Archive for June, 2013

The First Fawn of the Spring

He couldn't be more than a few minutes old

He couldn’t be more than a few minutes old

Yesterday we saw our first fawn of the spring.  His mother must have just given birth in the spruce border between our house and our neighbors to the south because the tiny fawn could barely hobble and was still a little wet.  As she exited the trees with the little one, her two fawns from last year, now nearly full grown, came over to sniff him.  The doe chased them away and this seemed to generate much confusion on their part.  This went on for about half an hour and the two fawns of last year finally left and went out of the yard and up the street.  Does nurse their fawns and stash them for the day, returning infrequently to check on them, so we didn’t see the fawn over the day, but in the evening my husband stumbled across the place where he slept and we were able to see him.

Safely stashed for the day

Safely stashed for the day

You must never think a fawn has been abandoned if you make such a discovery, it’s best to leave them alone as the mother knows exactly where she left her fawn(s).  This morning the doe was chasing last year’s fawn away again.  I think the little one has been stashed in our deer resistant plantings to the side of the house.  Deer usually have twins but I think she only had one this year.

We have such a terrible problem with deer browsing in this area and they have nowhere to go with more and more wild places being taken for suburban housing, but I still do love to see the fawns every year.

Comments (2) »

Asparagus: Beginnings and Endings

It’s one of my favorite vegetables with a season that’s all too short.  I always have a dilemma at the beginning and the end of the season; should I save these few spears for a day until I pick some more (losing the fresh from the garden flavor) or can I think of a way to use them right now?  They can always be mixed into a tossed salad but the flavor is diluted with all the other vegetables.  This year I opted to begin the season with a lunch of Asparagus Frittata and to  end the season with a side dish of Asparagus and Sugar Snap Pea Pasta.

Asparagus, Onion and Feta Cheese Frittata

Asparagus, Onion and Feta Cheese Frittata

This so easy, no recipe is required.  The method works for any combination you want to use in your Frittata.  Cut up the vegetables and sauté them in olive oil until just barely tender.  With my asparagus, I just sautéed it until it turned a brighter green although I started the onions first and cooked them through.  Spread the mixture out evenly and spread the cheese over the top.  While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the eggs; two per person and one for the pan, and turn down the heat.  Turn the broiler on to low.  Beat the eggs soundly with a fork and add salt and pepper.  Beat in cold water, about 1 Tbsp. per person ( I just run the bowl under the faucet for a second).  Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables, trying to coat them all.  Poke down any the have no egg, just to give them a little coating, even if they pop up again.  Cook the mixture without stirring just until you see the edges start to solidify, then run the pan under the broiler, keeping careful watch.  It will puff up slightly and brown on top, but still be tender inside.

Pasta with Asparagus and Sugar Snap Peas

Pasta with Asparagus and Sugar Snap Peas

This dish couldn’t be easier.  Boil your pasta of choice until very firm, add the chopped up vegetables and cook until they turn bright green, drain, add  salt and pepper and some butter or olive oil.  Sprinkle with grated parmesan.  Yum!  I’ve occasionally added chopped herbs or pesto (garlic scape pesto works well here) but I like it best with the unenhanced vegetable flavors.  After all this may be the last time I have Asparagus this year…

Comments (1) »

Piping Plover Nesting Success!

I saw the first Piping Plover chicks of the season during our International Shorebird Survey last week.  A casual observer could easily miss these fluffy little Ping-Pong balls on stilts, they are that well camouflaged.  After close observation, we saw two complete families of both parents and four chicks each before we stopped the survey to avoid any distress to the endangered Least Terns that are nesting at the end of the Point.  The Plover parents were running to and fro in their attempts to keep the active little chicks in sight.  Predators abound.  Great Black-backed Gulls would make a quick snack of these birds and we saw six of them nearby.  Fortunately there was a large dead fish on the shore, so I hope the Gulls will preferentially go to that easy meal.  I wrote about the Piping Plovers last summer.  To see that post and for more on these birds click here.  They are State and Federally listed as “threatened.”  We will return next week to count again.  Chick viability can be low, with all the dogs, cats, humans, raccoon, possums, gulls and who know what else, that prey on these tiny birds.

Papa Plover keeps a watchful eye on his chick

Papa Plover keeps a watchful eye on his chick (photo courtesy of Bill Batsford)

Comments (3) »

Gorgeous Lettuce and Other News

The Romaine types and the darkest of the three loose leaf.

The Romaine types and the darkest of the three loose leaf (plus one weed!)

The long, cool spring presented me with a gift of the most beautiful lettuce.  I had started them in the house and transplanted them to the garden in mid-April, where they have now come into their own.  I grew five different varieties, two romaine type and three loose leaf.  Today would have been the birthday of my son Pete who died in January, a tough day for me.  Yesterday his wife gave him a birthday party, inviting all his friends and family, pot luck.  I chose fresh vegetables from the garden to add to the tossed salad she asked me to bring, asparagus, broccoli, sugar snap peas and of course, my lettuce.  The party was bitter-sweet of course.  His spirit was all around us, especially in his garage where he spent many happy hours in his workshop, fixing small machines, drinking beer and listening to his iPod.  I enjoyed seeing his friends reminiscing, the children in the group cavorting in the pool and it was wonderful to see his wife smiling.

Vegetables for Pete's Birthday Salad.

Vegetables for Pete’s Birthday Salad.

Comments (6) »

%d bloggers like this: