Friday, July 17, 2009

Going on a Mushroom Walk

Last autumn I posted some pictures from a short walk I took amongst the trees on part of the M&M Trail off Gulf Road. Last weekend I returned to the spot with my husband and parents, and it was wooded, lovely, and cool on a warm summer day -- a perfect location for a short walk (mind the mosquitoese). But with all the rain this season, mushrooms are springing up all over the place. Some are just beautiful; others remind me of alien life forms.


Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Cake

This isn't necessarily local, but since we are so close to the Eric Carle Museum, and since the VHC is one of my favourite books of all time, I thought I would share this link that my sister sent me yesterday -- the Very Hungry Caterpillar Cupcake Train. If you have a youngster with a birthday coming up, you may want to consider trying this beauty!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

There's a Reason They Call Them Hummingbirds

If you have been a reader of this blog, you will know the joy that watching the birds has brought me (especially during those dark days of winter) -- setting out food for them at the feeder and watching them enjoy. I have marked the numbers and varieties of birds, and only removed our main feeder late this spring when the grackles and starlings became too rowdy. After the feeder was put away, I missed my birds. The cardinal would often, in the morning, come to our deck and scold us for taking the food away, so I started throwing out handfuls of food onto the deck or laying some across the railing.

And then I received a hummingbird feeder for my birthday. It took some time to get it set up, and then it took some time to actually attract the birds, but now we have regular summer visitors -- a pair who feed many times a day. They are skittish, but allowed me to capture a photo this morning while I was enjoying the growing warmth of the day, reading a book, and listening to wind and frogs and birds.

(The picture gets bigger if you click on it.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Belchertown Car Show

I've been seeing signs for it on the Common and it's almost here -- the Belchertown Car Show! Presented by the Belchertown Cruisers, the show will be held at Chestnut Hill Community School on Sunday July 12 from 11-4.
There will be a DJ, cars of all makes & models, food & drink, and a raffle -- plus community!
The show will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

For more information, visit the website, or contact Rob at 687-5251 or email

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Skies

I know we're all tired of clouds by now -- at least we got some sun this weekend -- but last week's weekend clouds were spectacular. I couldn't help but snap a few photos. Amazing what some droplets and crystals in the sky can look like (even from a moving car).

Taken on Bay Road in Hadley.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

From the Sentinal...

A couple of things caught my eye today while I was perusing the Sentinal. First of all (on page 4), the Book Camp being organized by Girl Scout Troop #20434 and run in the basement of the Clapp Memorial Library. The book camp runs on individual days in July and August for youth ages 6-12 and includes a lot of great series of books, including Harry Potter, Maximum Ride, and Alex Rider. No contact information was included in the article, but I would assume that someone at the library would have information about it (probably the Children's Librarian).

On page 14, there is an event listing for a swing dance and concert with a live 8-piece band at the Belchertown Senior Center. There will be a free swing dance lesson at 5.30 and the concert & dance will go from 6-8. It's free and the public is welcome! Sounds like a great way to get the week started.

There are so many great things listed in the local paper each week -- and now you can download the whole paper online and read it as a .pdf wherever you are! It's one way of staying in touch with the community and making sure you don't miss any of those great events taking place!

Happy Fourth of July! Hope you're enjoying this beautiful day!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Leafy Greens

The first crop of lettuce from my (community) garden plot, picked a few weeks ago. A mesclun mix from seed and romaine from a start -- with all the rain, the lettuce has been growing like a weed!

Belchertown's NESFI is on Jackson Street, sharing property with Stone Soup Farm. I had planned on putting up more and earlier photos of the gardening site, which is a great place to try community gardening, but I've been terribly blog-lazy. The garden is inexpensive and organic, and I'm appreciating have a space in which to grow tasty red, yellow, orange, green, and purply things -- I have brussel sprouts*, eggplant*, four kinds of tomatoes, romaine lettuce, mesclun mix*, beets*, very large yellow marigolds (to keep the bugs away), zucchini, yellow summer squash, sugar snap peas, green beans, basil*, and nasturtiums*. It's all very exciting to me -- I love watching the seeds sprout and pop up through the ground and grow and eventually bear fruit. It's an amazing process, and very rewarding. Especially when you can pluck off a pea or a tomato and eat it on the spot.

I hope you have a garden this year and are enjoying it despite all the rain. At the moment I see some sun, and I'm hoping the warmth and light are reaching all my tender young plants.

*Things I've never grown before.

Photographs and text copyrighted by Livin' In the Belch blog author, unless otherwise stated.