Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Bits of Life Wednesday

 Sunrise over the cornfield

Good morning, blogging friends. Thanks for stopping in today for another installment of my random bits of life.

One has to rise fairly early to catch September sunrise photos, but not nearly as early as in June. This summer has flown by, and now one can lounge around in bed until as late as 6:00 and still catch the sunrise. Makes one feel positively slothful!

 From the porch
Golden light and my favorite time of day

As I was standing near the cornfield to get that first photo, I turned around to look into the windbreak (where all our pets are buried - the dead ones, that is), and saw these incredible puffball mushrooms. Off the picture to the right are two others, and they're all standing in order of size, the smallest being about 4" in diameter (the one on the left) and the largest of the five about 8" in diameter. I believe they're edible, and these are at peak and fine specimens, but I'm still not doing it.

This is the blurry photo I got when I tried to take a picture of the goldfish I purchased while our grandsons were out for a visit in August. I mostly took it as proof to them that I'd not yet killed the fish. I did see one lying on the bottom of the pond this morning, and when I remorsefully stirred the water with a stick, he did not move. I was sure we'd lost one. But about ten seconds later he got a burst of energy and swam away. Evidently, he had been sleeping! (or playing 'possum). I was so relieved!

Our friendly neighborhood ladies' circle meets every morning at the edge of our cornfield and again every evening at the base of our big spruce. In between I think they still hang out together, but I don't see them then. I wonder if they sew or quilt. They're fun to watch, but you have to be very quiet if you don't want them to adjourn early.

On a very bright day as this, it's nearly impossible to get good photos, but I wanted you to see one of my volunteer sunflowers that sprang up near the birdfeeder. I see that the finches aren't eating from the thistle seed feeder, but that's because the fields and ditches are full of seed for them. The time is soon coming when everything will be covered in snow and then they won't hesitate to come knocking at our door. You just wait. (and we'll be ready). :-))

Mr. C. and I went on a lovely morning walk along a beautiful woodland trail yesterday. We'll take that walk again. It was so pretty. Not like our usual walk along the road, which is also pretty, but they're both pretty in very different ways. 

 All around me I saw God's glorious creation, and remembered in Genesis where God pronounces His creation, 'Good,' it was later the stewards of that creation, not creation itself, who went wrong. We're still to be his image bearers and good stewards of his good creation. He didn't place us on this earth to just wreck it or use it up (plants or animals), but to take care of it and them for Him, to receive His blessings and offer praises back to Him for his amazing love and goodness and generosity.

That is your sermon for the day. Please put a fiver in the plate on your way out.


From website:

"It seems to me that God has put humans like an angled mirror in His world so that God can reflect His love and care and stewardship of the world through humans and so that the rest of the world can praise the creator through humans. And the way this comes out in many Biblical passages is to see God's people, you get this in Exodus 19, you get this in the Book of Revelation, you get it actually in Paul as well, see God's people as the royal priesthood, the priesthood because they are summing up the praises of creation, presenting it before God." - N.T. Wright

 Fungi (plural because there were several on that tree)

Looking back through my blog posts, it seems I was remiss in telling you about the wild hops we found. There are two places that Mr. C. and I spotted them (he the first and I the second), completely different locations, but both near willow trees and wet land. Evidently this stage (above) is about the perfect time for picking hops for making beer. The cones are very pungent, somewhere between garlic and skunk, in my opinion. I'm not sure who came across the idea of putting them in beer to prevent it from spoiling as it was shipped from England to India (for example). Really. Who thinks of this stuff? How many other things were tried first? and why were hops ever tried at all?? Anyway,  I found this little blurb on Home Brewer Association's website:

How to Check Hop Cone Ripeness

  1. Give the cone a light squeeze. If the cone stays compressed, it’s not ripe enough. When they feel light and dry—and spring back after a squeeze—they’re ready to be harvested.
  2. Pick a cone, roll it in your hands and smell it. If it has a pungent smell between cut grass and onion, it’s time to harvest.
  3. Roll the hop next to your ear. If it makes a cricket sound, this also means they’re ready to harvest. If the lupulin turns orange and smells rancid, you’ve overshot your window.
  4. The hop should be springy, dry and papery on the tips, and sticky to the touch.
  5. Look for lupulin, the visible, thick yellow substance on the outside of the cone.

Was I supposed to do something with this stupid shoebox??

 Snuggly Tommy & Smokey,
but Tommy is hogging the picture.


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Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!
From Tommy & Smokey & Me
Join me on Instagram: @cranberrymorning
Be sure to check #tommyandsmokey for all their photos on Instagram unless you hate cats, for some weird reason)



Theresa said...

Beautiful pictures Judy! Worthy of framing! Have a blessed and beautiful day dear friend, HUGS!

Cheryl said...

