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Monday, August 31, 2009

A Tinge of Autumn


This is one of the bountiful and beautiful hanging baskets that I mentioned in my previous post that was on the deck of the pub we visited.


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I have harvested my pear tree and have been enjoying their sweet and succulent taste. I think I'll be canning some of them so they can be enjoyed in the winter months as well. I'll post photos if and when I do that!

In the meantime the grapevine has draped itself over nearly all of the other trees in the back garden ...

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with groups of green gleaming globular... (well you get the picture)

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Meanwhile in the front garden, there is just a tinge of Autumn ~

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and a colourful face showing shades of fall~

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The blue hydrangea reflects the still blue skies of summer ~
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as the evenings become slightly cooler and darkness descends a little earlier ~

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Forgotlets, frhoglets, and tartlets

Just a minute until I gather some friends around to explain the foolishness that started on Thursday ~

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We're listening!
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On Thursday afternoon, the 'boss' and I got tired of the stuffy office and decided to have a 'meeting' on the outdoor deck at one of our favorite pubs. I took my camera along as there are beautiful hanging baskets, a lovely view, and I was hoping to take a photo of a dragonfly or two as they frequent the place as well. An hour or two passed by pleasantly and we left. (I mean, errr, we met and made up our "To Do List"...and then left.)

On the way home, I made an after-hours bank deposit for work, and then went to my own bank as I had a cheque to deposit at the ATM (automatic teller machine). In the bank alcove, I couldn't find a pen to write on my deposit envelope, so went back to the car to get one...keys locked in car, used extra key in purse to unlock car ... back to the ATM machine, got my bank card out, put it in the slot, and the screen read "Out of service". I think the deposits had just been picked up and the machine hadn't reset yet. Oh, well...these things happen...

So, I decided to go to the beach before going home and take some photos. Down to the beach, parked my car, looked for my camera ... no camera! I'd left it at the pub. I phoned my son at home to ask him to look up the pub's phone no., called the pub, my camera was there, phoned back my son, asked him if he'd like to go for supper there with me since it was now 5 p.m.!

Picked up son, went to pub, got camera, had supper ....went for a little walk around the place looking for dragonflies, leaned over a bridge to get a photo of dragonfly, glasses fell off the top of my head and down the bank near the water... son climbed precariously down and rescued glasses...


(PS ~ No alcohol involved even though at pub, in case anyone was wondering if that could have been a contributing factor...;)



At this point, I thought I'd better just go home and have an early night. Luckily I do see the humour in these type of incidents, although, by the look on my son's face, I'm not sure he did! I also try to see if there's a 'message' when these type of things occur quite noticeably.


Lesson Learned ~ The whole idea of going back to work is not such a great idea!


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I found all of these frogs on the web ~ but what about this shoe/boot cleaner...Doesn't it look very much like a frog-hedgehog, or frhog??
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This next one is animated, so wait until it ...



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smiles :)



On Friday, it was back to work again, with another afternoon 'meeting' as the weather was just too beautiful to be inside! I left my camera in the car this time.

About 6 p.m. I headed down to Victoria for the rest of the evening and stayed overnight ~ met my brother, other son and girlfriend, and three nieces at a ...pub. I didn't take even one photo, although it was a beautiful day once again. I noticed on my drive there and back that the maple trees had a tinge of autumn to them, that farmers were making hay again, that the flowers are still lovely ... and that summer really doesn't want to leave quite yet!

Now for the tartlet recipe that Louise asked about for these:

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Shortbread Tarts with Cheese and Fruit

Use tiny muffin tins, approx. 1 1/2" diameter. May make up to 3 doz.

1 cup butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 cup flour (not self-rising)
1 tbsp. cornstarch

Mix ingredients in mixmaster. Don't roll flat with rolling pin, but form into little balls and pat into muffin tins with your fingers to form shells. (You could chill it first, just so it's easier to form). Prick the bottoms with a fork and bake 20 mins. at 300 or 325 F. During baking time, prick bottoms again if the shells puff up. These may be made in large quantity and frozen.

Cheese and Fruit Filling

1 - 8 oz. pkg of Cream Cheese, softened
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla. Fill tarts at least 2 hours before serving to allow flavours to blend. Top with fresh fruit (i.e. kiwi, berries)

Here's a different filling that should be put into tart shells just before serving ~ same shortbread tartlet recipe.

Lemon Cheese Filling

2 eggs
2 tbsp. butter
1 cup sugar
Juice of 2 lemons and some lemon zest

Combine all ingredients in pan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook, stirring constantly for 15 minutes. Cover and cool in refrigerator. This filling will keep well in refrigerator and fill tarts just before serving.







Monday, August 24, 2009

Holiday Sunset

As my summer holidays drew to an end, a spectacular sunset shared amazing textures, drawing down the night-shades.




Waves crashed in a steady rhythm, raking the rocks and stones in a waterfall tumble ~ such drama, such unbelievable beauty.



