Hmmm… When I snapped a photo of the pumpkins my kids carved last night a ghostly image appeared on the left… Should I be afraid tonight?

Happy Halloween!


{Two Trees by Loretta Fontaine, Portland Oregon 2012}

 Sometimes I think it’s even harder to choose the photography for my new book “Eco-Happy- Three Steps Towards an Earth-Friendly Life” than it was to write the book! I am going through hundreds of photographs I took over many, many years searching for the pictures that will give the book the right nuance, the right emotion. This photograph above of the bark on a tree (with the out-of-focus tree behind it to the right – love that!) is a favorite image I think may make the final cut.

{untitled photograph #1 by Loretta Fontaine, Portland Oregon 2012}

{untitled photograph #2 by Loretta Fontaine, Portland Oregon 2012}

Now, which of these two photographs do you like best? It was April in Portland, and the buds are of a tulip tree. I can’t decide which photograph to use. The more closely cropped untitled photograph #2 shows off the balletic nature of the new unfurling leaves, but the twisting and turning of the branches in the untitled photograph #1 are beautiful also…


We had a hard frost last week here in New York – so goodbye garden tomatoes. I’m posting a photo of our tomatoes I took a month ago – to post a photo of the brown, withered vines in the garden would be too sad!

We grew an heirloom tomato with pink skin (can you see the color in the photograph?) Ironically, it’s the exact same shade as the hothouse tomatoes you’d find in the grocery store! My mother bought the the plants two years ago for her garden, and we saved her seeds for two years in the fridge before we planted them.

The only veggie left in the gardens is swiss chard, and I’m covering it every night with tarps to protect it from the cold and the deer! Swiss chard is a really hardy plant, and I hope to keep harvesting it for another month. (Also am covering a hot pepper plant I hope to pot up soon!)


{lunch on Liz Vigoda Pottery}

 Lunch today – nothing fancy, just a turkey and avocado sandwich – but made so nice on a beautiful plate! I’ve been collecting my talented neighbor Liz Vigoda’s pottery for a while now and it always makes me smile!

 Liz and I are working out the details of our annual Delmar Holiday Open Studios and I’ve been working on the postcard design today. We’re planning on December 8&9. (I’m designing on my trusty old 12″ Powerbook G4, you know one of those ancient non-Intel Macs! I know I have to get a new computer soon, but it’s so hard to say goodbye to this handy Mac since it still does it all! Let’s say I already replaced the hard drive once myself and am SO attached!)

{Liz Vigoda botanical vase}

 Here are the images Liz sent me for the postcard. Isn’t this beautiful? Each piece is handbuilt and uniquely decorated.

{Liz Vigoda pottery}

Here’s another image Liz sent me, which I LOVE since chickadees are one of my favorite birds, but don’t think the horizontal image will work out on the postcard design…

When the postcard is done I’ll post the final design!


{sunflowers in vase by my friend Liz Vigoda}

When we lived in our city house years ago, I couldn’t plant sunflowers because the city squirrels would chew them off at the base of the stem as soon as the flowers formed.

When Evie decided to plant some sunflowers this year I was happy to see the first large glorious blossoms survive. Then smaller sunflower buds started branching off the main stem and we had lots of flowers, and a constant stream of cheery flitting goldfinches to eat the seeds.

And then a bold squirrel found the sunflowers – and chewed the plants off at the base of the stem. I scooped up what was left for the compost bin, but was able to save a few blossoms and put them in vases around the house.

Any suggestions for keeping squirrels away from sunflowers?


{26 pairs of kid’s jeans, ready for the sale}

Tonight I’m dropping off clothing to a new kid’s consignment sale in Albany, New York. Called “Kids’ Stuff Consignmnet Sale at DCS”, the sale is a fundraiser for the non-profit Delaware Community School’s PTA.

A group of Moms decided to hold the Kids’ Stuff Consignment Sale at DCS sale after a long-established ten year old kid’s consignment sale (The awesome Pass-It-On Sale) in the neighborhood had to move up to the town of Halfmoon, New York.

Kids’ Stuff Consignment Sale at DCS is CASH ONLY and open to the public this weekend:

Saturday, September 15 11am-5pm
Sunday, September 16 9am-noon THEN 12:30-4pm everything HALF PRICE
Delaware Community School, 43 Bertha Street, Albany, NY 12209
 “Kids’ Stuff at DCS” facebook page

Since kids grow so fast, consignment sales are a great way to outfit your child with gently worn items at unbeatable prices. Did you see that on Sunday after 12:30 everything in the sale will be half price? You can’t beat that!


{Yes. it’s brocolli!}

We came back from a ten day Florida vacation to an overgrown garden. The brocolli has blossomed! And it grew as nearly as tall as me, too.  Those “florets” in the grocery store are little buds waiting to bloom. You can still see some unopened florets in this little bunch of brocolli flowers…

I’m thinking of putting some in a vase when I tackle weeding out our overgrown jungle of a garden… Aren’t the yellow flowers pretty? I saw a hummingbird visit them yesterday – too cool!


p.s. didn’t forget the carrot soup recipe! It’s coming up in a new post!

{Making Carrot- Sweet Potato Soup from Farmer John’s Cookbook}

 When we’re camping, how can we come home with so much food? I’ll blame all the guests who show up at the dock bearing grocery bags! We had four pounds of extra carrots after our camping trip and I had to turn to my favorite carrot soup recipe when we got home.

The recipe calls for roasted cashews. So good! Just toast unsalted cashews for a few quick minutes in a pan. It’s a pureed soup, so I like to make it ahead of time, put the pot in the fridge, and puree it when the mixture is cold. It’s too hard to wrestle with hot mixtures and a food processor – especially with a double batch!
{No rows here – just a big clump. Broccoli above it!}

Pictures of finished soup and a recipe coming in part II! Here’s the little carrot patch in our garden.


{lichen on an oak tree}

{daughter Rosie climbing}

{a pinecone among fallen leaves}
I’ve been going through YEARS of photographs I took to find the perfect ones to illustrate the new book I’m writings, Eco-Happy: Three Steps To An Earth-Friendly Life.

It’s been fun to look at images I’ve taken in the past to see if they capture the moods I’m hoping to portray… Obviously, years ago I never thought I’d be writing a book, so photographs I took in the past then that fit the theme are so serendipitous!
I think it’s actually harder to have a book in mind and try to take photographs for it! But, while in Lake George I shot a bunch, hoping to get what I needed. Here are three photographs I just took on my last vacation that might make the cut – which is your favorite?

p.s. Ericca, this is for you!

Jul 30


{Vicars Island, Lake George}

This past weekend my family just got back from a two week vacation in the Adirondack Mountains of New York.

We camped at Vicar’s Island on Lake George, this photo shows the blaring sun rising above the foggy clouds on a morning where it rained at night. I love nothing more than sleeping with gentle sound of lapping waves and waking up to bright birdsong…

How was your summer vacation? Or have you not left yet?