Who’se A Chubby Kitty?

IMG_3743 IMG_3744

Well, I experimented with a second rescue remedy recipe for my cat Salal. Although he has perhaps doubled (?) his weight in a month ~ and for sure his energy and fiest has tripled.. I thought I’d vary up his diet and try this one. Again ~  easy to make  and he loves it. I promise to use cheaper chicken next time, babe.

Make Something Every Day

Homemade Blackberry Fruit Roll Ups !

“Are you gunna make fruit roll ups today”? Nope, that is not a four year old. That was my husband bugging me for the last few days. So yes. Today I took my first shot at home made blackberry fruit roll ups, in our new dehydrator (see bottom).

And here’s how we did it.
1. Pick a big freezer bag size of local blackberries from all your neighbour’s bushes. Prime time= end of August.
2. Clean and dry.


3. Make an apple sauce in blender just in case whatever kind of berry you choose needs thickening. Use the fruit bowl apples you hoped said husband would take for lunches but never does.


4. Put bag of blackberries in blender on low til they produce a somewhat thick syrup. Use juice if needed to get the blender goin’. Yum.


5. Mix apple w blackberries.


6. Pam spray roll up flat inserts. We did three.


7. Pour mixture on evenly. Lick spatula.


8. Turn dehydrator on to 130-140 degrees for 4-8 hrs.


9. Take out when leathery dry.
10. Cut to size. Roll. Store individually in seran and store in a Ziploc in freezer. They come out looking like photo #7.

38 Inspiring Objects

#10  the New Lee Valley Dehydrator.

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It looks & smells an awful lot like marijuana but it isn’t…

 But it’s got the same effect on the cats. Cat Mint! Also known as cat nip in it’s dried form. The plant started out teensy and died in the house because they wouldn’t leave it alone. Outside, in the ground after 2 months ~it’s spreading! I’ve been pinching of the flowering tops so it bushes out more. Is that the right thing to do. Can a gardner comment and tell me?

I’m assuming the flowers seed and spread the plant but I won’t be here next garden season and want the plant to get as huge as possible so I can dehydrate it this winter! Lemme know please !

The cats love it!

What are you growing for your pets this summer season?

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Please don’t call me “strawberry shortcake” (just cuz I have red hair)

So the topsy turvy experiment (see previous spring posts) is in full BLOOM now! These things are amazing ~ idiot proof. Also- I just saw the containers for $20 each at Zellers.. and I got them for $2 each at liquidation world. Yeah me. And yeah sun! We have been enjoying a super red tasty treat of strawberries, now and then – no huge crop at once yet. I’ve rotated them monthly and water them nightly. Easy peasey. The bottom shot is the cherry tomatoe plant that is covered in little green gems. The regular tomatoe plant is maybe a week behind and twice the size. Can’t wait to have more tomatoes than we know what to do with!

Speaking of which… I treated myself to the deluxe Lee Valley Dehydrator ! I know, right? I even ordered the extra trays and the extra flat roll sheet for making your own dried fruit roll ups! Also exciting news n the growing front.. we have a pear tree. I thought it was plums because they had bums a few weeks ago. Stay tuned for pear stuff end of September! 

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Berry Picking is a Labour of Love *or* What to Do with a Kajillion Huckleberries?

It’s that time of the year again. So much fun to wander around the yard in barely any clothes and pick your dessert… or pick your smoothie ingredients for the next day… or? What do you do with huckleberries?

We’ve never lived where there are so many bushes of them, so we thought we’d give it a go this year. My Love bought an actual Berry Scoop from Lee Valley, when we there earlier in the month. It’s pretty amazing. Though, it’s still a labour of love separating greenery and bugs etc from berries and storing them. We just started tonight. My Love had to climb the cherry tree ~ they are ready but super high up! I saw a raven the size of an eagle in that tree today.  Competition is tuff. It’s not even fully salmonberry or blackberry seasons yet. See blog posts this time last year. What we also have on the horizon are three kinds of apple trees and a plum tree. yippee. Missing in these photos? Strawberries ~ we ate them promptly while picking.

the berry scoop !

