Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cottage love . . .

I have always loved the watercolor of this wonderful stone and brick vine-covered cottage with a tile roof. It is on the cover of one of my ancient address books. I hope this is a real home somewhere ~ preferably in England. I wouldn't change a thing. It is absolutely perfect with a chimney on each gable end, a shaped hedge, wooden gate, brick walls for the garden, simple board and batten front door, and windows with brick surrounds. I think it would be low maintenance too. I am quite sure the interior is filled with 18th century antiques!

I don't have petunias this year. This photo was taken in my garden last summer.

Content in a Cottage

Monday, August 4, 2008

Huge snakeskin with eye sockets intact...

I found this snakeskin at the base of a tree located outside my bedroom window. I tried picking it up in one piece but it was too fragile. I hung it in the tree in two pieces. I know this snake. I often see him sunning himself in this blue spruce and he is a very large, very fat, very long black snake. I searched the internet for poisonous snakes in New Jersey and decided he was not a rattlesnake because he has no markings...just solid black. So I am not afraid of him and I just leave him alone. I hope he eats his weight in field mice!

Upon closer examination, I discovered that he just crawled out of his skin and left the old eye sockets behind. Lenses and all! Isn't that amazing?

Here is a closer view of his old face. Looks a little bit like Gumby with scales! Well, that is my adventure for the day.

Content in a Cottage

Bark 'n dog...

I love texture. This is an interesting bark pattern on a very old white pine.

This photo of my assistant gives new meaning to the term watch dog. He sits reclines at the center window of my third floor studio and watches for trespassing critters all day long. He knows our survey by heart and will chase the deer, fox, bunny, squirrel or what have you just to the edge of the property line and then turn around and head home. Webster is the smartest, sweetest, most loyal dog I have ever owned.

Content in a Cottage

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Tomato smiley face . . .

I thought I should create a photographic record of this tomato smiley face before it becomes a BLT.

Content in a Cottage

Butterflies and wildflowers...

First butterfly photo of the season! I told you the thistle flower would bring them!

This is a tiny blue wildflower that looks huge in this macrIt's an Asian / Asiatic Dayflower, Commelina communis.o shot! I wish I knew the name. For now let's just call it beautiful blue flower.

Mystery solved--an anonymous reader identified this as an Asian / Asiatic Dayflower, Commelina communis. Thank you so much!

Content in a Cottage

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Wounded Bulldog on 1908 Penny Postcard

You should see the other guy!

Antique postcard with Dec. 3, 1908 postmark. Benjamin Franklin is on the one-cent stamp. Boy, postage has really gone up!

Content in a Cottage

Wild raspberries = free food...

Have you ever tasted wild raspberries? They are so much better than all the rest! Tart and sweet at the same time. There is only one problem ~ you have to get to them before the birds. I have tons bushes on my property and most are in treacherous locations; either on steep slopes or behind poison ivy. Both prove to be quite difficult when wearing flip flops. Tomorrow morning I shall wear my boots!

Content in a Cottage

Friday, August 1, 2008

Smiling bulldog...

I was looking through some ancient magazines this evening and came across this silly photo. I though it was very fitting for wishing you a happy weekend. Have fun and enjoy everything you do.

Content in a Cottage

Best birthday hat ever...

This is my BBF - Best Baby Friend! She celebrated her first birthday on Tuesday. One of her presents was this fabulous hat. Doesn't she look beautiful? Everybody should have a baby friend. I am so lucky. I gave her one of those ugly dolls and she grinned from ear to ear. Her big brother and two big sisters liked it too.

Content in a Cottage

Thistle do...

I finally have a flower that is beginning to bloom on my giant thistle bush, weed, plant, or whatever. It is gigantic and I am so glad I did not pull it up. The state bird of New Jersey, the goldfinch, loves it. I never tire of seeing this beautiful bright yellow wild canary with black wings. Many photo opportunities await! Butterflies will gather here too. So stay tuned!

You can click on most of my photos if you want to see the larger version.

Content in a Cottage

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Perils of Country Living...

Webster and I got an early start this morning. I love the way the sun's rays are filtered through the trees.

I call this my poison ivy tree. If they ever find a use for this as a cure for some disease, the first stop for harvesting should be here. Don't look at the next photo if you are afraid of snakes!

This snake in the grass clover was very cooperative. He did not move an inch and I think he was actually posing for me. I tried to get his red tongue but missed every time. Aren't I brave?

My blog is one month old today and tomorrow I will have an archive! Yippee. How am I doing so far? I think I have mastered nearly everything and have my layout looking almost perfect. It's a good thing too. If I were to continue working so hard on the design, I would have to change the name of the blog to NEGLECT IN A COTTAGE!

Content in a Cottage

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

In and around the cottage...

Here is my dog outside the front entrance.

I am a little concerned about the fall colors that are already appearing. I usually take this to heart and start planning ahead for the leaf season!

A peek inside my pantry.

There is still a lot of summer left. I always have a hard time letting go of the current season. It is so hard to imagine anything other than flip flops on my feet! 
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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sunflower planted by a bird...

A happy accident growing in my driveway. I am so glad I did not pull up the seedling. Sometimes laziness pays off!

Enjoy your day.

Content in a Cottage

Monday, July 28, 2008

Eudora Welty


"I am a writer who came of a sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within."

The photo above is one of her self portraits. I meant to honor this fine southern writer and photographer on July 24 to commemorate her passing in 2001. Sorry I am a few days late! If you missed it, you will definitely want to read her obituary by Albin Krebs in the New York Times. It is 4 pages long and is a wonderful tribute. I often think back on her words expressing her early love of books.

''It had been startling and disappointing to me to find out that storybooks had been written by people, that books were not natural wonders, coming up of themselves like grass,'' she wrote. ''Yet regardless of where they came from, I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them -- with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself. Still illiterate, I was ready for them, committed to all the reading I could give them."

Have you ever seen a simpler work space? Why do we feel that we just can't be productive unless we have a big place? There are blogs, flickr groups, and websites devoted to this subject.

She was organized too. I guess it could go either way after 76 years in the same house. She probably never fell victim to the computer. It is a good thing too because her hand-written and typed archives are invaluable. Look at the ball fringe on the curtains. I can remember sewing this on my kitchen curtains in the early 1960s.

It makes me feel so much better to see these piles of books on her dining room table. Now I don't feel so bad about the piles on my kitchen farm table.

Her home in Jackson, Mississippi is open for tours by appointment.

She lived in this very house from the time she was 16 until her death at age 92. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Garden lovers will want to view the gardens designed by her mother. The photo above shows one variety of the many camillas on the property.

A garden tour seems to be forming outside the lattice-work fence. There is always something in bloom.

The garden arbor. I love the look of this ~ especially the height of the fence. I wonder if this would keep the deer out?

The garden plan. Nothing has changed. The gardens are maintained by volunteers.

Eudora Welty biography
Eudora Welty garden
Eudora Welty house ~ don't miss the virtual tour!

Content in a Cottage