Thursday, August 30, 2012


sunflower by oyabakamama
sunflower, a photo by oyabakamama on Flickr.

The days are very full this week. The kids are simultaneously excited and exhausted, and I think I'm right there with them.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

spiders and fog

Someone told me recently that you can estimate the number of upcoming winter snowstorms by counting the number of foggy mornings in August. Suddenly every morning is foggy, and the spider webs are white with dew. Yesterday the children were scurrying around for sweaters when they got out of bed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


She wanted me to take a few pictures of her for the fifth grade homework website. She says it is just like facebook, only it is just about schoolwork and her teacher is on it.

first day :: first grade

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

the perfect blue

I ordered some things this year that I've never planted before, and this has to be one of my favorites. Borage.  We have been eating the buds and flowers in salads, and they taste like cucumbers.

Monday, August 20, 2012

the august garden

We have joked about the sixty dollar tomato, but we are havesting a steady supply of tomatoes, lots of basil and other herbs, watermelons, onions, and raspberries. We have hot peppers and lemongrass, and the grapes are ripe.

I had the best tomatoes of the summer while we were camping at Fairystone State Park this weekend. My friend Nancy was walking around giving away her delicious dinner leftovers, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers with balsamic vinegar. We spent the day swimming in the lake and came back to cook fresh corn and beans, and my kids get very excited about hotdogs.

I am already planning next years garden. Better tomato stakes. A design that allows more walking space. Potatoes. More flowers. Succession planting.


party by oyabakamama
party, a photo by oyabakamama on Flickr.

john's 7th birthday

john's 7th birthday by oyabakamama
john's 7th birthday, a photo by oyabakamama on Flickr.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

dragon driving

We tell our children that music festivals are about the music, but what they are really about is the magical moments when an almost seven year old can drive a dragon, a recycled handmade dragon that breathes fire.

Ruby had her bit of festival magic while picking some little leaves while we were watching some music. A huge flowing swan puppet fluttered down to eat the leaves from her hand.


Bateau on the James

sit by oyabakamama
sit, a photo by oyabakamama on Flickr.

I was going to title this post "Things I've learned while I took a month off from taking pictures and posting on this blog". On Sunday I was standing in The Bookery in Lexington, Virginia looking though a stack of Sally Mann books, and I realized that I had to start taking pictures again.  I think it has to do with only having a "big" camera right now. It is easy to leave it behind when it is going to be hot and dusty.  We have been festivaling and travelling, and the kids have been taking turns going to Camp Granny. 

There are tomatoes in the garden. I keep thinking of it as my practice garden because it is a wild jungle out there with tomatoes falling over onto basil and watermelon vines taking over everything. It is a riotous mix of flowers and vegetables, but we have eaten cucumbers, squash, tomatoes basil, and many greens. There are some giant watermelons out there waiting to be harvested by the young watermelon farmer who planted them in the utility room in March. My second round of eggplant is coming along, and I'm going to try the Mallobar spinach soon. I read that in tropical regions it can grow 14 feet high. 

The chickens are big girls who should start laying in the next few weeks. They are very tame and social. Their coop needs another layer of roofing material before winter, but lately I feel that my building skills are lagging behind my desire to do these big projects. It has taken us over a month to fence in our vegetable garden, but that should be complete by the weekend.

This picture is from Amazement Square, a children's museum in Lynchburg, Virginia. Ruby loved their interactive Batteau on the James River.

ruby draws

ruby draws by oyabakamama
ruby draws, a photo by oyabakamama on Flickr.

watermelon farmer

watermelon farmer by oyabakamama
watermelon farmer, a photo by oyabakamama on Flickr.

gyro john

gyro john by oyabakamama
gyro john, a photo by oyabakamama on Flickr.

gyro daddy

gyro daddy by oyabakamama
gyro daddy, a photo by oyabakamama on Flickr.