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Wild Turkey


You might remember an older post that featured wild turkey: Two hens and 9 chicks. Well, we have now been visited by another group and this one was made up of two Toms and two hens! The Toms are significantly larger than the hens, and there are other differences too! Let’s go check it out!

You can see the size difference in this shot. The Toms are on the left.

Two Toms, Two Hens

Two Toms, Two Hens

Now let us take a closer look at the Toms. First of all, they have caruncles on the top of their beak which the females do not. Their throats are also red compared to the female which is more of a gray color. Check out this Tom!

A Tom turkey

A Tom turkey

They look a bit peckish to me! :)

A bit peckish!

A bit peckish!

When they speak they make a noise that sounds like “Bloop, bloop.”

Speaking out

Speaking out

These birds are always on alert too! They watch us closely and watch the area around them too!

On alert

On alert

The dominant male starts to head out, and the others taking a bit of time do follow eventually. One other difference between the Tom and the hen is the tuft of feathers. You can see them better in this photo. They hang down off the center of the breast.

Tom crossing the driveway

Tom crossing the driveway

Cool, aren’t they?

I hope that you enjoyed today’s post! Thank you for dropping in today, and have a terrific Tuesday!

Be well! ^..^


babso2you:

I was looking for something different to serve up and came across Conor’s Italian Meatballs! I made this dish over the weekend and I must say that this dish is very tasty! I like the rosemary used in the meatballs, and the sauce is superb! I am re-blogging his post so that you can try this one too!

Originally posted on One Man's Meat:

Italian-meatballsPretty aggressive headline, don’t you think? There are a couple of reasons for this. Reason number one is because that’s what the people around the table told me. Reason number two is that I want some reaction. I am fed up reading recipes for meatballs (and all sorts of other stuff) that just can’t be any good. In my research for this post, I came across one recipe that recommended boiling the meatballs in the sauce for three hours. Fine if you want to fire them out of a canon to sink a ship but not much use if you want to eat them. Get real. 

View original 822 more words

5 Spice Beef


I have recently added a new spice mix to my ever growing spice cupboard. It is “Chinese 5 Spices.” This mix actually contains 7 ingredients and is a very flavorful blend. It contains cinnamon, star anise, fennel, ginger, cloves, white pepper and licorice root. That’s it! No preservatives! I have used this mix to make spareribs, and now a braised beef dish, and love the results! So, are you ready to head into the kitchen? Let’s go!

Ingredients - missing the ginger root

Ingredients – missing the ginger root

Ingredients
2 TBS peanut oil
3 slices of fresh ginger, trimmed
1 onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 1/2 # beef stew meat – cut into cubes the size of you pinky finger from tip to first joint
2 TBS hearty red wined
1 whole star anise
1 1/2″ length of cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spices
3 TBS dark soy sauce
2 cups of beef stock
Several sprigs of cilatro

This dish takes no time to put together and then cooks in the oven for 2 1/2 hours. So, let’s get that oven going! Set if for 350 degrees. Get out your cast iron dutch oven to start the cooking process!

Add the peanut oil to the pot and heat the pot to high. When the oil is hot add in the ginger, onion and garlic.

Sliced onion, minced garlic and slices of fresh ginger

Sliced onion, minced garlic and slices of fresh ginger

Stir until the aromas hit your nose. Then add in the beef and brown.

Brown the beef

Brown the beef

Once the beef is browned, add the rest of the ingredients with the exception of the cilantro. Combine well,

All ingredients added and ready for braising in the oven

All ingredients added and ready for braising in the oven

cover, and place this in the oven. Set your timer for 2 1/2 hours. Let it do its thing…

Half an hour before this is done, prepare some steamed rice and a lovely green vege. When the timer goes off, remove the pot from the oven, and don’t forget to turn the oven off!

Right out of the oven

Right out of the oven

By now your veges and rice should be done as well. Remove the cinnamon stick, the star anise and the sliced ginger before serving. Then plate it up! And, top each serving with sprigs of cilantro!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

The aromas are amazing, making your mouth water as you serve this up! And, it is very flavorful! This can be made ahead and served the following day and the flavors will be even better!

Please do let me know if you try this simple, flavorful dish! To my friend Conor: Do you dare try this one? :)

Thank you for joining me in the kitchen! Enjoy your Monday! Be well!


One of Many - Photo by Alastair Forbes

One of Many – Photo by Alastair Forbes

Standing at the top of the hill, Al looked out over the ruins. All that was left there were the foundation stones. It was the fourth week of his vacation and he needed photos for his Sunday Photo Fiction Blog.

He had thus far taken more than 1,000 photos and he was looking forward to figuring out which he would use for the flash fiction blog. It was not an easy task choosing a photo. He liked the photos that made folks stop and think about what they would write.

