The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

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Two weeks away from the garden shows. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Overgrown, dried … and still productive. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

A bean plant made itself at home with one of our apple trees before we left. We’ve been snacking on the beans. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

An eggplant made itself at home here, and gave us a small gift of thanks. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Tomatoes hiding coyly. They went into tonight’s stew. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

A guest who also enjoys the beans.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Bell peppers.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Concord grapes, almost ripe.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Corn, almost nine feet tall.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Ants ate away at the top of the carrot, causing it to split.  Some of these carrots will go to the chickens.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Even so, Bryon harvested plenty of good ones. I made a carrot cake for my staff and Bryon made a stew for dinner. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The kale had a severe infestation of what Bryon calls “those oversexed bugs”. We have to spray and pull out the kale to get rid of them. If we had been here we might have been able to control this … maybe. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Large-leaf lettuce, gone to seed. Bryon cleared this out by hand and found a nasty surprise.The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Strategically-placed shovels help Bryon deal with rattlesnakes he finds in the garden.

Getting Our Geek On

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Isartor? It’s still an S-Bahn stop, but the official answer why it matters has changed–slightly–over time.

Getting Our Geek On

Then:  McDonalds and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, adolescent connections to a stateside popular culture morphing in the early 1980s. The Deutsches Museum, across the river and up the street, is a place reserved for school trips. Now:  we’re crossing the bridge. It’s early enough so we can spend the whole day there.

Getting Our Geek On

We could have gone to the automotive or aviation collections as well, but the main museum was enough for our limited schedule.

Getting Our Geek On

The engine room of a World War I submarine. A very claustrophobic space.

Getting Our Geek On

Space was at a premium:  this was the only toilet on board.

Getting Our Geek On

Boat propeller, 1899.

Getting Our Geek On

After the naval technology exhibit, I was ready to contemplate flight. The recent air crashes had not yet happened, so the flight exhibit commentary was more interesting because of the prominence given to French aviator Louis Blériot (relative to the Wright Brothers, who figured out how to adapt propellor technology for flight).

Getting Our Geek OnGetting Our Geek On

Above:  framework from the nose of a Zeppelin, 1930s. Below:  part of a World War II aircraft engine.

Getting Our Geek On

Schwäbische Hüttenwerke Auto, 1925. Note the fuel tank placed behind the front seat.

Getting Our Geek On

Note the bow.

Getting Our Geek On

A 19th century microscope. I almost needed that bow.

Getting Our Geek On

Every day one of the music curators gives a presentation about the history of the spinnets, harpsichords, and pianos in the music department. Ours used models to show how piano design evolved over time and played briefly from each. The most fascinating part was listening to the tonal qualities of each piano:  the earlier harpsichords and spinnets have a sharper and more metallic sound than that of the modern Steinway concert grand piano, which is warm and lush.

Getting Our Geek On

This harpsichord had ivory keys, which was an unusual (and expensive) feature for its time.

Getting Our Geek On

Keyboards had elaborate decoration. Like now, beauty remains in the eyes–and ears–of the beholder.

 

 

What Sustains Us

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“Where are you from?” Ask a military brat that question and, more likely than not, you’ll be told “That depends.” The concept of home shifts over time, as kids moved from one base to another. Memories are shaped by time and place. For many of us, there is also food. Brötchen. Käse. Currywurst. Mandeln. Words written on chalkboard menus, or aromas drifting from a nearby restaurant can trigger a Proustian reflex whisking me into a time warp. I’m momentarily 17 again, out with my camera on a Saturday afternoon. What Sustains Us

The Viktualienmarkt.

What Sustains Us

Shopping for cheese and wine.

What Sustains Us What Sustains Us

Left:  Julia, who stands near the market, by the old Town Hall. Right:  Some friendly competition for Julia.

What Sustains Us

A map of the old city, with Braille labels.

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Above:  music to shop by.  Below:  “Gangster”? (I wasn’t convinced.)

