Friday, July 6, 2007

Say Peas!

It certainly has been a weird weather year, hasn't it? I mean, we had a relatively warm winter, and then spring was touch and go and took forever to warm up, and now July 4th was cool and rainy. Weird weather. But, that's the thing about Mother Nature, she's unpredictable. I'm sure there have been years past like this as well, but we just choose to remember Christmas as snowy, spring as rainy, and summer as hot and sunny. Funny thing is, in the garden, it all seems to even out.

99 Pea Pods Yielded 1 Cup of Peas

Spring of 2006 I planted peas on April 12 & 13. The peas matured and reached peak on the week of July 4th. We were away that week and so missed it. We missed the whole pea harvest. One look when we got back home and I knew, they were too big, starchy, and well, flatulent. We tried to eat them, but they tasted bitter and starchy. Not good eatin' and a big disappointment. This year, I was delayed in planting my peas, and with the cool weather, I doubt they would have germinated any earlier anyway. I planted them April 22 & 24, and guess what? They reached peak the week of July 4th again! This time we were home. We got to eat them. Not all are ready on the exact same day. I pick a few that look ready each day or two and add them to whatever we're eating. Last night, was my biggest harvest yet.

Last night's dinner fixin's.
Green Arrow Peas, three kinds of baby carrots, and mixed lettuce.

Peas add a touch of sweetness and contrast to savory foods. I like adding raw fresh garden peas to a salad. I also added them to angel hair pasta with fresh from the garden sautéed garlic, Parmesan cheese, and my homemade tomato sauce earlier this week. I think that was our favorite. Since I got a good amount yesterday, I decided to cook them and eat them with cut up baby carrots, cooked for only a minute and tossed with one pat of butter. Yum.

While photographing my harvest last night, with my head bent down over the camera and tripod, I heard a hum overhead. Looked up and a hummingbird zipped away. Too fast for me. Bent down again and heard that buzzing again, too loud to be an insect. Looked up, again, the hummer zips away. I shouldn't be surprised since I was on the back patio beside his feeder. Earlier in the evening, from inside the house, I spotted three at the feeder in succession. But I am always delighted when they come right up to me. Curious creatures and a bit playful, maybe he was just teasing me. "There you are photographer person, with your camera at the ready, but you won't capture me!" Maybe not tonight, but I don't give up easily.

Here is a hummingbird taking a drink from my 'Humzinger' feeder.
They are tiny birds only a few inches tall, resembling an insect more than a bird, when in flight

Oh, and the bluebird family is now living in my front yard trees. The parents eagerly come to the feeding station and gather food for the babies still hiding in the tall trees. I know they are close by, because the trips are many and quickly accomplished.

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