måndag 28 september 2009

Collecting images

The beavers are rather shy – sometimes they put on a water show, but most of the time this is all we get to see.

The nights are cold, but so far we haven't had any frost. Knowing that it soon will be to cold to spend much time out of doors, we try to store fresh air and beautiful views, so we can survive the winter.
There are still blueberries – they are easy to pick now when they have dropped their leaves.

fredag 25 september 2009


There are some things (quite a few when I start to count them) that can't wait. Fruit and berries are a couple of those things that you can't tell that you are too tired or busy to pick them and in one way, or another, take care of them.

I'm very grateful when it is only one thing at the time that needs my attention – right now the pears are at the top of the "do-now-list". I only picked one basket today, as that is what I can take care of in one sitting. Most of them are sliced and drying now. Some of them are waiting to become something tasty. I saw a recipe the other day, that looked good – but where?

I remember that I made very good pear butter last year, but I'm afraid that I improvised it and never wrote it down.

onsdag 23 september 2009



Sing among the hollyhocks,
,,,,,, "Summer, fare thee well!"
Ring the drooping blossoms
........For a passing bell.

Droop the sunflowers, heavy discs
....... Totter to their fall.
Up the valley creep the mists
...... For a funeral pall.

Lingering roses woefully
....... In the cold expire.
Heap the dead and dying
...... For a funeral pyre.

While the gale is sighing,
...... While the wind makes moan,
Sigh among the hollyhocks
...... Of the summer flown.

From The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. VIII, No. 355, October 16, 1886

tisdag 22 september 2009

lördag 19 september 2009

Saturday with Gutenberg

It is my mothers birthday and I haven't spent much time with Gutenberg. But I just checked the new books, and felt like I too got birthday presents as I found several books with lovely illustrations.


From "My Father's Dragon", 1948
by Ruth Stiles Gannett
with illustrations by Ruth Chrisman Gannett
I'm sure that some of you have read "My Father's Dragon" – it is new to me, but after some research on the web, I understand that it is a well-known book that has been continuously in print since its publication.


It had a door
that wouldn’t shut,
and two broken windows,
and all the paint
was off the shutters

And in this house
there lived
"The Cock, The Mouse and the Little Red Hen – an old tale retold by Félicité Lefèvre with illustrations by Tony Sarg, is another book that I haven't heard of before.

And there are two books with fairy tales from Japan.

"The Fisher-Boy Urashima" by an anonymous author, translator: B. H. Chamberlain.

And "The Matsuyama Mirror" Author: Anonymous, Translator: Kate James.

As if four illustrated books for children wasn't enough I also found "Rugs: Oriental and Occidental, Antique & Modern, A Handbook for Ready Reference" by Rosa Belle Holt

onsdag 16 september 2009

Of a literary turn

My choice of books these days shows with embarrassing clearness that I'm still waiting for Brian (my brain) to return.
Gutenberg is not only a wonderful source of knowledge – it also provides me with schmaltzy novels.
"Jan and Her Job" by L. Allen Harker (Lizzie Allen),1863-1933, was published in 1917. Jan, the heroin, is going out to India to help her sick sister who lives there. From the beginning, the pages are full of memsahib, tikka-gharri, ayha – words that are not to be found in my dictionaries (well, some are) but most of the time I can guess what they mean.
Already in the second chapter I could guess whom Jan will marry. Or rather, I'm quite sure that she'll marry Peter, but I don't know yet if I'm right. I don't even know if I'll finish the book, but have to admit that I'm curious to know if I'm right – so maybe, I'll read on.

måndag 14 september 2009

A maple is a maple is a maple?

Acer platanoides
I'm sure I've been talking about my maples before – but since I can't hear your protests, I'll bring up the subject again.
We have mainly one kind of maple here, Acer platanoides. I'm not talking about parks with all kinds of planted trees, but out in the woods. So in 1982 I dug up five small red maple (Acer rubrum) saplings in New England, packed them in my carry on board luggage and smuggled them into the country. One of the trees died at a young age, but the other four are thriving.
Although a maple is a maple and the leaves have more or less the same shape – they are quite different. To me, used with the platanoides' greenish flowers, the red maples red flowers are very exotic. And when there is a red halo around the red maples in the spring, I know that I only have to wait more week for the platanoides to bloom.
Now when both the red maples and my endemic trees are turning red, I find it fascinating to see how different they are. The platanoides isn't as bright red as its American sister – it has a more modest brownish red color.

Acer rubrum

lördag 12 september 2009

Had I only seen this in time

but I'm 104 years late...

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torsdag 10 september 2009

Mind won over body

It took a while, but the mind finally succeeded in per-suading my body to leave the comfortable divan. We compromised a bit and decided to have dinner first (we eat dinner in the early afternoon) but bring the dessert.
So off we went.

It was a beautiful day – and as always we had this lovely spot to ourselves.

This kind of "garden stool" is invaluable for old ladies picking berries or weeding.

Back home the packed picnic dessert waited in the kitchen!

