Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Well, it's 2017

Still pathetic at blog upkeep, aren't I!?! It is among the plethora of resolutions for this  year, let's see if I can succeed.

Life continues on after the trials and tribulations of 2016, although it was at least an improvement over the several preceding years! Still, much to be thankful for, particularly two wonderful grandchildren born (and I've even gotten to meet one of them!!!), and yet another resolution is to dwell more on the positive instead of the negative. Kids are happy and some are procreating so life does go on! <3

I still enjoy cooking! It's the one thing I've been consistent with, but wow, so much thanks to Hello Fresh and Home Chef (read more about them under the Food Delivery Kits tab) for lightening the never-ending tasks of finding meals/recipes, planning, and shopping, which is what I had found to be the most overwhelming on a continual basis, not to mention the time and gas expense. Without those issues, I have been able to concentrate on the most important part, cooking with fresh ingredients. I love trying foods and combinations that I would never otherwise try, especially with ingredients that I cannot get locally at our Food Mart, which makes this service even more valuable to me.

Here is one that I added to my Hello Fresh photo album on Facebook today (prepared in November, it's not just blogging that I am pathetic at, there are 504 photos to go through downloaded today tsk tsk), Panko-Crusted Cod with Wasabi Aioli, Quinoa, and Green Bean Tomato Saute. It was delicious! I fell in love with the hot kick wasabi provides (including in mashed potatoes!). Of course, I can't find wasabi at my local grocer, so it's one of those nice treats to have from HelloFresh. Treat yourself and use the code under the photo to save some $$$!
Use code 9E93XP to save $40 on your first HelloFresh box! 
With the recent milder temperatures (and since it will be cooling back off again), DH took advantage and burned off some of our "natural habitats" he has been testing out since Spring is right around the corner! The birds and animals sure seem to love them for the extra food and cover. Leaving the natural growth has done wonders for the soil, although it's a long road to go yet, and the controlled-burning certainly helps in that regard.  DH is always very careful and mindful of the wind conditions, we don't want to lose our forest!

Lord of the Cottage enjoying a cuppa whilst tending his garden
Still love living in our forest by the river! Trying to recover from more setbacks and roadblocks, but we shall endure. There isn't any other choice, curling up in a ball and crying isn't an option. :P Besides, the itch toward minimalism is getting stronger and stronger. I've already started selling on ebay, who knows where this could end up. haha

Until next time...

Friday, May 27, 2016

More wildlife visitors

The wildlife here never ceases to amaze me, and you never know what you're going to see or hear next, including at night. There was quite a ruckus out on the deck last night, obviously fighting over seeds left out in a bucket. I couldn't see out the window and I sure as heck wasn't going to open the door! haha I hope they got it sorted out, there was no blood or fur anywhere so I guess it ended peacefully.

We have left some areas to grow wild again this year, the animals of all sorts seem to love it, and are always enjoying them. And it has a real benefit of helping with astronomical seeds costs! David has mowed pathways throughout the property, and the animals appreciate them too (they must, since they're always using them!). David is also working on some ponds. He still has to be very careful because of his shoulder(s) and back but he does enjoy a bit of a dig once in a while.
March 2016, still working on the ponds...
...but you never know when you may want to fish or see something to photograph.
April...a bit more work on the ponds
handy riding mower with trailer! 
Some more recent visitors that stopped by to see me....
Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Male Cowbirds up to their usual antics
Cyril, the male Red-bellied Woodpecker, digging around in a log.

May as well enjoy a seed while I'm at it. 
I remember when we first moved here a few years ago, we saw one little skinny squirrel at the forest edge. Now look! A great buffet helps, and we now have several that live around here, always using the footpaths but like having that tall growth to dive into when needed.

 Love having the Blue Grosbeaks back here!

Male Blue Grosbeak enjoying the heck out of plants left to grow wild  

  A day isn't complete without seeing our Indigo Buntings!

Male Northern Cardinal and male Indigo Bunting let each other eat some seeds

I never dreamed we would be seeing birds in such beautiful colors! It's wonderful learning about their habits and quirks. 

Until next time...

Monday, May 23, 2016

Enjoying life again...

Slowly but surely...beginning to see the light of day and enjoying our life here. I wanted to post photos of some recent visitors to our yard while looking out my living room window. It's heating up quickly here since the humidity is settling in. We did have a nice Spring, oh the blossoms in the forest were particularly stunning this year! 

The photos below were taken within the past few weeks, I'm nearly just as bad downloading the photos I take as I am posting on the blog!

Male Indigo Bunting 
Two male Cowbirds up to their strange cluck-cluck ritual, with heads raised as if signing in a choir. 
One of the resident turkeys strolling (quickly) through the yard

Male American Goldfinch, in its summer splendor enjoying a seed.

I did not poop on this chair. Honest. 

We have seen at least four male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and two female! Love having these around now.
Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak (back with profile) Don't make fun of his nose, he's sensitive.

Until next time....

Monday, May 2, 2016

Still loving it here!

I have been even more remiss about posting here than on the other blog, Lourdes Hospital Watchdog. I finally did a post there today, you can find it here at http://lourdeshospitalwatchdog.blogspot.com/

I wish I had it in me to write a lovely post...they will hopefully be making their way here very soon. If you read the other blog, you will hopefully understand the absence.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Yesterday, another one of the birds David photographed appears to be a Sharp-shinned Hawk. Unfortunately, the bird wasn't cooperative in posing properly but he was able to get some photos of its back.

The Sharp-shinned Hawk is a year-round resident in our area, and they are 10 - 14 inches in length, the smallest of the North American accipiters (hawks characterized by short wings and a long tail). Adults are slaty blue-gray above, with narrow, horizontal cinnamon-colored bars on the breast. Immature birds are mostly brown, with coarse vertical streaks on white underparts.

Adults and young have broad dark bands across their long tails, and females are larger than males. They prey on birds and small mammals, such as songbirds and mice. Accipiters fly by flapping their wings a few times, then gliding with wings flat or slightly bowed, then flapping a few more times.
 In the photo below, it seems you can faintly see the cinnamon stripes on the breast.
Sharp-shinned Hawks are agile fliers that speed through dense woods to surprise their prey. They do not stoop on prey from high overhead. They may also pounce from low perches. Their habitats are in woodlands and brushy areas.
Unless we find out differently, I will leave it at that. I might see if I can tempt one into the house to eradicate the mouse I've been hearing in here, it may at least distract it from eating our songbirds!!!

Believe it or not, that is it for today :) Until next time....