Cataraqui Reflections

Sunday, March 30, 2014

More Snow For The Birds

Just when you think you have seen the last of the snow, a cold front passes through and a few more centimeters are dumped. I hope this is the last picture of snow accumulation on my car for this season.

I have had many bird sightings.

This pileated woodpecker moved quickly along the broken willow branches searching out the grubs that make a up a meal.

A blackbird watches impassively as the woodpecker taps out a rhythm with its peak.

Having reached the top of the tree, the woodpecker flew off once more in its quest for food.

Next I spotted this mourning dove on the fence.

It appeared cold with its feathers all fluffed up, although it was near the freezing mark despite the chilly wind.

Then, a robin stopped by to eat a few mountain ash berries still left on the tree. It felt like he posed for me while I took these pictures.

I cut up an apple and threw the pieces out on the ground. The pieces are probably still there, buried under the inch or so of snow that fell last night. Fortunately, the temperature is forecast to rise several degrees above freezing today and hungry critters and birds can come and peck after the snow melts away.

Meanwhile, the rose shaped succulent plant on my window ledge has produced some pretty orange flowers.

Here's a close up of those flowers.

I am ready for April, and all the renewal that it brings. Bring it on.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Snow Still Plentiful In Gowganda Ontario

I know we are all anxious to see more signs of spring around Trenton and anywhere else that you live. Already snow is disappearing and patches of brown earth are emerging from underneath the snowy blanket around the Quinte West area. Further north, in Gowganda Ontario, my home town, there is still plenty of snow to be found.

Pictured here is Larry Rendall, co-owner/operator of Lookout Point Camp, in front of a huge snowbank near his home.

Vicki, Larry's wife, took this picture from the front door looking out toward the lake. No melting snow or puddles to be seen here.

This shot shows the laneway leading to their front door. Clearly, winter has not let go of its grip on the north.

Finally, a snapshot of Gowganda Lake taken off the web cam from Gowganda Lake Camp. No slush or water on top of the snow here.

Just a reminder that perhaps we are not doing so bad in the snow department in the Trenton area and that other locales still have a long way to go before spring signs appear.

I saw robins a few days ago. They are traditionally harbingers of spring, but maybe it is a bit early for them. They won't have access to worms and grubs until the ground thaws. I have thrown out seeds on the snow for the other birds and some apple cores. I hope they find them.

Here is a picture of the little island on Gowganda Lake from 03 July 2013. When the snow goes, it is a beautiful place.

My thanks to Larry and Vicki Rendall for the use of their pictures for this story. :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Signs Of Spring

In 2014, spring begins with the vernal equinox on Thursday, March 20 at 12:57 P.M. EDT, this according to the Old Farmers Almanac.

Snow is melting and leaving puddles of muddy water everywhere.

Yikes! Looks like I will have roadway repair work once the water recedes.

In Trenton, the ice on the Bay of Quinte has a sheen of water on top and the disappearing snow is beginning to allow glimpses of earth below.

A little sliver of water at the ice's edge allows this duck to troll for a meal.

All of the above pictures are proof that spring is on its way, despite the cold north breeze that still feels a lot like winter's breath on your face outdoors.

While I was down at the waterfront, I heard the distinctive whine of a Hercules C130, and got this picture as it passed overhead on its way to a landing at CFB Trenton.

I never tire of watching low flying aircraft and this is a good thing, as this is common occurrence here.

Spring is official in two days - Yay!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Winter's Last Hurrah (I Hope!)

A big one-day storm swept through here yesterday, dumping about 20 centimeters (12 inches or so) in the area.My car looks like it repelled the snow around it.

There is no denying the beauty found in snow.

The picture below shows a pristine landscape where yesterday there was mud and other detritus found previously buried under the snow.

Like I said, snow can be beautiful, even when we have had enough of it already.

St. Patrick's Day is coming on Monday. The Trenton Legion, Branch 110, is having a dance on Saturday March 15th, featuring the Reasons band. It is being held in the lounge so there is no cover charge, although a donation of $5. is always welcome.

I haven't done all that much cooking that required a lot of time and thought in preparation throughout my life, but I have taken to experimenting with food since I have tired of the same old flavours used locally.

This has brought me to use of this spice - oregano.

I have found several eateries in and around Trenton Ontario that offer Greek souvlaki pitas and dinners. Their fabulous meals led me to the internet where I researched preparation for souvlaki. To my surprise, the flavour of souvlaki is derived from oregano.

Canadian Living magazine offers recipes for souvlaki-style pork. Here is one I used a few days ago.

