Posts Tagged ‘Placerville’

I woke up early this morning, grabbed a cup of coffee and went outside to see if we had any clouds in the sky. Alas, just a few high clouds, and sadly nothing to bring us rain. As the morning is progressing, I sit here at my computer thinking about what to write about today. I am seeing a glow coming up from the horizon as the sun begins to rise. Today I will feature the amazing sunrise that we are having here today!

Grabbing the camera, it begins…

It begins

It begins

Lovely colors

Lovely colors

The colors get more intense

The colors get more intense

Breaking dawn

Breaking dawn

Beautiful, isn’t it? Well, thanks for dropping by today! I wish you a terrific Thursday! Wahoo, almost the weekend!

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Last week I mentioned that I stopped at one of the local orchards to pick up apples for that applesauce that I made. The orchard: Boa Vista!

Boa Vista Orchards

Boa Vista Orchards

I did take some photos while I was there, which I thought I would share with you today! This is a family run orchard run by the Visman family. Four generations have worked here too, with family members scattered around the area running other businesses too! Well let’s take a quick stroll shall we?

Boa Vista has all kinds of stuff! Upon first arriving there was an entire row of bins with gourds and pumpkins.

Unusual gourds and pumpkins

Unusual gourds and pumpkins

There is a field full of pumpkins across the street from the main part of the market. Here is one of the big ones that they grew and carved!

A carved pumpkin

A carved pumpkin

And of course they have loads of apples! Here is just one of the bins…

Fresh apples

Fresh apples

The fresh brussel sprouts caught my eye!

Fresh brussel sprouts

Fresh brussel sprouts

On Fridays and throughout the weekend they also have an area with crafters showing off their wares. When I got there they had started packing up, but you get the idea!

Produce and arts and crafts

Produce and arts and crafts

If you find yourself in the area do check out Boa Vista! If you are planning on visiting on the weekend, be prepared for traffic as the road is only one lane in each direction, and lots of folks come to visit!

Thanks for stopping by today, and have an amazing Wednesday!

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This has been a strange year indeed. The world around is not behaving as it has over our time living here. We have signs all around us that may indicate an early fall. Tell me what you think, and look around your neck of the woods and see if you see what I see! Then please do comment if you see signs too!

By this time I would be posting photos of huge plants in my vegetable garden, but this year my tomatoes: One is still 6″ tall, and the other two, are maybe a foot tall. My corn (do you remember the photos from last year?) are maybe a foot and a half tall and are flowering. The zucchini plants are maybe one foot in circumference, and the acorn squash are still 6 inches. The peppers are no bigger than they were at the end of May, and reach 6″ high. Yes this is in the lasagne garden! No garden photos as it is a bit embarrassing!

One of the first things I noticed is that the Chinese Maple is turning color. Here we are at the end of July and this tree does not change color until late September, early October.

The Chinese Maples are turning color

The Chinese Maples are turning color

My Virginia creepers are turning red. They do not turn red, in normal conditions, until October as well.

The Virginia creepers are turning red

The Virginia creepers are turning red

As we hit September, the Digger Pines start to shed, which means needles start to turn brown. When the rains and winds hit in late October early November, they fall and create a lot of work for us. Here is a shot of one of the many Digger Pines in our yard. They are ready to shed needles.

The Digger Pines are shedding two months early

The Digger Pines are shedding two months early

Our Poplar is turning gold and so are others in the neighborhood.

Poplars going gold!

Poplars going gold!

There is a plant in the garden at the winery, and the name of this plant is Spirea. It turns beautiful shades of red in the fall. The leaves are starting to turn as this photo shows.

Spirea are starting to change color

Spirea are starting to change color

The black walnut trees are dropping leaves and the fruit seems to be starting to dry out, which they need to do before the nuts fall. What do you think about the leaves on this tree?

The Black Walnut leaves are going gold

The Black Walnut leaves are going gold

One of the typical sights that we see here in late September are the tent moths forming their webs in the black walnut trees. They showed up this week. This is not the best photo, and the web looks like a face, but here is a tent moth web. There are already at least a dozen on the road on my way to work.

Tent moth webs are early

Tent moth webs are early

So, I have already mentioned that the Digger Pines are shedding, but did I mention that the Redwoods are too?

The Redwoods are shedding too!

The Redwoods are shedding too!

Here is one final shot for you. This one is in the American River Canyon. The leaves on these trees are turning a golden brown!

Trees in the canyon are changing color

Trees in the canyon are changing color

We also have flowers here that are called Naked Ladies. In some areas these are past their prime in blooming and starting to fade. These do not come up until the end of August! As I said in a previous post, we are anticipating harvest of the wine grapes to begin two weeks earlier than in a normal season. Are these signs that fall is coming early? You tell me!

Thank you for visiting today and have a fantastic Thursday!

