Search This Blog

...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, April 19, 2013

Song for Friday...justice unserved

In 1989 five male children aged 14 - 15 were arrested and later
convicted of a violent and brutal crime.
Film maker Ken Burns tells their story in his latest
documentary called "Central Park Five".
It's a story of innocence lost and the manipulation by the justice system
to find scapegoats without due care and attention.
A powerful film which I urge you to watch.
The trailer...
...and the theme song sung here by Nina Simone...
have a great weekend all...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Royalty visits...

My world around here is very much attune to the birds who live in the woods and the fields.
I know that if I hear a certain  'blip' on a window it
may mean a bird has flown into it.
Luckily most birds recover and fly away, sadly some are killed by the impact
 but once in a while they are stunned and may need a little de -stressing, a time-out of sorts.
The other morning I heard that 'blip' and sure enough there sat the tiniest of birds...
 It was a Golden Crowned Kinglet.
(both females and males have gold feathers on top of their heads
 but the male has a tuft of rusty red on his)
I picked her up and she was definitely shaken up...
Some may think not to interfere in this situation but
if you think about being injured and how your body starts to shake, that's called shock
and you will know that a warm blanket can help.
She was in shock and I was stepping in.
I just cupped her in my hands and covered her and blew some warm breaths into
 my hands to keep her body heat up...
I kept her like that for about 5 minutes and then checked on her...
She seemed a bit better but still kind of wobbly so I cupped her again and let her rest.
This can be a critical time. Sometimes at this point the bird either makes it or doesn't.
I've held a few birds who quietly die in my hands and it is never easy.
This little lady seemed like she was going to be o.k.
I checked her again and just let her sit there while I slowly took a few pictures with my other hand...
Look at these tiny feet...
...don't worry, there's nothing wrong with them.
Those little feet are sharp and meant for clinging on to tiny branches,
not sitting on flat things.
Such a magical feeling to hold a wild little thing like this...
After about 10 minutes of the two of us curiously looking at each other,
I held out my hand with her in it up to the sky and just like that she fluttered off...
These little birds spend the winters in the south and can come from places like South Carolina
and Central America.
They're one of the smallest of songbirds and some people can barely hear their song
because of it's high pitch.
They weigh in at a hefty 0.2 ounces (or 6 grams)...that's twice the weight of a hummingbird
and are only 4" from beak tip to tail tip.
I was blessed with this royal visit today and only too glad to
  help a wee lass in distress.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The great debate...

So here we are in the throes of spring and I have just made my first harvest.
Down on the front of our property there's remnants of the garden from perhaps eighty years ago
when the first house was. Long gone now, there's only bits of old fencing...
 ...and old fence posts.
But there's also two plants that have survived the years and weeds and brambles
of himalayan blackberry.
One is an old quince tree and the other is this, that I've come to harvest...
 There's nothing like going out on a cool spring day, between the rain showers
and looking down onto such magnificent leaves!
(which are toxic by the way)
 I don't know if there's anything at this time of year which grows
so fast and so big!
Under the leaves it's a micro jungle of thick red trunks...
 Slender stalks of juicy fruit...
 Or is it a vegetable??
It's described as a perennial so I would describe it more as a herb.
I think of vegetables as something you plant and harvest in one year.
Fruit can be a tree or something like raspberries or strawberries that
come back every year as well, so what is rhubarb??
It's these questions which keep the great minds of the world awake at night.
Thank goodness in the morning there is stewed rhubarb to put on hot cereal for breakfast!!
Made with a bit of water, some brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon.
It's a taste of spring!
     Delicious in a bowl of creamy brown rice cereal with
almond milk
 (and an extra pinch of brown sugar of course!)