Native to the state, the California Buckeye (Aesculus californica) grows prolifically along seasonal streams and south-facing hillsides, and was often planted as an ornamental next to barns and schoolhouses of West Sonoma County. The tree has been in bloom for longer than expected this year with the cooler weather, and its sweet smelling blossoms are a heady complement to the freshly harvested hay as we ride to the coast. Sometimes called the California Horse Chestnut, the Buckeye gets its name from its large, poisonous nuts, which feature a white spot resembling a buck’s eye. The Pomo Indians occasionally resorted to processing the nut for consumption, and famously used its toxins to stupefy fish.
California Buckeye (Aesculus californica)
Matilija poppy (Romneya coulteri)
busy butterfly in the blackberry blossoms
Around the Wowhaus compound, we’ve been spending long evenings planting the garden, cooking and hanging out by the garden fire listening to the ravens joke. The pollinators have been especially active in the blackberry blossoms and newly blooming Matilija poppy, heavily laden with bright yellow pollen.
Garden Grilled Salmon with Favas
The favas are on their way out, but the remaining beans are still delicious, if somewhat starchy. I like them seared over coals in a hot skillet with lots of garlic and salt, then left to smoke and simmer away from the flame. They’re great served with rice and your favorite spicy condiment and lemon, alongside grilled fresh salmon.