Thursday, July 29, 2010

The red planet

Okay, maybe it wasn't Mars but it sure was red. Here is a clip I posted of the new moon rising over Rose Hill in late July. I don't know why but Adobe couldn't handle the speed thing - or maybe my camera dropped some frames, but half way through it takes off pretty fast. The wolves howling were from a clip from somewhere else but seemed to add the necessary ambiance.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'm Back - but just for a moment

One of my forest friends

I haven't posted for awhile but I have a good excuse. I've been swamped at work, and when I haven't been working I have been making good use of the daylight with trips up Tranquille River and out through Kenna Cartwright Park.

I have got some pretty good video footage of coyotes, chipmunks, fires and lightning storms that I will share with you once I get time to process it and post it to YouTube.

In the meantime I will leave you with these couple of pictures pulled from my video, just so you know I haven't been shanghai-ed and shoveling coal on a slow boat to China.

The trickster - Kenna Cartwright Park

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What, another contest?

So here it is - watch this short video and name the three mammals, three insects, two types of berries, two flowers, one bird and one lichen that are featured in the video.

If you get all twelve then you are a top notch naturalist. Ten or more and you are in the top 99.5% of the world's naturalists. Seven to nine right makes you a good student of nature. Three to six correct and you can still go hiking with me. If you know less than three of these items, and live in North America, then it is time to get off of your couch, lace up the boots and get out for some face to face time with mother nature!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Somebody owes me some MAD money!

I think the similarities are obvious (Alfred E. Neuman left, and author right, circa 1966)

They say if you look long enough you will come across your exact double. I was hoping mine would be more in keeping with a character like Sam Spade, or Archie of Nero Wolfe fame. But no, I am going through some old family photos and I see that Mad Magazine had shamelessly copied my image to use as their mascot.

So, I did some quick thinking and I figure my likeness has been used nearly 173,208 times in the Mad Magazine (yes I googled it) and that, at a nominal rate of $127.80 per use - the standard modeling fee, pro-rated for compound interest - I should be in line for a image use cheque in the neighbourhood of $2.1 million dollars.

Once my cheque comes in, I'll put up my feet and I'll be the one saying "What, me worry?"

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Holy Guacamole Batman!

Peppers, garlic and onions before the beef.

I just realized it has been a fortnight or two since I have posted a recipe, and having just finished an incredibly delicious meal with my daughter, I thought I would share this little culinary gem. The following is my Mexican inspired, somewhat local meal plan.

It is basically a nacho dish made with local beef - check out The Chop N Block, for some of the best local beef around, fresh produce, picked up at Gourmet Greens, and some Fresh is Best tortilla chips. I will have to talk to the owners of the other two shops as they don't have a website yet, but we won't hold that against them. I like to shop with local merchants when they provide me with service, quality products, and fair prices and all three of the aforementioned do just that.

So the process is simple: heat up your cast iron skill with a light swirl of oil and saute the following chopped items: 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, half an onion, half of each red, green, yellow and orange peppers. Once the vegetables are about half way done, add .5 to .75 kilos of lean ground beef, brown and season with: season salt, garlic powder, Montreal Steak Spice and a shot or two of Frank's Hot Sauce.

While the meat is browning, make your guacamole. I use: 3 ripe avocados, 1/2 tomato, 1/3 onion, juice from half a lemon, couple shots of Tabasco sauce, pinch or three of salt, 2 or three cloves of garlic (optional and not traditional). All of these ingredients are chopped coarsely and then blended together with a power blender. I season as I'm building this as it varies with the size of your avocados.

To serve, it is just a layer of tortilla chips, a layer of the meat mixture, cheese and a big dollop of guacamole on top. Served hot with a nice cold beverage and a view of the North Thompson in the valley below, it could not get any better.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day

We stand on guard for thee!

Not a lot of time to write this morning as I am heading off for the park to take in the festivities. I did have to make a quick entry to say that I realize how lucky I was to be born in a country as great as Canada.

Unfortunately there are many that have not yet clued into the fact that Canada is something special, and by their indifference we will suffer. Show your fellow Canadians that you care about your country: volunteer at something, pick up litter even if it is not yours, reduce, reuse and recycle, hug your kids - do anything that shows you care about those things that make Canada great. Then when you are singing those words about "standing on guard for thee" you can really belt it out because you have done your bit to protect our great land.

Now I shall go off to enjoy the patriotic fervor and hot dogs at Riverside Park.

Peace - eh?