Make (Gather) Something Every Day

Breakfast at Tiffany’s anyone?

In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly Golightly uses the phrase “the mean reds” to describe her generalised anxiety:

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds. You mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat, and maybe it’s been raining too long. You’re just sad, that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid, and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?

I’ve been off the blog (& got back logged on my record a day blog) because we’ve been off line ~cruising around this wonderful province. The heat is here and we’ve got to get out while it lasts. Thats was one wet and long winter and spring, heh? Here’s a few snaps I took in Vancouver a couple weekends ago, while out playing. We saw Wimbledon Finals on the huge screen in 3D (thrilling and an new annual event for sure! federer is #1 again. All is well in the world), saw Spider-man in 3D (save your money ~it was medium at best), ate out,  ordered in (until you live remotely you never know how thrilling Thai food delivered to your door at odd hours is), shopped on Robson, slept like a king and queen in my in-laws incredible condo, had a Lee Vally and an Ikea visit (duh) and other fun stuff too. I love Vancouver. And I love my husband. All photos taken on my iphone, most while hanging out the car window. Some are from the Vancouver China Town summer night market. Can you spot my handsome husband in one of these photos?

 

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Japan Tsunami ~Coast of BC Canada Beaqch Cleanup.

I’ve signed up already. Will you!? Please read this article. danke. xo. love your beachcomber ~Fireygoddess.

Volunteers sought for West Coast tsunami debris cleanup

CBC News

Posted: May 11, 2012 2:21 PM PT – click on the triangle to view an informative video.

Ocean debris believed to be from Japan is posed for a photograph on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C.
Ocean debris believed to be from Japan is posed for a photograph on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C. (Jonathan Hayward/CP Images)The wave of debris from the Japanese tsunami that is starting to wash up on the West Coast has prompted a call for volunteers to clean up the trash.

The Vancouver Aquarium and the World Wildlife Fund are teaming up to recruit volunteers to pick up everything from bottles, to plastics, fishing paraphernalia to appliances, that is expected to wash up on North America’s coastline.   In recent months, some of the first debris that drifted across the Pacific has triggered international interest, including a container with a Harley Davidson motorcycle, some volleyballs that have been traced back to their owners, and even an unmanned fishing vesselthat was sunk by the U.S. Coast Guard.

But residents in Alaska and Haida Gwaii, which used to be known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, have reported that more and more uninteresting trash has also been washing up.

Making a list to be ready

The aquarium’s Jill Dwyer is in charge of a registry of volunteers needed to collect the junk, and she said people can sign up for the cleanup registry at www.shorelinecleanup.ca.

“We don’t really know when the majority of the debris is going to start hitting our shorelines, where it’s going to hit or how much,” Dwyer said Friday.

“What we’re doing is just getting a list of volunteers who would be willing to help when needed and then we’ll connect them with the site co-ordinator or the local people on the ground who would actually be organizing the cleanup.”

Dwyer said ocean debris could be harmful to wildlife if it contains chemicals or if animals ingest items or become entangled in them.

According to some estimates, the March 2011 tsunami washed between 1.5 and 18 million tonnes of debris into the Pacific Ocean.

The recruitment effort is separate from the annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, which has been happening across Canada every September for the last 19 years. A spring cleanup of shorelines involving students began in B.C. last year and has now started in Ontario.

beachcombing 101

We explored the top west coast of Vancouver Island for Canada Day weekend and it was OUTSTANDING! blogs and photos to come this weekend when i get a chance to process some stuff on here. yippee. I took some great travel shots. ‘Til then, here’s a comic that my sweetheart forwarded yesterday.

Happy almost summer (seriously c’moon sun!)

Make Something Every Day

Gourmet Pesto Quinoa stuffed chicken breasts!

 oh Julia!
Yet another reason for YouTube~ to learn how to stuff a chicken breast. I had no idea. The above was entertaining & Julia is lovely as always but below is really helpful. Especially about putting the breast in a ziploc before pounding it! Smart. 

And what is the husband and father review? 

not the prettiest after photo, but you get the idea.

Recipe came from this awesome quinoa book.

