Quintessential Summer

It’s been raining here, but the temperatures have been incredible — in the 70s during the day and 50s at night. When I wake up in the morning I throw on a big sweater and slippers and I’ve been wearing my Hamlin Peak Cardigan almost every day. When it’s not been raining, we’ve been busy outside because… well, of course we have.

On Saturday, I took the kids to the local Farmer’s Market. I’d been once before on my own, but we’ve been working on getting the kiddos more involved in the cooking and baking lately so we thought the Farmer’s Market would be a great lesson on how impactful it can be to eat with ingredients that are at their peak. For as small of a town as we live in, it’s a seriously awesome market and the kids totally went to town on buying fresh veggies.


It ended up being a really fun way to talk about how to select veggies and interact with vendors. It was also a good lesson in shopping for pricing and budgeting money. The point was to cook something up with their purchases, but the goodies were just so good fresh that we ate them all raw except for some of the fresh blueberries which we baked into this Summer Fruit Drizzle Cake. It was positively drool-worthy.

Historically, I have the very bad habit of wanting to get loads done the day before Mr Knitting Sarah has off. While it comes from a good place, a place where I want to enjoy our family day and not have a load of chores hanging over my head, really what it does is makes my hip very sore for his day off. So Saturday afternoon was spent baking, spinning on the deck, and taking Moose on a walk.

And thank goodness, because for his day off we went to what is my current favorite spot. A certain stretch of land and marsh in the Mead Wildlife Area, it’s a spot where we always seem to see something magical. The first time we went, we saw more Bald Eagles in one spot than I’ve ever seen before — like more than I could count on both my fingers and toes. Another time we heard loons calling and flying overhead. And this time, as we were glassing I suddenly stopped and gasped. It was an American Bittern. Just off the road. In clear view. I managed to contain myself in the car (it was not easy), while Mr KS got this photo.



These birds are very well-camouflaged and somewhat elusive — I’ve only ever seen two that weren’t in flight, both since our move. And the fact that this one was just standing here, plain as day for at least 10minutes was just amazing.

From this bittern high, we pulled off near a favorite trail and got to walking.


Along the way we watched at least 3 Kingfisher in flight, hovering, and then diving into the water to catch their latest meals. Probably largely because of presence of these guys…


Frogs. Frog populations of biblical proportions. Mr KS put it best when he described it as “when you take a step, it’s like popcorn popping.” Total truth! It was freaky (if you don’t like getting smacked in the legs with frogs) and hilarious and awesome.

It was no surprise that there were also large numbers of these guys…


Teeny, tiny baby snakes! I know many of you are hot or cold with snakes, but I always consider them lucky.



I just love the full palette of greens out there this time of year.


And of course, the last hurrah of summer wildflowers. What a wonderful way to spend a morning!

We headed home early because of rain headed our way and enjoyed a quiet afternoon around the house. I did some spinning and started my little plying party. I’ll have photos of those new yarns soon for you, I promise. For those wondering, our friends at Fed Ex might be trying to kill me as their tracking services went offline for about 15hours. When it came back up a short while ago, my new spinning wheel is still listed as being in Minneapolis, but delivery is still scheduled for tomorrow. Until I see it start to move again, I don’t dare get my hopes up. Fingers crossed everyone!

With the impending delivery, you can bet I will be doing all the errands and cleaning so that when it does arrive I can just tear into it. I mean just try and stop me!

Moose, on the other hand, is still recovering from the weekend.


He has no big plans for, you know, moving anytime soon.  That’s summer, though, right?! Go until you can’t go anymore. Soak up the sun. Get pelted by flying frogs. Spin in the fresh air. Eat fresh, raw veggies. Just go, go, go until all you can do is hold down the couch. Yes, indeed, that is the quintessential summer way.

11 thoughts on “Quintessential Summer”

  1. Oh, TKS, this is one your all-time best! The photography is exceptional and I feel like I was there with you (wish I had been). The Mead Wildlife Area is magical (including the frogs and snakes!) and the Bittern sighting was amazing. I’m glad your leg/hip were OK and you got to truly enjoy yourself. OH, and the fruit/veggies picture was gorgeous – you should dye some yarn with those colors and call it “Fruit Basket Turnover”! 😂 Your kids are going to be such great, well-trained, earth-loving adults – Kudos, Mom!

    So, is the wheel “out for delivery” yet???

    1. It’s such a great spot. Occasionally you hear a train off in the distance, but otherwise it’s pretty much just us and nature because there aren’t many passersby. It’s a little piece of heaven!

      The wheel is currently in St Paul. I’m not sure if this is closer or further than it was yesterday, but I’m hopeful it’s one stop away from the delivery truck!

      1. My fingers are crossed on the wheel! I do hate that your ‘wheels are spinning’, but not in a good way!

  2. Sounds like a wonderful few days! That farmers market served you well, and I would eat everything raw, too. my grandmother used to make a “cold salad plate” for supper on hot night – some tuna salad and all fresh veggies, raw. No oven or stove needed. That says summer to me.

    I was good with the bird, fine with frogs, but baby snakes? You lost me there. 🙂 It does look lovely, though. I just won’t look down. 🙂

    1. I love those kinds of no-cook meals. I’m pretty partial to raw veggies over cooked, too, so all the better! I’m thankful my kids are not fussy when it comes to fruits and veggies, as well!

      As for the wildlife, I’d rather a snake over a frog any day. XD

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