For some reason, my flock of hummers has a favorite feeder. The feeders are identical, and I have moved them around so I don’t think it’s a particular location. I’ve filled them all from the same batch of nectar so it isn’t taste. The feeder you see them swarming in the video is the one they’ve chosen, I’ve filled it three times today while the other four are still on the first fill.
: whoops, I have my phone set to take max resolution video and it’s taking a long time to load, sorry ’bout that!
More random wildlife! A snapper makes his/her way across the lawn. It’s dry so I know it’s been on the road for a while, but there is a pond in sight from where the picture was taken.We don’t know much about this orange kitteh, it was found in a cardboard box with a sibling. They are about 8 weeks old and are ready for adoption.The first one looks a lot like our newest kitty, this one lacks the white patches. I’m sure there is a name for the different color schemes but I don’t know what they are. Mrs J says she just calls them orange tabbies.Tacos! These are roast pork with minimal garnish – a smear of beans and a spoonful of salsa with sprinkles of green onion and cheddar. The general term for the main filling is carnitas, which means “little meats”.The coconut curry chicken we had over rice the other day was also good on these garlic mashed potatoes. I wish I was better at cooking for two, we still have another little bit of this leftover.It’s so hard to catch these hummers in mid flight, especially with the long lens I had on my camera. This was snapped as he approached a feeder and hesitated while he chose a spot to land.I’ll wrap up with a classic picnic plate of burger, beans, slaw, and potato salad.
The hummers finally showed up in some force. There are enough of them around I have to keep an eye on the feeders lest they run dry.I’m always losing those info tabs that ID the plant so I hit upon the idea to take a picture of each one with my cell phone. Might not be foolproof but it can’t hurt.Bea is fond of turning our pots into kitteh beds. I have two small basil plants in this one and she managed not to crush either one. Yay!I had Italian sausage leftover from the last pizza so I combined that with some ground beef in a meatloaf the other day. Worked out pretty well! This was an ad hoc recipe: Milk, an egg, bread crumbs, chopped parsley, chopped onion, garlic, and salt/pepper – bake in a 325 oven for about an hour in a bread loaf pan. The dressing is ketchup and Sweet Baby Ray’s.The best reason to make meatloaf is the prospect of using the leftovers in a sammich. Mmm…Thread needs more kitteh! This is Sweet Pea, a 5 month old kitteh girl.That was hard work! Nap time…I’ve been perfecting my braising method for these baby back ribs. I do these in a 300 degree oven in a covered foil pan, after applying a dry rub, for about 3 hours or so. A cup of beef broth helps to keep them moist. During the last 20 minutes I brush them with a BBQ sauce, crank up the heat, and leave them uncovered to set the glaze. Still working on the rub recipe but is has ground coriander, black pepper, kosher salt, garlic and onion powders, brown sugar, and a few other things that look good at the time.
Here’s a piece of that raspberry pie. Yum! A scoop of vanilla will improve most anything whether it needs it or not.A hummer looks at the vitex. A lot of the birds zoom in to check it out but there isn’t much there to keep them interested.We’ve eaten more of those stuffed Anaheims. This batch is filled with cream cheese and cheddar with ground beef cooked with taco seasonings. They are topped with more cheddar and a sprinkle of lime flavored red pepper.This is a curly dog with slaw, topped with yellow mustard I’ve turned into a relish with chopped and sliced serrano peppers. Cut a hot dog lengthwise but not all the way through and then with crosscuts and they curl when cooked. There was a diner in my home town that made these, I first ate one over fifty years ago. Time flies!We spotted this snapper crawling at a considerable remove from its regular home in a small pond. I’m not sure why it left home, it seems late for an egg laying expedition. Just wanderlust, maybe? Population pressure?Mrs J favors bean soups and I am happy to oblige! This isn’t the best I’ve ever produced but it wasn’t bad. I’ve developed a habit of taking some of the cooking liquids released from chunks of meat that I smoke and reducing them more in a saucepan. Because of all the salt in many of my dry rubs the reduction is too salty to use in a gravy but can be frozen in an ice cube tray and treated like homemade bouillon cubes.Tacos are a quick and easy meal. These are ground beef with the usual accompaniments.