Make (stuff) Something Every Day

Wes Anderson delivers again

Movie review! We don’t have a theatre on the island where we currently reside. So when we get off island / on mini vaca’s we take in flicks. When in Vancouver recently, we went to the movies two nights in a row. The Avengers in 3D & some forgettable Johnny Depp is a vampire this week ~movie. But tonight!? Tonight we saw a whimsical movie after my own heart. The very creative, colorful & odd Wes Anderson movie ~Moonrise Kingdom. 4.5 stars (out 5). The cast, staging, soundtrack, geography, and set up of the movie were glorious. This movie has craftsmanship. For whatever that’s worth. It ended and I had ~that head tilted to side ~ thing happening. I wanted to see it again as soon as possible. Lovely.

If you loved The Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Darjeeling, The L:ife Aquatic and The Royal Tennenbams you are in good company with Moonrise Kingdom. Just the right amount of French Music combined with just enough saturated down colours equal a delicious piece of fun. The plot could have been deeper but it really was an essential must see movie. He really loves the dioramas. This video is Bill Murray giving a set tour. So Bill. 

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Make Something Every Day

Wrap me in bacon. And by that I mean ~ wrap bacon around everything*

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These were my contribution to dinner tonight. My sweets was out fishing today. So after I got more than enough sun, and by sun I mean haze and humid, not direct sun! ~I came in and prepped a side dish. He was kayak fishing on the ocean so I didn’t want to offend and make a meat dish in case the catch of the day was halibut! Bacon. Just the word posted beside the word halibut makes me want to try that now too. I used the crockpot and recipe book (wow, I’ve come so far in one year, eh?) to cut down on the fat quota but don’t worry these little bad boys were as bad for us as they were delicious. My husband was very pleased, indeed. No fish brought home, though many caught and cool go pro videos to go with them. He bbq’d ribs. oh my. Team work.

PS. on the bacon theme ~ said gorgous and sweet-toothed husband has a crush on the toffee lady at the Saturday Farmers market, here on Quadra Island. Oh yes, he does. She makes organic chocolates, truffles, toffees. Today he bought 3 bags of naughty. Bacon toffee & almond bark. He always buys the bacon toffee. Today she actually warned him to “take care of your teeth!”. Which I thought was cool. Perhaps she could give away toothbrushes too? No bacon shame.

***fish on!

It was a strong start to the fishing season, yesterday June 17, th, 2012.. Fathers Day. Yes! Johnny Cash week this week consisted of my dad, myself and my handsome husband on re -con of the Quinsam River in Campbell River, in Beautiful Bristish Columbia. With JC playing in the car, the sun trying to peek out.. off we went.

The stats? A few bites, nothing caught but a lovely afternoon on the banks of the Quinsam river, below the hatchery. Um, it’s gorgous~ just outside of Campbell River. Myself, I’m an ocean girl so I’m looking forward to the future “we have a boat days” (shh baby, I know, there there, we’ll get a boat someday!) ~the ocean sick days out on the pacific ocean swells. You can call me “Ginger” then. 

It was a lovely start to the season. Happy Fathers Day Dad, love You ~ Jenny Penny

A slideshow for everyone’s viewing pleasure.

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Make Something Every Day

tried tested and true MEC

38 Inspiring Objects 

#8 The MEC Merganser tent and #9    the MEC thermos.

Both purchased pre-Haida Gwaii, during university days approx 10 years ago? Both in sort of mint condition still today! Used 2 weeks ago on our season opener camping trip on the west coast of Vancouver Island, BC. If you’re Canadian you know all about MEC. It’s an equipment co-op. It’s THE equipment co-op, really. Print catelogs no order exist so it’s all online at http://www.mec.ca I have lived remotely and in cities in Canada and always had a catalog at hand (& an Ikea one..lol). Their stuff is enviro friendly, lots of organics, durable, lasts forever and is all fully replaced if it ever dies.  These are just two of my fav oldest items from them. Happy to sport them again this camping season and picked up a few nice new MEC items this month as well – dresses, canoe foam racks, waterproofer etc. I swear photos of that trip will get posted this weekend! (some are amazing, if I do say so myself).