I often think that the whole world should experience the sunsets I see ~ each one unique ~ some changing subtly and others, like this one, so dramatically intense.

After such an evening, it was hard to believe that white fluffy clouds occupy the same place the next day.

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The tide was going out, providing good fishing opportunities for a Great Blue Heron and a gull ~

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I had quite a busy last weekend of my holidays ~ with a visit from one of my sons, and my brother and his daughter who I hadn't seen for a few years because she was completing her Master degree back east...and had just returned from six months in South America.

Everyone was most appreciative of the waffle, bacon and egg breakfast. My niece asked me if I had a recipe for some little tartlets she remembered me making when she was a youngster. As a surprise, I whipped some up, but the only fresh fruit that I had for the top were blueberries, which make them look very symmetrical! Tasted good, though.

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This morning I went back to work... a bit of a shock to my system. Luckily hardly anyone else was around, so it's transition time before the onslaught in early September.

To close off, here is a little bouquet of aromatic roses from my garden :)

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fit to be Tied!

After looking at Flighty's delightful Froggie post today, I had a little chat with my twin frog-ties and shared his photos, and lo and behold ... they were

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My two, hanging on for dear life!

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Hedgehog Haven

As some of you may remember, last year I met Frog Newton on Flighty's blog and had fun making up a rhyming story under the heading of "Frog Ponderings". The series follows Frog and his friends on Flighty's allotment Plot 124. This year I haven't seen Frog Newton around, and only one sighting of my little frog that Flighty named Canuck. Hopefully the frogs are happily hopping around enjoying themselves.

This summer I have become quite fascinated with hedgehogs, thanks to John's blog, Midmarsh Jottings. Recently he procured a hedgehog house in hopes of a family of hedgehogs eventually setting up home. He is also rigging it up with a camera, which helps us all learn more about animal behaviour. Henry and Honey hedgehog are regular visitors to his back garden where they enjoy lovely delicacies, such as mealworms and crushed peanuts. If you read through his blog you'll also learn about the youngster, Hope.

After coming inside today, I decided to spend some time on my computer and before long I found a couple of hedgehog gifs online and ended up creating this, just for fun.

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'Hope' is the little hedgehog in the corner, clapping her hands. As I said, I found these gifs on the web, and just incorporated them with a slightly embellished photo of John's hedgehog des res. (I had to look up des res, as it was not a familiar term to me, and it makes perfect sense because it means desirable residence).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Walk, Water, Work, and Wings

At last we have had some rain and the temperatures have cooled down somewhat ~ in fact I've even felt a bit chilly at times! The rain was very welcome as it hasn't rained since the beginning of July. It's going to heat up again next week, though.

Even the vegetables had their fingers crossed for a bit of relief from the heat.

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On a cooler day, I dressed a little warmer and headed to the beach. By the time I was returning home, the sun was red hot and I was sweltering! I must remember to wear layers of clothing! Here's a few sights on my walk:


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The tide was going out, leaving a scattering of seaweed on the sand. It must have been a roiling sea!

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Can you see what I spotted?

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~ a heart rock snuggled in with the rest ~

From a previous photo I took, I realized that the suet holder was dwindling in content, so I refilled it, much to the delight of the chickadees, nuthatches and other small birds. There has been a flock swooping into the various trees, and I happened to video a few birds enjoying the new offering.



This is a nuthatch ~


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Of course, the neighbour's cat, Mr. Sneaky, has decided to visit and is watching my every move, as I watch what he's up to as far as the birds are concerned.


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Today, I spotted a couple of hummingbirds darting around. I managed to capture one of them in midair above the wildly growing grape vine!

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There are some large dragonflies around as well, but as yet I haven't seen one of them land!

I have tried to do some work each day so I don't get completely used to this holiday mood, like I was retired! Yesterday I managed to cut the front lawn before the rains came. Today I decided to do some 'school work' that I brought home in the middle of July. I thought if I got it sorted out it would help me prepare for what's to come in a couple of weeks when I go back to work. I was pleased to get it done. Now, back to being on holiday...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Images from the island

There were some picturesque scenes on my holiday island ... Photos are clickable.


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This photo was taken at a marina with a large contingency of expen$ive $eagoing ve$$els!

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A red heart leaf along the shoreline.

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If you came along on the bumpy ride on my last posting, you will be happy to know that I went out on the boat once more to pull up the last prawn trap. However, this time the ocean was as serene as a mill pond. Look what was in the prawn trap...

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What the heck is that! After a bit of research, we found out it was a Spotted Ratfish or here's another link...check out the eyeball, spiny fin and the shark-like mouth. He was carefully let out back into the water.

It was a lovely evening, so we sat in the boat on the smooth water, doing a bit of fishing. At first there wasn't any action at all ~ however, soon we were rewarded with a nibble of two and landed a rock cod and a red snapper. The 'fish bucket' was not on board, so the fish ended up on the floor of the boat, by my feet!


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The sunset was beautiful, but my camera didn't pick up the redness of the sun. Nevertheless, this series shows the beauty and tranquility of the evening.