Sunday, October 23, 2011

A New View and Vegetable Remains

My day started with a black-billed magpie. See him there? I've been trying to get a shot of one since we've been here, but they aren't in our back yard very often, and when they are, they fly away as soon as I get to the window. 

This one hung out for a couple minutes, at least long enough for me to grab my camera. He was probably scoping out the yard's potential for food storage. I read earlier that Magpies like to hide their food in various places in the ground (caches). Unfortunately, their favorite food is meat, so a lot of their caches end up rotting before they eat them. I'm sure they are looking forward to winter. 

Anyway, while he was still perched on the corner of our neighbor's house, I took the opportunity to ask him for some advice.

"Good morning, Magpie," I said, taking a picture of him through my living room window. "What should I do today? I have a five day weekend, you know."

And since magpies can't talk (did you know that?), he decided to show me. Before I could take another picture, he flew away.

"You really think I should leave the house?" I yelled after him, but he was gone.

I thought about how he was wrong, how leaving the house meant putting on presentable clothes, but I realized it's not every morning a magpie comes and tells you to get out. Plus Joe was off finishing his schoolwork, and the apartment was a little too quiet. 

So I drove up a giant hill on Monroe street and found fall!--huge, colorful trees in a neighborhood where the leaves aren't immediately blown into the curb and bagged by city workers.

The neighborhood (and fall) ended at a cliff: 

It was higher up than it looks.

The sounds of passing trains are so frequent here, which is a big change from Marquette, where I never saw a single train (except for those on the ore docks).

I'm not sure what's going on with this tree. It looks as if someone tried to create some kind of stump art.

I like this one.

Right as I was pulling up to the side of the road, I saw something we didn't know was here until Joe spotted one on his bike ride a few days ago: A QUAIL! They are just as comical as the ones we saw in Arizona last year, heads jutting forward as they glide away on their twiggy legs. Sadly, I couldn't get his picture because I didn't want to risk driving off the side of a cliff.

Oh look, there's a bit of fall. Looks like the pine trees have them surrounded. They probably won't make it out alive.

Time to get in the truck and head back to town.
After taking the magpie's advice, I went back to Browne's Addition and made some homemade vegetable stock. Whenever we cut up our veggies for the week, I feel so wasteful throwing away all the broccoli stumps, carrot ends, pepper insides, and celery butts, so I threw them in a pot with some herbs, olive oil, and pretty much whatever else was in our spice cupboard, and let them simmer all evening. Here's our old stove, simmering away:

The stock turned out pretty tasty, and Joe went a little crazy for the mush of vegetables that was left in the strainer. After eating a good portion of them, he went back to work. Look how hard he's working. Look at his hand! That isn't the camera folks; he really is writing that fast. 

Oh, and check out our ninety-nine cent chairs! I spray-painted them a couple weeks ago. When I'm surrounded by white wails and endless beige carpet, it's only a matter of time before something gets painted.

1 comment:

  1. Those colored leaves better watch out! The pine trees are closing in. At least your lessons in how to autumn are being heeded by some of the trees. You need a new pedagogical approach to reach the pine trees.


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