What’s your MEC story?

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spray painting anything that doesn’t move

Thank goddess no one told me how fun spray painting wicker was. I have urges to spray paint anything that isn’t moving.

Watch out cats.

I was supposed to be weed wacking the entire garden and yard all afternoon so instead I did this.   This 5 minute make over was super fun!! This one of those over $100  Ikea wicker chaise lounges, that i scored from Craigslist last year for $20. It got moldy over winter. So I hauled it out, brushed it off, sprayed her down in the sunshine and voila!

wiki: “In 1949, Edward Seymour added paint to existing aerosol can technology at his wife Bonnie’s suggestion. It was initially designed to demonstrate an aluminum paint he developed. Most aerosol paints also have a metal, glass or plastic ball called a pea inside of the can, which is used to stir (mix) the paint without the user having to touch it.”

BEFORE  SHOTS– with duct tape to fix under pinnings & Rust proof Navy Blue Spray paint from HomeDepot (cost $10 for 2)

 

THE AFTER SHOT – I used both spray cans for this one coat in the photo. I’m going to get another can to do the under pinnings and spot check the top. It dried instantly. PS. Lovely husband if you are reading this – I need your help when you get home from up north to re-do what i tried to fix with duct tape – likely with actual screws. PS. I’m also MAKING a roast with beer, in the slow cooker. come home. lol. xo.

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It seems I’m not the only spray paint addict. Check out the related articles below.

Just like I did when I was 3 years old & even more fun at 38 years old.

camping on Vancouver Island, BC. Exactly between the West Coast Trail and the Juan De Fuca Trail.                May 2012.

photo kinda crappy, sorry

Steps to make your very own shells in a  glass vase,  vases ( for your work side table or a table centre piece etc)

  1. Have your fantastic husband take you away on a “real” west coast camping adventure. Ours was all down the Juan Da Fuca trail, last week. Camping trip details to be blogged after I get back to work.
  2. Spend hours in the sun and mist just flipping over sea shells. Just like I did when I was 3 years old and even more fun at 38 years old.
  3. Sit by the campfire at night with some water and clean the ass smell or possible live mini carbs and sand off of your gems. Seal in safe storage for journey home. Just like I did when I was 3 years old and even more fun at 38 years old.
  4. Get that same adorable husband from step 1 to take you to Ikea on the way home.
  5. Purchase the three glass vases for under ten bucks deal as shown above.
  6. When you are home, alone, in the rain, by the woodstove~ assemble your shells lovingly into whimsical shell vases.
  7. Take them to work so when your clients are talking you are also daydreaming of flipping shells on a ” real” west coast beach.. in the sun.. with your super fun husband.
Make Something Every Day

Related articles

a beach story I’ve been following

A Harley Davidson lost in the tsunami changed my life

by Community Team Posted: May 18, 2012 3:38 PM
A Harley Davidson lost in the Japanese Tsunami was found in Haida Gwai. (Peter Mark/CBC)
My name is Peter Mark. I am 32 years old and reside in Masset, B.C. On March 11, 2011 I, along with millions of others around the world watched in awe and horror as the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami ravaged northeastern Japan. Those images of vehicles, boats, buildings and even entire towns being swallowed up by sea will stick with all of us forever. Harder to comprehend is the cost of human life, the loss of family and community networks that are gone forever and can not be repaired or replaced. On that day more than 15,000 people died and many, many more lost family, friends, their homes, their communities and everything but the clothes on their back.

A year has passed since the horrific events of that disaster. I recently received a stark reminder of the event that quite literally shook the world. On April 18th I was beachcombing on the east coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands and came face to face with a piece of the aftermath from the wave that took so much from so many. In just 13 months an insulated container holding a Harley Davidson motorcycle, five golf clubs, tools, tent poles and other small weathered bits and pieces drifted across the Pacific Ocean some 6,500 kilometers and came ashore in an area I frequently visit.

The container washed up on a remote beach approximately 50 km south of Rose Spit. When I first arrived on the scene I was in shock. I could see the motorcycle from a distance but it wasn’t until I got closer that I could see the license plate, a bent, algae encrusted piece of metal with Japanese characters on it. We knew tsunami debris was coming but I never expected something this big this soon, never mind a Harley Davidson!