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Springtime in the Sierra Foothills is an amazing season. Trees and shrubs are leafing out, water is running down the rivers and streams and the wildflowers are blooming. For those who suffer allergies, this is a tough season to get through due to the volume of pollen in the air. I took a walk down the road with camera in hand to share with you some of the wildflowers in the area. To get a full appreciation of these blooms, you might want to click on the photo to enlarge it so that you can enjoy the detail!

Here is what I found:


Vetch is a vine that springs up everywhere. It is a vine that twines around everything near it.

Scotch Broom

Scotch Broom is considered an invasive plant up here in the foothills. The flower on this plant resembles that of a pea. It is a shrub that gets to about 5 feet. There is a secondary variety of this shrub that is called Lena that has a red blush in the flower.

Scotch Broom – Lena

Another shrub that is blooming everywhere is a native lilac. Sprays of these flowers abounds everywhere you turn.

White wild lilac

Nothing could be more beautiful than the lupine that mass in areas.

A field of lupine


Here and there you come upon a beautiful yellow flower called the monkey flower.

Monkey flower

We also have a native iris that is quite splendid.

Wild iris

Here is more iris with a small bell shaped flower called fairy lantern. I was unable to identify the yellow flower in this photo.

Wild iris, Fairy Lantern and an unknown yellow blossom

We also have a native azalea here that when it blooms, the shrub appears to be on fire.

Native azaleas

And wild grasses are everywhere. As the wind blows through the fields of these grasses it resembles waves on the ocean.

Unknown grass but beautiful

There are many others that are out there just waiting to bloom. Stay tuned for a visit with those gems!

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The day started bright and early. I got my post out on the Super Moon, and I started Chipotle Ribs going in the crockpot. My friend Jorge arrived right on time: 8 a.m. One photo of the garden before we start so you have an idea of the area and get a feeling for the layout of it.

Vege garden before we start

We were starting with 4 bags of steer manure and 8 bags of peat moss. We had quite a bit of newspaper, and the leaf layer leaves came from the lower part of our yard. The compost has been brewing for quite a few years and is really good soil.  My layers will be as follows:

**Peat moss
**Peat moss
**Steer Manure
**Peat moss

We started out by loosening the ground around the raspberries, pulling a few weeds and removing some plants for later transplanting.

Breaking ground

We decided to use the rototiller to break the ground up before we start the layers.

Rototilling the bed

As Jorge was rototilling, I followed with the rake to sort out some of the weed clumps. I removed these while Jorge finished with the rototilling.

Rototilling is done and we are good to go

Before we start the ground gets leveled.

Leveling the ground

We start with the newspapers, and overlap the sheets. The newspaper will act as weed block.  We started at the back of the garden.

Starting the layers

Once the paper was down, we hosed it so that it was soaking wet.  Next we added about a one inch layer of peat moss.  This was followed by a layer of old leaves that I took from a non-weedy area of our garden.  We followed this with another layer of peat moss, followed by steer manure, and more peat moss.

6 layers are down

Here we are finishing up the area by topping it with compost.

Final layer of compost

Once we got into a rhythm, we moved along at a pretty good clip. There is quite a bit more area as we cleared more than I ever have before.  And, I did not calculate the are as well as I thought that I had, and we had to stop for they day.

Stopping here…

We had a lovely lunch made by my husband, and figured out what I needed to get for next weekend. Here is another view from above.

View from above

It might have looked like Jorge was doing all the work, but I did stop every now and then to take photos of our progress so that I could share this experience with you!

Next week when we finish up, if I have the energy, and I must say that I am pooped today and ache in places I didn’t know could ache like it does, we will start planting! Wahoo! Stay tuned!

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Once a year the moon reaches a distance of 221,802 miles away from earth, which is the closest that it ever gets to our blue planet. In its orbit, this point is called perigee. It has been dubbed as the “Super Moon.” The moon on this day looks bigger than at other times of the year.

I ventured outside last night hoping to catch some photos. Here are the photos that I took…

My first shot of the moon

It slowly rises

A close up

These photos were taken using my zoom lens, which is a 75-300mm lens. Here is a photo that I took using my regular 55mm lens.

With my regular 55mm lens

Did you get a chance to see the Super Moon in your neck of the woods? Let me know!

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I love the spring. Everything returns to life. It is the resurrection of nature. Here are some photos of spring emerging in our yard!

The pollen from the pines and the oaks are something else. It is sticky and it covers everything. Here are photos of these two natives in full bloom!

Digger pine blooms

If you click on that photo, you can see why a pine cone looks the way it does as it develops. We have a variety of oaks, and this is a photo of blue oak blooms.

Oak blossoms

I love the smoke bush as the colors are so incredible, and here is what it looks like as it comes back to life.

Smokebush before it smokes

Our dogwood is just starting to leaf and bloom and here is a photo of the delicate flower that this tree produces.

A dogwood blossom

Did you know that Ginko helps memory? I am glad that this tree remembers to come back every year! The leaves are little fans and here they are springing to life.

Ginko springs forth!

And the lavender will soon be attracting bees!

