Friday, August 15, 2014

Simple Pleasures in the Everyday

One day this week I brought our Boer does back to graze in an electronet paddock my Dad set up and took my camera along and enjoyed some time sitting out on their grain feeder in the peaceful afternoon taking in the beauty all around.

When one looks at any view in nature, it is often the whole that is seen . . . yet it is amazing when you stop and really start looking at the small things that make up the whole, to see how much diverse beauty and detail there is. 


Looking towards our neighbor's pasture

I was out there for quite awhile soaking in the peacefulness, praying, thinking, watching various insects and butterflies, listening to the birds singing and the honeybees buzzing around nearby flowers, petting the goats whenever they came up for attention, and then photographing some of the 'little' things that caught my eye . . .

(And after uploading the photos, I used the book Missouri Wildflowers to identify most of the flowers in the below photos which was fun to do! For some reason, knowing the names of the plants makes it that much more enjoyable when I see them.)

Tall Bell Flower

 I couldn't find this plant in the book, nor online either . . . any ideas? The little pods open into tiny orange flowers (one can be seen in the photo.) Then in the fall, the seed pods dry and rattle in the wind. One thing I discovered about them this week is that the honeybees love them!

Edited to add: I was able to identify it! It's called Figwort and is a native herb that has a range throughout much of the United States. When reading online about it, I discovered that it is another wild plant that can be used medicinally. 

A honeybee on the 'mystery plant'

Sierra, Aspen and Sienna

A Turkey Vulture flying overhead

The sky was beautiful this day!

A Grand-Daddy Longleg 
(I'm not sure if that is their proper name or not, :) but that is what we've always called them!)

Jewelweed . . . which I just recently discovered is supposed to be good for treating poison ivy

Mist Flower

 Brown-Eyed Susans
(I didn't even know there was such a thing until looking in the wildflower book! They have smaller flower heads and many branching stems compared to the larger flowers and single stemmed Black-Eyed Susan.)

Sienna

 Aurora, Sienna and Aspen

On a different note, Leah and I started harvesting the potatoes this week! So far we have 162 pounds, and there are still some to harvest, but they aren't quite ready yet.

Some of the freshly dug potatoes

Out of all the garden produce to harvest, I think potatoes rank up there as one of my top favorites. It's almost like digging for hidden treasure :), never knowing how many potatoes you'll find or how large they'll be. Our potatoes did very well this year, and we are thankful for how many we've been able to harvest!

This time of year also marks when the wild plums start ripening. Earlier this year it looked like we were going to have quite a large crop, but then in the last few weeks, most of the plums began falling off of the trees when only partially ripened. Today I was able to harvest some from the trees that I normally pick from, but not many.

Then I remembered about a few more wild plum trees at a corner of our property that in the past, haven't produced very well, but I thought that perhaps there might be some on the trees this year. One of the trees had a little more than the other trees had had, but still not very many. And then I saw this tree . . .


It had so many plums on it!



I don't think we have ever had a tree produce as well as this one has this year! I picked the lower branches and then worked my way up the tree using a step stool to reach as high as I possibly could. It was so fun picking and even more so seeing the basket and bowls quickly filling  . . .

Some of the plums

I know what I'll be doing this afternoon :) . . . washing, crushing and juicing the plums in order to make some jelly and maybe some syrup, too!

11 comments:

  1. love this!!!!!!!!!!! what kind of camera do you have? I am from se MO.~ JESS

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  2. Sarah you live in such a wonderful place so much for you to see & I can tell you appreciate our Lord's wonderful creation & you & Leah must have worked so hard harvesting ~ enjoy !!! Bless you Marie x

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  3. How beautiful, Sarah :) I thought at first that maybe your mystery flower might be related to the British Yellow Rattle - but on looking it up I don't think so. It was the rattling seedpods that made me think of it.

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  4. The plums are beautiful. The goats are pretty, too!

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  5. Looks like a lovely harvest thus far. What are some of your family's favorite ways to consume the potatoes? We have a recipe for Baked Oven Spears on our blog that is wonderful for fall, and so easy to make! And it fills your kitchen with wonderful aromas!:-) You are welcome to check it out if you like, Sarah!

    ~ Betsy

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  6. Welcome to my blog, Jess, and thank you for your comment! It’s nice to ‘meet’ another Missourian. :)

    I am sorry it has taken me so long to reply to your question! My camera is an older model and is a Canon EOS Rebel XT and I use a 28-105 mm lens on it.

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  7. It was so good to hear from you again, Marie! I didn’t realize you were still in the ‘blogging world', which made it an especial treat to see a comment from you. :) I hope you and your family are doing well!

    I am so thankful to be living where we do . . . it is a beautiful place. And yes, I do appreciate His creation so much!

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  8. Thank you, Rena! When I was looking up plants with rattling seed pods, the Yellow Rattle plant came up often. But no, it wasn’t that. I did finally discover what it was – Figwort! Quite an interesting name and now after finally learning what it is called, I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. :)

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  9. Thank you, Pom Pom! :)

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  10. It was, Betsy. :) And more is coming in every day!

    We enjoy potatoes so many ways! In a lot of different casseroles, soups, stews, and also fried, baked and more. Thank you for mentioning the Baked Oven Spears recipe! I’ll have to go over to your blog and find it. I’m always looking for good and new recipes to try!

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  11. Thank you for answering and it is nice to meet you too.:o)

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Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)