My first thought was, “What?!?”. It dawned on me that this was something that might be in my backyard, something one of my neighbors might own. These were somebody’s belongings, somebody that might have lost everything, possibly even their life.

The unit had thick styrofoam under the fiberglass exterior which allowed it to float. How the bike and other items remained in the container all the way across the Pacific is a mystery to me. The bike was not tied down and the door of the container was ripped off. It was quite an eerie feeling stepping inside. It felt as though I was trespassing on someone’s property. I also knew this might be the first known item that washed ashore from the tsunami that could be traced, both by the license plate and the VIN on the motorcycle. I took several pictures of the container and the items inside.

Being on my ATV and alone there was no way for me to move a 600 pound bike from the container to high ground. I looked through the contents of the container for anything that could be saved. Everything was in bad condition. The bike was very rusty and banged up. The other items were badly corroded and equally battered. All I could save were the golf clubs that seemed to resist the corrosive effects of the salt water better than everything else. I could see that there was a water line showing on the bike, it looked as though it was sitting in at least 8 inches of water for quite some time. I also suspect waves would have often swept through the open door.

When I returned home from the beach I told several of my fellow beachcombers and friends about the find. I also researched the Internet on how to report such a find. I found very little out. NOAA posted an e-mail address for reporting debris. I sent an e-mail to them and have yet to receive a reply. Quickly word spread. It wasn’t very long before CBC got in touch with me (April 24th). I made them a deal. I told them that I would supply the VIN number and photos of the license plate so they could confirm the bikes’ origins before posting the story. Right away they called me back. I was informed the plate was registered in the Miyagi Prefecture, one of the areas hardest hit by the tsunami. We had our smoking gun.

The CBC ran the story on the evening of April 29th. I was not prepared for the amount of attention the story would receive. Immediately Ralph Tieleman from Vancouver Island contacted me. A man I have never met before. He asked if I would be able to recover the motorcycle? I had not considered it. The bike was in such bad shape I didn’t think it would be practical to do anything with. I thought it would stay on the beach, a memorial to the Tōhoku tsunami. Ralph offered with the help of his friends to restore the motorcycle and return it to its owner if they could be located. We knew this would be an expensive undertaking. The bike was virtually destroyed. They would need to strip the bike to its frame and start from almost scratch. I agreed and the next day with the help of my friends we went and recovered the motorcycle.

In the following days I did interviews with 4 or 5 major news agencies in North America and 5 in Japan! Late in the evening on April 30th a Japanese news correspondent located in California called me with good news, the owner of the bike was alive! From the moment I laid eyes on the motorcycle I wondered the fate of the owner. I had my fingers crossed and was hoping he/she would be found alive. There it was, the words I was hoping for, “They found him, he’s alive!”. I went to bed with a sense of relief. The next morning the CBC called with the news.

Twenty-nine year old Ikuo Yokoyama lost much on that day in March 2011. While I was watching on TV, Ikuo lost three family members including his father and brother. His house, the container in his backyard he used as a shop/garage for his motorcycle and everything he owned were swept away by the devastating wave. I was very happy Ikuo was alive but overwhelmed by the thought that so many others were not. Ikuo like thousands of others, is currently living in temporary housing. The man from CBC referred me to an online video interview from NHK with Ikuo. He was looking at pictures of the motorcycle that I had taken. He expressed how happy it was found and returning to him, “A miracle!” he stated. He also wanted to thank me.

Harley Davidson stepped in. They heard what Steve Drane and Ralph Tieleman were planning to do and decided to finance the restoration. They contacted Mr Yokoyama and told him about the planned restoration. Despite the desire to be reunited with his lost bike Ikuo declined the offer. He said that he was not financially capable of owning the bike nor did he have room to store it in his temporary shelter. He thought it wasn’t fair to spend so much on his bike when so many others had nothing. It is very honorable that Ikuo has put the needs of others and the needs of his community above his own hopes and desires. Harley Davidson has offered to give the money they would have spent on fixing and returning the bike to a tsunami relief fund in Ikuo’s name instead. Harley Davidson is going to stabilize and preserve the bike. It will either be put in a museum or made into a memorial for the victims of the tsunami. They have offered to pay for the salvage of the bike and the transport to Vancouver Island. Hats off to Harley Davidson, Steve Drane and Ralph Tieleman for stepping up to the plate and doing a good thing.

