Thursday, September 30, 2010

B is for...

Bicycle, of course!
Come join me on a Bike ride....
along the Loveland Bike Trail near Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Yep, that's my Bike!  I love it!  It takes me on so many adventures.)
The trail often follows the Beautiful Little Miami (National Scenic) River.  This photo was taken from the old railroad Bridge that crosses over the river.
A little farther along, the path Blithely goes under the I-275 Bridge.
Lovely Autumn Blossoms sway gently in the Breeze--purple, yellow, white, and lavender.  These are asters and goldenrod.  I see a Bee Buzzing in the Bounteous nectar, but she is too quick to be captured.
Bicyclists, runners, walkers, rollerbladers, dog walkers, and horseback riders wander along the path.  Notice the carpet of Brown leaves.  Due to very little rain for months, the leaves, instead of Blazing with color, are turning Brown and crumbling off the trees.  They do make a lovely crunching sound as the wheels run over them.
See the little Bridge on the left?  There are houses up the Bank Beyond the Bridge. How wonderful to live so close to the path and the river!
Next up:  the downtown area of Loveland.  Here is the view from the Brown Bike racks--more Bikes and a Bakery on the right.  See the swing made of Boards?

a bakery with Blue trim and a Bench.
I've already passed two parks (Miami Scenic Park and Miami Riverview Park) Here is a small glimpse of C. Roger Nisbet Park, looking from the green Bike racks, of course!  The Building houses an information center for the Little Miami Scenic River.
A sculpture of a Bicyclist is at the far end of the park.

A Brown Barrel holds decorations that Boast of Fall's nearness.

A father is teaching his young son how to skip rocks along the water.  This is my turn-around point.  I have ridden almost 10 miles.  (click to enlarge)
Back to Loveland.  The Brick Building houses a restaurant where I have dined with friends several times in the middle of a ride.
crossing the Brown railroad tracks...The sun will be setting soon.   See the pink tinge in the sky?
Smooth Brown Boards of the picnic table glow in the late afternoon light as Brown limbs arch overhead shaking their green leaves.   (canoe rentals nearby) 
<-- Avoid the Bumps!                             Bowed head -->
Hear the BaBBling of Beech Creek?  I am almost back to my starting point.  This was a fun ride on a glorious day.  I (almost) never take my camera with me when riding, so it was a treat to capture some of the sights I often see along this trail.
This is a fun weekly meme, under the direction of Jenny Matlock.   This week we are Blatantly exploring the letter "B."   Come and join HERE.  Here is Jenny Matlock's submission, Beautiful Blue Window.

Now go visit and enjoy all the creative submissions!

Rail Trails are old railroad beds converted into trails for public use.  The first trails in this area were built in 1972.

Miami Valley Rail Trails   --289 miles so far and includes the Loveland Bike Trail
all photos by me (taken today) © 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

Arch Rock, Valley of Fire

Arch Rock, Valley of Fire 
Valley of Fire is Nevada's oldest and largest state park located in Overton, 55 miles NE of Las Vegas off Interstate 15.  The park, dedicated in 1935, derives its name from the beautiful red sandstone rock of the Mojave Desert.  The lovely formations in this park were created by shifting sand dunes.  Uplifting, faulting, and extensive erosion have created the landscape of today.

This is a fun weekly meme, under the direction of Jenny Matlock.  However, this week, Mrs. Matlock's younger, more fashionable, but crabbier sister is in charge!    Come and join HERE.  Here is Jenny Matlock's submission, A is for Acupuncture.

This week, we honor the letter"A."  If you click on the link above, you will discover so many creative takes on this letter.  Now go visit!  

Continuing with the Valley of Fire, here are a couple more photos:
The red rocks often appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun's rays.  The sandstone formations are made of sand grains that are almost pure silica.  The "red" color occurs when quantities of iron are present, producing a rust like stain.
petroglyphs:  rock art made by carving into the surface of the stone.  These were probably made by the Anasazi farmers from the nearby fertile Maopa Valley, somewhere between 300 BC and 1150 AD.  

LINK  to a past post on Valley of Fire which has a couple links for more information on this beautiful park.

I am also linking up with Gemma's Weekend Nature.

photos by me © 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Asian Sesame Spaghetti Salad

This recipe receives rave reviews!  I first tasted it when served by a neighbor at our annual block party.  I've made it a couple more times, varying the vegetables each time.  I've also altered the recipe slightly from the original, so have fun with it!  Make it to your taste. 
whisk together:
1/2 C rice vinegar
1/4 C red wine vinegar
1/2 C sugar (or use just a little bit less)
2 T sesame oil
1 T soy sauce (tamari is best if you have it)
2 garlic cloves, minced
@ 2 t yellow mustard
1/2 to 1 t ground black pepper
1/2 t ground ginger (or 1 t grated fresh--or more!  I love fresh ginger!)
1/4 t ground red pepper (or to taste or leave out)
 tiny pinch of salt

16 oz cooked spaghetti, al dente, no salt or fat added (or vermicelli)
2 T sesame seeds, toasted

vegetables  (use the vegetables of your choice, as many or as few as you like)
variation 1:  (original, that's why there are actual measurements!)
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 small zucchini, cut into thin strips
4 oz shredded carrots
1/2 C chopped green onions

variation 2:
red bell pepper, chopped
green onions, chopped
yellow baby carrots, cut into thin coins
radishes, cut into thin strips
corn, cut fresh off the cob

variation 3: 
2 T green bell pepper, finely chopped
3/4 of a red bell pepper, chopped
1 ear of corn, cut fresh off the cob
orange carrots, cut into thin coins
1 T turnip, finely chopped
green beans, cut and steamed 
1 green onion, chopped

As soon as the spaghetti is cooked, drain thoroughly and place in a bowl.   Stir in the whisked ingredients while spaghetti is still warm.  Toss in sesame seeds.  Add vegetables.  It will take an hour or two for the flavors to blend.  

NOTES:  The photo is of variation 3 made with vermicelli.  For fun, to take the photo, I placed the salad on baby field greens and added basil leaves with a chamomile flower.

photo by me © 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

a most special day!

Happy Birthday to my dear daughter!
photo by me © 2010 ( a photo of a photo from long ago)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Breaking through: SkyWatch Friday

 Sun trying to break through the rain clouds in Grand Canyon National Park, August
This post is for SkyWatch Friday hosted by Wren, fishing guy, Sylvia, Klaus, and Sandy.  Come join us in this awesome meme, link up, and meet folks from all over the globe

photo by me © 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010


This is a fun weekly meme, under the direction of Jenny Matlock.  This week the theme is violet, the end of a short run of color themes.  Come and join HERE.

This is angelonia.  It is also called summer snapdragon.  A sun lover, it will grow 1-2 feet tall.  It is a perennial in zones 9 & 10.  The following link said it can be grown indoors in a sunny location, so I will bring this plant inside for the winter and see what it does.  I have a plant conservatory and may plant it in that.  I have a couple of these plants in containers by my front door.  
photo by me © 2010