Emerging lavender

The Helleborus is amazing with the little freckles all over the petals.


And the first of the iris are here!

Iris in bloom

One of the natives that is truly glorious is the hazelnut. Isn’t this a beautiful leaf?

Native hazelnut

One of the prettiest of the natives is the redbud. At the lower elevations they are done blooming, but here they are just coming out. Standing near this tree is like standing by a beehive. It is buzzing!

Redbud in bloom

And to close this trip of spring in bloom, here are the remains of a dandelion that bloomed pretty early.

The last of the fairies

I will take you back to revisit all of these plants later in the season so that you can see how they change!

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I was given a single pork loin, and I had to come up with what to do with it. And, I was thinking about a raspberry pear jam from my neighbor Kathy…What could I do with both of these items given to me to make a luscious dinner?

I went on a quick trip up to Boa Vista Orchards in search of pears. The season of these being available from the farm was over. But I did spy some Granny Smith apples, so I grabbed one of those.  Then nearby I saw really good looking oranges, so I grabbed one of those too! Then I found the treasure of the day:  fresh asparagus!

So what can I do with these ingredients?  Here is what I put together:

1 single pork loin
1 russet potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
Zest from one orange
2 shakes of Saigon cinnamon
4 twists of fresh ground salt and pepper
1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 dash of cumin

1/2 cup of raspberry pear jam
1 cup of Chardonnay (You can substitute Merlot for the Chardonnay, but the Chard was really, really good!)

Take the pork loin out of the refrigerator to warm up. Take the next 7 ingredients and combine them. In a greased baking pan, add the potato and apple mixture.

Apples and potatoes

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. While this is cooking, take the raspberry pear jam and add this to a saucepan and blend with the Chardonnay. Heat on medium high, and bring to a boil.

Jam and wine sauce

Reduce the heat to medium low, and stir every five minutes, until the mixture is reduced by half. Remove from the heat, and strain the seeds from the mixture into a bowl. Be sure to push on the solids with the backside of a spoon. Rinse the pot and return the mixture to the pot.

About this time the timer should be going off on the potato apple mixture. Remove this from the oven, stir the potatoes and apples, and then split the mixture so that they are split in half with a trough in the middle. In the open area, lay in the pork loin.

Pork loin added to the apples and potatoes

Even the potatoes and apples around the loin, and then with a paint brush, baste the loin with the raspberry pear chardonnay sauce. Just a bit, because the rest will be used for a drizzle over each serving! Put this back in the oven and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 135 degrees. While it is baking I got the fresh asparagus ready.

Asparagus is ready to go

At the 25 minute mark I basted the meat again with some of the jam sauce, and again at the 30 minute mark. When the pork is done, remove the pan from the oven.

Right out of the oven

Transfer the pork to a cutting board and cover. Stir up the apples and potatoes and cover. Get the asparagus going. Let the meat sit for 10 minutes. Reheat the wine and jam sauce. Slice up the meat,

Slice the meat

and serve it up with the apples, potatoes and asparagus. Drizzle the jam sauce over the meat

Dinner is served!

and dinner is served!  This dish was incredible blend of flavors and it was so yummy that we ate the whole thing!  This recipe is a keeper, and Kathy, I will need more of your terrific jam!

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It was reported tonight on the Sacramento news that the meteor that came down, fell in our neighborhood. The debris from the meteor, according to this news report, is within a 10 mile radius of Coloma. That includes us! And when it came in to the atmosphere it was about as big as a mini van! A mini-van! My house shook, so it is no wonder that this happened with this coming in so close to us! Here is the news report…

Meteorites Found in Sierra Foothills

There is a commercial on this video, so bear with it, turn the volume off, but check out the news report! Thanks for your patience here…

The distance between where we live and Coloma, CA, as the crow flies, is about 8 miles. We will be searching our yard for any possible debris! I will be making the trip around our yard to investigate!

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“God gave me a thumb and made it green, what happens from here remains to be seen!” B.W. Beacham, 2012

Burpless cucumbers have sprouted!

I love it when I put a seed in dirt, and then days later see the miracle of life spring forth! What an amazing thing life can be – don’t you think? Seeds are popping in my greenhouse and I wanted to share these with you! For another view of gardening be sure to check out: Aquaponic Family

Here are a few photos of what I discovered coming up in the greenhouse this afternoon. There were no indications yesterday of anything coming up…I am so excited about this! Take a look!

Six corn plants are up!


Pickling cucumbers have sprouted!

Cucumbers rock!

Peas have sprouted!

Nothing could be sweeter than a fresh pea! In the greenhouse, nothing is more exciting than seeing dirt crack, and it is cracking on the green beans!

Green beans are popping the dirt!

See the potato sprouts?

This last one was not my best photo, but I just came home from work, and with the failing sunlight in the deep pot, this was a hard shot to take!

Stay tuned! No you will not see my vegetable garden dance, unless my husband captures me doing it! I am jazzed that what I have put into soil is working!

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