Friday, May 23, 2008

identifying minnesota trees, orzo-less feta chicken, anniversary trip ideas (more whatnot)

Above: Elm, I believe, American (ulmus americana) from the Urtels' backyard

More often than not, I need help, but I'm learning how to identify things I find in the field. Perhaps this is emblematic of the impending blog move, though I must admit, I have long loved collecting scientific and natural factoids (and using them in poetry). I found this really neat site on identifying Minnesota trees; a bit of an after-the-fact exploration. I have a pocket guide too, which may have driven Ryan a little batty on our excursion to Afton.

Ryan brought up our one year wedding anniversary this summer, how we might celebrate. It seems strange to celebrate a first year anything when we are actually hitting nine years of being together, but I won't deny I'd love to take advantage and go on a trip! Because we are facing three years of nearly-single salary when I return to graduate school (the TAship covers tuition and a small stipend), his suggestion was to pack up the car and camp cross-country. Or rather, half cross-country, since we happen to be planted dead center. Oregon or Maine as end-destination? I've already been to Oregon once, but I would absolutely love to return. And truth be told, I have fantasized about meandering to Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine. Or Canada. Or we could go south, return to the land of my childhood. I haven't yet had the opportunity to show Ryan Chattanooga. But I'd love to drive to Missoula again, see the Idaho forests. Or the Tetons! Oh, but the coast. Cape Cod would be wonderful.

The ping pong again, this time, not as hard as deciding between MFA programs. So I ask, dear reader, if you had the opportunity to do a little camping adventure with this geography restricting you, where would you go? Maybe a week's time?

Last night we tried a new recipe: Bell Pepper Chicken with Feta Orzo. I couldn't find anything labeled orzo at our grocery store, so I substituted with another grain sized pasta and omitted feta from Ryan's portion.


michelle said...

although i'd dearly love to go out to the eastern seaboard i say take him south to your roots. i took chris to southern ohio and kentucky this summer and showed him areas that meant a ton to me as a child and it was incredible! you're seeing it again through new eyes and you're letting that main person in your life get a visual on the things you always talk about!

so yeah - go south! :)

Angie said...

I'd say go to the North Shore. It's close to home so you'd save on gas and it's gorgeous - and tons of parks to choose from.

As for the orzo - you couldn't find it? We love orzo. In fact we're making it tonight with dinner. Usually it's in little bags or boxes (or bulk if you're lucky enough) since so much can fit in a small package.

Molly said...

My brother-in-law's suggestion, to add to the pot:

Glacier National Park, Montana
Banff, Canadian Rockies
Canyonlands and Zion, Utah
Carsbad Caverns, New Mexico