Category: Altamira/Julian/CuyamacaWoods

We got 4-6 inches of snow yesterday and last night!

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It’s about 3/4 of an inch tall now, with several leaves!


While making acorn meal this fall, I held three good-looking acorns back with the intention of sprouting them in the spring. I looked up the best way to do it: place them in the fridge over winter (to simulate winter conditions), and plant them in the spring. But just for the heck of it, I decided to plant one right away and see what happened. Kept it wet and placed it in a south-facing window.

Well, guess what? It sprouted! YAY! In a couple of years, when it’s established, we’ll make it a bonsai.



We woke up on Saturday morning to find three to five inches of snow on the ground. Cisco had a field day.

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Yesterday the fire departments conducted a controlled burn on nearby Middle Peak:

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Remember back in August, I saved a pair of fat green caterpillars to raise? Well, they happily crawled around and ate tomatoes and tomato leaves for around 3-4 weeks. Eventually they stopped eating, and their activity went to almost zero. Then they both buried themselves in the leaf litter. One was visible at the bottom of the jar; the other not visible at all.

Well, last night, I noticed the not-visible one had emerged and was hanging upside-down from the top of the jar!


Took it outside, and it immediately climbed out and hung itself on the side of the porch railing. It was sort of a mottled brown color. By morning, it was gone.


Tarantula hawks use live tarantulas to impregnate with their young. The tarantula is paralyzed from the hawk’s sting, while the hawk lays its eggs inside the tarantula’s body cavity. The young hatch and eat the poor tarantula from the inside out. There’s been a lot of them flying around lately. This one was trying to drag its host under the house.


So, I’ve been finding big fat green caterpillars destroying my tomato plants. I’m pretty sure they are either sphinx drupiferarum or manduca sexta. Instead of just smishing them, I decided to try and get a pair of them to pupate into moths. Put them into mason jars with a damp paper towel at the bottom, a layer of leaf litter, then a dry paper towel, and bits of greenery for them to eat. I cut off bits of the decimated tomato branches and leaves, plus some wild cherry leaves (which we happen to have here on the property), which they apparently love. They’re even called “Wild Cherry Sphinx.”



The others got relocated to the lilac bushes. Also cut one of the ruined tomatoes in half and put those in. This guy in the video is chomping down on one them. Today is day three, and they’ve climbed up onto their sticks. One is still eating as I type this.

Home-grown cherries from trees that grew back from the roots after the Cedar Fire. What should I make? Clafoutis?


Mini being a nutball. I missed the best parts, where he was up on the arm of the couch, but under the afghan. Getting all medieval on the poor thing. Lucky it’s a piece of crap. We were actually *this* close to buying a new one when we adopted Mini. We decided we’d better wait, at least until he’s out of the crazy kitten stage.

Crabcakes Benedict is so pretty to look at, they’re like little works of art. DELICIOUS works of art.

Garnished with home-grown lemon thyme. YUM.

Garnished with home-grown lemon thyme. YUM.

Aaron Brothers does excellent work in their framing department, at least at the one I go to (Fletcher Pkwy in La Mesa, for the SD peeps), and excellent work demands excellent prices. I’ve had a couple of largish pieces framed there before, and the cost is shocking, but the final product is so well-crafted, it’s worth the price.

So I went there, wanting to frame the $10 print I picked up in San Francisco. It already had matting, signed by the artist no less. So I went in and explained that I wanted to see what would be the least expensive option possible. I mentioned that we could even crop off a bit of the top and bottom excess matting, but that I really wanted to save the signature. The saleslady said, Oh really? and measured the matting again. She went away for a minute and came back with a pre-made frame that, if we cropped an inch off the top and bottom, would fit perfectly. $25.99, and they were having a half off Memorial Day sale. WOOT!

It looks perfect. I actually took a bit more off the top and a bit less off the bottom, just to save as much of the signature as possible. It came with a wood back, hanging hardware, and clear rubber bumpers for the bottom corners. We hung it under our wedding photo, next to the curio cabinet with all the miniature hats. When the cabinet’s light is on, both are lit beautifully.


Rich and I were both gobsmacked by how good the crabcakes benedict were, so I made them again. Perfecting my technique. They came out brilliantly, again. SO good.


Finally, we had a number of days with thick, high marine layers. Makes for lovely sunsets.



There’s a house in the center with its light on. Looks like a ship at sea.

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