BUT we hadn't seen this part of the country at exactly this time of year, and nature with all its surprises called out from every direction, "Look at me! Have you ever seen anything like this before?" No, I'm sure I hadn't!
We stayed at Pippin's homestead and were shown around by Scout who rarely tires of exploring and at the same time chatting with himself and/or whoever is around about every discovery.
Some things we took notice of together were the birches in the back yard, and what I think was a moth working the lilacs. I took a long movie of the whirring creature but in it his wings are still moving too fast to see clearly.
|Squaw Carpet (ceanothus)|
Bright Walls of Water are protecting the tomatoes from frost, a prudent precaution since it snowed here as recently as the day before we arrived.
In the front yard next to the road I found this lovely vine blooming. I had never seen one before, but a little research tells me that it's a pink honeysuckle.
For Memorial Day we drove farther north to Pathfinder's home in southern Oregon. Right now they are having an unofficial flower show all over town, featuring rhododendrons and roses.
My favorite was in their back yard, a prolific yellow rose with the sweetest scent. I wanted to set my chair up close and drink deeply.
When we took a walk around the neighborhood Scout kept the group at stroll speed while he discussed the cattle with his mother and found a red yarrow bloom to inspect.
|In the Neighborhood|
Something like a broom ground cover was definitely more constant in its brilliance than the sun was that partly cloudy day.
Back at the cousins' place, there was a wealth of (also yellow) equipment to work with, and a dog to peek in on.
The big kids were playing with Scout, or playing a card game with Uncle Professor, or watching some grown-up boys practice their knot-tying. We grown-up girls kept the food bowls full and did a fair amount of rose-smelling. I was introduced to Annie's new doll Elizabeth (for whom I have not yet sewn any clothes).
I had made some cookies for the occasion (recipe below), which got scarfed up during the appetizer course. That was a good thing, because Auntie Iris had prepared a dessert finale for our event that included brownies, and an ice-cream cake designed to please the littlest member of the family.
All present seemed to love these cookies that Pippin planned and I baked, with a little Scoutish help. I remembered just in time to take a picture, when all but four had been eaten.
Chewy Lemon Cookies
about 4 dozen
1 cup (salted) butter, softened
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4-5 teaspoons lemon zest
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour
about 1 cup powdered sugar for rolling
Cream butter and sugar until light. Add vanilla, egg, zest and juice and beat well again. Mix in all the dry ingredients except the powdered sugar.
Put the powdered sugar in a bowl. Break off heaping-teaspoon-size pieces of the dough and roll into balls, then roll the balls in the powdered sugar and place on lightly-greased baking sheets. They will be flattish.
Bake at 350° for 10-11 minutes, until starting to brown on the bottom edges. If you use insulated cookie sheets they may not brown very much but they should still be chewy. Cool on racks.