Spring

Spring

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

River Otters Return

Yesterday morning after I got up I saw a beautiful sunrise.  It has been cold, but when it is sunny it doesn't seem so cold.


As soon as the sun appeared, it was gone and the day became hazy.  I was hopeful that the sun would reappear, but it didn't.  As I was looking out on the marsh, I saw our three doe running across one after the other.  Our injured doe is still limping but she seems to be able to keep up with the others.  Next I noticed something else.  There were two otters playing and going in and out of two openings in the water.  We have River Otters every spring, and they are very entertaining.  They love chasing each other and jumping in the water.  Some people trap these animals.  I hope they stay on our private property and hide from human predators.  That won't protect them from eagles and coyotes but maybe that is why they have learned to move so quickly.  We usually see them when the stream has completely thawed.  It is still quite frozen except for a few small openings.  If they get closer and if they remain until the thaw, I will try to get better pictures.


Kind of an odd view.  I don't know if he is coming out of the water or going back in.

The otters appeared off and on all afternoon,  but they didn't come any closer.  About 5:00, I decided to go outside to see if I could get a closer picture.  It was getting dark, but I wanted to try.  We had seen an eagle several times during the afternoon, but I didn't make the connection.  As I was trying to take some more otter pictures, an eagle swooped down toward them.  The otters disappeared into the water and waited.  Soon one of them peeked their head out of the ice.  It caught me by surprise so these are the only two pictures I managed to capture.


The little hole directly under the eagle is where the otter were playing.




It wasn't a minute later, and this brave otter came back out of the water.

It got colder again today, and I don't see the eagle or the otter.  If they reappear when the warmer weather comes again, I will report.  The otters are probably the reason the coyote visited us a couple months ago. 

 http://www.thecabincountess.com/2013/12/a-coyote-in-neighborhood.html 

I like the coyote and the eagle, but I don't want them eating our otter.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Baked Club Sandwich

We have a Green Bay television station, WLUK Fox 11.  They have a morning program called Living with Amy.  She is a bit of a local celebrity and is a spoke person for Festival Foods.  She has two cookbooks published and makes food that normal people can easily make.  Today she made Baked Club Sandwiches.  I had chosen something else for my Tuesday recipe, but I tried this for dinner tonight and it was very good.  They are about 200 calories for 1/8 of the sandwich.

Baked Club Sandwich

1 tube (11 ounces) refrigerated French bread
1/4 cup prepared ranch dressing
6 slices ham
6 slices turkey breast
6 bacon strips, cooked
1 tomato, seeded and diced
2 chopped scallions
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I only used 1/2 cup to save calories)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning or dried parsley

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unroll dough on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Roll out into a large rectangle. Spread with Ranch dressing, leaving about 2 inches on each side. Layer on ham, turkey, bacon, scallions and tomatoes near one edge. Top with cheese. Roll up the dough and press to seal the end seams. Brush with butter and sprinkle with Italian seasoning or
parsley. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden. Cut into slices and serve warm.

Bake for 30 minutes to a golden brown.


For more Living with Amy recipes, she is on Facebook as well as Pinterest.  http://www.pinterest.com/wlukfox11/living-with-amy-recipes/






Monday, February 3, 2014

My Valentine Amaryllis


After Christmas is a great time to get some bargains for the next year.  The problem is by the time Christmas is over, most of us just want to put things away and not think about it anymore.  The good part is that you can get some great deals on decorations and by next year you have forgotten about it.   It's like giving a gift to yourself.  I saw some ornaments for 90% off last week.  After the first of the year, I saw a whole table of Amaryllis for sale.  They were marked down, so I bought one.

I potted it up in the planting mixture and the ugly plastic pot that came in the box.  I followed the instructions and in no time the plant started to grow.  I didn't like the pot so I found a doily that I had made a while ago.  It was from a Coats & Clark book from the 1970's.  I wrote them to see if I could post the pattern because I don't want to infringe on any copyright laws.  I did not hear back so this is the book.

This is the book, copyright 1978.

Here the doily looks darker because it is wet from being blocked.

After I blocked the doily and it was dry, I threaded a similar colored thread through the outside and gathered it up.  I put the doily around the plastic flower pot, secured the thread and tied it with a ribbon.  I'm not crazy about the ribbon but until I find something better, you get the idea.


It was pretty amazing to see how fast the plant grew.  Every day you could see the growth.




In less than a month a dried up amaryllis bulb turned into this beautiful flower.  There are two more buds on the other side that aren't open yet, but they will be soon.  Hopefully I can keep the bulb and do it all over again next year.  Instead of a Christmas Amaryllis, this year it is my Valentine flower

Another bud ready to open in a day or two.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Another Fingerless Mitt Pattern

It's Super Bowl Sunday and there probably won't be a lot of you out there reading my blog.  It's a day for football and chicken wings.  I learned something about chicken wings today.  They should NOT ever be called Buffalo wings.  They are made from chicken and not buffalo.  Next they should always be fried and NOT baked.  They should always be dipped in Blue Cheese dressing and NOT ranch.  Who knew?  Not me, I'm not sure I ever had a real chicken wing.  Football fans watch the game even if their team isn't playing.  Others watch for the half time show and the ads.

I thought for today I would post another pattern for Fingerless Mitts.  I found a very simple pattern, and they make up quickly and fit well.  The pattern uses regular worsted weight yarn which can be purchased any place that sells yarn.  They look funny when they are completed, but don't worry.  They feel great.  The pattern is mostly Knit 2, Purl 2 for a ribbing pattern except the thumb side has a knit 3 section.  I'm not sure why that is, but I followed the pattern as written.  Just like the last pattern I posted last week for Fingerless gloves (http://www.thecabincountess.com/2014/01/basket-weave-fingerless-gloves.html), it is a free ravelry.com pattern.  This one is courtesy of Amanda Gill of Gaea Creations.  She has several interesting projects that can be seen  http://www.ravelry.com/people/gaeacreations

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fingerless-mitts-5

These fingerless mitts look too small but they stretch.

The pattern is written for 4 sizes.  This is the woman's size.

If you knit during the game, you could finish one in the time it takes to play the game unless you eat chicken wings and then I wouldn't suggest knitting at the same time.