Monday, August 25, 2014

Saturday's Harvest

The neighboring farmer told my parents on Saturday that he was done harvesting his field of green beans and that we were welcome to come pick whatever we wanted. Forrest took this offer very seriously and proceeded to pick (with my reluctant help) an entire five gallon bucket full of the things. 

The other field along the house is full of a much sweeter crop: raspberries. Though we had to pay for them (the injustice!), we walked on over to purchase half a flat of those as well. 

We ate some of the raspberries right away and steamed + froze the entire bucket of green beans. That is a lot of green bean snapping.. although I will admit that Forrest did the bulk of the work while I painted my fingernails.

I'd say that with the entire year's worth of green beans and at least a few days supply of raspberries at our fingertips, we are doing pretty well for ourselves these days, um.. agriculturally.
And as I'm never one to end a random post without a picture of our favorite pup, I took this rather Phantom-esque picture of the masked Jasper after I found him lying in some dust in the garage. He shook most of it off before I could take the photo..

Also, Jasper is not a fan of raw green beans, but did proceed to catch, chew, and spit out every single green bean end that I snapped and threw to him. He's a very trusting dog.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Dismals (+ the time I saw my first snake!)

This post took me a million years to finish, but it's finally done. My life has sort of been taken up with apartment hunting, but mostly we have just been sitting around waiting for the apartment people to call us back (why must you play with our emotions in this way, apartment people?!). One day feels like a week when a good apartment is at stake. Forrest and I each have at least one meltdown a day and feel like we are probably going to end up living either a)in our car (why didn't we buy a bigger car?) or b) an hour-ish commute from our school. Each way. In traffic.

Anyway, we're still waiting for some calls, so I figured I might as well be semi-productive. 
Brad and Megan and Forrest and I went to the Dismals Canyon: a place that our grandparents and parents (except not Forrest's parents) visited and swam at many a time in their youth. My grandma told me that once she saw a snake there so she never went back. I guess I know where I got my fear of snakes (or I'm just a normal human).
They had a super cute gift shop and cafe with big porches for us to sit on and wait for tours to begin.

We decided to go all out and took the night tour to see the famous dismalites. Dismalites are a type of glow worm very similar to those found in New Zealand and Australia. I didn't take any pictures of the night tour because it was kind of impossible, but they basically just looked like little blue lights (sort of like stars). It was interesting to see because that is really the only place they are found in such a high concentration. 
The next day, we went down into the canyon again to walk around and also to go swimming because the heat + humidity were sweltering.
ALSO, we saw a snake

I had never seen a venomous snake in real life before except at the zoo and it was terrifying! I mean, I'm not scared of reptiles in general..or non-venomous snakes like the cute garter snakes in Washington that run  (er.. slither) away from you. It's more the fact that it could KILL ME with no warning that makes me cringe just a little. It didn't actually do anything to us, but I mean it was right next to the trail in a very convenient location to bite an ankle.

After this incident, I made Forrest buy me a snake-bite kit.
The canyon itself was beautiful. There was abundant moss akin to the Pacific Northwest and the bluffs were tall, cracked, and impressive. I saw all manner of colorful fungi, several frogs, a few interestingly colored bugs and one giant yellow butterfly.
We went swimming in the arctic pond at the top of the waterfall and, once we were nice and frozen, we headed down to wade in the mysteriously warmer water at the bottom..and to sit in the waterfall. As you do.
A butterfly landed on my head and wouldn't leave. I had to be extra careful not to dunk my head under water. 
And here we have Forrest trying to get back on the dock for a self-timer photo. I'm sorry to say that none of us were fast enough swimmers to ever beat ten seconds. 
And there you have it. If you're ever in Northwest Alabama, I would highly recommend a trip to the Dismals. It was somehow the first time I had ever been there (?) even though I've spent the majority of my summers only ten miles away. I guess I'll blame my grandma's fear of snakes and the convenience of their pool.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Super Sunday

I took a few photos of the year's biggest supermoon last night--coincidentally, the only one I have seen this year.

Plus, here are a few photos of a very irate kitty.
She almost looks like she's smiling..
..and the giant dahlias from our wedding are back! This is the first time I've seen them in person since our wedding and they're as pretty as I remember.
Here comes the moon!
And here is my mom feeding Jasper some banana + peanut butter.
I took these right after moonrise. It was glorious. The moon really was that orange!

Bonus: Jasper the wolf waiting for me to throw his ball.
He's very patient.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

HOME + a really fat chipmunk

Six weeks is a long time to be away from home, but we're finally back. We pulled a 14-hour drive (on a cracked rim, no less--eep!) from Yellowstone yesterday and arrived to a yelping and howling Jasper who was so excited to see us that he ran in circles around us for several minutes and then licked Forrest's legs for several minutes more. It was possibly the best welcome home we've ever had.

We had such a great (and needed) trip. It was so wonderful to see our far away families, but it feels great to be home and settled again. Now we just need to find a place to live in Seattle by the end of September...

I took about a thousand pictures (literally) at Yellowstone over the course of three days. I can't wait to get those up here, but until then, I'll leave you with these:

What you are looking at is a very large and majestic chipmunk. As my sister Megan so aptly put it,"He looks like he swallowed a tennis ball."

I saw this particular chipmunk or "Fat Daddy," as Forrest called him, from a distance while we were eating lunch one day and I wondered out loud how close I could get to him. So I inched closer and closer until I was about a foot away with my face at the same level as his. He looked at me and continued eating with no regard for the clicking of my shutter. Forrest came up to take a picture of me with "Fat Daddy," but as soon as I handed over the camera, the spell was broken. The chipmunk leaned toward me with a gleam in his eye, and I thought for a split second that he was about to leap onto my shoulder and pose for the picture (as is such the charmed life I lead, of course). However, it was not to be and instead he sprang in the opposite direction and disappeared among the rocks. Then I spotted him again, because it is nearly impossible to hide such a girth as his.

He was really, really fat.