Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Friday, June 27, 2014

~ believe ~

“believe in everything magical until it is disproved”

origin of photo unknown ~  it is an inspiring photographic concept

music for a moment of peace within a fairies' garden
Michele McLaughlin's- Dance of the Dragonfly

Thursday, June 26, 2014

a morning song

every sunrise needs a song

our resident califonia thrasher, much like a mocking bird, sings in the dawning light

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

moon shadows

fairies dance in the mountain's moonlight

full moon in the San Gorgonio Wilderness- friday, june 13th~ it was the strawberry moon 
~fairies adore strawberries~

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

~ motherhood ~

the young are the future of all living things 

mrs. bean and her beanie babies~ spring 2014 -yorba pond

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday, June 9, 2014

this is so me....

 on a wilderness journey; will return soon
may your days be filled with adventure, wisdom, and peace

Saturday, June 7, 2014

wild saturday ~ ddd's Who's Who

It’s been a little while since I have posted about our “not so little” ddd’s. They have grown quite a lot! On the Raptor Resource Project Facebook page you can get updated stories from Sherri Elliot, which are just as fun reading as watching our little guys growing up. Last week she posted a Who’s Who article to help everyone with who is who. They are not so easily separated as they once were. Here is an excerpt from her posting that I thought you would enjoy. But, remember to check their FacebookPage often for stories and "video clips" of fun moments and of course don't forget the main attraction live at... the  Decorah webcam.

 ID'S ~ WHO'S WHO – by Sherri Elliot
Beak ....... Elongated, and has a small mark just below center of beak.
Forehead.. Has an 'arc' or sideways 'c' at top of cere at featherline.
Tail ......... Narrow, long tail

Beak .......... Deeper and bigger, smooth looking
Forehead ... has a deep inverted 'V' with downward feathers looking almost like a 'W' or two widow's peaks.
Tail ............ Wider, long tail.

Beak.......... Elongated, has a circle mark to the left side of beak under nare.
Between Beak and eye, in the bristle feathers on left side there is a black dot.
Forehead ..... Has an inverted 'V' that is notched on its right side.
Tail ............. Shorter tail

FEATHERS: All are getting their full sets of feathers, and while looking at chests can sometimes help distinguish a pattern for some gray left, that is quickly changing. Some are also getting some "feather necklaces" of white, but those also seem to change depending on the amount of wingersizing they do to fluffle feathers. When laying down, or from behind, both D18 & D19 have the largest expanse of feathers in a V formation down from neck to mid back, D20's are the shortest, but that is also changing. When hoppersizing or wingersizing, you can also see the feather changes in the pantaloons - D18 still has a lot of gray.

I have noticed that all of the ddd's enjoy each other's company and very often they will plant next to a single sibing, or puddle in a group. I don't notice yet that one is more of a nurturer than another, although sometimes by default, D18 is a protector.

D18 has been sleep-standing for some time, almost acting as a sentry at night, but D20 is also starting to do that in the very early morning hours. D19 often times is a 'side sleeper' with a foot outstretched.

They all rotate around the nest and imprint and mentally map the area and flyways, but I do notice that there are some favorite spots. D18 mostly enjoys looking out over the front deck to the bike trail and field; D19 likes to plant in the middle of the runway, or closer to the side deck nearest the camera; and D20 enjoys being next to the Poopcasso trunk, or looking out over Trout Creek to the right side of our view.

All the ddd's are eager eaters, and have each shown ability to claim, mantle and steal. D18 and D20 seem the most aggressive to claim food, but D19 is asserting more. Every birdie is still trying to learn how to unzip fish, and other prey will take more meal prep practice, although today D18 was using good skills to de-fur or de-feather the corn stalk that Mom brought in.

thank you Raptor Resource Project for all the enjoyment you give.

About Raptor Resource Project
Established in 1988, the non-profit Raptor Resource Project specializes in the preservation of falcons, eagles, ospreys, hawks, and owls. We create, improve, and directly maintain over 40 nests and nest sites, provide training in nest site creation and management, and develop innovations in nest site management and viewing that bring people closer to the natural world. Our mission is to preserve and strengthen raptor populations, expand participation in raptor preservation, and help foster the next generation of preservationists.

If you would like to donate to the RRP- click here- any amount helps keep their studies going.

Friday, June 6, 2014

fun friday photo ~ randi

A coworker asked me what the best way to put their cat, Randi, who desperately needed to lose weight, on a diet. Besides weight management food, I said they should buy a timed feeder that will allocate only so much per day.  Here is what John emailed to me a week later.

“We took up your idea for Randi, it's working great. However, my wife wants to know if you have any thoughts about his new sleeping habits.”

Thursday, June 5, 2014

thursday's garden ~ the art of miniature gardening

I have always loved taking trees and plants and putting them in a bonsai situation. The other day when I was at Wild Birds Unlimited I saw an entire area dedicated to items for fairy and miniature gardens. Oh-oh, here is another craft to add to my to-do list. When I researched this I found some really adorable ideas; and as always there are a ton of How-To Books, but you know, you really don’t need them.

The art of miniature gardening is the art of imagination. If you are a lover of fairy tales and of beautiful adventures, and if you love to dream of mystical landscapes populated with fairies then you have found your information. Storytelling and imaginary scenery bring the playful kid out in all of us. Filled with intrigue and mystique each little scene you create is a snapshot of such a dream. By taking up this form of gardening you transport yourself into another world, and experience the enviable feeling of having your dreams come true!

Here are some favorite ideas I found throughout my web-travels. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

meal ideas ~ shrimp tacos-yum!

!! eat these yummies and you'll never go back to just plain Tacos!!

