Friday, February 22, 2013

Mountain Sunset

Where I work I can see the best sunsets so I always have those to fall back on.  This is from another week since this week has been rain, sleet, cold, warm, sun and everything in between. It is cold and foggy outside right now.  Overall it has been a mild winter but March and even April have been known to bring our biggest snowfalls.  Winter is not over until it is over!

More of my daffodils are close to blooming and I will be taking a bouquet into work for the next few weeks.  Nice to have some bright yellow flowers to brighten up the last of the winter days.  I can't wait for the bright colors of spring.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fun with Fungi

Hammering in the spore pellets

A friend gave us a gift of shitake spores and they must be embedded in a newly cut hardwood log by the end of February.  My husband stalked tree trimmers working in our neighborhood for the right tree limb.  He found a trio of cherry logs, newly cut.  They must be live healthy trees and in their dormant part of the life cycle - i.e. winter.

To plant the spores, he drilled holes in the logs and packed them with spawn/spores which looked like tiny corks.  Each tapped hole must be sealed with cheese wax immediately after the spawn in inserted.

Packed and waxed spores

Then we moved the logs to a shady spot behind our workshop where the temperature in summer is between 60 and 80 degrees.  That is it.  Time will tell if we did this properly!

Hopefully we will have shitake mushrooms sometime this year - we will keep you posted!  Has anybody else done this before?  Let me know how it came out.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

This and That...

No earth shattering news from the mountains.  Our daffodils are up and some are in bloom, weeks early.  We have had just dustings of snow so far so I am sure they think it is spring.

I took part in the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend but with sustained winds of 20-30mph it was hard for them to hang on to the feeder perches!  I saw some titmice, chickadees and an assortment of nuthatches, wrens and sparrows.

Valentine's Day was our 21st anniversary and my husband's birthday.  We treated ourselves to lunch and then to a visit to the local Nature Center.  I believe that wild animals deserved to be left in the wild but for educational purposes, zoos do provide people with an opportunity to see the fellow creatures of the planet. For a small zoo, this one was well kept, clean and the animals had outdoor natural habitats.  These animals were born into captivity and they looked well fed and healthy.  They are a member of the AZA - with high standards in animal care. This center only has native animals like this beautiful wolf, foxes, bobcats and river otters etc.  The black bears were still in hibernation but we enjoyed the visit nonetheless.

The bobcat was well hidden in his hammock

I have to say that I am ready for spring.  How about you?


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