Saturday, November 28, 2015

Oyster Roast


I love a new experience!

On Thanksgiving we went to an oyster roast, something new to this northern girl.

Here's how you do it.

First someone goes out in the water and gathers up a big bunch of oysters at low tide and washes off the mud.

Meanwhile, someone else builds a fire and places an old sheet of tin roofing on top of some cement blocks over the fire and gets it nice and hot.

The oysters are loaded onto the tin with a shovel.





A burlap bag soaked in the water is laid over the oysters to steam them.


While they are steaming, people gather around the oyster table to visit, don gloves, and claim an oyster knife. Dogs and cats, familiar with this process, take their places beneath the oyster table.




The hot oysters are delivered to the table on the shovel, spread around, and everyone grabs a cluster.


The tin lid on the right covers a hole in the table where the shells go when all the oysters are out.












The native oysters here are small but there are several oysters in each cluster.


They are served with a sauce to dip them in made of shrimp cocktail sauce and plenty of horseradish, along with a soda cracker.

Bon appetit!





Don't worry -- Houdini got his share of the feast!










(P.S. Marie B., they taste a lot better steamed than raw!)


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Eve

Tomorrow is a day I love, a whole day set aside to appreciate all that we have!

Before that though there was a whole lot of work to do in preparation for the Thanksgiving feast.


Our contribution to the meal tomorrow Is ready -- four loaves of nut bread and a big apple pie.









After dinner tonight we went down to the old train trestle bridge to watch the moon rise over the water. The sound of the waves lapping at the shore made a lovely accompaniment to moonrise.

The photos didn't turn out great but the reflection of the full moon was hauntingly beautiful and a wonderful way to begin a holiday celebration.

Happy Thanksgiving!




Monday, November 23, 2015

Recycled Armadillo

An armadillo lived under our deck where, over the years, she raised several families. She had a curious sense of entitlement and determination. The dogs would go berserk when she strolled in from a night in the woods, yet she would remain oblivious to them and to us as we ate our breakfast on the porch. She strolled. She waddled. Nothing, not our presence nor the dogs sounding as if they would tear her limb from limb, ever caused her to move an iota faster or change her path one inch.

That was her undoing.


I am sure she had that same attitude when the car or truck headlights bore down on her Saturday night.

Yesterday morning we found her dead at the edge of the road, hit by a car on a road with almost no traffic at all.

I made plans to bury her when the rain stopped.


Meanwhile, the local Highway Department /Recyling Division Crew Got the memo and began to arrive on the scene.









black vultures.

Or buzzards as we like to call them here.







An hour later the rain had stopped,

the buzzards were gone

and so was every last armored bit of mama armadillo.



We're going to miss her. So will the dogs.








Armadillo, from Wikipedia


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Choosing to See Goodness and Beauty

I have found it difficult to move along with life since world events over last weekend. My heart still hurts for those who are recovering from physical wounds, the families of those who lost loved ones, those who have lost trust that their everyday lives will be safe.

But life goes on, there is still beauty and goodness to be found if you open your heart and look for it.


My bloggy friends who have been with me for awhile will remember my large, delicious, and beautiful garden and fruit trees in Minnesota. This summer has been most humbling in my new home in South Carolina.

I have lost my green thumb!

Or at least left it somewhere north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Here is attempt #3 to grow something (anything!) beyond a few tomatoes in pots on the deck!


The first two plantings disappeared when the plants got an inch tall. The garden store lady, a real Southernor (her accent tipped me off) told me it was the mushroom compost I used. It burned the roots.


I dug out the mushroom compost and replaced it with plain organic soil and these plants seem to be taking to their new home.

I have chard, kale, lettuce, and some basil plants from a pot on the deck that have now lived for over two weeks. Nothing has keeled over or evaporated and they actually seem to be putting forth new leaves. That's progress!

Here's our invention to keep the deer from snacking on our produce. The frame is light and tips over easily to tend to the bed.


It can be covered to protect the plants from frost and freezes should we get them this winter, and we recycled most of it from other projects.


I was a little more successful in the flower garden. I lost plenty to deer, but the morning glories have been ... well,









I'll leave you with a little smile because the world certainly needs more of those this week.


Saturday, November 14, 2015


Nos coeurs sont avec les gens de Paris.

(Our hearts are with the people of Paris)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Garden in a Tree

In the Deep South on the branches of big old live oak trees

two unusual plants ride piggyback to make their home.


One is the resurrection fern and the other is Spanish moss.


Both are air plants, getting their nutrients from the air.


Contrary to popular belief, neither plant takes food or water from the tree, nor do they harm the tree in any way. They just need a place to perch.









The resurrection fern is so named because in dry weather it dries up, turns brown, and looks for all the world like it is dead. But when the rains return, it comes alive again, green and healthy.

A resurrection fern can lose up to 97% of its moisture and still make a comeback. A normal plant will die if it loses more than 10% of its water.


Spanish moss, symbolic of the South, is a plant from the pineapple family. (I don't see the slightest resemblance but it's a fact!) It has scales that open up and allow the rootless plant to absorb water. It then makes its own food from elements and minerals in the rain.

Spanish moss was once popular for stuffing mattresses and car seats since one tree could produce a ton of moss and it repelled bugs. Nowadays it's used by florists as packing material and mulch.

Spanish moss is neither a moss nor Spanish. Some say it got its name from French settlers for its likeness to the beards of the Spanish settlers. The Spanish were insulted and retaliated by naming the plant Cabello Frances -- "French hair."




Monday, November 2, 2015

Sunday Morning Beach Walk

The weather "turned" overnight, from uncomfortable summer humidity and heat to dark drizzle, wind, and a chilly 60 degrees for our Sunday beach walk.

We chose the deserted beach at old Fort Fremont on St Helena Island for our walk. The island is known for its shrimp docks and vegetable farms, as well as for being a center of preservation of Gullah culture and language.

The tide had just begun to go out and ours were the first footprints of the morning.

Sanderlings played tag with the waves while foraging for their breakfast.

They arrived here in the Low Country In September and will feed through the fall and winter, then fly all the way to Greenland and Iceland to breed next summer.


----Beach Sculptures----


Bridge to Beaufort and home

Note: My previous post disappeared and the comments only reappeared, attached to this one. I don't know how to delete them as they don't appear on the post at all on Blogsy. If anyone can help, I'd appreciate it! Thanks,