Saturday, April 3, 2021

Happy Easter Weekend ...

I like to make Hot Cross Buns once a year and sometimes try out a few different recipes in the weeks leading up to Easter.  Here they are ..... my second batch.  I love them with lots of spices and some peel, as well as several types of raisins ... oh, and... with watered down warm apricot jam brushed on the tops.  

One of the baking blogs I look at is Geoff's ... he is on the sidebar at the bottom.  This year he went all out with crosses on everything ...so that if you are afraid of yeast... you could try some other goodies with the signature crosses on them.  He even had some cookies...which I haven't tried yet...but, definitely will have to give those a go... 

I made his recipe first... hmmm.... did I even manage to get a photo before we ate them all?...I must check back...  

This batch is from Merry Boosters... but, honestly, they were not nearly as soft and pale as hers ..so as usual... who knows what happens between the recipe and our own version.  I followed it exactly using a digital scale and everything.... but, still.... ovens.. shelf rack positions.... who knows?   However, that is not to say they don't taste amazing.... because they do. 

I found a spring tea towel too for some colour.... believe me we need some of that at this time of year.  The lawn looks dry and crispy... with still a small patch of icy snow in a shaded area....the lilacs are just dead looking dry old twigs..... the trees.. well, you get the picture.  Much better just to stay in the house and look for some pretty things... and, bake. 

That does it...I'm off for a cup of tea and one of the last two buns....



Thursday, March 11, 2021

White Winged Crossbills...

 Hi everybody....It's been ages since I last posted.... definitely haven't been doing any crafting or anything artsy...

Just been worrying and waiting like a lot of people... going about the home stuff as usual in winter around here too....it is mostly too cold to bother going outside anyway.  We just got over two weeks of -28C --30C  horrible cold... with plenty of snow around as well.  Have been doing plenty of baking too...so need to keep up with exercising ... or I will roll out of here in spring as a round ball....

One day I did go out in the -28C ..just to try to capture some pretty snow pictures at the nearby golf course.  As I walked over to a small bridge ... little cones began to fall out of the big spruce trees..... fine snow was sifting down all around me as I tried to decide just what to photograph.  I had to move out from under the trees and I did look up for a second... just in time to see little birds flitting about overhead.

That got my attention...as I do love birds and taking photos of them.  But, by then, my fingers were so cold I had to sprint back to the car to warm them up ...and ..to change lenses so I could get a closer look at the birds so high in the big trees.  They were way up there about 40 to 60 feet in the air.  But, I thought I detected some white wing bars... got pretty excited and after warming a bit, back I went.

Sure enough.... White Winged Crossbills!!  I've never seen one up close..and, never photographed one.  I took many shots and stayed until my fingers were practically frozen... I can't wear a glove on the right hand to use the camera...so they got numb!  It was a brilliant, sun filled day so it was hard to see anything on the screen and I really had no clue what I would see when I uploaded them onto the computer.

Imagine my surprise when I got several good photos of the Crossbills.  I was ecstatic.  I've been putting photos on my Flickr site and enjoying that during the months of lockdown... but, here I am to put some on here as well today.

Here is what I was attempting to photograph when the little cones began to pelt me...











Here are some photos of the White Winged Crossbills... these are all males.

















They have amazing beaks that are crossed and long and pointed so they can get at the tiny seeds inside the cones.  Apparently they can eat up to 3,000 seeds per day!  They must knock off many cones in the attempts and that's why they were falling out of the trees...  The cones, not the birds..!




It is so strange to see them in the photos looking like I am straight out from them because as I mentioned...they were very high in the air.  I had to seriously crop any photo in order to tell what they were at all. 










Hope you enjoy seeing my little birds as much as I do...