The story isn’t over yet. So many people have lost so much. There may be few opportunities to reunite people with their missing belongings. I feel that there still may be something I can do for Ikuo and plans are in the works.

I have been told that items like the motorcycle were not insured for events like earthquakes. A reporter from a Japanese news agency sent me an article about insurance for the tsunami victims. It states only 23% of people were insured. People that had insurance were only covered for their houses. Vehicles, cash, items worth more than $3000 and businesses were not covered. It seems that Ikuo will receive nothing for his lost belongings. When I try to put myself in Ikuo’s shoes I come to the conclusion it would be very hard to decline Harley Davidson’s offer to return a prized possession after loosing everything. Could you do it? I know many people in Canada are financially strapped, especially in the northwest but in comparison to the events unfolding in Japan we’ve got it pretty darn good.

This has been a wake up call. There are no good systems in place for reporting tsunami debris and no plans as of yet to deal with it once it’s here. Its very likely that much more debris is coming. It is very important that any items located should be treated with respect. I’m sure there will be times when personal items can be retuned to their rightful owners. Common sense is important in these cases. Not everything can be returned and there will be many cases the items would bring back bad memories for the original owner. There are many people that care about the beaches and spend a lot of time on them. I’m sure many of these people will go out of their way to clean up debris. Nowadays the world is a very small place. I hope people keep this in mind. I myself live in a coastal town on the ring of fire. One day my ATV or boat may wash up on the shore of Japan. If that ever were to happen I know I’d hope that my belongings would be treated with respect as well. I also hope that government agencies will work will local people who have been exploring the local beaches for years if not decades. Many of us have a deep understanding of ocean currents and what types of items might wash up and where. This knowledge may prove invaluable in the years to come.

Peter Mark
May 2012

baby robin eggs hatching ~ the videos

Here are the videos I have taken of the baby robin eggs hatching, in the last week. So exciting. I’m nervous for them to take flight ina couple weeks, I gotta say. These tiny iphone videos are pretty sweet. What do you think?

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what I’m learning about Robin’s eggs & more photos

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I’m going to attempt to photo them every day. I’m labeling them day 1 realizing that I have no idea when they were hatched. TODAY I saw momma Robin incubating! Above are today’s photos of the eggs and the nest location on my craftroom porch. I feel a bit weird about this to tell you all the truth. I was vegetarian for many years then ate meat the last decade.. now considering switching back. The connection was not lost on me this morning as I was trying to crack open my breakfast hard boiled egg, with my fake nails ~ while editing bird egg photos. I love nature and plants and animals big time but I’ve never really gained the maturity about the death part of animals. *Kate ~ remember giving me the cycle of life speech at 20 yrs old when Salal cat brought the dead bat into the bathroom for me? *  Currently our 14 yr old aged dog is in his last “days” and it’s heart breaking. When I’m healthy enough I see that it’s all a  beautiful thing but.. what if the baby birds are dead when i hold the camera up there one day? or fall out of their best. Nature meets art, I digress.

The following article came from http://wwwlearner.org/jnorth/tm/robin/EggstaEggstra.html  

Eggstra! Eggstra! The Story of Robin Eggs

The main purpose of a robin’s life is to make more robins. Migration, territory, courtship, nest building, egg laying, incubation, and care of the young are all parts of the breeding cycle. These activities happen so robins can pass their genes on to new generations — and the cycle begins again. Here’s the story behind those little blue eggs and the natural instincts that let mom know what to do.

