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June 7th, 2011

red and orange and green

My lilies have opened, it’s officially summer in my mind. This photo is a snap shot, to remind me to spend time with the slr and the lilies when I get home. I wish these red and orange blooms would last all summer.

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March 31st, 2011

juiced

Have you ever had a sip of kale? Nikki and I turned the test kitchen at the photo studio into a juice laboratory.

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For our experiment, we juiced grapes, carrots, clementine oranges, apples, lemons, limes, cucumbers, kale, and mint. Nikki had the idea of making all the juices separately, and then mixing our own concoctions.

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Some things I learned:
1. Juice is better fresh. It didn’t keep well when we tried to save the leftovers (though I may try this again in ice-cube trays for smoothies).
2. Cucumbers made a lot of juice, but the mixes tasted better when cucumber juice was used sparingly.
3. Berries are better in smoothies; they don’t give you a lot of juice.
4. Mixing green and orange juices together may not make a pretty color, but the taste can be really good.
5. You can’t even taste the kale when you mix it with apple or carrot.
6. Nothing goes to waste—we gave the kitchen scraps from the juicer to Troy for his chickens.

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This could be a new way to consume my leftovers—I may not have time to eat a carrot, a bunch of kale, and a few apples before my next CSA pick up, but I could drink them on my way to the office. Troy came up with an apple, carrot, ginger, and parsley juice. It was delicious! Nikki’s favorite juice is cantaloupe, apple, mint, and potato. I kept making things with cucumber and melon, but I definitely need to spend more time experimenting. Or at least keep better notes. I got a bit juice-slappy, and kept stirring everything together with no regard to measurements. I may have succeeded in making the ugliest looking juice on Earth. (Or maybe Staci really had a meeting to get back to, and that’s why she couldn’t try the juice.) What are your favorite juice recipes?

I can’t wait to get some cold crops from the Rodale Institute’s April plant sale. I think it’s time for a kale smoothie.

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March 10th, 2011

Morris Arboretum part 3, the Fernery

It’s springtime in the Fernery at the Morris Arboretum. I ducked into the Fernery to escape the bright sunlight before I finished my witch hazel tour.

01Fernery

Normally, I’d take the greenhouse/indoor photos first, but I was really there for the witch hazel. It’s hard to go from cold and dry to humid and warm, and I needed to walk around for awhile to let my camera acclimate. After a mix of impatience (remember I had two sweaters and my wool coat with me) and inspiration, I started to take foggy photos while my camera body warmed up.

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Lots of people came in and out while I was taking my photos. It’s too bad they passed by so quickly; they completely missed out on all the new growth. Diane and Cheryl were working in the greenhouse, and they showed me all kinds of hidden worlds. Then I went off and wandered on my own. When I stood up from taking this shot, I heard one of them say, “You’re smiling! I love when people make their own discoveries in here!”

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02RabbitFern

This rabbit’s foot fern is one of my favorites. It looks like something out of Pan’s Labyrinth, or The Muppet Show. I was waiting for some part of the plant to open its eyes, sigh, and lumber away from my incessant picture taking. I was also wishing I was about a foot taller so I could get closer to the plant. This one is growing over the top of a little passageway that houses a Buddha statue and many plants.

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Warm air, gliding koi, Buddha, what’s not to love about this Fernery? I think I’m lucky there were no benches, or I would’ve been tempted to take a long winter’s nap.

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The bear paw fern

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Normally I don’t care for direct sun and harsh shadow in a photo, but I really loved the dark black shadows with the fresh green leaves. And who can resist the beauty of backlighting? There are a lot of red ferns making an appearance. I learned that like the tree outside my office window, all the red parts of these ferns are new growth. Everything is uncurling and unfolding and waking up. I guess I went to the arboretum so I could start to wake up, too.05ferns

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