Sunday, August 10, 2014

Weese weeds, Jax Beach

 Northwestern Connecticut is not the only place where the weeds are having a field day.

Shadow and bricks, Jax Beach

Philodendron monstera leaves, Roscoe

I have just gotten a Sony RX100 III camera. It is a tiny camera with a 1" sensor of 20mp. A 1' sensor is about 1/4 the size of a full frame DSLR. It has a wonderful pop-up electric viewfinder and a Zeiss zoom, the equivalent of a 24mm-70mm lens on a full frame camera. I love it. It is easy to carry around, fitting into big pockets or lightly around my neck. It returns files that are clear, sharp and easy to work with in Photoshop. It's a keeper.

Foliage, Nocatee bike path.

This was a little test shot. I hadn't used my Pentax K5 for a year. Micro 4/3 fever. I have given all of my Canon gear to my daughter, who photographs in Nashville and will use it. It was great equipment and wonderful lenses but heavy for someone who likes to just walk around taking pictures. I kept my Pentax gear because it is a lot lighter than the big Canons and I love their lenses, especially the little 35mm f/2.8 macro. It is small and sharp and, best of all, clear. A quality that I find hard to define but easy to spot. This was taken just for the textures.

Hydrant, Nocatee

As you can probably tell from the oxidized paint, this hydrant has been out standing in a bare field in Nocatee for many years..........with nothing to do. No buildings nearby and only a light pole for company. Well, they have just started a strip mall behind it, with four to six stores going in. It must feel good to be needed.

Fence and shadows, Roscoe

Datil peppers, Roscoe garden

This last winter's cold snap killed all of my three year old datil peppers. Very sad. I replaced them with seedlings and resigned myself to a pepperless  summer. Datils have always been slow to fruit for me. This year I planted them in very big pots with new soil. They were just starting to flower when we went to Provence. Six weeks later we returned to this! I have never had a flush of growth like this. My neighbor, Clyde, watered while I was gone and must have a magic touch. They also received much more direct sun than previous years.

The datil is a fairly hot pepper. Not as hot as a habanero , but quite a bit hotter than a jalapeƱo. The part I love about them is their smoky flavor. My daughter Kate, who loves hot peppers, does not like their flavor. My other daughter, Jenn, loves them. They were brought to this area by Minorcans, who settled in the St. Augustine area. For a long time they have only been grown and consumed in our small corner of Florida. I believe that now they are a known pepper.

Corner, Jax Beach

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Leaning bike, Jax Beach

For some reason this bike reminds me of an old picture of Fred Astaire leaning on a prop on a movie set after a dance number. Even in repose he was a graceful man.

Exit arrows,ABC liquor, Jax Beach

Fittingly, these three attempts to repaint an exit arrow are in front of a liquor store.

Hydrant, lines and shadow, Jax Beach

Graffiti, bus stop, Jax Beach

An odd place to put your tag. you'll be associated with trash.

Beach Bowl, Jax Beach

Car portrait, Chevy Blazer, Jax Beach

This is my second car portrait. These old Chevys were really honest SUVs. Simply a small pickup with the bed enclosed. They weren't sexy or loaded with options and they had a 4 or 6 cylinder engine that provided adequate power. They leaned more to the U in SUV and were very utile. Plus, they seem to last.

Andrew's scallops, Roscoe

Andrew Goldsby is a talented chef and restauranteur in Saignon, Provence, France. You will find many references to his restaurant, La Petite Cave, and his food, at my other blog, Two Weekes in Provence. He is also very generous with his recipes. Below the seared scallops is a cauliflower puree that he helped me with. I couldn't get them pureed the way his were and he told me to get a more powerful wand and spend more time pureeing. My children gave me a pro grade wand last Christmas and I had the texture. I boil or steam the cauliflower with a bunch of peeled garlic cloves. Then I add butter and/or soy margarine and some half and half, salt and pepper. This year, when we returned, Andrew's cauliflower tasted even better and he told me he added a pinch of curry. Voila, a vast improvement on perfection!

I just dusted the scallops with salt and pepper and seared them. I find, to my taste, that our Atlantic diver-caught scallops are a bit sweeter and meatier than the scallops (St. Jacques) in France.

Garden upon returning from 6 weeks away, Roscoe.

 The big spade shaped leaves are called Elephant ears. They completely took over the new garden while we were gone. See below to see what three days on my hands and knees did.

Garden, after weeding, July, 2014

 It looks even better now.