Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thoughts on a late fall day

If you have rosemary planted in the garden, you still have plenty of time to enjoy and harvest it. Although not reliably winter hardy here, it will tolerate quite a hit of frost. Mine is almost always productive until Christmas, at least. Since it gets fairly big even in one season, it seems to take an extended period of cold to kill off the roots. This generally happens during a cold snap after the new year. Maybe the Winter will he mild enough so it will survive. If you‘re trying to overwinter rosemary in the house, choose a bright, cool location away from heat sources. If it dries out inside, it usually dies.

I'm enjoying Tina Sams' new book, "By the Hearth," along with her previous book, "Under the Sun," it's a compilation of the best of the first five years of The Essential Herbal, the bimonthly magazine she publishes. Whether your interest in herbs is gardening, cooking fragrance or medicinal, this book has something for you. Similar articles are grouped together, but you can also just open the book to any page and read an interesting article. Lots of recipes too, which l love. Makes a great gift for you or an herb lover you know. We have both books available in the shop

Lucy celebrates her fourth birthday in December. We've had her three years, as we got her from the Humane League when she was a year old. If you‘re considering a pet, please, please consider a dog or cat from a shelter or rescue organization. These are wonderful animals who desperately need a loving home. You don‘t need a purebred dog to get all the breed‘s good traits. Lucy's a black lab mix, but she has the sweet, friendly temperament of a lab. She is the sweetest dog and there are lots more like her waiting for a good home. Think about a black dog or cat. They are the last to be adopted!

Now that the leaves are off the trees, I'm seeing bird's nests up close. The mockingbird's is rather random, very angular and twiggy. The robin's is much more finished, almost woven. Later in the season a robin took over an abandoned mockingbird‘s nest and remodelled it-weaving over the twiggy base. A tiny woven nest in the magnolia must have belonged to a sparrow or wren. And I can see a couple leafy squirrel nests at the top of the tallest trees.

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