Monday, May 3, 2010

Finches and kinfolk

It's 8.25 on a sunday morning and I just got back inside after watering our flower beds in my PJ's. Up here we're early risers, wanna take advantage of every minute. Things are happening so fast right now, we got grass growing and bushes blooming and we have to keep up. Especially the knotweed - if we don't stay on top of it it will swallow the house soon.

James' aunt Ree-Ree said it would happen but I was starting to wonder. And this morning, literally out of the blue came this guy.

The American goldfinch. He first showed up with a lady friend but by the time I had gotten my camera together he was alone. We are all surprised that my shouts of joy and welcome didn't scare the little bugger away. 

My parents have been here for a week and we've had a great time so far. I picked them up from Newark in pretty cold and miserable weather. The first night in the blue room they needed extra blankets and the heater on. Now there's 2 fans going and we are all going to bed with slight heat stroke. We've been to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Poughkeepsie. They have 5 resturants and we ate a beautiful lunch at the Apple Pie Café. We stopped at Rossi's deli and got yummy Italian goodies to make a dinner buffet with.

We took the slow drive home along 9W, 9D and later 9 through Marlboro, Phillipsburg, Cold Spring, Sleepy Hollow and finally Tarrytown where we stopped for a sandwich at Mint.

We got a sick tour of the the Minard Apple Orchards. One of their facilities neighbors our house and 19 Maple Ave was once in the Minard family. They have been growing apples in the area for over 100 years. We were all amazed at the individual attention every single apple got. Yikes, we thought apple farming was a breeze. Hey! You plant a tree. You pick the fruit. You shippem. Done. Light your corn cob pipe and rock that rocking chair! 

But OH NO! It's year round for these guys. They are just now packing and shipping the last apples from last season. Meanwhile the trees are in full bloom and the prep work for this fall is in full gear. Right now bees rented from Florida are busy pollenating the flowers.

We tasted some apples from one of the last storage rooms to crack the oxygen seal and man was it a tasty piece of fruit. And I don't really like apples! We all agreed that this is the new trend. 

I'm borrowing some of my dad's (the apple connoisseur...) photos from the tour. 

The apples get a bath before they are waxed...

Then they travel on these bands where every single cup is a scale that weighs the apple and pops it in to the correct slot for shipping. 

Then we put the retirees to work. We picked up a picnic table at Lowes and Matts and Agneta put it together.

And here it is under grand daddy sugar maple where it belongs. It's a gorgeous spot.

This week coming up the folks are heading north. We have suggested, with the help and good tips from friends, Lake Placid, Burlington and Lake Champlain, VT.

Taking breaks between killen knotweed to read the Atlas with a big bowl of Minard apples on the table.

O man o man we are running out of time already. So much to do around our awesome little town. There's Lake Minnewaska and the Mohonk mountain house. There's the walkway over the Hudson. There's the Vanderbilt mansion and FDR's home. There's Ellenville, Rosendale and High Falls. There's Olana. There's, there's, there's....... there's a lot of hanging around our back patio drinking micheladas watching perfect spring sunset and smelling that country air. Nothing wrong with that.

And so a few back yard updates.



And aaaaaahhhhh....

In other bird news our red bellied friend has been hanging around a lot lately. Hey Woody.

And is this a (reeeeeaaaally bad) photo of a gray catbird???? Could be my fellow bird enthusiasts, could be. To be continued....

Cucumber dill yogurt soup

3 cups plain nonfat yogurt
1 cucumber (shredded)
1 cucumber diced
1 onion shredded
A splash of white vinegar
1 garlic clove
lotsa dill
fresh mint

Chill for a few hours.


  1. Vilken vacker plats att ställa nya bänkbordet på. Där vill jag sitta! Som ett vykort. Som en reklamfilm. Hoppas allt är bra! Kram

  2. Ja tack! Där ska vi absolut sitta! Och om jag kan göra lite reklam för Clintondale på köpet så är det GRAND!

    Allt är bra!

  3. Hello Agneta and Matts,
    So nice to see you enjoying Clintondale and all the surrounding attractions in this beautiful time of year. Even the birds are greeting you.

    Enjoy Mothers Day with your special daughter- Hi Linda and James too

  4. Kom det där sista från SF tro? Även de läser alltså din blogg!

  5. Wow wow wow! You guys have beautiful color at your joint! Woo! Those are fabulous pictures! And I'm delighted you've finally met Mr. A. Goldfinch. We adore that guy.