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Category Archives: Nature

Critter Cam – Busy Night at the Back Pond

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Critter Cam

Critter Cam

This is another nice buck, we’ve been seeing several this year – the big atypical deer, and another 8 pointer with not quite as nice a rack as this one.  There are several lesser bucks, some spikes and forkhorns.  Saw one last night with one side broken off leaving him with a slender forked antler on one side.

Critter Cam

Tidbits

Here’s half of the kitteh crew, the youngest half.  They’ve arranged themselves on the tree by order of seniority – Bitsy on top, Ginger Boy, and Ollie, the newest addition.I tried a couple of those refrigerated pizza crusts that come rolled up in parchment paper.  I figured they couldn’t be too bad.  I figured wrong.  Those roasted garlic cloves were very good – cooked at 400 for 45 minutes or so.I peeked into the oven after 14 minutes and saw that the crust edge had little or no color so I gave them a few minutes more.  That was a bad call.  The edge was hard and tough, the rest was just tough.  I have a tube of pizza dough that they package like the biscuits that you rap on the counter edge to pop open.  I’ll give that a go but my hopes for it are limited.It’s getting to be soup weather – the temps are below 90 and that is what we call fall weather these days.  I made a potato soup – boil some ham hocks in chicken stock with onions for an hour or two then add chopped potatoes and continue to simmer until they are soft enough to run a stick blender.  Take out the ham and set aside to cool, run the blender, then pick the meat off the hock and return to the soup.  I added a splash of half and half and melted in a handful of shredded cheddar but that’s optional.I still had a package of sour mustard greens that were an ingredient in this dish – pork belly with mustard greens.  I thawed some of the pork belly I had saved from our last trip to our supplier to use in this and I have the rest of it curing for homemade bacon.  Still have a few days left before that will be ready.I thawed a brick of the last batch of red beans and made a new batch of rice to go with it.  I can see why Louis Armstrong often signed letters “Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours”Tsk tsk, I see Homer has been out frog hunting again.  He’d best hope he doesn’t step in a snapping turtle’s open maw.

Tidbits

Mrs J says these are the last of the tomatoes by which she means these are the last she is going to pick.  They have pulled out of their doldrums and have really come on.  Might have been the heat.I skinned them all, crushed them, added green peppers and onions, and boiled them down just a little…ending up with 15-1/2 quarts total in quart and pint jars.  Took the best part of a day – peeling the skins was the hardest part.  It didn’t take all that long to cook them, nothing like as long as it takes to cook the juice down when making soup.  It did take three pressure cooker loads to finish them, with the ramp up to pressure and the cool-down included it took over an hour per load.I hoisted down the big enameled cast iron pot from its usual spot atop one of the cabinets for cabbage and sausages.  (And carrots, potatoes, and onions.)Made enough for lunch the next day.  The sausages were particularly good – some were ordered up from Louisiana through the Cajun Grocer, and there were a couple left over from the package that I broke open for breakfast the other day.Sous vide is the killer app for steaks.  These were cooked to 138 degrees for half the day and were as tender as you would expect.Chili dogs!  Yay!  I keep cans of chili in the cupboard for those days when I’m just about covered up with other chores (canning tomatoes).I’ll wind up this one with Gabe keeping watch over the back yard.  There is often something to bark at and he doesn’t want to miss out.  Homer is keeping him company though his vigil.

Critter Cam

Most woodies we’ve seen, IIRC.

 

Critter Cam – Bearded Turkeys

A distinguishing feature of both domesticated and wild turkeys is the black fibrous hairs that hang down from the chest away from the body plumage. Biologists and hunters call those hairs beards. A turkey’s beard can be long enough to touch the ground. Beards grow on all male turkeys or gobblers and grow on some hens.

We’ve been seeing the same turkey family in ths spot all summer long, and have watched the chicks grow to size and fill out.  Today is the first time I remember seeing Toms.

Random Wildlife – Eastern (Common) Gartersnake

Can I Wear This To High Tea?

I question JeffreyW’s commitment to his hummingbirds…he’s never worn a hummingbird hat (to my knowledge). 😉