Rain was threatening the other day and the hummers were really stoking up. I played around with placing strobes on the ground around the feeders to try to stop the motion of the bird’s wings. I took a few shots but it started to rain so I gathered the strobes up and quit before I could thoroughly try different settings. I posted this at high resolution, click on it and it’ll get really big. I counted about 30 hummers in this shot.Made a pot of chili just for this picture. Turned out to be pretty good chili, I simmered some dried chilis to make a mole and added that to a chorizo/ground beef mixture with a chopped onion and a ton of garlic. I held off putting beans in, adding them later.I think there are beans in the chili on this hotdog we had later in the day. It has minced jalapeno and red serrano peppers with onions and shredded cheeses.Ginger had lots of fun with his new toy. I think every cat in the house took a turn with it, and Katie spent a few minutes chewing it.Mrs J put together a salad, I added the olives and the pickled garlic. It has a vinaigrette dressing of rice vinegar and olive oil with the usual herbs and a bit of Dijon.The habanero bush on the patio was starting to look like the peppers were thick enough on it to break the branches down so I went ahead and gathered all the ripe ones. I have most of these drying to be ground for pizzas and the like. I learned last year not to breath the dust from the processing.We opened the front door and found this stick insect clinging to the glass of the storm door. No idea why he was there, the location pretty much defeats the blending in strategy in avoiding predators. We see these now and again but almost always when they are away from their normal habitat. Makes me wish for a decent macro lens for my camera.
I bought a jar of pickled garlic to round out an online order a while back and liked it well enough to try to duplicate it. I found a recipe for French pickled garlic that was reiterated over scores of web sites so I just picked this one at random to link to here. The jar I bought had a definite yellow tinge to it so I added turmeric to my version. It worked just fine. I have some of mine here with a Cubano sammich prepared in my grill press/panini maker.Mrs J made a little cat toy filled with catnip and polyfill. Ginger was playing with it until I decided to try for an action photo whereupon he ran off and hid under the couch.I found this young hummer going for the red honeysuckle this morning. Most of his pals are hanging out on feeder row:Made a meatloaf yesterday with ground beef and chorizo plus some chopped peppers, onions, eggs and bread crumbs, etc. I was thinking meatloaf sammiches from the get-go.The gravy is from the drippings with Worcestershire, dark soy sauce, and catsup added. I liked the Kaiser rolls well enough to use them with a basic cheeseburger.I made a sauce for it with sauteed mushrooms and garlic in butter and oil. Swiss cheese rounds it out. Grilled sweet corn has become a favorite this summer. Butter and salt and pepper work just fine, sometimes I use Old Bay seasoning instead of the salt and pepper.This one is a simple cold cut sub with ham and cheese and plenty of veggies with a vinaigrette dressing.
One of these days I’ll cook a real deal meal and surprise everyone!
Our cherry tomatoes are doing great. I’ll have to start freezing or drying some soon. I didn’t make a dent in them with this pasta dish:This is an easy dish and it tastes great but we can’t eat it every day. Unlike the BLTs:Mrs J has named these her all time favorite sammiches. This one is a BELT, it’s topped with an egg.
Our Vitex nearly didn’t survive the winter, it did die back to the root but it is coming back. They are late bloomers and are just now producing something to catch the eye of a hummingbird.This is a Ruby Throated Hummingbird – the gorget really catches the light when the angle is right.The little peppers are coming along, plenty of red ones, a few orange, not seeing any yellow one so far. Of course they all start out green. The dill in the background is pretty with the yellow flowers looking like bursting fireworks. This is the first time we have had luck growing dill. Aphids and caterpillars usually make short work of it. I’ll try to collect the seeds for baking rye bread.
I noticed a Goldfinch working a sunflower yesterday so I grabbed a few shots. I realized a little later that the flower he is on is the same one I photographed a week ago:Those sunflower have been a real gold mine over the years, providing some of my all time favorite photographs, like this winter shot of finches gleaning from the dry bones of the previous season’s crop:I can easily understand why finches love these flowers, the seeds are a great source of food for them. I bet this hummingbird was disappointed, though: