Monday, September 22, 2014

Wild flowers and Evil Squirrels

Sorry for the long post.
Time for an update on my summer since I didn't do a whole lot of blogging cause of the craziness of it all. Yup it was crazy and its the end of summer. Boooooooo Hissssssss. But on the upside there are only a few more months till spring. I would rather avoid thinking about the misery months to some. That's what I like to call them.

Lets see, there was my poor kitty Meetso. He got really sick. So sick I thought he was going to kick the bucket. The poor guy got so sick he stopped eating all together. So I brought the poor guy to the vet. He hated it of course but at least he's not a mean cat. He does have great manners after all. So he had a blood test to make sure he didn't have any major diseases. He did not thank goodness. He ended up getting a shot and some antibiotics that I had to orally give him every day twice a day. Also not fun especially when you need two people and the person does not follow instructions well making the situation worse. But then finally he was all better. All up to snuff and a terror of his domain. 

Also did I mention my doves, my sneaky doves pulled another fast one and made two more babies. Didn't expect them and neither did I expect them to be speckled again. One white with peach colouring and the other white with regular colouring. I'll have to take some pics when I can. Probably when they're indoors for the winter. Bright little fellas. Btw they are boy and girl. They always come that way with doves. Also they learned all kinds of things really fast too.

A few weeks later if I remember correctly one night when I when to feed Meetso after taking my bath. About 3am I noised water on the floor in the basement. Not too unusual when its warm outside and cool inside especially downstairs. But then it was coming from underneath a door to the water heater room/ small storage. I go and open the door and there was water spitting out of a pipe onto the ceiling if you would call it that on to the water heater. I was a little worried that it might damage the tank. But I guess it didn't after my dad repaired it the next day. Luckily every thing worked find and the pipe hasn't leaked since.

Then we ended up find out we had a huge wasp colony in our fruit cellar. I first noised something odd when I went in there to get a pop. At first I thought it was another water leak of some kind. So went outside to see if there was a leak outside since we do have a water faucet there. But then I noised lots of yellow jackets coming in and out of a little hole in the wall. Hummmmm Then went back inside and I went closer in a corner of the room to take a so called closer look. I made some noise by knocking on the wall and sure enough realized that we have a very large and angry colony. I also noised that there was a certain spot on the ceiling where the drywall was very thin. I was very concerned about the whole thing but nothing was done about it till it was too late.
A few days latter mom was the unfortunate one to go there and take care of some business but didn't get too far. The wasps apparently finally broke thru that spot of concern and were now flying around the cellar. Luckily she didn't get stung. But unfortunately one family member got stung indirectly and unintentionally. Eventually every thing was brought under control and the whole colony was killed off as a result of a nasty and expensive insecticide spray. It was then after leaving the room to its self for a few days and pulled out a sample of the hive when we realized how large the mass yellow jackets were.
I think they were there for at least 2 years.

But of course as a result we had another problem.
Poor Meetso came home one night, the same night we took care of the big wasp problem. So he came home from one of his kitty adventures only to be licking his tail area profusely and acting strange. He ran straight inside like a cartoon kitty. He wasn't acting any better the next day and then after that stopped going out all together. Forcing him to go out and get some fresh air wasn't any better since I noised he would go nuts when any mosquito or other flying insect would land on his butt. No one believed me and I think no one believes me still that he can act so strange and all of a sudden. Of course I knew that it might be a possibility that a left over angry wasp had stung him at night when he when to explore the bushes at the front as he brushed by. So there fore any flying insect especially mosquitoes would send him in to a tizzy. He would even try to bite them in mid air. It was just crazy.
Well none the less this summer fiasco lasted several weeks. I think it was a month's worth of trouble for Meetso but just a few days ago he finally got out of it. He seems now back to his king of the jungle self. In fact he landed him self a tasty tidbit with wings the other morning. A morning dove. Unfortunately I found the evidence of his messy dinner all over his favorite dinning spot.


Speaking of things to eat did I mention the squirrel invasion? No I don't eat squirrels but I do or rather we as in the family like to eat tomatoes. In recent years they managed to eat all of our peaches but this year there was none. It was the bad winter we had but my dad mentioned that it also might be the age of the tree. So anyways the squirrels decided that they would help them selves to every beef steak tomato growing our vine, ripe or not whether it was too big to carry or not. When it was too big or behind a fence they would just take a bite out of it to claim it as their own. That was the last straw! That and the fact they then tried to eat all the seeds in my doves cage. Some how they little thieves got their little stick paws in there and snatched out every seed. By morning my poor doves had nothing to eat. Oh yeah did I mention they mooched all the wild bird seed I put out for the wild birds too.
So yeah, I decided that it was time to do something about the most annoying creatures ever besides mosquitoes and do something about it. I when to the store and bought a small trap. A nice little humane trap to trap the little buggers. So then I set up the trap which was fairly easy and filled it with extremely tasty things like peanut buttered bread, some peanuts, some acorns, sunflower seeds and a trail of bird seed leading to the trap. I set the trap in a small area next to our garage and under a pile of wood, piled up near a wall and then waited. I didn't wait long till it caught one of the little buggers.
My dad then helped me oust the guy leaving him at a nice wooded area with sparsely populated with people and farms. A really nice place for a bunch of little bushy tailed jerks. Too good for them really but what ever. So far I caught 4 of the little jerks. I'm still aiming for two young trouble makers still hanging around. So you heard me little bushy tailed thieves, I'm coming for you.

