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Seen in My Backyard

A nice one!  Mrs J snapped this while on her dogwalk this afternoon.  Neither dog noticed.  I’m going to call this a garter snake but I welcome corrections by anyone who knows for sure.

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Tidbits

DSC_9141 (1600x1060)Just a reminder:  You can make a burrito out of nearly anything you can wrap a tortilla around.  We had chicken chili with white beans a few days ago and the little dab of leftovers worked great with the addition of Monterey jack.DSC00571 (1600x1060)I call this a “cuddle” of puppies.  I like how the little guy with the white on his muzzle is framed in this picture.DSC_9146 (1600x1060)Mrs J likes banana bread so much that she buys bananas and lets them ripen just so she can make it.  The one has raisins and pecans.  I found a jar of apple butter on the pantry shelf, applesauce works well as an accompaniment but apple butter just goes it one better.DSC_4902 (1600x1060)Notice the subtle segue from apples to snakes?  LOL  Here’s your random wildlife, a small snake in the grass beside the walk this morning.  I’m not sure what species it is but I would guess it’s a juvenile black rat snake.  The mottled look fades over time.DSC_9158 (1600x1060)We made the last batch of tomatoes into soup and canned 7 quarts.  I amazed myself with a practical application of arithmetic – I knew my canner would hold seven quart jars so I figured how many inches of juice I needed and let the tomatoes reduce at a simmer until it measured the correct depth.  I won’t burden you with the formula lest I make a foolish error but if I remember correctly 7 US quarts is a tad over 5 inches in my 10″ pot, I think I went five and a quarter-ish, making a mark on a wooden spoon.DSC00585 (1600x1060)I never said there wouldn’t be math!  I did say there would be kittehs, though.  They named this one Brock and he was adopted the next day after Mrs J posted this picture on the shelter’s facebook page.DSC_9157 (1600x1060)I’ll close out with a couple of sammiches, here’s a loaded chicken tenders sammy with some potato salad from the local Kroger deli.DSC_9163 (1600x1060)More sauerkraut than pastrami on this reuben.  There wasn’t much pastrami left so I compensated a tad.

Random Wildlife

DSC_4110 [1600x1060]Mrs J saw that the kittehs were unusually attentive to something on the ground and found a small snake trying its best to burrow under the grass.  We rescued the critter and relocated it to a spot away from their notice.  I haven’t tried to ID the snake but I may do some Googling later. [edit:  Looks like a Smooth Earthsnake.]DSC_4135 [1600x1060]Mrs J has been getting glimpses of a large bird when walking the dogs in the evenings.  She described it as making no noise as it flew to the ground and then away but couldn’t really get a good look because it was too dark.  We figured it had to be an owl and last night we were able to confirm its identity.  She called out that an owl had flown into a tree in the yard so I grabbed a camera and started shooting.  It was pretty dark under the trees so I chanced the pop up flash and got a few as I walked steadily closer.  I was nearly beneath it before it flew away to another tree nearby.  A Google search for “brown striped owl” led me here.DSC_4127 (Copy)                                                                                                                                      Barred Owl