Thursday, August 28, 2008
Owl or Hawk, Birds and Squirrels,
My apologies for my goof yesterday when I said Mike was holding an owl instead of a hawk. I had just never looked at the bird and had "assumed" it was his owl. We all know what assuming does. In this picture, I can say, with assurance, he is holding a sketch pad. This is actually the photo he is using on his blog and which I stole from his website. Both Mike and Glenda Larke pointed out my mistake, thanks both of you. Also thank you so much to those of you who checked out his new blog yesterday, especially if you left messages. It is great encouragement if people do comment on one's blog, I know from experience, obviously. Don't forget Mike has a web site which shows his paintings too, the link for that is on this page as well. I was never very knowledgeable about English birds, shame on me, although Matt knows them very well. However, since I came to Canada, I have learned a great deal about the birds here. When we lived in North Carolina we had feeders and nesting boxes and spent hours watching the activities around them. On the left we have a picture of a Crested Flycatcher taking food to its youngsters. The squirrels periodically had a chew at the holes which accounts for their unevenness. Next we have a Pileated Woodpecker. They are supposed to be pretty rare. However, they would visit our yard frequently. They particularly liked the wood we had cut for burning. I guess it was full of all kinds of bugs. We used to get lots of different woodpeckers although we don't have pictures of all of them. Some would very occasionally come and take seed from the feeders. The next bird is the Prothonotary Warbler which we were thrilled to see in one of our nesting boxes as they apparently don't often nest in back yards. We also got a Bluebird nesting too and they too don't nest in backyards much either. We attribute a lot of our success to the bird bath. It had a dripper on it and this apparently attracts birds like crazy. They sure liked to use ours and we got many species in our yard. We thought this was quite a funny picture of one of the birds having a rare old time giving itself a bath. Some of the birds would merely delicately sip some of the water and then fly away, others would sedately lie down in it, but as you can see, some of them really made use of the supply of fresh water. Yes, we did have to clean it quite frequently, birds are not that well bathroom trained. Finally, we didn't forget the many squirrels who visited us. Their athletic ability used to astound us and Matt was seriously thinking of entering some of them for the long jump in the Olympics. We had to cut branches down to stop them getting at the bird feeder itself. We used to love to see them eating the corn. Sometimes you would get two in between the cobs sitting back to back nibbling. Sometimes they would sit the other side facing one another and sometimes, as you can see, on top. They frequently looked like book ends. In North Carolina we only saw grey squirrels which they used to shoot (an in some areas still do) for eating. Brunswick Stew was the original recipe for stewing squirrel meat although you will rarely see a recipe using squirrel any more. I don't often give recipes for fish, but this is a good one. Baked Tuna with Coriander Crust Serves: 4 Picture: Gluten Free Girl Source: U-Cook For the salsa 1 mango, peeled, pit removed and cut into dice finely grated rind of 1 lime juice of 1 lime 1/2 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped finely grated rind of 1 lemon 1 tsp black peppercorns 1/2 small onion, finely chopped 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander 4 X 6 oz fresh tuna steaks 1/2 cup olive oil To make mango salsa, mix the mango, lime juice, rind and chili in a bowl and leave to marinate for at least 1 hour. Mix together the lemon rind, black peppercorns, onion and coriander in a coffee grinder to make a coarse paste. Spoon onto one side of each tuna steak pressing on well. Heat the olive oil in a heavy based frying pan until it begins to smoke. Add the tuna, paste-side down, and fry until a crust forms. Lower the heat and turn the steaks to cook for a minute more. Pat off any excess oil onto absorbent paper towels and serve with the mango salsa. Have a great day.