Oh and actually I do have one thing that wasn't so crazy that I found. It was another interesting weed that's edible. So I took a few pics of it. It looks a lot like rhubarb only its not.
Apparently its another European import called the Common Burdock.
You can eat the boiled roots in its first year and in the second you can boil and eat the stocks and flowers with some salt and butter. Neat stuff! Sounds way better then rhubarb any day. Yuck!
Oh yeah I heard you can candy the flowers or something. I guess for more uses go look for the info online of course. 


Burdock's just about to bloom. ^




Burdock's blooming. ^


Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Mud pie in the sky

This is a mud pie you can actually eat, minus the worms and other nasty surprises you find in soil. Unless you're one of those fat-a phoebes or a little sugar sends you in a tizzy. You only live once people. Remember that. 
Anyways its based on a traditional mud pie called Mississippi mud pie.
You can get the traditional recipe here. Its great for parties but a bit much for small families but well worth it if you still decide to make it. 
So I made my own mini version with slight differences. Here's how I made my own version in case you're curious.

You need half a softened or room temperature cream cheese.
One shortbread cookie ready made pie crust. Like the Keebler elf brand pie crusts.
Two packets of Ready whip cream or other brand.
Vanilla extract which will go in to the Ready whip
One package of chocolate pudding.
Nuttella or some other brand of choco-hazelnut spread.
Some walnut meat about ¼ chopped if desired
Some walnut meat for decoration if desired.
Some chocolate syrup or powder or what ever else chocolate you can use for decoration on top if desired.

Prepare one whipped cream packet to the instructions. Whip the product till it has peeks.
Place half of the whip cream in with the half cream cheese and whip until blended.
Place in pie.
Prepare the chocolate pudding. Place the dry mix in to a bowl with a generous tablespoon full of that hazelnut spread. Add some milk. But instead of using the traditional two cups of milk, use only 1 and ½ cup milk. Its going in to a pie after all.
Place the pudding in to the fridge and in the mean time prepare the other whipped topping to the instructions. At this point you can mix that one with the other whipped topping you made earlier. Again till peaks form. Place aside till you are ready for it.
Take those chopped nuts and first sprinkle on top of the cream cheese/ whipped topping mixture. Normally the nuts go in to the pie crust but since this is obviously a pre-made crust, you make a compromise.
On top of that add the chocolate pudding mixture.
On top of that add the whipped topping.
Decorate if desired with walnuts and some kind of chocolate.
Here I used chocolate syrup stripes but traditionally people just sprinkle a bit of powdered chocolate on top normally used for making hot chocolate.
Place the pie in the fridge so it as time to set or wait and serve it after supper.

I made another just a few weeks ago. 



Yum! :D


Friday, July 04, 2014

Figment

Its pretty amazing how such a scrawny little tree in a pot can produce such a giant fruit. In this case a fig. I would trim the poor little neglected tree if I could but its my dads plant and well you know? He still see me as a small child. Sigh.... And yet when I was a little kid growing up playing outside on a lonely hot summers day by my self and looking for something to do, he let me play with things like blow torches and an ax on occasion. Go fig. Makes your head shake sometimes.
As for the fig tree, I wonder if, although scrawny, small and in a pot, my doves might have contributed in some way during the winter in the garage? They were in and out of the pots and you know doves they always like to leave a little gift where ever they go. Who knows......



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tastes garlicky

A few weeks ago I took these nice and tasty pics of of this particular weed.
Weeds? How can weeds be tasty? Well certain kinds can be eaten as wild greens or used as flavorings. In this case both. Its called a Garlic mustard and yes its in the mustard family. Its a nice wild green which I would rather call them that has this nice distinctive garlicky smell and taste in its leaves and flowers when crushed. You can eat the leaves and flowers raw in a salad, use as a cooked green side dish and or flavour your food in-place of garlic. This European wild green is also invasive so if you find them, don't just beat them, eat them. 





I really like the look of these photos. They really turned out well.




Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Cooing from the gang

Finally got a nice pic of one of my doves flying in the garage. OK its not perfect but maybe next time I'll get an actual face showing. “They're kind of shy any how” Its kind of hard using an ancient digital camera for the task, for a movement that quick. Oh well maybe next year.

The pics were taken before they went out to stay in their summer incloser so it was right around the time where the doves started to molt their feathers. They were looking rather ratty. 

 My youngest male all grown up.

I caught one flying. Look at the pic below. 

  A secret space for male members only.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The little thieves.

I caught these little thieves as usual stealing from the birds and sometimes from me.
Every time I take care of my birds needs I always leave a little something for the wild birds too. But these little squirrels seem to think I'm also doing it for them. I've even tried to place the birds share of seeds in to a bunch of little piles all over the back yard cobble stone. Thinking that it'll give the birds a chance to eat at one spot while the greedy furry fella or felon as I like to refer to him, pigs out on another spot. But that didn't last long since he invited his friends to the seedy feast. Time for a new strategy. Its no wonder scientists use his rodent brother, the rat in their experiments.

As from stealing from me, they're out of luck this time. Its time to put our poor peach tree out of its misery. Even the little not so old tree bit the bucket. Guess winter was a bit much even for those two. 




Thursday, May 15, 2014

Just in time magnolia blossoms

And we went backwards with spring, in terms of weather but I guess every once in awhile a year has these disappointing below normal temps. Oh yes you have noticed there are some on time perfectly appropriate pics for the season. For once I'm not showing leftovers. ;)

I shot some nice white magnolia blossoms before the wind totally knocked them over for another season, for reference of course. I already have a bunch of lovely shots of tree fulls of them I made a few years ago. Despite the fact I shot those on a cloudy day, the pics still really look impressive.
Sometimes taking pics on a sunny days is overrated any how. 


Sorry for showing my hands but it was a windy day after all.