Saturday, June 6, 2015

Birds Look At Me

This first Saturday in June has been a gorgeous day in Seattle. An ideal day to go on expedition, though possibly it would be a bit hot to be in a canoe on such a day. A perfect day, I bet, to go swimming off Alki. Alki would likely have been a mob scene, of course. An excellent day to get up early to visit the Fill. Or, again with an early start, for a bike ride from bakery to bakery. I’ve done none of those things. The farthest I’ve gotten from home was halfway across the street (aka, the wrong way to attempt to slit your wrists if you mean business), and I only went that far because I had the longer lens on my camera and I wanted a photo of the front-forty. You won’t see that photo here because it really wasn’t so great but instead here’s one I took at about the same time, of the sweet peas in the front-forty:

Madame Gradka in exile
It’s not that I lack ambition. Well, it’s true that I do lack ambition but that’s correlation, not causation. No, today I’ve taken photos of the very local flora and fauna and done some minimal fussing about the house because Gradka is recuperating from yesterday’s procedure (aka getting several stitches in her backside where an unsuspected abscess burst). I’ve spent a fair bit of today making up excuses to go to the bedroom closet, where she seems to feel safest, so I can check up on her. I’ve held little dishes of brothy canned food at an angle so she can most comfortably get at them despite her cone and I’ve scratched her ears since she can’t reach them. I’ve also felt like Livia sneaking kitty morphine into the dishes I’ve held up to her and I’ve delicately held damp compresses to her wounds. It is, I tell you, exhausting and her stitches don’t come out for two weeks. I’ve no idea how Scott or I will make it, especially after the narcotics run out and she still requires to be fed antibiotics since antibiotics can’t so much be slipped into her food. She’s not an idiot. 

 So, rather than gallivanting about town, it’s been a day of sticking close to home. Not that it’s not a darned nice home to stick close to, especially on a lovely sunny day in what sure as hell feels like summer. The tomatoes, I assume, are appreciating the heat but I’m worried about the peas. Some, of course, are pods but others are just beginning to flower.

 Meanwhile, the backyard is attracting the usual assortment of birds, including some fine fledglings, and I swear they all look at me.
thumbprint fledgling
Adult male house finch
Anna's hummingbird, female, I think

pine siskin fledgling

The bees, who express no awareness of my presence at all, are finally showing up in number too. I must say that people who successfully photograph bees are people I admire. My goal is to one day get a photo of a bee that is not out of focus. This day is not that day, etc., but I do like the bit of pollen this fellow has.

Belatedly it occurred to me that the best blahdeblahblahs are those that feature step by step photos of making something. Alas, the only step of today’s vichyssoise that I photographed was the “cooling” stage, which it is now doing in the refrigerator. 
The recipe appears on page 186, I think, of the 1978 Joy of Cooking, the edition that slams Americans for not pronouncing the ‘s’ at the end of the word (which should be pronounced as a ‘z,’ Madames Rombauer and Becker inform the reader), instead eschewing it in a “genteel” (quotation marks in original) fashion. I pity those who own more recent editions of Joy from which the fine editorial remarks have been expunged. I don’t know how I omitted Joy of Cooking from my list of “most influential books” a year or so back.


  1. My Saturday plans wound up changing several times and at one point I reconsidered venturing to your neighborhood but decided you would be *far* too concerned about Madame Gradka's recovery to pay any attention to me whatsoever and I am pleased to see that I was quite right.

    I am sure Gradka appreciates your dutiful attentions (and the drugs), and I am happy to see her looking abscess-free.

    Lovely birds!

    I am making quiche later today. I hope I pronounce it correctly.

  2. I am likely making quiche tomorrow. Mine will feature previouslly frozen goat cheese, courtesy of Eloise, and asparagus, from Scott's solo visit to the farmers market last weekend. I had no idea it was even in the refrigerator.

    Gradka is just back from the vet (and I must say it's convenient that West Seattle Animal Hospital is open on Sundays!) where they removed the drain tube and pronounced her to be looking well. She was visibly relieved to be in and out of there so quickly.