How Does Your Garden Grow?

Squash blossoms, just one of 8 plants

Okra, needs thinning

Just fine thanks.  I’m astonished that I’ve got such a great garden started.  I’m praying it will continue to flourish.  I’ve been repotting as each plant has grown.  Since we rent our home I can’t really put in a garden so everything has to be in containers.  Yes, that is challenging but so far so good.  It’s time to repot, especially the squash and okra.  That’ll be a weekend project. 

loads of mint for tea

more squash, needs thinning

An Art Fieldtrip

I’ve taught an art appreciation class this year mostly to high school homeschoolers; there were a few younger siblings in the class.  It was based on the National Endowment for the Humanities Picturing America course.  You can find it online.  I had answered a call for grant applicants and was one of many schools around the country that received it.  It was really a great compilation of wonderful American art, information they sent me along with art projects that I incorporated.  It was a lot of fun. 

Our last class found us in an art gallery: the Fairhope Art Center.  They had several exhibits; one on horses, one from a guy who goes by the name Tin Man and an exhibit of garden art along with the usual art placed by members of the center.  The current exhibits will be changed out in time for the next First Friday Art Walk on May 7th. 

Some of the students brought their art pad in case they wanted to sketch something in the gallery.  One such artist was my Travis who did a great sketch of a garden art piece:

Travis drew an awesome sketch of this

Tin Man's art

I thought this looked cool. Its from the garden art collection.

There was art outside the building as well so we took a look.

metal art

outside art

Across the street and down a block is the castle.  I don’t know the name of it but it’s known as the storybook house.  The house and one across the driveway from it was built around the time of the depression.  If you look closely you can find all kinds of items used in the masonry of the outside walls: glass bottles, metal tools, all fixed among the stone with some kind of mortar.  The houses have been passed down and there is still family living in them.  They don’t seem to mind the onlookers.  The last time I came to see the house (it was actually my first time to find it) there were a lot of people stopped and walking around to look.

Storybook house


We finished up at Mr Gene’s Beans for ice cream.

Fresh Strawberries

There everywhere.  Last month we went to the Strawberry Festival in Loxley.  It was a beautiful day and the place was packed.  There was a lot going on: car show, tractor show, strawberry queen crowning, vendors, food, games.  The only strawberries we saw were at the entrance and they were in boxes labeled from California.  So much for local strawberries.  On the way home we stopped at a few farmer’s markets.  Allegri Farm Market in Daphne, had strawberries for 99 cents a pint.  Yes, it was cheaper than purchasing a flat of them so we stocked up.   Last night I finally broke into the frozen stash of strawberries.  If you bring them to just almost room temperature, they’re perfect; still a little crunchy-frozen in the middle and juicy on the outside. Yum.

Oh, so sweet!

Trip to Blakeley Battlefields

Back in March, we went with some homeschool friends to Blakeley Park and Battlefield in Spanish Fort AL.  We had never been and had heard bicycling was great there, so we loaded our bikes along with a friend and his into the car and headed out.   It wasn’t what we expected so the bikes never left the rack on my car.  But, instead we had a blast traveling through the dusty roads and trails and stopping every so often to chase around the zig-zags in the battle field. 

We first stopped, when the paved road ended at a cemetery and looked around.  The site had been there since the yellow fever epidemic, although on one of the grave markers we read that someone died from being kicked by his horse.

We came upon the Union battlelines and the Confederate battlelines and lamented about how creepy it is to think we were standing on ground once covered in death. 

Grave yard at Blakely

Welcome sign

Nick, Austin, Travis and Tanner in the battlefield

Running around

Blakeley was the site of the last battle of the Civil War.  Just two days after Lee surrendered at Appomatox Court House, before word got around, there was a bloody battle in Spanish Fort, AL.

Watch where you're going or you'll fall in one of these...

Underground hide out

A 3 foot long snake on top of the underground hideout...he went in after the boys climbed out. Creepy

more battlefield

We found a nature center where we met up with another family from the homeschool group.  A man working there let us watch a movie about the nature and battles of the area.   Having enough of nature and the carpenter bees that hovered around the outside of the building we set off on another adventure…this time finding the battle fields, hideouts, and the boardwalk along the marsh where we ended up eating lunch.

Apparently the Confederate soldiers hid from the Union army inside this tree. It's huge inside, under the roots.

It was a great day.  Bicycling will have to wait for another outing.