Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Scene of the Blog Featuring Leslie of Under My Apple Tree

For once I actually remember when I first came across a featured blog. Leslie commented on one of my Mailbox Monday posts, and of course I had to go check out her blog. What I found was a kindred book, nature and photography lover.

Leslie's blog, Under My Apple Tree, is a refreshing blend of book reviews (she's an eclectic reader), giveaways, and photography. My favorite posts are her Weekend Birding series. I think both of us are guilty of sitting outside to read and getting sidetracked by visiting wildlife. It's probably also a safe bet that we take books and our cameras outdoors with us. I hope you take the time to visit Leslie's blog and say hello. I wouldn't be at all surprised if you wound up subscribing before you leave!

Before Leslie gives us the very special Scene of the Blog Tour, don't forget that you can click on each photo to view it in a larger size. Okay-- let's swing this spotlight over to Leslie!

Leslie reading
I’ve been blogging at Under My Apple Tree for several years. I work full time as a tax consultant in downtown Chicago, am married and live in the suburbs. A lot of my reading is done on my daily train commute and in the summer I love to read outside.

The name of my blog has nothing to do with books. I started it years ago as a place to record thoughts and comments and due to a lack of much of either I let it lie dormant until 2009 when I converted it into a book blog. There really is an apple tree that inspired the name. I planted it in my backyard about 15 years ago. It is now fairly large, makes a nice amount of shade and is a good place to sit on a summer day. It also makes apples which I rarely get to eat because the resident squirrels get to them first.

Science and speculative fiction are some of my favorite books but are only a portion of my reading. I also enjoy contemporary and historical fiction, mysteries, thrillers and narrative non-fiction. I also like cookbooks, gardening books, photography books and anything about birding. I’m a fairly eclectic reader and will give most books a chance if the subject interests me.

I can often be found stalking birds with my camera, photographing wildlife, flowers and nature scenes. I have a weekly feature called Weekend Birding which I post on Saturdays. I showcase photos of a different bird each week.

I also have a garden blog, LadyMin’s Garden, which will become more active now that the weather is warming up and I am planting again. I've been neglecting it to concentrate more on the book blog. Gardening is my therapy and I can spend hours digging, planting and weeding all the while listening to an audio book. 

Leslie's office computer
This is my office computer. The majority of my blogging gets done here. It's the most practical place to work with a comfortable chair and few distractions although I would prefer to be in a sunny window.

I refer to my office as the command center since this machine runs my home network and has the router, printer and network drives connected to it. I call my computer The Mothership and built her myself. I can get a little geeky at times and that's where my love of science fiction shows through.

Office bookshelves
This is one of the book shelves in my office. I keep my ARCs in one of the baskets so I won't lose them in the stacks but they overflowed into a swirling pile on my plant table. The shelves continue on up to the ceiling. My husband built them so I would have more storage space. 

Leslie's notebook computer
My notebook computer is wireless so I can sit anywhere even outside. This is a nice cheerful place at the kitchen table near my garden window. 

Books in the guest room

Even the guest room has book shelves. 

The backyard deck
This is my backyard deck. It's a favorite place to read while I have my breakfast. The apple tree is at the back of the yard in front of the garden shed.

Leslie's apple tree
The apple tree makes pinkish flowers every spring.

Leslie-- doesn't everyone's guest rooms have bookshelves?

I love the wallpaper on your office computer. I can't make up my mind if it's a scarlet tanager or a vermilion flycatcher. If the latter, we have them here in Arizona, and usually the best photo I can get of one is a butt shot!

It's easy to see that your home is a haven for the bookish and birdish. I would feel very much at home sitting on your back deck.

Thanks so much for the tour. I know we all appreciate it!

Don't forget to stop by next Wednesday when I'll be featuring yet another book blogger in our worldwide community!


  1. Oh thanks so much for letting me get to know Leslie a bit better. I'm a fan of her blog and her photographs. What a beautiful place she has -- inside and out.

  2. I'm also a fan of Leslie's blog and it's so nice to see a bit more of her books and her garden!

    I love the deck - with all the plant pots, etc. Really nice.

  3. Lovely - great spots for blogging!

    I'm torn between the familiar comfort of the (overflowing) shelves of books inside and the gorgeous backyard and deck outside ... lucky Leslie!

  4. I love Leslie's blog and very much enjoy her bird pictures. I'm in awe of the shots she gets, truly. OK, the back deck looks so inviting and tidy. Truly beautiful. I agree with you, Cathy, doesn't everyone's guest room have books? I mean, what would your guests read? Oh, not everyone looks for books everywhere? bad.

    Thanks for sharing Leslie's space with us, Cathy, and thanks for sharing your beautiful home with us, Leslie. It was fun!

  5. What a beautiful home? Love the deck. I can imagine how comfortable this house and yard feel after a day in Chicago's heat and rush. I'm off to visit the blog of a fellow birder.

  6. Thanks everyone for stopping by and enjoying my "space".

    The computer wallpaper is a Scarlet Tanager. It's a calendar... each month a different bird. I get them at Duncraft's website.

    The deck photo is from last July or August. It faces south so I usually get lots of sun and warmth. With all the rain and cool temps we've had this year my begonia in the planters are still very tiny.

    You can't see them from the photo, but just to the left in front of the deck are several bird feeders. They can be quite distracting when I'm reading but I love watching them. And yes, the camera is always nearby with the zoom lens attached.

  7. Lovely tour! I am a big fan of Leslie's book blog. She's a remarkable photographer, especially of birds.

  8. I love Leslie's blog - her photos of birds just amaze me. Our guest bedroom has a bookcase in it - but it's got our son's extra books in it.

  9. Lovely bookish office, and Cathy´s question made me laugh. We don´t have much fiction in our guest room, though, but that is because we have so much space downstairs (or perhaps because I have a mountain of crime fiction I have already read in my own office).

  10. I love is beautiful...and she seems very organized...

  11. A fellow train reader! I most especially love how even the guest room has books. :)


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