Early Birds Catch Worms, Then Lay Eggs
Most birds lay their eggs at sunrise, but NOT robins! They lay their eggs at mid-morning. That’s several hours later than most birds lay eggs. For robins, this makes good sense. Robins eat a lot of earthworms during the breeding season, and they use those early dark hours to hunt for worms because worms are most available before the sun gets too high. Robins lay their eggs mid-morning after feasting on worms. A robin can then fly over to her nest and lay her eggs easily, but most other birds seem to need a long period of quiet before they can lay eggs. Those other species can get a big breakfast even if they eat late because they don’t want worms anyway!

An Egg a Day is Work
If you think laying an egg is easy, think again! Robins lay only one egg per day for good reasons. Female birds have one working ovary, unlike mammals, which have two. Ovaries are the organs where eggs are produced. A bird’s ovary looks like a tiny bunch of different-sized grapes. These “grapes” are the ova, or actually the yolks. The one ovum about to be released looks huge. One or two are about half this size, a few more are a bit smaller, and the rest of the ova are tiny. About once a day, the largest yolk is ovulated. That means it pops off the ovary and starts traveling down a tube to the outside of the robin’s body. This tube is called the oviduct.

If a female robin has mated with a male, the yolk will become fertilized. If the robin hasn’t mated, the yolk still goes down the oviduct and will be laid like a normal robin egg, but it won’t develop into a robin. As the yolk travels through the oviduct, the tube’s walls slowly secrete (drip out) watery proteins called albumen to surround the yolk. Near the end of the trip down the tube, the oviduct secretes calcium compounds. The calcium compounds will become the eggshell, but the egg will remain a bit soft until it is laid. You can imagine why the formation of an egg is a tremendous drain on a mother robin’s body!

Stopping At Four
Robins usually lay four eggs and then stop. Like most birds, they lay one egg a day until their clutch is complete. If you remove one egg each day, some kinds of birds will keep laying for a long time, as if they can stop laying only when the clutch of eggs feels right underneath them. Robins normally lay four eggs. 

On The Nest
Until they’ve laid a full clutch, robins allow all the eggs to stay cool so the babies don’t start to develop. That’s pretty smart! It means all the babies hatch close to the same time. Mother robins may start incubating their eggs during the evening after the second egg is laid, or after all the eggs are laid. They sit on the eggs for 12 to 14 days. The female usually does all the incubating. Even in good weather, she rarely leaves her eggs for more than 5 to 10 minutes at a time.

It’s mom’s job to maintain the proper incubation temperature, keeping the eggs warm during cold weather and shaded during really hot weather. She also must turn or rotate the eggs several times daily. She hops on the rim of the nest and gently rolls the eggs with her bill. Turning the eggs helps keep them all at the same temperature and prevents the babies from sticking to the insides of the eggshells. Males only occasionally sit on the eggs, but they hang out in the territory throughout the daylight hours and respond immediately if the female gives a call of alarm. A male may even bring food to feed his mate, but usually she leaves the nest to feed herself.

Some birds, like hawks and owls, lay their eggs when weather is still very cold, and start to incubate as soon as the first egg is laid. The egg they laid on the first day hatches out a day before the egg they laid on the second day, which hatches a day before the third day’s egg. Therefore, the oldest baby may be a lot bigger than the smallest baby. If hunting is very bad and the babies are very hungry, the biggest may sometimes eat the smallest. The oldest baby leaves the nest before the later babies, too.

Sharing Her Body Heat
The eggs must be kept warm to develop. A robin’s body is 104 degrees F. or even warmer. Feathers insulate by keeping the bird’s body heat inside, and the outer feathers can still feel cool to the touch. That’s why female robins need a special way to keep their eggs warm. They have an incubation patch, or brood patch, which is a place on their bellies where their feathers fall out. A mother robin shares her body warmth by parting her outer feathers and then pressing her hot bare tummy against her eggs or her young nestlings. Outer feathers cover the bare area so the brood patch is hidden. (It’s a little like keeping the oven door closed so the heat stays inside.) Scientists who hold a female robin for banding will often blow on the tummy feathers to see if a brood patch is hiding underneath.

Many birds apparently sense the egg temperature with receptors in the brood patches. This helps the birds determine how much time to spend on eggs, and they can change their incubation behavior accordingly. For example, they may sit more or less tightly on the eggs, or leave the eggs exposed while going to feed or drink.

