Friday, April 30, 2021



"She doesn't burn bridges, she covers them in gypsy flowers and feather kisses, then strolls along her merry way.  Too heavy to carry grudges, she leaves love and hope droplets wherever she goes."

~Melody Lee, Moon Gypsy~

Thursday, April 29, 2021


Yesterday I shared my Niece's photos of her pet sheep.  I will have more of them soon but today I wanted to show you a few she took on a trail near their home.

This pretty wildflower looks like Mountain wood-sorrel.  It is a shade-loving species that thrives best at higher elevations.  Other names for it include wood shamrock and white wood sorrel.  I am not 100 percent certain as I am not sure about German wildflowers.  If anyone who lives there knows its ID, I would be grateful for help.  I will also ask my Niece next time we chat.

This is wild garlic. She said they took some home and had it in a dip for dinner.  She is an excellent cook, and no doubt in my mind it was delicious.

It looks like a lovely trail and the felled tree makes for an interesting shot.

This looks like Grape hyacinth, scientific name Muscari neglectum.
The bee seems to love it!

Always interesting sights to take photos of on a walk.  With thanks again to my lovely Niece for letting me share these photos.

Thanks for looking and enjoy your day.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021


 We are getting ready to plant a few new flowers.  With this in mind we visited one of our local garden centers, our first of the year.  

Bear greeted us inside with a request for all customers to wear their masks.  It's a different world but everyone seems to be very good about it, happy to say.

I checked out all the knickknacks first.  

The bears didn't go home with me but one of these plant pots did, the one in the middle.  I needed a new one and I liked the design.

This prettily painted slate had the garden's name on it, but I decided to replace it with a positive quote.

Thought these were cute little guys.  They said they were all hanging in there.

Liked the wind chimes and the basket.

The cat was looking up at the birds?

There are fairy gardens everywhere, my favorite being the one at Meadowlark Gardens.  I look forward to going there again, hopefully soon.

I get in touch with my inner child around Fairy Gardens.

They appeal to my whimsical side.

These are Foam Flowers.  I saw them as I was leaving the garden center.

Forgot to take note where I read this, but it said: "Foam flowers form clumps  with its lobed, evergreen foliage; it spreads by underground stems or rhizomes, although the eastern American species, T. cordifolia, commonly called the heartleaf foam flower, also expands via above-ground runners (otherwise known as stolons).  The leaves come in an array of colors and patterns thanks to the diverse varietals and hybrids on the market, and in some of these they change color in fall or winter.  In spring Toiarella raises lovely blooming stalks of little white or pinkish flowers.  When in bloom, this otherwise ground-hugging plant commonly stands between one and two feet tall.  It makes a very attractive ground cover."

The next photo shows the Cherry Laurel, Prunus laurocerasus: Common Laurel.  It was growing in front of the building.  It is an evergreen shrub that will tolerate shade and produces dainty white sweet-smelling flowers in the spring.  
It is fast growing and also lures birds with its cherry-like red fruits, which turn black in maturity.  But, one thing to know about it is that though it emits a pleasing fragrance of almonds when its leaves are crushed, it contains hydrogen cyanide, a poison if ingested in large quantities.  I found my information and much more at this website.

Next to the Cherry Laurel was the Japanese Maple.  It still had quite a display of daffodils in front.

How sweet the daffodil, its sunlight hew calls out,
"Notice me, I am joy!"
~Author Unknown~

We came home with the plant pot, two Hellebore plants and a Coneflower.  I am trying to decide where to put them in our garden.  We have a lot of shade for the Hellebores.  Has anyone ever had them in their garden?  Any tips?  I would be very appreciative for any help!  

I also saw a shelf of honey from a local apiary.  I can now scratch that off my shopping list.  

That's all from our trip to the Garden Center.

Monday, April 26, 2021


My Dear Other Half was out of the house for an hour the other day, and I decided to surprise him with a new recipe for supper on his return. The recipe came from Damn Delicious hosted by Chungah. I have used her recipes before and they have always turned out great.  You can view the original here.  There are many great recipes on her food blog, and her photos always draw me in.  

I am starting off with one of my notes at the beginning of the post instead of leaving it until the end. I wanted to mention the cooking time in case you made it before reading my 'what did we think of this recipe' section below.  I also read many comments under the original recipe and several people had the same issue.  I found that 20-25 minutes wasn't long enough to cook the dough in the center of the dish.  The top got beautifully browned though.  I put it in for an extra 15 minutes and it turned out great.  Next time I will cover the top with aluminum foil the last 10 to 15 minutes cooking time (to stop that nice, golden crust from getting burned).  I am always aware that individual oven temperatures vary quite a lot, so I would advise you keep an eye on it towards the end and be your own judge.  This is only a guideline.