I did not cook the pork tenderloin in the oven, rather in a large skillet designed for such a use. I also cut up a plantain and added it to the mix of vegetables for a little added sweetness. Yum.


This morning I took the casing off a turkey sausage, broke it up into pieces and put it in a small frying pan with garlic, shallot, jalepeno pepper and a sprinkle of oregano and salt. I then added some zucchini, spinach, a few broccoli florets and grape tomatoes to the mix and made a nutritious and delicious breakfast. Tra-la! Instant souvlaki-tasting meal.

The above breakfast tastes great using cumin in lieu of oregano. This lends a chili con carne/East Indian bent to the flavour and is delicious. This is also a good meal for lunch and dinner.

I am slowly getting some new tastes into my diet. Go ahead, experiment a little. You just might find a new taste that inspires you.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Allergy sufferers - I Have Just The Thing - Ginger!

If you're one of the millions of people coping with allergies, consider heading to the produce section rather than the drugstore next time you need relief from sniffling, sneezing, itching and red eyes. Ginger, the knobby root that's much-used in Asian cooking, may do more to ease your allergy suffering than commercial allergy remedies.

The above excerpt from an article by Tara Green is what I want to say. When I first came across an article that said ginger was good for allergy relief, I was skeptical. I happened to have some ginger in the fridge so I took out a piece and shredded some into a cup of tea.

I kid you not - within 5 minutes of drinking some of this tea, I was feeling better and my nasal passages were clearing. My allergies have bothered me less and less over the past few weeks since having a bit of ginger in my tea or other liquid daily.

Read more: ""

Editor's Note: For some reason I cannot make the links active, so you will have to cut and paste the URL into a browser. I apologize for the inconvenience.)

With experimentation, I now don't recommend grating the ginger into a liquid as you might not like to get shreds of it in your teeth as you drink. All it takes is cutting a few pieces of ginger to release the liquid inside and drop the pieces into the glass or cup. At first I noticed a flavouring in the liquid, but over time, I don't taste the ginger at all.

The link below gives more information on using ginger.


And just to finish off, here is the sunrise from this morning, Monday, 10 March 2014.

If you try the ginger for your allergies, let me know how if it works for you.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

New Songs Added To Blog

It's a nice sunny Saturday here in Trenton, near the shores of the Bay of Quinte. Here's a pic of William Bain Park from yesterday.

As you can see, there is still much snow on the ground, but it is the month of March, and spring is only days away.

Tonight is the night to turn all clocks ahead by one hour as it is the beginning of daylight savings time. I always enjoy having more daylight at the end of day, not so much when the sun comes peeking over the horizon at 6am. Even with a sleep mask over my eyes, I still know that it is daylight as some of it invades the edges of the eye cover.

I have finally uploaded the last two songs of the ones I recorded in February this year.

One is by Blake Shelton and the song is called Mine Would Be You. Blake is a great country singer and I hope you will enjoy my rendition of this song.

The other is by Kenny Chesney and the song is called Come Over. Kenny has a thing for boats and I fell in love with his video for this song.

Links to both songs are at the right of this posting. I hope you will take the time to have a listen.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Remnants Of Winter And The Promise Of Renewal

Ah yes, the remnants of winter I mentioned.

The old Post Office Tower in downtown Trenton looks like it is peeking out over a pile of rocks, but in fact, the rock-like structures are piles of snow and ice, detritus from the waning winter of 2014.

My pepper plant is still growing, with little flowers blooming and a brand new green pepper has emerged. There appears to be another pepper bud just below this one.

As any of you who have followed my blog know, this plant took off in late August when I put some fertilizer in the soil. It was healthy, but would not grow more than 2 inches high before the addition of extra fertilizer.

It bloomed in late October and produced many hot, red peppers. I did not want to just let the plant die after it had gone through its maturation and fulfilled its destiny, so I brought it inside and have kept watering it over the winter.

If it is still alive when it becomes warm enough to put outside, that is what I shall do. Should be interesting to see what happens.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

New Month, A Little Closer To Spring

So far, March looks a lot like February, right now overcast and dull. No snow left on the neighbour's roof so this has to be a good thing.

I have downloaded two of my new songs to YouTube and have included links on this blog to the right.

The first song is called Momma's Broken Heart, released by Miranda Lambert.

The second song is called New Girl Now, by Canadian artists Belle Starr. It's an edgy tune about heart break and moving on.

I hope you take the time to listen to these songs. I had a time period awhile back where I soaked up new material like water in a sponge. I learned eight new songs at once. I still have a few to record, but I must admit I needed a break after that spurt of musical progression.

There you have it, my latest musical accomplishments. Enjoy.