Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Winter wind

 On January 22 we had some high winds and our power was out for about 4 hours.
 The weather forecast had said that we would have this wind storm, so I was ready for it.  I had heated the soup.  Found the candles and flash lights.  We had plans for cooking on the wood burning stove in Pat's room.  Just like camping; we were going to have our treat... fried spam.  The power went off before lunch.  I spent the time building and maintaining a roaring fire in the fireplace, and Pat had his stove going.  I really like this fireplace heat but never seem to be bothered to make a fire.  The power came back on again before supper, but we had our fried spam anyway.  The house smelled rather like a campfire, so this worked well.  The photos were taken later in the evening when it was dark out.  These little lamps each contain a different alcohol based fuel that burns in the three colors.  Very pretty.
 During the storm, the birds were flocking around the suet feeder that Andy has hanging in the back patio area.  The humming birds were hungry too.
 Rufous sided towhee

There were more birds and I have more pictures, but do not have time to process them all.  Our big patchy colored robin still dominates the robin population this year.  Next year, maybe I will have to put the feeders out in the front, on the tree.  Maybe I will see the woodpeckers visiting again.  I want to see more butterflies and think too many birds might be bad for the butterfly population.  
Andy and Tara have moved into their own home and we have the suite empty again.  We will do some renovation -- floors and paint and then decide what we want to do with it.  Its kinda nice to have our home to ourselves again.  They might take an orange tree or two; but later.
Marlene and Art were over to dinner.  We had mulligatawny, smoked turkey legs with ratatouille and quinoa, with chocolate mousse for dessert.  Was all good.  They are thinking about whether or not they want an orange tree for their new place. They are slowly getting unpacked, too.
I have made batches of soup and ratatouille, and so have some good lunches and dinners on hand, without a lot work.  The indoor plants are watered and the laundry is done.  Now, I need to find some time to do some stuff on Megashot.net.  It seems I am going to be creating another community for butterflies.  An internet contact from Megashot and before who is from Oregon has become very gung ho about raising Monarchs.  This is very exciting and to be encouraged.  We need more monarchs on the West Coast.  I need to get some milkweed growing.  Dave has some plants on order already.  Last autumn I brought home a couple of milkweed seed pods.  I put the seeds into pots last Autumn and they have been on the deck for the winter.  I hope they sprout.  The milkweed seems to be on the noxious weed list.  Strange.   I don't see any of it growing here.  There are different kinds of it, so hopefully I will be able to find some plants at the nurseries later this year.   
I managed to get the rose by the front door pruned back a bit.  It has been very warm out today.  I also cut the butterfly bush back to about 12 inches high.  I stuck the cut ends in to the ground along the strip between our driveways.  Hopefully they will root.  These plants, too are suppose to be invasive.  I have never noticed too many of them around, either.  Broom... yeah... far too much of that stuff.  What good is it anyway?  Maybe sheep can eat it?

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