Rural Life

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Not really rural but it’s plenty of life.  The  Eiffel Tower on Las Vegas’s main drag.
I had forgotten all about even taking this photo while I was there, do you ever do that?  This will probably be the closest I will ever get to viewing the real thing.  Taken straight from the Nikon, to computer, to you.

Rurality Blog Hop #6

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Man/Womans Best Friend on letting go

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Via Flickr:
Today I had to say farewell to my Basset Hound. Mixed emotions today as Fred had only come into my life this past July. Freddie, I will miss your early morning talks, your large feet as they fun across the floor after balls and socks. I will miss your sad but always happy eyes. Other will miss you Halloween costumes and your never endless supply of toys and games. There are so many things that I will miss, so many memories that have been made and wish that were still being. Fredster, Freddie, Fredmister, Bo I loved you you sweet little dog. I will always hold a soft spot in my heart for you, one that can not be filled by another. Now run, play and sleep dear friend.

‘Ere Mum, Got Any Mandies ?!!?

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Dan Belton Writes

“I snuck up on the same male mandarin while he was sleeping, I’ve never been anywhere near as close before. They’re so outlandish, almost like a teacher’s asked a class of six year olds to draw an imaginary duck and then someone’s made it ! I’ve got a bit of catching up to do I know.”

Someday I hope to have a shot as good as this one.

Winter Birding – Barb Phillips

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Family
Work
Church Service
Hobbies

All these play an important part in my life right now.  I tend to spend more time in some areas, possible more than I really should.
One area that I have really been neglecting lately is…wait for it…. MY HOBBIES.  I bet you thought I was going to write family didn’t you? 
I have quilts that need finished.  I have a crafting room that have spilled over into a wood shed outside.  And for photography, well my camera has been sitting on it’s tripod just waiting. 

I finally made of my mind today that no mater the weather, I was going out to get some bird shots.  Birding is so tricky for me as the longest lens I have is a 300mm.  I do have a 1.4X converter that I use but the draw back is that it cuts down on the light coming into the camera, not to mention clarity would be jeopardized.

Never-the-less I needed to get out.  I decided that the Market Lake Wildlife Area would be a grand place to visit.  It’s not to cold today, 23 degrees and bearable. I head out.  The sky keeps getting foggier, darker and very flat. I keep going determined to find the rockery of Bohemian Waxwings that I had seen just last week.

I’ve only been able to see Finches and Sparrows around the house lately and the Waxwings proved exciting.

You can only take so many sparrows before it’s time to find something new to photograph.
I’ve reached the spot that I thought perhaps I would be able to find the Waxwings.  I slip on my snow boots, check out my camera for battery power and SD card.  Zip up my thermal coat and head out.  I’ve walked I figure 2 miles and I spot them, hundreds of them.  My heart races, my step picks up in the snow and I approach cautiously.  I know that these birds are feeding on Russian Olives for winter food and that they will do so in large groups.  I get within a couple hundred feet, not good enough.  Can I get closer without them all scattering?  I move forward 10 feet, they are still there.  Another 20 feet, they notice me but stay put, I grab some quick shots.  Still I am not close enough for anything note worthy.  I move forward, they scatter in an uproar.  Rats!!!  But wait their coming back.  I move forward almost under them.  They watch, eat, chatter and eat some more. I’m ecstatic,  could today get any better?

 The Bohemian Waxwing is similar to the Cedar Waxwing just a little bigger and more colorful.  I wish that I had one of those fancy 500mm about now.

 I’m loving their colors aren’t you.  Make the house sparrows look a bit plain don’t you think?

 These two were such a comical pare, they must be mates the way they were acting.

 This guy just didn’t know what to make of me and all the clicking noises.  I shot some frames he would turn side to side trying to see what or where the noise was coming from.

Doesn’t take these birds long to have totally stripped a tree of it’s fruit.  No wonder I had to walk in so far to find them.
Side Note – after spending close to two hours watching, listening and photographing Waxwings I decided I had better head for the car as I was loosing light. 
 I begin back tracking the track. I turn to watch a snow owl and a great horned owl, and I’ve lost the trail I made coming into this place.  Anxiety replaces satisfaction. Thought of tomorrows headlines run through my head “BIRDER LOST”.  I do a quick look about and spot the main interstate, I now feel confidant I’ll find my way out of this area. 
 NOTE TO SELF – get better barrings and landmarks while out in the wild.
As you can tell I DID make it home, how else would I have been able to share my day with you. Ü  
Until my next photo adventure.

Can You Say Pico De Gallo?

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Via Flickr:
Sometimes for a Sunday snack I have to have something filling, fast and comforting. That’s where tomatoes, onions, peppers, limes, salt and cilantro come in.

Pico De Gallo
Yellow or red onions
Rama Tomatoes
Cilantro
Jalapenos
Lime
Salt

Chop up your onions very finely.  Next, chop up an equal amount of tomatoes (I learned this trick from the Pioneer Woman).  Next Chop up a bunch of cilantro to equal 1/2 the amount of onions or tomatoes. 
Now combine these three ingredients into a large bowl.  Top mixture with 1-2 chopped Jalapenos, depends on how HOT and SPICY you like your Pico.  Squeeze on 1//2 to one whole limeSprinkle with salt, I like to use sea of kosher salt as the granules are bigger.
This mixture will only keep for one day, after that you will end up with a juicy liquid mess not worthy of a chip.

Pico de Gallo can be mixed with roughly chopped avocados for an avocado dip.  Serve it over chicken, on tacos or just eaten straight from the bowl with chips like I like to do.
 

Needle and Thread

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What came first the needle or the thread? I my case, which came first the quilter or the photographer? I have to say that in my case, quilting came first. My resolution for the coming year is to finish up some much neglected quilt project, photograph them and the pass on the finished projects to my family. I don’t agree with the statement “She that passes on with the most fabrics wins!” I believe that “She that passes on the most FINISHED projects wins.” Ü Now I’m off to photo shoot with friends them it’s back to organizing quilt fabrics.

The best syrup I’ve ever tasted

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Buttermilk Syrup Recipe; Heaven on a Waffle, Pancake or French Toast!
I was given a small package of a Buttermilk Syrup for Christmas, needless to say I needed to find an originally recipe.  It was off to Google for the hunt.  This syrup is thick, caramel-ly  and just a hint of a buttermilk taste.

Image courtesy of jade louise designs

This will be put in the Phillips family favorites recipe collection