Monday, May 31, 2010

Storm, Nature at Risk,

We had a summer league bowling session yesterday and then headed to Barrie's for asparagus replenishments. On the way there, the heavens decided to open and there was lightening as well as thunder. I managed to get from the car to their store without getting more than damp, but jumped sky high on my way back when there was a terrific crack of thunder right overhead. Matt was laughing and asked why I was ducking, dunno, silly isn't it? You see people in war films doing the same thing when there is an explosion or bullets firing. If its going to hit you, ducking is way too late. On Sunday Matt was watching golf which was taking place in Texas and they had thunder storms there, the players were called off the field twice, but the gallery just stayed there some of them standing under trees which is the worst place in the world during a thunderstorm.
Today on Good Morning America they had Jack Hannah, Director Emeritus of the Columbia Zoo, with his usual animals, this time all babies, there was one little Egyptian cat which didn't like Jack at all, a baby leopard, etc. etc. However, one thing he mentioned which hadn't occurred to me, he talked about the Gulf oil leak and how it was so very much worse at this time of year when animals are breeding, fish are spawning, birds are nesting and so on. He mentioned the Manatee which is very much endangered anyway and lots of them have been lost recently anyway - this will certainly not do them any good (this picture is from Turtles are another endangered species he mentioned as being at high risk as they will be climbing out on the beaches, the oily beaches, to lay their eggs. He said that the zoos and Audobon society were all pitching in to help as much as they can, but with such a major disaster, how much can be achieved.
On the news last night, it was reported that a popular swan named Angela, had been killed and her eggs stolen. This happened in Stratford, Ontario. They don't think it was an animal that killed her as there were no signs of struggle or loose feathers, etc. the swan was found floating on the river Avon near her nest. There is a very sad picture of her mate, Nick, grieving on the nest. Swans mate for life. for the article. Swans have always been one of my favourite birds, they are so beautiful to watch. If it was vandals, as they are assuming, I just wish we could retaliate. Apparently the birds do get killed by raccoons or other critters now and again, but usually by humans.This picture appeared in the Beacon Herald on line today and is one of the saddest pictures I have ever seen. People have been placing memorial flowers on the nest too.
I don't know if you read the comments on these blogs, but I got a comment yesterday regarding potato salads which talked about adding avocado and bacon. This sounds like an unusual combination of flavours. Definitely one to consider.
OK, talking of avocado, here's one combining asparagus and avocado. I always smile when it says to trim off the tough ends, if you are lucky enough to get them straight from the farm, you never need to do that. If you have to do that with your asparagus, you know they have been travelling for a while since being picked.
Avocado and Asparagus Salad
2 lb of asparagus.
2 medium avocados.
Juice and zest of 1 lemon.
2 tablespoons of olive oil.
2 tablespoons of fresh parsley.
1 tablespoon of fresh coriander.
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar.
½ tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
1 teaspoon of castor sugar.
1 teaspoon of fresh mint.
Salt and pepper, to taste.
Trim off the tough ends of the asparagus, then steam until just tender and bright green. Plunge the asparagus into cold water to halt the cooking time and drain well. Set aside. Peel the avocados then dice the flesh. Toss with the lemon juice and lemon zest, then add to the asparagus. For the dressing, whisk the white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, castor sugar, mint and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste, then pour over the asparagus. Toss lightly, then spoon into a suitably sized starsol bowl. Refrigerate, then serve.
Have a great day

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