#TBT: Trumpet Vine Grows in My Kitchen Window (Finally!! I mean it’s taken decades from first hearing Kate Wolf’s song, having all those children, working, living, loving, trellis-making, planting, and the man I live with singsingsinging etc. But now…haloohalah!! Those of you who know this room will know how sweet this is. :)


The Trumpet Vine – Lorrie Newman Keating/Ed Stabler


Garden Road is Hot Rod Harris & Brenda Panneton


The Trumpet vine. Kate wolf cover

“This is a fierce bad rabbit; look at his savage whiskers, and his claws and his turned-up tail.” Beatrix Potter didn’t mince words.

Meet my Fierce Bad Rabbit.eastern_cottontail_rabbit

It is said that the effect of eating too much lettuce is soporific. 

Soporific? My greens are FBR’s three-stage pulse-booster.

Remember that man with the red bandana who ate acorns because he liked them? And stalked wild asparagus from the Rio Grande to the Arctic Circle?

Well, my Eastern Cottontail is head-over-heels in love with that same primal act of grazing. Tendrils, vines, and pods ~ he doesn’t miss a sprout. His milieu is my garden plot where he noshes and frolics at hurricane force.  Sylvilagus floridanus is unswervingly driven and bags satisfying snacks till the cows come home.


FBR is an epicure of sorts – plunging into the sweet baby greens, snubbing the spicy arugula. He pays me in ‘cocoa puffs’.


According to the Immutable Law of Critters, the old-stalk-and-pounce-act of our resident fox should be FBR’s undoing. (It sure makes my hair stand on end.)

Fox 2009 (1)

FBR is just like the wily fugitive roaming the streets of Milwaukee, dodging paparazzi, only without a Twitter account…yet.


My turbo-charged hare is an expert at survival, buoyant with entitlement. He creates the impression that he can thrive without my help, comes and goes with reckless confidence, and eats like an offensive lineman at training camp. He knows what he’s after, poring over rows of greens like a rare manuscript.

Going into gardens to eat lettuce is what FBR does. Chasing him out is what I do.  

Inflateable_Snake__67289.1337696227.1280.1280(With a nod to Beatrix Potter’s subversive side~ see The Tale of Peter Rabbit, in which a selfish bunny is menaced by a man with a gun who shoots off his tail and whiskers.)

Toni 7/29/15


WP designer Brie says get up close and personal with your subject this week.

Percebes at the Festa do Marisco de Vigo

CIMG3717 (1)


Percebes are tube-shaped crustaceans that cling to the granite rocks of the storm-bashed Galician coastline. Pollicipes cornucopia, or goose barnacles, are cartoonishly inelegant but fearfully tasty.  Ask Spanish gourmets.

Knife and fork are not required for this impossibly ugly, extremely expensive delicacy. You pinch the foot between your thumb and finger, pull the inner tube out of its scaly case, twist off the claw, and eat the flesh.

Harvesting percebes is hazardous business.  Collectors, called percebeiros, have to maneuver down steep rocks or jump from boats in crashing surf to reach them, risking death. The very best goose barnacles are found on the Costa da Morte — the Coast of Death — in north-west Galicia. Not likely to be confused with the Costa del Sol.

These punks of the crustacean family thrive in violent waters. Watch  daredevil percebeiros torqued to the limit. Click hereHoly percebes!

My first encounter with briny-sweet percebes was in the fishing port of Vigo during the Festa de Percebes. Everyone tucks into mountains of this exotic gourmet gold accompanied by plenty of Albariño, the local white wine.


The best of the sea in a mouthful.

Quite the swashbuckling swallow.



Toni 7/28/15