Monthly Archives January 2018

The Spotted Towhee

Categories: Birds, British Columbia, and Lens Friends.

~ The spotted towhee is a western bird and we were lucky to spot some on our last trip to British Columbia. Towhees hop around moving leaves for find food. Above is the male towhee and below is the female (not the best photo) This over sized sparrow is usually a ground feeder but they will go to the feeders. When we first saw the towhee we were walking the Galloping Goose trail and it flew in front of us and landed in one of the trees.  Our first instinct was to say it was a robin as the flash
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Making a Shell Wreath

Categories: Collections, Crafty's Projects, and Nature Crafts.

~ I’m a collector of many things and one of those things is shells.  I can’t resist picking up shells when we are visiting British Columbia.  Over the years I’ve collected so many in different shapes, sizes and varieties.  Usually they are just stored in a basket on the deck.  But after awhile even the basket gets full and you can’t appreciate the shells.  This year I decided to make a shell wreath out of them. The first task was to sort the shells in different types and sizes. I’ve got mussels, scallops, clams, periwinkles, hornshells, mudflat snails, limpets, oysters
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Searching for Sea Glass

Categories: British Columbia, Collections, and Crafty's Projects.

~ While walking the beaches in British Columbia my eyes were always on the lookout for sea glass.  My quest on this trip was to find sea glass in various colours and sizes. Sea glass can be found on just about any beach but there seemed to be two in particular that yielded the most. It makes you wonder why?  The photo above shows the beach areas at Clover Point in Victoria (top image) and the Glass Beach in Sidney (bottom image). These were two of the best places to search and find and of course the best time was
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‘Tea’riffic Mail

Categories: What's Been Happening?.

Last Friday was a ‘tea’riffic mail day as the mailman left a package in the mailbox that I wasn’t expecting till next week.  I’m so glad it fit into the mailbox as usually a card is left and we have to go into town to pick it up. Margie, of Tea in the Valley, recently had a give away for her third blogaversary and I was the lucky winner.  Wow, was I spoiled with all the gifts … from mug, to napkins, to infuser, to tea, to notecards, and calendars.  What fun I had opening the box and looking at
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Spotting Eagles

Categories: Birds and British Columbia.

E for Eagles. The thing we look for the most when visiting British Columbia is the eagles.  Our favourite place to see them is Goldstream Park in Victoria BC. This year we were so lucky to see many eagles, perhaps because of the time of year we were visiting.  They go to the park because of the salmon run and in mid December there were many salmon dead on the banks of the stream (finished spawning) and the eagles are there to have a feast. It was a foggy day when we visiting but there were so many eagles in
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How to make a Sea Glass Candle

Categories: Collections, Crafty's Projects, and Nature Crafts.

It was so much fun collecting sea glass at the various beaches while in British Columbia.  I now have quite a collection of different colours and sizes.  I wanted to make something fairly quickly to have out as a reminder of our fantastic trip.  The first project I opted to make was a sea glass candle. You can make this with an empty candle jar with a tight lid, a small glass votive jar, a candle and some sea glass. Place the votive glass holder inside the larger jar. I didn’t worry too much that the glass votive came just
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January 2018

Categories: The Garden 2018 and What's Been Happening?.

January has been a mixture of weather so far … mild, rain, ice rain, snow, frigid temperatures, a thaw and there is still half a month to go. We arrived home from British Columbia on a mild day, which got even milder the next day with temperatures of 11 Celsius.  There was snow everywhere and we got the paths dug out around the garden to the various bird feeders.  But on Thursday night and Friday morning the temperatures rose more and just about all of the snow melted away.  It was a really foggy day and as the day went
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Black Turnstones

Categories: Birds, British Columbia, and Lens Friends.

~ Our latest visit to British Columbia gave us the opportunity to check off many different species of birds, ducks and shore birds. The Black Turnstone was spotted on a rainy day while visiting Whiffin Spit.  This was the same day we saw the Whiffin Spit Christmas tree.  If you missed the post about that you can view it here. This species loves the rocky Pacific coast.  It’s a medium sized, short legged shore bird about 20-25 cm long. I love all the barnacles on the rocks in this photo.  This bird will peck inside the barnacles to find food.
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Carrots are Dilly

Categories: Recipes.

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It is hard to resist a 10 pound bag of carrots for $1.97 and then I had to come up with lots of recipes to use them all.   Carrot and turnip (rutabaga) or swede as it is called in England are mashed together for a favourite.  Lots of carrots were blanched and frozen into portions that will go into stews and slow cooker recipes. I also made sweet potato and carrot soup. (sharing soon)

Then I came across a new to me recipe dilled carrots on The English Kitchen and decided to try it.  I printed it out, made it, and decided it was a keeper and I've made it a few times since.

Peel and julienne cut 450 gm of carrots.

making filled carrots at craftygardener.ca

Melt butter in a pan and gently add the carrots, turning frequently to coat them.  Add water.  The recipe calls for chicken stock but that is something I don't use.  You could add a stock cube if you wish, but I also try to stay away from them because of the added salt.

making filled carrots at craftygardener.ca

Add 1 teaspoon of fresh dillweed and mix in.

making filled carrots at craftygardener.ca

Add 1/2 teaspoon of honey, or a bit more if you like things really sweet.  Mix in well.

making filled carrots at craftygardener.ca

Cook for about 10 minutes or until carrots are tender.  A god portion of the water/stock will evaporate.  Remove with a slotted spoon and serve.

making dilled carrots at craftygardener.ca

Delicious.

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British Columbia Trip 2017-2018

Categories: British Columbia and What's Been Happening?.

I’ve been absent from my website for just about 5 weeks while we were visiting our daughter and family in British Columbia.  Luckily for us we missed all the frigid temperatures that Ontario had at the end of December and the beginning of January.  We left on a mild, damp day to the beginning of December and got home on a mild January 9. We did arrive home to snow piled up on both sides of the driveway but thanks to a wonderful friend and neighbour it was clear.  The house was fine while we were away.  There was just
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