RaeDi at Hummingbird Hollow

Thoughts on Food, Words from the Heart, 'The Little Winged Ones'….

Tag: Northwest

Hummingbirds in Snow

On watch of nectar… Female Anna Hummingbird

Wintry Holiday for the Hummingbirds

I have been told that sometimes when you ask you will receive.  Our moist cold air turned to snow last week…finally; we received over ten inches (some in the Northwest received over twenty inches, in the mountains it was in feet…) of the beautiful white fluff.   I have to say it was beautiful and we were very blessed to be about the only ones that did not lose power during our “winter storm.”  We had very high winds and it was snowing so hard at times it was a white out.   The site was stunning to say the least.

Our storm here in the hollows came and went for several days; the temperature was just a little bitter (and add the wind chill to that) more than what my body can suffer so the little walks I took were very short and only in the first couple of days of the winter blast.

I did get out and about and took a couple of pictures I thought I would share with you, I wanted so badly to take a walk about when we were at the height and depth of the snowstorm but after the few little jaunts I had taken I just could not muster up the needed strength and my bodies temp had plummeted to the point I wondered if it would  return to normal… but I think you will enjoy the pictures of our winter wonderland.  I too took a few pictures of things in my gardens.

My favorite pictures are of course the hummingbirds; I am taken by their pure resilience and stamina when it comes to enduring the freezing weather we get here in the Northwest.  They kept me busy watching them chasing the snowflakes as they drifted to the floor of white.  Buzzing the drifts and taking dives they were very busy just keeping themselves occupied.  Sometimes with the high wind gust I thought they would be carried off just as the snowflakes… wouldn’t it be something to have the fortitude of the little winged ones!

Male Anna Hummingbird

Female Anna Hummingbird

Nectar… Fuel for energy and to keep warm

Nice landing in the snow

Last season’s Robin nest topped off with snow

A Triple Drip!

One Drop in Time

I love old stumps… this one is from 1904

Down our Lane

Looks like white linen… time for tea!

Thick cushions of snow

In the pictures you see of the hummingbirds looking up, they are keeping watch over their nectar juice in the hummingbird feeder (they took turns)… the one thing that keeps them going in the winter’s whiteout….

Pork Barley Soup and Just Words

Ninnie had a bad day, but you cannot help but love her!

Bear with me today I feel in a ‘wordy’ mood!

Winter has settled in here where I live.  No snow, but cold air, cold wet air… no matter if it is a sprinkle, or a drizzle, could be muzzling, misting, in the form of  fog or even hail, light showers or  a deluge or some call a downpour… raining/torrents of cats and dogs it is still cold precipitation (of one kind or another.)   All always accompanied with grey skies.  But that can be a plus… when the sun shines it is a moment of perceived heaven.  You always take the time to enjoy the flash of rays that cast light… the rare winter sunbeams.  The casting light, reflect… bring thoughts of summer past or summer comings… one thing you know in the great Northwest sun basically makes itself known it seems only in the summer months with little minute sneak peeks during the rest of the year… but what a surprise… an attention getter… it is when beams of the sun rays are blessing you with a fleeting moment of the sun’s light.

We lost our electric the day before yesterday; an abrupt change in the weather front with high winds… I was trying to gather Ninnie and some things to settle in for the afternoon and the wind chimes made me take sudden notice that they were being carried on the wind now hanging horizontally… making mutable sounds as they tried to chime with the same notes but it was as impossibility while wafting on the wind like a sailboat on water.   

About the time I get Ninnie to the back door hail was added to the mix… it was drumming  on and bouncing off the roof and deck so hard it muffled the wind chimes scaring Ninnie to the outer reaches of the yard.   There was no way I was going out into the weather to try to… One… try to catch a terrified… anxious cat, I won’t even go there.  Two… knowing Ninnie like I do (she feels she will melt if one drop of moisture touches her) with wet fur… it always brings out the best in her… not!… Three… one arm people do not have any business trying to save a scared to death cat… nothing good can come of it!    

There was more than one danger in even attempting to do so.  So I stayed in the door frame so she could see me (I wonder does she realize that I do not like being wet and cold either!) until things settled down enough that she would know when she could make an abrupt dash for the door, which is what eventually happened. 

For the rest of the day she was not of very good sorts (take another look at that face… I’ll wait!) I think she thought I brought it all on and I was the only one to blame.    She will soon get over another of what she thinks is a personal attack on her life! Things did settle down quicker than it took the hail to melt. 

