Saturday, July 26, 2014

Jay Walking at Wood Lake

I caught a Blue Jay at Wood Lake.  He is not a "friend" of most birds.  But look at his amazing plumage.   A beautiful bully.

He looks like a bearded grandpa here.

"The objective is to teach the student to see the land, to understand what he sees and enjoy what he understands"

Aldo Leopold

Thanks wise old Blue Jay for pointing out this quote to me.  I hadn't noticed it before.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Golden Brown

The theme this week at made me think of pancakes.  So I'm posting my latest illustrated recipe. I'll be making this very soon.  Juicy summer peaches are the best!  I've also been enjoying my granola with lots of summer berries.  Alas, the raspberries in our garden have come to an end.  And Winter Breakfast, a.k.a Nutty Toast has turned into Summer Breakfast.  Click here for that recipe.  But for delicious pancakes follow this...

1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1  beaten egg
2 tbsp oil
1 cup flour or 1/2 cup white and 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Mix the dry ingredients and then add the wet ones.  Don't over mix.  The batter should be lumpy.

Drop the batter onto a hot buttered skillet.  Add sliced peaches and toasted pecans to the top.  Fry until golden on each side.

Serve with butter and syrup and don't forget the bacon!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sock Kitten Cam

Don't worry.  You don't have to play a movie...

I thought this was the perfect post to follow my Pawshanks Prison illustration...

Our cat Hana has this cute habit of leaving what we call sock kittens by the door when we leave the house.  I think it is like a welcome home gift.  Or something.  We'd never actually caught Hana doing it before this.  But we knew it was her because she loves to drag soft blankets around as well.  So a few days before we took our trail cam to the woods this summer we did some under cover cat surveillance.  Mission accomplished.

We left the house and...

Hana enters the frame with a sock at 11:43 am.

She sets it down...

She adjusts it....

But something wasn't quite right so off she goes.

But she immediately brings it right back and drops it.  I think the camera surprised her.  Ha!  This photo is hilarious.

Hmmm.  Is it right?

  No.  So at 11:47 we see an empty carpet and her bringing it back again!

The new placement.

She exits the frame.  

Success!  We find a sock kitten in front of the door when we come home.  So cute.  Thanks Hana.  We know she misses us.

P.S.  If you like cats be sure to scroll down to see my Pawshanks Prison illustration!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Apoyo Lagoon

We visited the Catarina look out over Apoyo Lagoon in Nicaragua last winter.  It was interesting to see the view from the top since we were staying at the bottom.  The Apoyo Lagoon formed from the inverted cone of a volcano.  It is warmed by hot springs and is the cleanest water in Central America.  The green slopes hold a diverse variety of fauna.  And a lot of Howler monkeys and Motmots.  Our kind of place! 

 Boy were we attacked by "sales" people at this stop.  My husband caved and bought 2 oval magnets.  They are sized and polished so that they make a whizzing sound when you throw them together up in the air.  The cats are fascinated by them.  And they remind us of the trip.  So I guess getting conned into them wasn't so bad.

Mombacho Volcano is on the right.  I recently read in the newspaper that Nicaragua had a big earthquake.  And all those Volcanos are no joke.  At the active Masaya Volcano (not shown) they request you back into your parking spot.  So you can make a quick escape!  Uff da.

Our little cabana at the bottom of Apoyo Lagoon.

And our first outdoor bathroom!

  It was quite the drive getting in and out of the crater for sightseeing.  But worth it.  We did all of our own driving in Nicaragua.  And it is almost impossible to be a tourist driver and not get waved over by a police officer.  So we had a whole variety of tricks up our sleeve for dealing with it.  Tinted windows.  Hats pulled down over our face hiding our gringo status.  An expired driver's licence at the ready.  And if we got pulled over we would act as confused as we really were.  You heard right.  We wouldn't need to act.  But it never happened!  I guess it is the watched pot phenomena.  We've heard that if you just don't pull over, gas is too expensive to give chase anyway.  But that was one thing we weren't planning to try.

A king fisher on the dock.

But what we really loved spotting were the Motmots.  

The Turquoise-browed Motmot is quite a stunner.  How does he keep his delicate tail so perfect?

We had a lot of fun at San Simeon on our last night.  We were celebrating with a little Flor de Cana.  O.K., a lot of Flor de Cana.  When low and behold the owner brought out the aged 18 year variety.  Some of the best in the world.  Ours to taste for free!  Well, we certainly didn't need it.  But it made for a fun night.  And more fun memories.


Monday, July 7, 2014

Orlando Outback

We are probably the only people on the planet that would spend a week in Orlando and only go to the parks one day.  But next year we plan to go to Universal and get a 3 day pass.  So there.  But one of the days we hiked on this Disney owned property in the outback.  Outback of Orlando that is. The souvenirs here were on the cheap side.  And oddly sticky even though no children had touched them.

There was water.  But no water rides.

We saw a bird.  And it had real wings.

The grounds weren't manicured.  And they were watered by God and/or Mother Nature. They both work for free by the way.

This young pine tree was one of the newest attractions.

And there were cranes.  Although, they weren't building a darn thing!

We walked for miles and didn't see any mice.  Nice