy the long, and usually more forgiving view of our humble garden but, with this capable artist behind the lens the simple closeup view becomes simply stunning.

Pigsqueak (Bergenia Cordifolia), Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla Vulgaris), Bleeding Heart (dicentra spectabilis), Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia Virginica)

Photos: S. Plasch

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

When Moms Shop at Closeout Stores

They find remaindered books with mixed-messages for children.

The titles are weirdly wonderful. The content is completely confounding.

Here's what we learned from this story: when everybody is mean to you because you are a homely fish, and you are just about to give up and hate yourself too, you might become a pretty fish and get to swim with all the other pretty, mean fish.

And from this messed-up morality tale: If you try to get your supersized nut to the top of the tree and can't do it, just give up and get someone to do half the work. Changing the title to "When Squirrels Cooperate" would still be ludicrous, but would at least begin to make the moral fit the story.


Monday, May 16, 2011

May Days

If you found something like this on your doorstep in the month of May it means you have been a very faithful blog commentor. If you do not live in a ten mile radius of NDL HQ, yet have been a blog presence, we owe ya.

Once again the Target Dollar Spot comes through. This time with colorful, delightful, albeit quirky, May basket fillers.

With hope that a little incentive would help shy readers to find their voices...we will let slip (don't alert the media yet) that we will be reviewing future blog comments for the first ever Nextie awards. Date to be announced. Can you stand the suspense?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Watch Closely

One of our favorite artists, Amy Rice, now has a line of cards available at Artists to Watch. Aren't they great?

You can find loads of other amazing artists' cards there too. This definitely is a company to keep our eyes on.

We often complain about bunny trouble, but have to tell you that A.C. Barton portrays rabbits in a manner that almost makes us sympathetic to their garden munching.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Holy Asparagusmole!

This week our favorite grocery store, has some nice looking asparagus at a good price.

And it comes with a great idea.

Wouldn't this be even more satisfying if the asparagus was home grown or local? (Not an option in zone 3 with avocados.) Let us know if you know of an opportunity like that. Please?

Oh that Martha!

One of her recent great finds was the work of Joe Wirthman at Victory Garden of Tomorrow in Portland Oregon. Through the way-too-simple power of ordering from etsy these great prints are now our new summer kitchen decor.

Great finding Martha! It's a good thing Joe!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Fair (and Foul) Weather Friend

If you just can't wait another minute to put some color in your landscape choose a cheery member of the Violaceae family. They are no pansies when it comes to chilly nights. In fact they prefer cool weather and actually become "shrinking violas" when the sweltering temps arrive.

Go on, do it, but don't give in to the lure of the garden yet when it comes to setting out tender annuals and vegetables. Our typical last frost date is still weeks away.