A Year of Living Breadfully #4 – Rosemary Bread

Homemade rosemary bread is a favourite to make when we are at our place in the Gulf Islands. With rosemary growing fresh in our garden year round, it is a great addition to a basic white bread recipe. This bread is a great savoury bread to enjoy with soups and stews.

Rosemary


Bread dough and fresh rosemary.


Rosemary bread


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Mountain Views From the Trans Canada Highway

More driving, more travel. Here are a few images from yesterday’s drive along the Trans Canada Highway through Alberta and British Columbia (Canada).

The Alberta Rockies

Trans Canada Highway

Castle Mountain, Banff National Park

Golden, BC

Snow pile at the Rogers Pass Summit

Revelstoke, BC

Shuswap Sunset


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iPhone photography by Debra Hunter 

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It’s Melting

Melting ice.

Snowman building.

Playing.

Slushy walks.

And making something fun.

The kids were so happy to see grass. Unfortunately the forecast is calling for snow tomorrow. I guess that is Canadian weather for you.

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Last Ski of the Season? – Heritage Ranch (Red Deer, AB, Canada)

After days and days of cold temperatures and snow, it has finally warmed up . By afternoon the temperature had reached +2C and it seemed the perfect weather for a ski.

Today I decided to try Heritage Ranch for my ski spot, I thought a (literal) change of scenery would be nice, instead of skiing my usual route.

The trails were definitely a little bit slippy today with the warming temperatures. I will admit I paused at the top of the long hill before going down it, trying to decide how slippery it was going to be coming back up. After watching another skier tackle it with a slow “snowplow”, I decided to take the same approach.

As I only had a limited amount of time to ski, the plan was to go down to the base of the hill to the large open field and then turn around and go back up.

At the bottom of the hill I had a change of plan. It was pretty slippery in spots on the hill, and I knew it was not going to be fun going back up. I decided to go with “Plan B” and take the bridleway that snakes through the back way instead. It seemed to be a better option to break trail through fluffy snow, than spend the next 10 – 15 minutes sliding uphill. The “unofficial way ” seemed to be the most sensible option.

This just might be the last ski of the season, at least for skiing in Red Deer (Alberta, Canada). The forecast for the next six days is calling for temperatures above zero. Perhaps spring IS going to arrive.

 

iPhone pics by Debra Hunter

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Sunday Snowshoe in Red Deer

Even though Sunday brought temperatures well into the -20’s with windchill, we opted to go for a quick snowshoe at Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary (Red Deer, Alberta, Canada).

We chose to do the 1 km loop with an additional detour up to the bird blind. We knew that by the time we had done that, that we would have been suitably cold.

The views were still that of a winter wonderland , not the weather that you expect for the middle of March.

The short loop is also the perfect distance for our youngest two, while the older ones are like old pros on snow shoes.

The sanctuary always provides interesting things to look at, and lovely views.

Another bonus of snowshoeing at this location is that it is a spot where only walking and snowshoeing is allowed, so you are not always telling the younger ones to stay off the ski tracks ( a problem in other locations where there is also cross country skiing).

Back at Kerry Wood Nature Centre we were finally treated to seeing some birds. The birds knew the best place to be was where they were sheltered and fed.

If you are in Red Deer, or visiting the city, going for a snowshoe at Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary makes for a great afternoon outing. Snowshoes are also available for rent at Kerry Wood Nature Centre which is located at the entrance to the sanctuary.

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iPhone pics by Debra Hunter

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The Start of Gardening Season

Last night was the start of gardening season. It may be -22C with windchill outside, and snow deep on the ground, but it is time to get ready for the spring and summer growing season.

This year we are starting quite a range inside, even vegetables you traditionally directly seed into the garden, in an attempt to get some vegetables early.

The list of what we planted is as follows: tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, cabbage, lettuce, cilantro, basil, spinach, chard and kale. We also planted seeds for marigolds and calendula. Little bits of a large range of vegetables to hopefully get a head start on our 2017 garden.

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An Afternoon of Nature – Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary and Kerry Wood Nature Centre

It’s hard to believe it is March 10th. The snow is falling. It is -27 C with windchill. Environment Canada has been lying to us all week, promising a great day that turned out to be well into the minuses.

This week the kids had a short week at school with Thursday and Friday off, which I like, but like better if the weather is nice. Today we decided to brave the weather and attempt a short walk.

We decided to go to Kerry Wood Nature Centre and Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary. We started with a walk to the bird blind, which meant the trees sheltered us for part of the way from the wind.

It was a terribly overcast day with limited visibility.

The bird blind had had few recent visitors.

The view over the lake was forbidding, with snow causing the distant landscape to disappear.

Still, somehow, the kids managed a smile.

As we returned to Kerry Wood Nature Centre we noticed the chickadees were having a feeding frenzy. Luckily we were able to enjoy watching the birds from inside the building where it was nice and warm. If you enjoy watching birds, I have a slo-motion video of the chickadees up on my Instagram account at @debramhunter . It is pretty cool watching the birds fly to and from the feeder in slo-motion.

The nature centre also had a new display that I thought the kids would find interesting, so we decided to check it out. I had seen it earlier in the week when I had been at the centre and walking in the sanctuary. The display was from Parks Canada and highlighted cariboo, forest fires, white pines, and nut hatches. We had the place to ourselves, so the kids were able to take their time to learn and explore.

We also visited the regular interpretive display. It seems there is always something new to learn about our local environment.

I think it was also fun for the kids to get out of the house for a bit. It has been a long winter.

(and this picture is here simply because he looks so cute coming out of the fish tunnel!)

iphone pics by Debra Hunter

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