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This & That

A thick layer of grey rainy clouds have covered the Portland Metro area for days. This morning, the clouds disappeared and it was like a wholenuther world out there. People were outside riding bikes, walking, running and gardening!

As I am getting ready to flip this blog over to July (!), it is a good time to take a day-off and just share photos of pretty things from my walk today (between futbolmatches).



Dandelions - in Oregon the leaves stay close to the ground,
but the flower grows on a thin bare stem up to a foot tall.

This may look like something gnarly, but it is our State Flower -
the Oregon Grape. Lewis & Clark gathered this species on their trip through the Pacific Northwest.

Oregon Grape produces grape-like berries. Though the berries and plant roots have medicinal (and textile dying) purposes and are used by local native American tribes, the sour fruit is rarely used for food. Super bitter. They say birds and small mammals will eat the fruit - but the berries on our property are never touched. Deer won't eat Oregon Grape.

Filbert (Hazelnut) trees are everywhere. Everywhere.
We just love the fuzzy leaves.

With the warm weather, I was happy to use the crockpot today instead of the stove or oven. I put soaked cannellini beans, celery, onion and Italian-style chicken sausage in the slow cooker this morning and covered it with a quart of home-made chicken stock.

A girl gets tired watching soccer all day and appreciates an easy dinner.

Until my next update, I remain, your full-of-beans correspondent.