What Sustains Us

Many happy memories involve cafés and pastries. It’s a good thing Bryon and I did plenty of walking.

What Sustains UsWhat Sustains Us

“How can you visit Munich without going to the Hofbräuhaus?” It’s a popular location, but there are over a hundred breweries in the area, so one can be forgiven for giving this one a pass.

What Sustains UsWhat Sustains Us

What Sustains Us

I’ll let you guess where we had lunch.

What Sustains Us

The Chiesischer Turm is–surprise–a beer garden. A large one.

What Sustains Us

For the World Cup Final, our group met at Nockherberg to drink Paulaner and watch the game with a couple of thousand Deutschland fans. Argentina fans were present, but hard to find.

IMG_0456 What Sustains Us What Sustains Us What Sustains Us What Sustains UsWhat Sustains Us

Weltmeister!

Back To The Future

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As a former Army Brat, I was lucky to spend seven years in Germany, and luckier still to spend three of them in Munich. The Cold War was somewhat more tangible–when your history teacher was in Berlin when the Wall went up, her lectures had a different perspective–but our attention was definitely elsewhere.Back To The Future

Okay, so we weren’t able to surf the Isar (like they do now). But if we had been, I suspect some of those kids missing from fifth hour English class might have been here. Back To The Future My friends and I liked to go to into the city. There were lots of things to do. Back To The Future Marienplatz is in the center of the city. The Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) is a popular meeting point for walking tours and  entertainers.

Back To The Future

Das altes Rathaus (the Old Town Hall) is now a toy museum. Back To The Future

Near Odeonsplatz, a chance for some refreshment. After several days of rain, it was hot and humid, so the local dogs probably appreciated this. Back To The Future

The Englischer Garten, Schwabing. The photo of the skyline was taken from here.

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Left:  Gazebo, from below.  Right:  Local geese on lawn duty.

Back To The Future

The Friedensengel, Schwabing.

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The Englischer Garten, and some of the locals.

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Schwabing is cool.

Back To The Future

Then again, maybe you aren’t cool until you’re “have your own treehouse in Schwabing” cool. Back To The Future

“Cool” goes only so far:  in front of this building I came across a stumble stone. Back To The Future                             Back To The Future Back To The Future

The Olympic Park, with the swimming venue. My friends and I enjoyed many Friday nights at the skating rink nearby. Glühwein kept us warm on the colder nights.

Home With Bryon

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Father’s Day was child-free. Alex and Nick are doing summer school courses, but they called to send their love. Home With Bryon Absence, and the greens needing to be picked, made our hearts grow fonder. Home With Bryon Bryon and Buster looked over the corn I planted last week. Home With Bryon Birds had eaten some of the seeds as soon as they had begun to sprout. Home With Bryon Our first peaches have ripened. They are sweet and have a floral scent. We covered the tree with a net to protect the fruit. Home With Bryon We need to get more nets to protect our nectarines. Home With Bryon The collard green plant reminds me of Audrey II … Home With Bryon Spinach. It’s growing more slowly than expected, probably because of the heat. Home With Bryon

Vegetarians returning from the kill. Home With Bryon

I brought these into the office for my staff today. Home With Bryon

It was all that Bryon could fit into the cooler.

Behind My Back

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Bryon and the boys spent the prior weekends harvesting and freezing greens while I was trapped in a data slog for work. Today I made it outside before the morning fog lifted. The garden did not notice my absence.Behind My Back It was cool, but for how long?Behind My Back We have loads of kale, but today Bryon was tilling a row he had left fallow while I planted a few rows of green choi. Behind My Back I leaned over and got a snootful of future pesto.Behind My Back An onion, ready to walk itself to the kitchen.Behind My Back Peaches, undiscovered by birds–so far. Behind My Back Collard greens, on a roll. Behind My Back From the front garden. Behind My Back Tomatoes, braced by fencing. The plants have grown much taller, sheltering their little treasures. Behind My Back Concord grapes. Another lesson in patience, because these require several more weeks on the vine to ripen. Behind My Back Zucchini:  the invasion has begun. Behind My Back Asian pears, starting to form. These will be tasty (if we get them past the birds and other critters). Behind My Back Cylindrica beets in the front garden. We can roast them and serve on spinach with goat cheese and pecans or  walnuts. Behind My Back Cabbage and kale. What we don’t eat goes to the chickens, who pay us back with eggs.