He thought about some of the places he had already seen. There was the Bay of Indigo where he photographed the rusted old boat stuck in the sand on the beach. There was that amazing view from the window of his room at Casamere featuring the old church spires in the distance. He was excited about the shots he took inside the Biot glassworks. And, there was that unusual statue in the center of town at Viogneir.

As he stood on top of the hill, looking over the remains of the ruins at Asterlorn he smiled, and thought, “I wonder who AnElephantCant will kill here.”
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Thank you to Alastair Forbes for hosting Sunday Photo Fiction!

And thank you dear reader for taking the time to stop by and visit!

Be well! ^..^


Last night my husband and I were sharing cocktails on our front deck and I went in to feed the dog. When I came back out there was a noticeable difference in the colors outside. Last year when this happened there was a fire and we were seeing evidence of a fire again yesterday. Today I wanted to share photos that I took from our area. We are approximately 17 air miles north of this fire.

Here is a photo taken when we first saw smoke.

Seeing smoke

Seeing smoke

Here is another shot from a different angle.

Smoke rising

Smoke rising

As we watch the smoke thickens.

The smoke thickens

The smoke thickens

Heading inside we turn on the news. KCRA 3 in Sacramento did a fine job of covering the fire for all of us. The next series of photos is from their news broadcast.

From the air

From the air

A house starts to burn. One thing to notice about this place is that they did not create defensible space around their home, which is one of the reasons this went up so fast. The trees are too close to this house.

A house starts to burn

A house starts to burn

A few minutes later, here is the same house.

The house a few minutes later

The house a few minutes later

Here is a property with the fire approaching a fruit orchard. These folks prepared and have defensible space.

Defensible space

Defensible space

One more shot from KCRA 3. This is of one of the airplanes dropping retardant on the fire. The shot is from their helicopter.

Plane dropping retardant

Plane dropping retardant

Heading back outside and looking up, what you see are not clouds but smoke.

Smoke not clouds

Smoke not clouds

Here is a shot as the sun sets…

As the sun sets

As the sun sets

As I sat outside, I thought I should take a photo that shows ash fall. It was coming down in our area like a very light snow. The first shot is when I first sat down; the second is only a few minutes later.

My pants

My pants

My pants 3 minutes later

My pants 3 minutes later

This fire went from 30 acres to 1300 in no time. It is only, as I write, 20% contained. So far this morning we do not see any smoke as the wind is blowing from east to west. We have not yet been told about the cause of this fire.

Where ever you are, we hope that you are safe. And, as Smokey says, “Only you can prevent forest fires!”

Thank you for dropping in and be well!


This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge subject is “Summer Lovin’.” Krista asks that we “share a photo that says summer lovin’ to you. It might be a favorite pair of sandals you can’t bear to part with, the homemade salsa you made with veggies from your garden, the flowers you planted, or your family frolicking on the beach. If summer is on the way in your hemisphere, show us something hot hot hot: your homemade sriracha sauce, some friends shuckin’ and jivin’ on the dance floor, or even the furnace or boiler that heats your home.” Are you ready for some Summer Lovin’? In the summer time, I just have to be near water!

There is nothing like cold water on a hot day!

Going under!

Going under!

There is nothing like spending time on a black sand beach in Hawai’i!

One view of the black sand beach

One view of the black sand beach

Or sitting on the beach enjoying the sea!

The calm of the sea

The calm of the sea

Or, how about snorkeling in it?

A snorkeler in the ocean

A snorkeler in the ocean

And, at the end of the day, enjoying the warm evening sunsets!

Watching to sun set at the waters edge

Watching to sun set at the waters edge

This is my Summer Lovin’! What is yours?

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend! Be well! ^..^


In the words of our Dutch relatives regarding MH17:

“Can you imagine a whole country mourning? Yes of course you can, we came in October 2001, just weeks after 9/11, to visit and saw a whole country in shock.

Today the first 40 victims arrived by plane and were transported the last 60 miles in a convoy of 40 hearses. This was shown live on television and a lot of people gathered on the route. Very impressive and emotional, one of the victims is a women of nearly 50 years who was a member of our fraternity/sorority (we were mixed, boys and girls). She was flying with her husband and son.

The whole day there were no commercial breaks on television (a first for the Netherlands I believe).

The Sad Final Journey Home – Mail Online News

One can only hope that the people who did this will see the mourning and understand the grief they caused.

No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for each other…That is what the parents wrote whose children died.

So, love to you both!”
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To our Dutch Family: Love to you all!

Nothing can take the pain away from the families of all the victims. Nothing can replace those lives lost. Nothing can eliminate the shock and horror that people around the world felt on hearing the news of what happened to those on flight MH17.

We can only hope that those who committed this atrocity will be brought to justice and made to pay for this crime against all of us!