Mind versus body

From "Laugh and Play – A Collection of Original stories,
with illustrations by E. Stuart Hardy
The weather is gorgeous today – my mind wants to pack a picnic and drive to our favorite spot by the river. But my body wants to spend the day like this:

tisdag 8 september 2009


Autumn comes, her prospects glow
'''With yellow fields of waving corn;
The reaper with his sickle bright,
'''Hastes to work at early morn.
Whilst the morning breezes blow,
'' 'Through the burning sultry noon,
And till evening dews descend,
'''Still he works and labours on.

Let us seek the harvest field,
'' There is work for you and me?
We can help the sheaves to bind:
'' Idle hands we need not be.

When Maria's task is done,
'' We will to the nut-wood go;
Each a bag and hooked stick,
'' Down to pull the cluster'd bough.

Oh! how tempting ripe they hang:
'' Softly, softly pull them down,
Lest the bright brown nuts should fall,
'' And leave the empty husk alone.

Bags and pockets all are full,
'' And evening says we must not stay;
With heavy loads we'll hasten home,
'' And come again another day.
From "The Keepsake - or, Poems and Pictures for Childhood and Youth", 1818,
by Anonymous

måndag 7 september 2009

The garden today


I think it is time to admit that it is fall, and that the summer we've been waiting for won't come this year. The days are wet and cool – not the sunny kind of fall, I picture in my mind when I hear the word.
In spite of the disappointing weather, the beauty is everywhere – you just have to bend your knees and back to see it.

Every morning you find the fairies' laundry spread on the ground – it's a wonder that it dries, but it obviously does as they remove it later in the morning.

While some flowers seem to have given up, others refuse to wilt just because the summer is over.

lördag 5 september 2009

Saturday with Gutenberg

There were hardly any books with pictures today, so I had to clear my brain and and read!
Of the maydes answere that was with chylde. xliv.
At a merchauntes house in London there was a mayde whiche was great with chylde, to whom the maystres of the house cam, and comaunded her to tell her who was the fader of the chylde. To whom the mayde answered: forsooth, nobody. Why, quod the maystres, it is not possyble but som man is the fader thereof? To whom the mayd answered: why, maystres, why may I not haue a chyld without a man as well as hennys lay eggys withhout a cocke?
By this ye may se it is harde to fynde a woman wythout an excuse.
Of the plough man that sayde his pater noster. xxvii.
A rude vplandisshe ploughman, on a tyme reprouynge a good holy father sayd, that he coude saye all his prayers with a hole mynde and stedfaste intention, without thinkyng on any other thynge. To whome the good holy man sayde: Go to, saye one Pater noster to the ende, and thynke on none other thinge, and I wyll gyue the myn horse. That shall I do, quod the plough man, and so began to saye: Pater noster qui es in celis, tyll he came to Sanctificetur nomen tuum, and than his thought moued him to aske this question: yea, but shal I haue the sadil and bridel withal? And so he lost his bargain.
Of hym that sought his wyfe agaynst the streme. lv.
A man the[re] was whose wyfe, as she came ouer a bridg, fell in to the ryuer and was drowned; wherfore he wente and sought for her vpward against the stream, wherat his neighboures, that wente with hym, maruayled, and sayde he dyd nought, he shulde go seke her downeward with the streme. Naye, quod he, I am sure I shall neuer fynde her that waye: for she was so waywarde and so contrary to euery thynge, while she lyuedde, that I knowe very well nowe she is deed, she wyll go a gaynste the stream.
I've spent the better part of the day reading this amusing book
Shakespeare Jest-Books;
A Hundred Mery Talys,

Mery Tales and Quicke Answeres,
Edited, with Introduction and Notes.
Not as funny - but never the less very interesting is "Thoughts on Art and Life" by Leonardo da Vinci. There are many pearls of wisdom to be found there:
6. Avoid studies the result of which will die together with him who studied.
9. It is ordained that to the ambitious, who derive no satisfaction from the gifts of life and the beauty of the world, life shall be a cause of suffering, and they shall possess neither the profit nor the beauty of the world.
15. In the days of thy youth seek to obtain that which shall compensate the losses of thy old age. And if thou understandest that old age is fed with wisdom, so conduct thyself in the days of thy youth that sustenance may not be lacking to thy old age.
And finally today's only illustrated book.
"The Hunting of the Snark, an Agony, in Eight Fits" by Lewis Carroll with illustrations by Henry Holiday.
The Beaver brought paper, portfolio, pens,
00 And ink in unfailing supplies:
While strange creepy creatures came out of their dens,
00 And watched them with wondering eyes.

fredag 4 september 2009

I'm thinking

or trying to think might be more correct. I got this award from Lady Luz the other day. Now I have to pass it on to seven bloggers – which isn't easy. There are so many great blogs to choose from, that I need some time to make up my mind. When my old computer died just before Easter I lost quite a few addresses to some of my favorite blogs, now I'm trying to track down at least some of them. I also have to come up with seven facts about myself. So please bear with me while I try to find those blogs and figure out how much of my past I want to share.