Mother’s Day

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Alex and Nick, recovered from finals, packed up the car and crossed the southwestern desert. They arrived after Bryon and I completed our Saturday errands. Today we were in the garden bright and early.Mother's DayI

After an out-of-town trip (and a lot of work following me home from the office) I was surprised to see so much progress. And it was so orderly, too.Mother's Day

Future stir-fries. Komatsu greens are the large leave up front. Kale–faithful kale–in the back. Mother's Day

Tomatoes:  a lesson in patience. Mother's Day

Harvesting bok choy.

Mother's Day

Spinach and greens.

Mother's Day

Blackberries:  stay tuned.

Mother's Day

Buster, getting bored while supervising.

Mother's Day

An apple blossom.

Mother's Day

Asian pears.

Mother's Day

There are birds nesting nearby. I’m not the only one enjoying the flowers.

Mother's Day

Here’s a photo Nick took of what Bryon and the boys brought in from the garden.

Mother's Day

They put 24 quarts of greens into the freezer. It’s delicious with a bit of soy sauce, and will be great in many future meals.

Gleanings

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While the main garden gets reprogrammed, Bryon and I make use of our secret salad bowl, four raised boxes in front of the house.

Gleanings

That kale was blanched and frozen. Several quarts of kale. My kids may take some home if my husband and I don’t finish it off first.

Gleanings

Tomatoes–so soon!

Gleanings

Someone else enjoying the front garden box.

Gleanings

Bryon, harvesting his work.

Gleanings

Lady bug in the celery.

Gleanings

Carrots, beets, an artichoke, and tomatoes. A good start.

The Reset

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The garden needed to be reined in. Even after the summer ended, we continued to find rogue potatoes sprouting in the soil. We tossed them over the fence, confident that animals passing through would sample them. Bryon placed plastic over the beds to kill off the stubborn weeds and hangers-on before planting this summer’s seeds.The Reset

Time for a little thinning and weeding. The Reset

So far, we’ve planted Asian greens, shallots, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and squash. The Reset

Buster supervised our work (when he wasn’t chasing lizards).The Reset

A bee in one of our mandarin blossoms. (I wish I could photograph the scent.)The Reset

A strange fungus on our peach and nectarine trees. Bryon needs to spray.The Reset

A bee at work in a nectarine tree.

The Reset

Buster, still on the chase.

Pacific Crest Trail: One of the Local Bits

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Although the Pacific Crest Trail extends from Mexico to Canada, there was no danger that Bryon and I were going to make Sunday’s hike a grand excursion. We simply headed east toward Sunrise Highway.Pacific Crest Trail

By the middle of the day, some of the trails were crowded with hikers and mountain bikers, so we looked for one that wasn’t congested with cars.

Pacific Crest Trail

Manzanita shrubs grow along the trail. The wood is distinctive (and very hard).

Pacific Crest Trail

The observatory, visible in the distance.

Pacific Crest Trail

The scenery changed as we moved along. We only covered about two-and-a-half miles each way, but we could see the impact of recent fires along the trail.

Pacific Crest Trail

The wind was picking up speed through the canyon here. The trees, though singed, were relatively intact. Pacific Crest Trail

These trees were on the direct opposite side of the trail from the trees above.

Pacific Crest Trail

The view at the top of the hill, where, the wind gusted up to 50 mph. (On the way back the breezes slowed down a bit, and stayed between 20 and 30 mph.)

 

 

 

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