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Summer Solstice 2022

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We’ll start in the middle, with a video of the lighting of the summer solstice bonfire of 2022.  The weather was absolutely perfect and the crowd friendly and warm.  Every year the size of the fire seems to come as a surprise.

This year the weather was so cool that a dip in the river was not in the cards.

Rewinding a day, Aubrey provided another great iteration of the smoked salmon Messerhead feast helping to set the FOOD stage.  Speaking of FOOD, Chef Michael was down from Chicago with Astro.  That means we were spoiled rotten on the food front for days on end.

Salmon feast table

Any solstice that starts with caviar is destined for greatness.

Before.

Prepping for late night tacos

It seems that Chef Michael can’t cook for less than 700.  But that’s OK.  We just need to make the solstice party seven times bigger.  Pork shoulder in the firepit by the shrine.

We had a mid-day break to tour Eli’s fantastic art show at the Barns of Rose Hill.  The show continues through July 2nd.

Then it was time for the pre-game Negroni.

And we were officially underway.  Esther and Cora presided over the opening.

The sufferin bastard made an appearance

After an outstanding potluck feast, replete with fresh flowers, it was time for one quick song (thanks guitar week fellers) and FIRE.

By far the cutest thing at this solstice iteration was the jumping of the gun by Brantley the marshmallow boy.  The fire was still a bit young.  But that did not deter Brantley.


The fire burned for two days.  In fact, it is still smoking as I write this.

Thank goodness for Alec, David, and Gina.  We had a few hours of music by the bonfire.

Rumor has it that absinthe hour stretched from 3am-6am.

The next day happened fast.

Morning after breakfast

The chef outdid himself three times.

Party cleanup was a breeze with Aubrey in charge.  The weather cooperated the entire weekend.

What is left of this fire?

 

Are there coals down there?

 

Fresh veggies from the Berryville farmer’s market (thanks to Chilly Hollow Farm)

While the

veggies roast, we hang by the fire.

Donkey Hodie says “sup homey?”

Astro has the best home

 

The garden

 

Roast veggies

 

OMG more food

Even moonshine is in a food coma.

What do you do with recd currants?

You make a fresh tart.  Then mezcal straight from Mexico City?!  Yup.

Morning never arrived for some of the mezcal participants.

And then a visit from Iulie.

Fin.

 

Ganesh Chaturti on the Shenandoah

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Sometime last summer (during the height of the pandemic), “the shrine” on my property was designed by Allen Kitselman and implemented by Claudio and his brother.  On 9/12 it was properly initiated with a Ganesh Chaturi ceremony led by Karthik.

Here’s how that went down.

First, Karthik shared the significance of Ganesh Chaturti, read some ancient text, and made an offering.

Ready for the ceremony

 

Karthik leads the reading

 

Incense

 

Ganesh at the shrine (and everywhere else in the universe too)

 

In the verdant woods of Virginia

 

A gift for the mantle

 

Then it was off to the river for part two of the ceremony, a small prayer with an earthen Ganesha moorti which Jackie immersed in the Shenandoah river in a traditional way (plus kayaks).

We kayaked several miles together.  Had lunch. Saw eagles. Reveled in nature.  There was a cheeto sighting.

When we were getting ready to depart, the truck failed to start.  But we persevered (with some help from Skaggs and a trusty hammer).

 

And then some fabulous food and conversation.

All in all, an excellent day.  The shrine is consecrated and new friendships blossom.

Bindi people

 

Today, the light

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Three views from the corner.

Trio one

 

Trio two

 

Trio three

The walk.

 

 

Mogli blends

 

Shenandoah

 

 

 

Light

 

 

 

Tree fire

Winter Solstice Solo 2019

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The solstice tradition continues in force. Thanks to all who came for the love, laughter, music, and joy.

Tiki lighting

Tiki lighting

 

Deck the bridge

 

Sophie prefers parties indoors, thanks..

Sophie prefers indoor parties, thanks.

 

The barn in party mode

 

Before

 

More before

 

Sundown on the solstice

The lighting was as spectacular as ever.

 

Turn sun turn!

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile in the barn…Sophie takes a party nap.

 

Do not party like Sophie.

 

Boilo

 

Solstice potluck disco center

 

Burn hot

Alec and the fiddle player

 

The solution to cold butts

 

2am coals

I know, lets do it again. See you at the summer solstice!

The Garden Winds Down

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The garden produced prolifically this year.  It was a great year for watermellon and corn.  Heck, even the squash lasted for several months before it was wiped out by the squash beetles.

Some of the last of the bounty is coming in now.

Pepper haul Sept

Cayenne

Jalapeño, habañero, hot banana, cayenne

Late September tomato

Pick a peck of peppers

The tomato plans and the peppers have lots more production to go before they peter out. Meanwhile, the corn and the sunflowers are done. So down they come.

Gleaned corn

Now you see it

Now you don’t

I will stand up the husks in a typical Fall display, probably tomorrow.

extra junk

Sunflowers down.

Beheadings galore

Now you see them

Now you don’t

Sunflower poles

Fall.

Winter is coming.

Shadow play

Garden Update: Mid-Summer Bounty Begins

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Rain and sun. Rain and sun. 90 degree days and massive afternoon thunderstorms. The garden is OK with all that.

First real harvest and a vegetarian dinner grown entirely on the property.

Watermellon? Watermellon.

First real harvest. Still waiting for tomatoes to get red.

Garden Pre-Beach

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Here is update three on the garden.  Most everything is up except the third corn plantation.  The weed situation is entirely under control.  My bet is after we return from two weeks at the beach, chaos will be happening.  We shall see!

Shenandoah Bluebells 2019

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The bluebells are peaking in mid-April this year (a bit early), so we are outta here, headed to Norway for more winter. Because we, um, actually we think we’re nuts.

Here are some pictures from the daily walk.

Willie likes Spring

Bluebells by the river (this is our home loop)

The dogs have lost the trail!

The greening of the Blue Ridge has begun

This field smells like honey

Pollen leg is a thing

Footbridge on Wheat Spring Branch

Walkin’ On Water!

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Yes, no holy man, but pretty damn cute. And risky!  Shenandoah is frozen fun.  No human i know would head out that far, naked!DSCF0887.jpgDSCF0886.jpg

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Cautious, she is.

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Dude!  Come on back.

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He’s a Beauty.

Not everyone has that…Je ne sais quoi!

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You Are The Sunshine……

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Mogli

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Sunshine

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Mogli tends to Soupy Jr.

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Soupy Junes plays coy

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Sun shine

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Success

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