This flower shot provides a perfect occasion to quote a Jack Johnson song. But these sunflowers are stunning, even from the back. Even before the bloom started to open (click on the flicker button to the right of this page, to see more shots). I bought the seeds a few years ago but this is the first year I had ground available, and remembered to plant them, in June.

I’ve also had outdoor sowing success with some sage and nasturtium, as well as some spinach and arugula (both are bolting at this point- perhaps I can collect the seed soon). And of course the Cosmos and Cleome from last year self-seeded all over the place. A few of them I allowed to grow big.

My camera is only drawn to the flowers in my life lately, but rest assured my yard has plenty of weeds, as I have other things going on as well.

I’m still training for a trail half-marathon in September, and that’s been quite an adventure. I’ve learned that I can convert my usual Tuesday interval workout to a longer easy flat run, as the hills in my weekend trail runs provide ample work for my heart.

The rehab work I’d been doing for my February shoulder injury has gone very well, and so my rock climbing has been going well, too. I haven’t gotten outside to climb so much, but there’s still plenty of warm weather left for that.

Hubbie and I continue to enjoy cooking, experimenting both with new recipes and local ingredients. However, we’ve also had some excellent meals out, at some new restaurants. Recently we had a fabulous dinner at the Strip Club, a Victorian-styled (à la St. Paul gangster-era) “meat and fish house.” We recommend… well, everything we had: the soup special (a zippy corn bisque), walleye fritters with a tarrgon aioli, and the Crudo del Giorno, for starters, then the fish special & the new york strip with the Moulin Rouge sauce. Dessert was a special, too- a marvelous “composed” German chocolate cake with panna cotta. To accompany the meal, Steve had some of the Rush River IPA, and I had a “Danny the Bucket” cocktail that was very refreshing.

It’s been an awfully good summer, and not just because we haven’t yet had to turn on the AC unit.

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