Over the last several years, we have made a point to visit the Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO in springtime. We visit at other times of the year, but spring is a must. Spring is when thousands of daffodils bloom at the reserve, and they are gorgeous.
While on a hike through the reserve this past weekend with our daughter and son-in-law, we kept an eye out for the wildflowers that are just beginning to appear. Our daughter and her husband also enjoyed geocaching along the trail.
Shaw Nature Reserve is indeed a truly wondrous place to explore and learn about nature. It is just outside of St. Louis, MO and yet when walking its trails and crossing its streams you know that you are out of the hustle and bustle, the noise and the traffic of a big city.
You can learn more about the Shaw Nature Reserve, and plan your visit, by checking out their website at
Here in Missouri, spring is also the season of the redbud trees. They are everywhere, along the roads and highways, in planned gardens, unplanned gardens, by the rivers and the streams, nestled in the hillsides…and they are the reason Missouri is incredibly gorgeous in spring. You can see them at Shaw, but we love seeing them everywhere we go.
These two pictures show the redbuds blooming at Montauk State Park…
and here are some redbuds in my own backyard…
As we were returning home, I could think of nothing but the fresh asparagus I had waiting for us. It would be our first asparagus this season, and I could hardly wait.
It is always good to come home and know that what you have planned for dinner will be easy and not take too long. Broiled Salmon, asparagus, and a big salad fit the bill for this meal after a day at the gardens. This recipe for Skillet-Roasted Asparagus is absolutely delicious and it is oh, so easy. It comes from a cookbook entitled The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook by Sharon Kramis and Julie Kramis Hearne, and was published in 2004 by Sasquatch Books in Seattle, WA.
- 1 pound fresh asparagus spears
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees with the rack in the center of the oven.
Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus and place the spears in a 10 or 12 inch cast iron skillet. Pour the olive oil over the spears and turn the asparagus with your hands until it is evenly coated with the oil. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.*
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve. This recipe will serve four people…and if you are like us, you will fight over the last few spears!
*You will need to keep and eye on the asparagus. Thinner spears will take less time, thicker ones more time.