When I was a kid, our kitchen sink faced a window. And there was a metal canopy over the window to keep the sun out. One spring a little bird decided to build a nest in the right-hand corner. I remember how excited we all were to have this perfect view of a mama bird and her eggs! My parents named her “Matilda.” (And occasionally we’ll still make a Matilda reference to this day.)
Anyway, it was great… for a while. The thing about birds is that they are messy. And loud! Who’d think that something so small could make so much noise? Well, this spring we had Matilda, Jr. at our house. A bird (species yet to be identified) decided to build her nest behind the outside lamp on our deck. Of course, every time I opened the screen door, the mama bird would fly off and I’d feel bad. But hey — sometimes you just need to take your kid out to play on the swingset!
I did manage to snap a few photos, though and thought I’d share them!
(See what I mean about birds being messy?) Well, now that they’re gone I can take down the nest I guess. We need to powerwash the siding, so I am really glad those birdies had their chance to hatch! Once we clean up the side we’re (finally) putting up the bird bottle the kids gave Drew for Father’s Day several years ago. Maybe next year the birds will nest in there.
Last week Jake’s 4th grade class went on a field trip to the Samuel Morse House (Locust Grove) in Poughkeepsie, and I was lucky to get chosen as a chaperone. I honestly had no idea that the man who created the Morse Code lived right here in the Hudson Valley, but yes he did. He had a brownstone in the city and his country home up here. The locale is easy enough to get to, and it’s kind of wild because you turn off of busy Rte. 9 and you’re instantly transported back to the 1800s!
Most of the day was spent in a classroom at the facility where the students learned about electromagnets, Morse Code (obviously), and simple machines. At the end of the day we got to walk around the grounds a bit, and that’s when I snapped these quick photos. The kids even got to see a real-life application of pulleys — one of the simple machines they’d just studied — when the group leader showed how they would haul up the hay bales back in the 1800s.
We also spent some time in the gallery, viewing the paintings of Samuel Morse and marvelling at old telegraphic historical items. It was a really cool trip and I definitely want to go back on a warmer, non-rainy day. Anyone can park for free, spend time in the visitors’ center, walk around the gorgeous garden, have a picnic, and enjoy the view. Check it out if you’re spending time in the Hudson Valley!
It occurred to me that I never put up my CSA post from two weeks ago (life is crazy, and blogging has obviously not been a priority – sorry!). So I’ll just add the photo in with this post.
Yesterday was our final pick-up of the season from Sisters Hill Farm. It was so strange trudging up to the barn wearing snow boots! I wasn’t expecting much, but I think that our last share is pretty great: one carnival squash, two butternut squash, two celeriacs, potatoes, onions, carrots & parsnips, garlic, green tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, and lettuce.
Here’s the second-to-last share:
Broccoli, butternut squash, onions, sweet peppers, one hot pepper, radishes, garlic, parsnips, sweet potatoes, mixed greens, PYO tomatillos, and sweet potatoes. I canned a few jars of salsa verde with all those tomatillos. I think that partnered with the tomato jam I made a couple months ago, they’ll make pretty Christmas gifts!
If I get my act together and mail in my subscription form by early next week, we’ll be able to pick up the bonus Thanksgiving share so there is a possibility of one more CSA post this year!
I promised to compile a list of ways to help the victims of the catastrophic flooding in the Catskills. As promised, that’s what this post is about.
Twitter has been a great tool during this period for helping get the word out about people in need of help, and it’s probably the best place to keep tabs on the latest. Search for “Catskills” or a specific town.
Watershed Post is covering the story in an amazing way. Check their liveblog for up-to-date information on everything related to this disaster.
The Mark Project is a rural development company. Thy will help these mountain towns rebuilt.
There is always the American Red Cross, a wonderful organization that is always there to help under these circumstances.
School Supply Donations
Chatham Kids (21 Main Street, Chatham) is a drop-off site for school-supply donations to benefit local families affected by the hurricane. Those who lost their homes also lost their children’s school supplies. St. Joseph’s Church (Route 9, Stuyvesant Falls) and St. John the Baptist (Valatie) are two other school-supply donation sites.
Farms and Family Benefit at Water Street Market on Monday, September 26th from 5 to 9PM. Live Music, potluck, $20 suggested donation. Anyone interested in volunteering to help get sponsorships, work the event, etc, we are having a meeting at Water Street Market Tuesday at 6PM to coordinate. If you cannot attend the meeting and still want to help, contact KT Tobin at email@example.com.
If I’m missing something, leave a comment and I will be sure to add it.
I don’t even know what to say, but I feel like I should write something about this weekend’s hurricane. We are very lucky to live in a part of town with what has to be a slightly higher elevation because aside from some leaves and a few small branches on the deck and some standing water in the lowest part of our yard (not unusual), we experienced nothing from this storm.
At first, from just the observations outside my window, I thought the storm was a real dud. But then I started to hear from friends, and photos started popping up on Facebook, and I realized that it was pure luck that we somehow escaped with no flooding or property damage. If you want to see photos from other parts of the area that were hit, just browse through the Hudson Valley Weather Facebook page. There are plenty. I did not personally venture out, and I plan on just staying out of the way so clean up crews and the electric company can do their jobs.
I think the most heartbreaking thing for me, though, was learning how hard the Catskills were hit. This area really isn’t that far from where I live and it is already a depressed area. To add insult to injury, these people experienced complete and utter devastation. I cannot even imagine. Here’s a video from someone local:
And here is a segment from Good Morning America, in case you missed it:
It’s wonderful that New York City didn’t get hit as hard as expected, but don’t think that the rest of the state fared as well. People in Westchester County, which is considered the NYC suburbs, experienced horrible flooding. Many roads are still closed. Communities in southern Vermont and western Massachusetts are also flooded, roads and bridges have washed away, and people are at a loss.
Once I find out more about ways to help the storm victims, I will post more information. If you know of ways to help, please feel free to comment and I will add the information.
Tuesday was CSA day, so after I picked up the boys from camp we headed over to the farm to pick up our bi-weekly share.
I might have squealed a little when I saw that PYO flowers had started! Granted, this week it was just five stems, but it was enough to fill my little pitcher that sets on our kitchen island.
The vegetables were beautiful: two heads of lettuce (I picked one head of romaine and one head of red leaf), 1/3 lb. of spinach (the last until fall), a small head of broccoli, a head of cabbage, a bunch of scallions, a handful of basil, two garlic scapes, one zucchini (or you could have chosen one yellow squash), and a bunch of beets.
Being that neither Drew nor myself are huge beet fans, I am going to pickle this bunch and see how it goes. Otherwise, the veggies are pretty straightforward and easy to use up!