Tuesday, February 22, 2011

So much for thoughts of Spring

After the heady days of temperatures in the 70's last week the temperature is 25 degrees F this morning and here is the back yard view:

But I am thankful that this is all there is as the forecast potential was for 2" to 5"of snow. And that this is only snow and not an earthquake such as there has just been in New Zealand where I have family.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's not Indian Summer

but surely there is a term for when the weather gets unseasonably warm in mid February and everyone gets a serious case of Spring Fever.

This past week that is what we have had. The temperatures were creeping up higher each day and by Friday got to a high of 77 degrees F (which is 30 degrees higher than the average for that date).

Along with the warmer temperatures there has been a lot of wind so I was outside picking up sticks; that is broken branches and the like. My stick pile is getting quite big by now:

While occupied with that task I needed to be careful where I was walking as the first few daffodil shoots could be seen bravely poking through:

The forsythia branches are showing buds:

And I took the time to clean out the bluebird house:

It would be grand if this year a bluebird did find the box and use it! Each year some bird has a try at taking up tenancy in this real estate but in all the years it has not been a bluebird and it has not been a nesting spot that has been a success all the way through to there being baby birds. Maybe this will be the season!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Tree tops in winter

Although winter is not the prettiest season in the garden if you look around, and up, with a keen eye there are some interesting sights to see.

Earlier this week after a stretch of several dreary days we had a blue sky day. Looking out my window I was struck by the contrast of the winter hue of this cedar tree with the background sky color.

Unhappily, right next to the cedar tree there is this view of a wretched plastic bag trapped in the maple tree. I hope it is not too many more days before the wind will carry this away.

In our small town there is currently a campaign going on to name the bird that best represents our town. Artists are being asked to create and exhibit artworks of their choice of bird and the photographers are all snapping away trying to capture a prizewinning photograph. There is a red bellied woodpecker who is fond of this tree in my garden so when I saw it this morning I made a dash for the camera to see if I could take a photo to enter in the exhibit. As you can see, I was not able to zoom in close enough to get a clear photo of the bird but I did like the winter images of bark and raindrops all the same.

Maybe I'll remember in May to tell you which bird won the election.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Does a recipe live up to its name?

Last week, when the weather forecasters were correct and we were having a snow event we decided that it was a good night for "comfort food" for dinner.

The ground meat to make meatloaf was taken out of the freezer to thaw and meat loaf was made.

But we all wondered if perhaps that ground meat had been in the freezer too long as the meatloaf was drier than usual. Nevertheless, we did enjoy cleaning our plates.

It wasn't quite as dry as it looks as I poured on the gravy after taking the photo. We cleaned up the dishes and later on cut into the pie Geoff had made for dessert.

This was a new recipe, sent us by AK, and its name is Disaster Pie. H'mm.

The recipe is one that requires you to put aside all notions of how a pie is meant to be made. Despite well buttering the cooking dish first it was a struggle to get a neat serving out of the dish.

Later, when I was rereading the recipe I saw at least one suggestion that we had overlooked and that was not to use fruit that was too juicy. We used frozen peaches and frozen raspberries and the latter just turned immediately liquid when cooked. But that does not really explain why we had to chisel the slices out of the dish.

Perhaps the pie was simply living up to its name.