Common flora of Western Pennsylvania

Suburban PA roadside flowers.

I’m not entirely sure how two weeks have passed without an update here.

And what do we have to show for ourselves?

We carted five overflowing truckloads of dead shrubs, overgrown azaleas, and pine branches to the local wood waste recycling place…

…revealing that the hillside behind the grassy area of our backyard once had a stone staircase down to the bottom, now covered in a half-foot of decomposed pine needles and various weeds…

…prompting an impromptu weed-pulling, hillside-clearing, and attempts to dig up the old rusted staircase railing…

…resulting in a nasty case of poison ivy rash (more likely caused by poison sumac, which we didn’t know how to identify) for the two of us.

Needless to say, that’s served to stunt our motivation for a little while.


In recovery, we’ve been enjoying:

  • A memorable and long birthday dinner where we enjoyed deep-fried cockscombs, and a white chocolate and goat’s milk ice cream dessert that tasted different with every bite.
  • A bouquet gathered from the weedy plants that have overgrown the sidewalks nearby, and learning that the succulent-like plant popping up in our driveway and front yard is edible purslane — although I can’t say I have a taste for it, I do love the way it looks.
  • Listening to Tame Impala’s InnerSpeaker, and finding a copy of the Black Angels’ Phosgene Nightmare – a Record Store Day release of b-sides from Phosphene Dream on 10″ white vinyl.
  • Making rough plans for the backyard and trying to figure out the right place for a hammock. Right now, I’m in love with these colorful fair-trade Mayan hammocks.

Our now shrub-less blank slate backyard, begging for us to be relaxing in the shade.