Monday, August 13, 2007

Mmmm, Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets

If you're from southeastern PA, or you like baseball, Tastykake Krimpets, or magical realism, check out my review of Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli over at The Newbery Project. There are lots of other interesting new reviews over there, too.

On Vacation

Living down here south of I-94, I forget how beautiful it is in the northern part of the mitten. Just a little above where the thumb is attached to Michigan's hand - and definitely above where the fingers separate - the pine trees, the birch trees, and the ferns appear, obvious even when you are speeding by on the interstate. It is cooler and drier and the farms are less frequent, except on Michigan's west coast, where there are beautiful rolling hay fields, patches of corn and pumpkins, and orchards of grapes and cherries.

Things we saw on the drive (not even trying): a flock of wild turkeys crossing the road, a mother deer trailed by a fawn, and two very large-bottomed teenagers on ATVs mooning the highway, who were just down the road from a straw-hatted farmer with three Clydesdales pulling a hay mower.

If you're ever near Charlevoix, I recommend driving south and getting a cherry pie from Royal Farms in Atwood. The pie we got there was as unlike a pie made with canned filling from your grocery store as that really cheap waxy chocolate you get at the dollar store is unlike the good stuff at Zingerman's. I didn't even think I liked cherry pie, and now I wish I'd bought a dozen.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Monarch Life Cycle

All pictures taken this July, hands and arms provided by my kids (who also found the caterpillars). If you want more information, check out John Himmelman's A Monarch Butterfly's Life (check out these pictures!), and some of the links at the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Is this the 50's?

I called to arrange home delivery for milk today, then put up a clothesline and hung a load of laundry out back. My son caught a frog in the nearby river, and had pbj for lunch.

My daughter and I had hummus, though, which I don't think would have happened here in the 50's - even in a town with a cooperative farm like Saline Valley Farms. Check that link for some very cool old photographs from 1932-1953.