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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Friday, August 17, 2012

Local food, fun and farms...

In rethinking how we shop and where we get our food these days,
I thought I would share this link with you.
If you're in our area on September 30th, which is a Sunday,
come on down to this fun event...
The proceeds go to protect farmland and the event is guaranteed
to be a hoot!
Chefs must go through an obstacle course to 'condiment island'
where they will hunt and forage for tasty morsels
to create a culinary extravaganza...all on camping cookers!
Fun for adults, events for kids and a great
venue to hang out at (Madrona Farm) in Victoria.
here's a little video to give you a 'taste'...
Tickets include tasty treats as well!!!

Song for!

We are in the midst of a heat wave...finally some great, hot summer weather!
I've been away for a few days on a little island, boat hopping
from warm ocean bay to warm ocean bay.
Eating fresh fruit and drinking cold cider with good friends.
Hope you are keepng cool and enjoying these
last beautiful days of summer...
Have a great weekend all!

Monday, August 13, 2012

2 visitors...1 lucky, 1 not so lucky

Yesterday morning I went out onto the deck and found a little brown bat who was dead.
My curiosity always gets the better of me in such manners
and so after making sure it was truly dead, I grabbed
a pair of good gloves and my camera (of course).
"The unexamined life is not worth living"
So says Socrates.
I couldn't agree more. To be able to have a close look at one of the
worlds most fascinating and stealth little creatures is a gift.
Look at it's little nose...almost looks like a dog nose...
We have them around here all summer but it's only for a fleeting moment that we see them
take off from their house and then in the twilight, they're gone.
See the tiny hook-like claw they have for climbing and crawling?
Like a little finger...
The German word for bat is 'fledermaus' flying mouse.
Something I never knew before is that they actually have another claw where a tail would be.
I imagine this is for hanging upside down purposes...
...look at those tiny wee feet!...
I gently spread her out on a blanket, knowing how powerful, yet delicate
their wings are...even in death, those little hooks clung to the blanket...
 how amazing is the fact that something so paper thin can fly for hours upon hours every night...
Don't forget that bats are one of the most valuable controllers
of mosquito's and eat something like 3,000 of them in a single night!
So as odd and as bad a reputation as they have remember
So #1 unlucky visitor but then in the late afternoon, while I was in the kitchen getting dinner ready
I saw something scurry across the floor.
It was one of our native lizards.
We used to see them all the time around here but I hadn't seen one in a few years.
So I called Tom to come and catch it so I could take photos (of course!).
You have to be careful when trying to catch these guys because they
are extremely fast and in defence their tale will break off so
they can escape. The remaining broken off piece will continue to twitch,
distracting the predator
while the lizard escapes and eventually regrows a new piece of tail.
Isn't nature extraordinary?!
Tom was quick and gentle and we put him/her down on the ground
to let it go.
Technically they are called Northern Alligator Lizards and are found only in South Western B.C.
Harmless little things...
It took one last look before scurrying off.
#2 visitor...lucky.
Still unclear of how it happened to be in the house but lucky I found it before the cat did!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

To market, to market....

Downtown Seattle is perhaps most famous for the community atmosphere
of the Pike Place Public Market...
If you've never been here, you simply must!
If you've been before, you'll come back again!
It's a plethora of colours, sights and sounds.
It's a culinary extravaganza beginning with the famous fish toss at the entrance to the market...
Yes, when a fish is picked out by a customer, no matter how big or slippery,
they toss it from ice to packer and back again to the cheers and
delights of all who are lucky enough to witness this.
A type of synchronized tossing with qualifications of Olympic standards.
Performed with Rachel the big bronze pig watching over...
A place like this just makes you want to take home something and cook a meal...
I LOVE public markets. It's old world and the way we should all be buying our food.
From as close to the growers and producers as possble.
Fresh and local and with a handshake and a smile.
Of course you must bring home some flowers for the table...
 The bouquets here are stunning!
 ...and the ladies are busy all morning creating one after another...
Now that your dinner is under way, next stop is music.
The market has always got a busker or two playing...
This little group is called 'Squirrel Butter'...(playing in front of the original Starbucks!)
Great old time mountain music...we brought home one of their cd's
Pike Place is a great people watching place as well...
There's hand made crafts, antiques, music stores, books, toys and
probably a few things I forgot to mention so get on down to the market.
A feast for the senses.