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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Berry Pickin' Time!

Friday morning, Callie and I joined Leah and Erma out at Hillcrest Blueberry Farm for a relaxing morning of picking.   Several years ago, Callie and I picked blueberries at another farm--Hillcrest is much bigger!
It has been rainy all week, so the grass was quite wet, but not muddy.  And it sprinkled on us as we picked blackberries, but it didn't last too long, or stop us.
I never even knew there were different varieties of blackberries (never thought about it, I guess), but there are.  I chose to pick on the "blue" rows, where the plants are thorn-less and the berries are the sweetest.
The bushes were loaded and the berries were so pretty!
It didn't take long to fill our buckets with blackberries.
I caught sight of a tiny bunny watching for his chance to sneak a bite.  He reminded me of the story of Peter Cottontail, but of course, no little blue jacket on this bunny.
After dropping off our blackberries, we got new buckets and headed out to the blueberry field. 
Callie thought that it was very convenient at this stage of her pregnancy that she could pick berries without even having to lean over!

Once our buckets were full, we paid for them and headed back home, dreaming of recipes we could use them in.
Back at my house, I discovered that the guys were hard at work installing my new sprinkler system in the backyard, so I made up a bag of berries for each of them.  Leah shared her recipe for blackberry cobbler, and Callie made it Friday night---she reported that Jordan decided that he DID indeed like cobbler after all.!
I made blueberry waffles Saturday morning that were quite yummy . . .
. . .. and blackberry crumble tonight (I didn't have any milk on hand to make the cobbler).
As evidenced by the empty bowl, it was a hit!
I think since it contained oats, it could be classified as breakfast.  What do you think?

Here is the cobbler recipe that Leah shared with us:

Fruit Cobbler

1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 c. milk

Melt 1/2 stick margarine (or butter) in bottom of a pan then add the other ingredients.
ADD 2 cups fruit to top.
SPRINKLE with sugar.
BAKE at 375 for 30 minutes.

National Camera Day

Today is National Camera Day.   I plan to use mine today---do you?  (I've tried repeatedly to paste the embed code for this photo with no luck, so I'm just linking the picture to the Snap Knot website)

Courtesy of:"
Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Field Of Sunflowers

Years 16 years ago, I bought a book for my girls that was written by a local photo journalist and told the story of a farmer who lived north of Shreveport.  Having grown up just a couple of miles from the fields depicted made it even more special.
While I've never been to the actual Sunflower Festival, I have been able to visit the fields the last couple of summers.  Ron, Valine and I had planned to drive up there last weekend, but other obligations interfered with that plan and it has rained every day since then.  But, since the rain stopped for a while yesterday evening, I suggested to Ron that we drive up there when he got off work.    Though the sun wasn't shining, the flowers were.
They were just beautiful.
In fact, I think they seemed fuller and prettier than ever before.
We especially liked the long rows of blossoms that were opposite the rows of corn.
We set the camera up on timer-mode
and even used the timer on the Camera+ app on my phone.  Wasn't quite ready for this one--but let's face it, we all know I lack coordination anyway!  lol!!
Just as we were cutting some flowers to take home (which is allowed as long as you take them from the backside so you don't ruin the view for other tourists), a man on a four-wheeler pulled up to see what we were doing.  We offered to move our car so he could get by, but, he insisted that we drive to the end of the "road" with him so that we could see the "best fields of them all, that no one ever even sees".  So we did.
And we weren't disappointed!
There, Gordon Boogaerts, the man who started it all, introduced himself to us and told us how he began the fields and why.  As we chatted, it was apparent why he does it----it makes him happy and he loves to share that with others.   I asked if I could take a picture of him and he said "Yes, but not here.  I want to do it up by the road."  He told us to drive down yet another row of flowers where there were flowers on both sides.  So we did.  As we drove, we laughed at the "sunflower thunder" as the huge blossoms hit our windows with thuds, just as he told us they would.
When we returned to the road, we didn't see Gordon at first.  But, we found him at the gate to his home.  I asked him to choose where he wanted his photo taken and after thinking about it for a minute, he told us to climb on his 4-wheeler with him and we took off across his property.  He showed us his favorite spot where you could see both the massive trees and the sunflowers in the distance.
He drove us all over his property, telling us about the sunflowers, agriculture and photography.
His fields have been photographed and painted by many--amateur and professional alike.  And Gordon himself, enjoys photography and asked to use my camera a time or two to take a couple of pictures.  Before taking his photo, I offered a disclaimer since my skills are far compared to the likes of his photography buddies--Neil Johnson and Fletcher Thorne-Thomson.  But he encouraged me to try anyway and to send him a couple to let him judge for himself.

Since he had a huge ink blob on his shirt from a leaking pen, I suggested he hold one of his dogs in front of him.
I think they both kind of liked it, don't you?
It ended up being the best kind of outing---spontaneous, beautiful and filled with all kinds of special surprises!

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