Spent time this morning planting baby lettuces in the garden I share with neighbors - Mesclun Mix, Buttercrunch, Oakleaf, and more. We had to resort to garden center four-packs because we waited too long for the hot weather to break, and now it's too late to plant seeds. We are learning as we go. This is our first vegetable garden, entirely inspired by Barbara Kingsolver's recent non-fiction book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life.
Came straight home and headed out through the woods with the dogs for a walk on the pipeline. The mosquitos from the vegetable garden must have followed me home because they hovered and buzzed and used their silent landing skill to sneak in and bite me while I drew these two Spiny Puffballs. I also discovered two fire ants walking on my knee. Yikes! I jumped up, brushed them off, and turned to check out the old, flattened chair pad I drag around with me for pipeline comfort. Didn't see any more, so I returned to my spot.
It was interesting to see that the puffballs' "spines" were in the process of falling off. They were in a pile, and sprinkled here and there around the puffballs, probably splashed by recent rain. While drawing, I remembered a friend telling me that in Germany last month she saw a recipe for "Puffball Soup." I guess you'd harvest them while small, before they turn into papery puffs, and surely you wouldn't use the spiny variety. I could serve it with fresh salad from the garden! (Check here for a recipe.)