Our First Tomatoes

The first harvest is always special. This year it was July 15 for the first tomatoes — only three, but more are ripening. DH’s favorite tomato is the old fashioned Rutgers. Developed back in the 30′s for commercial use, I believe.

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First tomato harvest

Well even Rutgers University isn’t sure about the lineage, so what starters we buy or seeds we grow each year is a bit of a dice throw – some are determinate and some are indeterminate. We’d rather have indeterminate, because the tomatoes don’t all ripen at once like determinate ones, and we’d like to have tomatoes far into the fall and indeterminate varieties don’t stop producing until a freeze.

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Pretty even when green

Determinate varieties yield their bumper crops and then pretty much die off. I’d like to believe there are indeterminate Rutgers out there, but if Rutgers was originally developed for commercial purposes, it is more likely that the original was a determinate: send the pickers in all at once, rather than having them pick all season long.

Also as you may have noticed in many of our photos this week, we have it wet. We get a good thunderstorm (sorry, puppy, I know it’s scary) almost everyday and there are all lot of mushrooms growing in the lawn even though it is July. I doubt that they are any good for the lawn, but they are what they are.

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Pretty little lawn mushrooms

Everything is kissed with water drops. Again, very pretty…

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Crepe myrtle with water drops

How’s the world treating you?

Perspective and Perfection

Out in the garden with my camera. DH is on jury duty this week, so I must be the photographer.

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Lily at the mailbox

So as I shoot the beauty of the day, I am struck by how much perspective matters: up close, back off for the big picture, capture the sky, capture the background….then it hits me! I don’t see the up close at all. I have to really concentrate, really meditate to get that perspective.

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The petals are discolored, but I can’t stop focusing on its center

All of a sudden when I’m trying to look at what the camera will see, I see the spent blossoms that must be dead headed, the leaves that are shredded that must be trimmed, the mulch in the path that must be cleared before a really good photo can be composed. I never see that stuff when I’m just ambling about! Then as I back off to look at the bigger picture, it hits me again, I don’t see the middle ground either.

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Crepe myrtle needs pruning so I don’t want to show you whole tree

I see the imperfect bush that might be pruned to be shaped better. I see the space that needs filling, the stuff that needs to be dug and moved. More work to do before getting a really good photo. Then as I back off further to see the larger picture, I am calmed and don’t notice all the stuff that has to be done, only the way the blossoms and plants, and green grass and blue sky are  pretty together, perfect really. But I don’t want to take a picture of that; I want to get up close with my camera and focus.

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The flowers of lamb’s ears

So then it appears: a swallowtail butterfly in tatters drawing nectar from a weed in bloom. And I can’t stop taking its picture and the charm of its imperfection. Perfection isn’t so important after all….

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Swallowtail butterfly in tatters

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But it goes about its business

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Drinking nectar

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Cheering us…

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Helping us focus…

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introducing us to its friends…

What is it about butterflies? There is so much to be thankful for….

Life Today in Gettysburg


We took a short trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, last week and have shared with you two posts about the trip, the monuments, and its history in our national panoply. We took many photos of the quiet beauty of the landscape and old homes there. Here are a few:gettysburg 362 Life Today in Gettysburggettysburg 17 Life Today in Gettysburggettysburg 11 Life Today in Gettysburggettysburg 333 Life Today in Gettysburggettysburg 332 Life Today in Gettysburggettysburg 325 Life Today in Gettysburggettysburg 313 Life Today in Gettysburggettysburg 322 Life Today in Gettysburggettysburg 331 Life Today in Gettysburggettysburg 326 Life Today in Gettysburggettysburg 21 Life Today in Gettysburggettysburg 311 2 Life Today in Gettysburggettysburg 344 Life Today in Gettysburggettysburg 338 Life Today in Gettysburg