Fighting its way out of the egg isn’t easy for a chick. First it breaks a hole in the shell with its egg tooth, a hard hook on its beak. Then it must struggle with all its might, between periods of rest, to get out. No wonder hatching may take a whole day. The eggs usually hatch a day apart in the order they were laid. Naked, reddish, wet, and blind, the babies require A LOT of food. Now it becomes a full time job for both parents to protect the nest, find food, and feed the clamoring babies during the 9-16 days they spend in the nest.

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tourist in my own backyard

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the classic spring bud micro photography

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SPRING PHOTO SHOOT IN THE YARD FROM THIS PAST WEEKEND.

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speed portrait water colour painting

These are cool. There’s tons of them on youtube ~ speed painting. I swear I’ll get in my craft room soon (pokes her sweety*)

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cabin fever ~ soup & dried fruits

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It was a long month of March with several power outages and massive storms ~cabin fever was a very real threat for me several times.

With beachcombing being at an all time yearly low ~lots of soup was  prepared and consumed and the dehydrator was running for the last week. I bought giant bags of pears and kiwis (@ Costco Courtenay) and stored them for our lunch snacks. Can you say “nesting?” My Roasted red pepper soup was decent but the husband thought a bit too spicy for diving days. Recipe above. I got out of the habit of photographing stuff as end product but I’m back on track now. yum.  

Thanks for staying with me bloggers. Any suggestions as to how to get more interactive with you all?

I’d love more comments or suggestions..?

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oh how I’ve missed you blog

Well here we meet again blog friends.. me by the woodstove with the winds howling and once again impending doom of power outage hangs over us. I’m solo, with my man at work today and possibly not even home tonight if the 80km wind gusts keep up ~ there will be no ferry home. Fingers crossed for spoons tonight with my man!    It’s been an eventful and somewhat creative while since we’ve spoken. I considered doing a V-log today but you have to pay to post videos on wordpress.com unless they are uploaded to youtube first. I digress ~ here’s what I’ve been up to.

We have been enjoying my record a day BLOG project which is now in month FOUR or twelve! It has been the soundtrack to many creative festivities around the pad, including baking. Here we baked more Theryaki smoked salmon tarts with Mr. Music maker’s help! And a one and a two and a … 

The record blog has been getting a great response and has a ton of followers. What a riot going through all different genres and styles. There’s a really romantic slowness to the vinyl process. The stink of the cover albums, the inserts, the album art. Deciding to get up to flip over to Side B. All great.

Check it out if you wish ~ just for the records BLOG 365 project

 I also made a another batch of peanut butter balls ~see my blog here for the recipe near xmas.

We had an awesome visit from my in~laws recently. Thankfully the weather was excellent FINALLY and we spent some time down at the beach. We gathered oysters and clams and then were told we couldn’t take them home (by a strange fella on the shore with no evidence but a fantastic story of  a shipping container that flipped over in the ocean and some chemicals released into the local waters).

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resin results

well hello blog friends! it’s been a week long hang over from the THING A DAY project I did in Feb! Phew. It was super fun and sparked me in all different directions. This past few weeks, we’ve been dealing with our aging pup (who is not in pain and happy on meds for now, thanks for asking).. so I’ve been focusing on that, lots of work and my record a day blog.

A couple days ago, I had the pleasure of making a huge mess and having huge fun with resin experiments. After watching youtube videos and buying some.. I decided to try all sorts of molds, objects embedded, beach objects used etc.. I had some success with food colouring and using paint pallette molds, while the chocolate plastic molds held my creations tightly after curing (24 hours)..no matter how much PAM spray I used ahead of time. hm.

Here’s some photos of the messy fun and creations. I used porquipine needles, paintings, photos, charms, beach glass, plastic animals, flowers, material, buttons, washer pendents, coral, shells,  dead bugs… I practiced on a painted canvas. Resin is equal to 7 layers or more of lacquer and can be used to create depth which you can then paint on top of again etc. very cool stuff. Still to learn: polishing, drilling holes, filing edges. see if you can spot my new easel!?

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