Thank you for inviting us into your "bits" of life today. Your photo of the September sunrise is breathtaking! I got a kick out of your "ladies" gathering. Posts like this make me miss rural life!

MadSnapper said...

first things first, thanks for the Tommy/Smokey FIX.. sweet faces. the calming treats I give Jake when he is pacing/panting, one of the ingredients is Hops, now I wonder if mixed with chamomille tea if it makes him drunk.... I really need prayers for me, Jake is ready to go and Bob says he is not. making me crazy. love that cornfield sun rise... also my favorite time of the day, even when the sun is not pretty, I still like to watch the day get brighter and the sounds that come at daybreak. one of our favorite times when we used to stay at Daytona beach twice a year, was to sit on the deck at 5 am drinking coffee and watching the sun come up

Elizabethd said...

Such lovely photos. I wouldn't touch the puffballs either!
What is it about shoeboxes, or any box really? Cats just have to climb in!

Mrs.T said...

Lovely photos and post, Judy. I appreciate how you're doing a regular Wednesday post on Bits of Life. Always so enjoyable to see and read.

Those puffball mushrooms ... years ago my husband worked with a man who knew about such things, and he and his family ate mushrooms like these. Since they knew just what to harvest, we would accept bags of mushrooms that they brought us and yes, we would slice, saute and eat these. They were delicious.

Since then, I've sometimes identical-looking mushrooms to the ones they brought us growing, looking just like the ones you saw. But I am too chicken to harvest and cook them. I'm just not sure enough about it and don't want to get sick.

Have a wonderful rest of the week!

Jill said...

Beautiful pictures! Love your cats, I see them on your Instagram too... remind me so much of mine as they love boxes, etc too! Have a great day!


Wendy said...

Lovely pics. We saw hops recently - the big house we stay in with all the family was originally an oast house where they would have dried the hops. Usually when we go they are harvesting the hops but most of it had already been done this year and the whole process is must more mechanised these days.

Lynne said...

Beautiful photos Judy . . .
Loved that first silhouette like photo . . .
Craft beer brewers would probably purchase your hops. If you are selling!
Smokey and Tommy still win the prize in your of blog posts.
Although Tommy looks like he is steeling the show this time!

Marcia said...

Thanks for taking me on your walk. It has been so wet, humid, warm, foggy, oppressive ... I could go on. Being out in it is no fun at all. I took a walk instead on the tread mill in the 1st floor fitness center we have here at Vantage House. I could read while I walked which is nice but being out would have been better. Not sure how the hurricane will affect MD but likely more rain in our future which we don't need.

Terri D said...

Such lovely photos of your beautiful locations - all within walking distance. How blessed you are!!

NanaDiana said...

Hi Judy, I love these bits of life in Wisconsin you share. That one picture with the ferns looks like it is almost tropical here. Being with the hot, humid summer we have had that might not be so far-fetched. Great photos all the way around and I will see if I can find a 'fiver' to slip in the collection plate on the way out! xo Diana

Vee said...

Beautiful September is putting on a show. So glad that you are only burying the dead pets...😳phew! Are you planning a bit of brewing? Good thing I don’t really care for mushrooms as I would be very tempted by those; they certainly do look like garden art, don’t they?

Jean | said...

Beautiful! That woodland walk. sigh … Love your ladies' circle at the edge of the cornfield. And I'm afraid Tommy would appear to be hogging every picture *I* took!

Carla from The River said...

Hi Judy,
Autumn is Jeremy's favorite. He loves, loves, loves this season.
Are the fish still swimming? How fun that you added some to your pond.

podso said...

I'm a wee bit jealous of your rural life. Beautiful shots of fascinating things. Especially the hop cone? My, your blog is the place to learn new things. Again smiling at your housemates!

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

I agree about wishing for a more rural life like your's, Judy! The sunrise over the cornfield is gorgeous. Now, I'm wondering if the goldfish will make it over your winter. Also, I'd be afraid to eat the mushrooms as lovely as they look--such perfect spheres. Lovely post! ♥

Chatty Crone said...

Oh my goodness I am enjoying your photos girl. I live the amber gold view of the area. I love the beautiful sunflower. I too just see God's handiwork and it was good. I wish people would look for the good in life and stop fighting if you know what I mean! sandie

This N That said...

I'm a little behind responding to this post. Beautiful photos. I love rural scenes.. Autumn is in here yet I am anxiously awaiting it. Always good to see the kitties. Have a great weekend

Anita Johnson said...

I have been very poor at looking at blogs and even worse with commenting. My eye sight and computers don’t always cooperate. So today, I’ll stop by and say hello and copy this note into the comments. Some of you are on Facebook or Instagram, but many aren’t. As I’ve said all along, I’ve met wonderful people blogging.
The widow maker trees and that scary story. We had 3 trees removed. And of course, Bruce said he could have done it. I’d like him to stay alive and not end up with puff balls growing on his grave 😉


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