All that being said I was very happy with the way it turned out and we both enjoyed it a whole lot.  Yes, we will be making it again.  It was very yummy!

Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke Pinwheels

Serves: 8

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

2 cups baby spinach, chopped

1 cup sour cream

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

2 (8-ounce) tubes crescent rolls

1 large egg, beaten

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

Lightly oil a pie plate or coat with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl combine artichoke hearts, spinach, sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic powder and onion powder; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Stir in mozzarella and Parmesan.

Unroll crescent rolls, pressing perforations to seal into approximately a 13×18-inch rectangle. (Denise's note: I actually kept the two pieces separate as they seemed easier to work with.  I could probably do with more practice in this technique.)

Top with artichoke mixture and spread out evenly to the edges.

Starting at the shortest side, roll up, pressing the edges to seal.

Cut in eighths. Place cut side down onto the prepared pie plate. Brush with egg.

Place into oven and bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes (or longer if needed).

Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

What did we think of this recipe?  Very yummy!  It was hard not to eat the whole plate!  

I can't say I followed the number of pieces cut from each rolled crescent dough.  Mine were about an inch wide.  Also my pie plate is on the larger side and I managed to squeeze in all the 'rounds'.  

When I read the comments at the end of the original recipe, a couple of people suggested cooking them in individual muffin tins.  Seemed a good idea as I believe this is supposed to be an appetizer and they would go further.  (We cut pie shaped wedges as we had it for our main course). 

A commenter at the site also said this was like a spinach and artichoke dip in pastry.

Commenters also served theirs with tomato soup, which I thought would be a nice pairing.  I would love to hear any suggestions you might choose for yourself.

This is a vegetarian meal but someone who also lives under this roof suggested it would go very nicely with chicken added, cooked then shredded or diced.  

There are leftovers for for the next couple of days.  

This would be good served up for brunch.

Also if you prefer to make your own crescent rolls, there is a copycat recipe here.

Thank you for looking and enjoy your week.

Friday, April 23, 2021


Continuing our walk, I met this young lady and as she could see that I was so taken with her 'back-to-front backpack' that she stopped to have a chat.  There was a compartment - air holes - and inside was her cat lying down very comfortably.  I had never seen one of these before but perhaps if you have a furry-family member, maybe you have.  I found a similar one here on Amazon.  

A great way of taking her cat along and not have to worry about her while she was away.  Not sure it would be a good idea when the weather got hot and humid, but she had so much love for her cat that I doubt she would do that.  Such a nice young lady and one of those pleasant interludes you get on walks occasionally.

We return to our walk by Bull Run, and found the Spring Beauty and Wild Violets, which I mentioned more descriptively here in my post from a previous visit to Green Spring Gardens.  These violets are a darker purple.

Spring Beauty

The following is a Trout Lily.  The name comes from the plant's mottled leaves, which look like the markings on a brook trout.  It is also known as the Dogtooth violet or Adder's tongue.

Some Trout Lily colonies are 200 to 300 years old.

I had such a surprise when I looked at the next picture on my laptop.  I found more Dutchmen's Breeches.  I apparently was so focused on the Bluebells and the Trout Lilies and the Spring Beauty, that I didn't notice those little white flowers in front and on the right hand side of the tree trunk. Rolling eyes to the skies here.

In the next photo you can see hubs pointing across Bull Run, telling me that there are a whole lot more Bluebells on the other side.  Hard to get to though, we don't know a way to get across.  I asked how deep it was and was met with raised eyebrows, oh no, nope, nope, nope!  I was joking, sort of but the grass is always greener on the other side of the hill, or in this case Bull Run.  I was hoping for some stepping stones but had to admit to myself that my hopping-across-the-river-on-the-ever-so-slick-stepping-stone days are done, at least until my next life time.  

And there were plenty of Bluebells on this side of the river.

In the photo below I was staring at what I recently discovered was a Bagworm cocoon.  You can just make it out hanging from a branch at the bottom and between the two tree trunks on the left.

Here's a closer view.  I am used to seeing tent moths in the area, but these are relative new to me and I have only ever noticed them once before on a walk at Chinn Ridge in Manassas.  You can read all about them at this website if interested in such things.  A very destructive little critter!

And talking about critters, I am not sure what this type of ant is.  He was scurrying along near my feet and I didn't see any companions.  I would say he was about half an inch long.  My cell phone impressed me that I could take this photo of the ant.  He was moving fast!

At last we are at the end of our walk.  Hubs had taken a seat on the bridge, grinning and patiently waiting for me as I focused on everything around me.

It is good to be getting out and about again.

Enjoy your weekend and thanks for stopping by. I will be back on Monday.

Stay safe, stay happy and stay healthy.