The hail was the closest thing to snow we have had this winter (unless a heavy frost counts) here in our neck of the words, I love snow and if it is going to be cold and wet I say let the precipitation be snow, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

We again have high wind forecast for this afternoon and evening.  Everything has been made ready.  Ninnie is not allowed out for the rest of the day, and she is none too happy with me (again.)  She will have to live with it, when the winds start she gets all paranoid and it is hard for her to keep things indexed in her little brain.  Sounds being carried on the wind are hard for all animals’, one of the reasons they bed down.   As soon as Ninnie realizes what is going on she will do what she normally does… sleep through it.  She always sleeps through all the difficult situations in her life.   

So many stories, but have used up my words for today….

 

 

T made pork barley soup today.  It is very simple but so delicious!  I enjoyed it immensely!  The hot broth felt so good going down… his recipe as put to me…  brown some pork in olive oil add a chopped onion and a sliced up clove of garlic, throw in a couple of diced potatoes, sliced carrots, add a small handful of barley and couple jars of water.  Season with some salt and pepper and simmer for an hour or two.   Add some parsley at the end.  He said he just throws it in the pot and if you try too hard it won’t be as good….

 

Eating Apple Cider

 

I cannot believe that autumn is essentially here.  I notice it mostly in the morning when I get up.  You can feel the chill in the air.  There is a thin layer of fog as I look out my window.  Over the Sound, the fog is dense, and you can hear the foghorns from all the boats of varying size on the Puget Sound.  It is a very heavy trafficked area with the cargo ships coming and going from the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma.  Add to that all the fishing and pleasure boats of varying sizes.  We also have the ferryboats from several different areas all coming and going from very early in the morning until very late at night.  A few nights ago I noticed when I had to get up in the middle of the night that I could really hear the foghorns, I looked out and we were under with a very thick fog.  I knew there were some cargo ships waiting to dock in the ports… some coming from great distances.

With fall comes harvest time.  Tom picked the apples from our trees the other day.  We each had one when he took a break.  They were so crisp and luscious.  The taste reminded me of a delicious apple cider… they were like I was eating a cider drink.  I know you do not eat apple cider, but the test was so similar to apple cider that you felt you were sipping and not chewing.  As a child, I loved to have heated apple cider with a cinnamon stick so too my children loved theirs the same.

As I took a break at the garden table a dragon-fly came by to see me, it stayed on my arm for a while… it looks like it has a smile on its face!

It takes me back to when we first moved to Washington.  It had been a long two weeks on the road from Yorktown VA to Puget Sound, Washington.  The afternoon we arrived, we found out that school was starting the next day.  You do not know how this Mother felt to know that the children would be in school all day long, especially after that long journey all cramped in a vehicle and with our little sheltie dog, Mini Molly Moo Wigglesworth, our miniature Lassie look-a-like.  She was the least of our troubles.

That first week in school here was heaven-sent.  Busy with getting things in order, such as where we would live and hoping that our household goods would arrive on the date given.  All the paper work sent home from school with the children took hours to fill out, and then there were the school trips sent for parents to give permission for your child to go on.  Their very first field trip here in Washington was to “Scandia Pumpkin Farm.”

This pumpkin farm had been in business for generations I was told.  The elderly farmer and his ancestors had all grown pumpkins on this very farm.  Each year they invited the children from the local schools to come and pick out a pumpkin in the special pumpkin patch that they had grown just for that purpose.  Each child once they had picked the pumpkin they wanted paid one quarter for it.  After choosing the pumpkin and paying the elderly pumpkin farmer poured each a cup of hot apple cider.    All the children loved their hot apple cider and were happy with the pumpkin they had found in the pumpkin patch.   This one was always a chosen field trip for me being a room mother; I always enjoyed it as much as the children.

Eating the apple the other day while sitting under the Apple tree brought back so many memories from my childhood to my children’s childhood.  We had trips similar to this when we lived in Connecticut.

We still have a few plums to pick, I had one and it was simple wonderful.  The blackberry season has now ended.  And I feel so blessed, with so many blackberries that I was able to make vinegar, syrup, tarts and froze enough to get some preserves and other things in the future.  Tom actually made a blackberry cobbler with wheat germ the other evening it was large enough for two small portions of the wonderful tastes that come with harvest time.

Then it decided to take a sun break on one of the apples, blending right in!

The apples will bring us some of our favorites… apple butter, apple sauce, pies, tarts, bread, muffins, or a wonderful tarte tatin, there are so many more uses that I can think of for these wonderful apples.

The leaves are all about to change and what breathtaking beauty they will bring along with all the wonderful flavors that come each fall.   Each is a treasure to me since childhood.

It sure is nice to be able to have the freshness of fall at your backdoor.  I would share with all of you if you did not live across the pond so to speak.  I hope that each of you have a wonderful, colorful fall and a bountiful harvest of wonderful tastes, friends, and love too….

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