Grilled Shrimp Tacos

I have posted this before, but you just can't lose with this recipe. You may not ever find a better Shrimp Taco anywhere… it is a little bit of work….but worth every second.

use 2 to 3 shrimp per taco, depending on size. (you can also use your favorite fish~if you desire)

for the shrimp-
½  cup lime juice
shrimp tacos, refried black beans, guacamole & chips
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp chili powder
1 lb lg shrimp peeled; deveined (24)
8 tortillas **see note

for the chipotle sauce-
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. sour cream
1 ½ tsp minced chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
1 ½ tsp honey
1 tsp fresh lime juice
  salt to taste

for the red slaw-
4 cups shredded red cabbage
½ cup sliced scallions
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp distilled white vinegar

     WHISK together lime juice, olive oil, & chili powder for the tacos. Add shrimp, toss and chill until ready to skewer.

     Thoroughly, but gently, MIX together mayonnaise-sour cream, chipotles, honey, and lime juice for the sauce. Chill until ready to serve up to 2 days.

     COMBINE cabbage, scallions, cilantro, oil, vinegar for the slaw. Season with salt and chill until ready to serve up to 1 hour.

     WHEN READY -  heat grill on med-high heat  (shrimp  can cook under broiler.) Either skewer shrimp or place on a cooking grill and cook for 1-2 minutes per side.

     DIVIDE the shrimp and slaw among the tortillas and drizzle with the sauce. yum!

     TORTILLAS- use either flour or corn, and heat however you like. Our way…
Use a cast iron skillet for pan swirling the tortilla until warm and lightly toasted.

Note** we have found what I consider the best tasting tortillas around.
La Tortilla Factory’s Hand Made Style Corn or Flour Tortillas

The first tortilla with the taste of corn, but the flexibility of flour tortillas!  They are absolutely the best. They will not crumble or taste dry, and are calorie friendly.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

healthy living ~ calendula...oh so wonderful

This is a reposting of an article that I wrote a couple of years ago after finding calendula (marigold) flowers scattered in abundance around the ranch in Colorado. It excited me knowing that I have one of the best herbs for healing and medicinal purposes right at my doorstep. I needed to make another batch for my stores and thought this would be a great time to bring this project to you again.

Calendula officinalis, also known as pot marigold or garden marigold, has been used for centuries to heal wounds and skin irritations. Calendula has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, astringent, antifungal, antiviral, and immunostimulant properties making it useful for disinfecting and treating minor wounds, conjunctivitis, cuts, scrapes, chapped or chafed  skin, bruises, burns, athlete’s foot, acne, yeast infections, bee stings, diaper rashes, and other minor irritations and infections of the skin.

Plus, it stimulates the production of collagen at wound sites to help minimize scarring and assist with stretch marks. This versatile botanical can be incorporated into baths, creams, compresses, washes, salves, ointments, massage oils, baths, facial steams, tinctures, and teas. It is also gentle enough to use for babies, children, or animals. Internally, gargling with Calendula infused water may ease a sore throat, sores in the mouth, and inflammations in the mouth and throat.

Not only is Calendula a wonderful healing and medicinal herb, but it is also a lovely and useful plant in the garden!  Calendula repels many common garden pests including aphids, eelworms, asparagus beetles, and tomato hornworms, and is a companion plant for potatoes, beans, and lettuce. Plus, it grows quickly and is easy to cultivate from seed. The fresh vibrant petals can be used to color butter, cheese, custards, sauces, or sprinkled atop salads, cakes, and sandwiches.

And...making the oil is simple to prepare. You need not have it in your yard, it can be purchased in a number of places. I get my flowers in California from an Asian market; Colorado from my meadows.  

Calendula Herbal Oil

This medicinal oil has so many uses. The gentle, soothing, and healing oil is perfect for cradle cap, diaper rash, chapped or chafed skin, bruises, and sore or inflamed muscles. The oil can be used alone, or incorporated into salves, massage oils, lip balms, ointments, creams, and lotions.

Organic Olive oil ~ doesn't need to be an expensive brand, but make sure it is organic 
Organic Calendula flowers

1. Place Calendula flowers in a clean, dry glass jar. If using fresh Calendula, wilt for 12-24 hours to remove most of the moisture (too much moisture will cause the oil to go rancid) before adding to the jar. Pour olive oil into the jar, making sure to cover the flowers by at least 1” of oil so they will have space to expand. Stir well and cap the jar tightly.
2. Place the jar in a warm, sunny windowsill; shake once or more per day.
3. After 6-9 weeks, strain the herbs out using cheesecloth. Pour the infused oil into smaller glass bottles and store in a cool dark place.

Quick Heat Method: I prefer to infuse oils utilizing the solar or folk method described above, but heat can be applied if you need the oil quickly. To prepare, follow step 1 from above, but place the Olive oil and Calendula flowers in an uncovered container. Warm over low heat at approximately 100 degrees F for at least 3-5 hours, the longer the better. A yogurt maker, double boiler, or inside the oven with a pilot light on are all effective ways to heat the oil, just make sure to check the temperature occasionally to ensure that the oil isn’t getting too warm. Once the oil has infused, strain out the herbs using cheesecloth and package the infused oil into glass bottles.
Calendula seems to be safe for most people when taken by mouth or applied to the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Don’t take calendula by mouth if you are pregnant. There is a concern that it might cause a miscarriage. It’s best to avoid topical use as well until more is known.

If you are breast-feeding, don’t take calendula either. There isn’t enough safety information about use during breast-feeding.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Calendula may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking calendula.

Surgery: Calendula might cause too much drowsiness if combined with medications used during and after surgery. Stop taking calendula at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.