summer 2016

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

spring is bursting out


                                                           



After weeks of rain and cold weather with the odd teaser spring-like day we are in a 5 day stretch of sunshine and very warm temperatures in the low to mid 20'sC.  Everything is late growing and the fields are so wet that the farmers can't get out to plow.  Hopefully this 'dry' spell will help and things will start looking up.  Flood season is over and the water is going down. Folk are picking fiddleheads along the streams and rivers now - a spring delicacy.  

The tulips are blooming and the daffodils are dying down, their yellow trumpets shrivelling after putting on a great show.

This bee was drinking nectar from a golden cup one day during a break from the rain.


The Tree Swallows are always flying overhead catching bugs.  A pair have settled on one of the birdhouses near to the back deck where they have nested the past 3 summers.  The Bluebirds finally gave up trying to oust them out of that house and settled on the house in the back garden.  I think both pairs are settling in and perhaps have eggs in their nests.  Time will tell.  I'm still waiting for the Hummingbirds to arrive but they have been spotted in the area so I expect it will be soon.

The Solomon's Seal is starting to grow fast now. 

Maple tree tassels look so pretty in the morning sun.  It was really windy so difficult to capture them as still as I'd like.  




Yesterday I went for a nice walk and took these photos.

This is the apple orchard which will soon be in blossom.  Note the pretty greens in the trees down below the orchard.

At the apple orchard they also grow raspberries and strawberries.  I can't wait to pick some fresh fruit!

I'm not sure what this bush is growing in the ditch.

Manitoba Maple tree tassels.

How is this for a gorgeous view??  This is looking down at the islands in the St. John River and if one had a really good zoom or binoculars one can see Fredericton, our capital city.....well mostly just the bridge that crosses the river downtown, but we know the city is there in the trees.  





I know our spring is much later than most of you but it is such a glorious season and I enjoy it so much.  There is so much new growth and the colours are magnificent.  I love spring!!

  We have our holiday long weekend coming up celebrating Queen Victoria - apparently the only country to do so.  It will be a busy weekend as it's the start of camping season and a lot of the tourist attractions open for the summer season.  I'm hoping we can make our traditional visit to 
St. Andrews-by-the-Sea if the weather stays nice.

Have a great day and holiday weekend, should you celebrate it.  Thank you for visiting.  

Blessings,
Pam






Monday, May 8, 2017

down by the Mactaquac Dam and the St. John River




This is along the St. John River on the Mactaquac Head Pond just above the Mactaquac Dam at Keswick Ridge.

Well, here it is into May already!  Time is flying by and I didn't even look at my blog or anyone else's for a whole week for some reason, so I have some catching up to do!

The weather has not been very nice and there hasn't been much to take photos of unless it's rain.

It is definitely greening up and the trees are budding, the tulips are about to open and the daffodils are still blooming for a few more days.  

We had about 90mm of rain all day Saturday that has caused some flooding of properties along the rivers but not the major flooding that would have been expected.  There are many wet basements I'm sure and some flooded roads.  Parts of BC, Ontario and Quebec have had some much more serious flooding though and my heart goes out to those affected as their homes are full of water and so much property is destroyed.  We are on a high ridge so are safe.  Our yard is like a sopping wet sponge in spots as the ground is so saturated.  Hopefully this will give lots of moisture to the woods so there won't be any forest fires.

Sunday afternoon was glorious with blue skies, puffy white clouds, sunshine and warm temperatures.  Late afternoon we went for a little drive to the river and the dam so I could take some photos.  The top opening photo is down by the river.  I've written many blog posts about the river, dam and head pond.

There was a stiff southwest wind so there were waves and whitecaps on the water and it was all muddy from sediment and the fast flow of the water.  In the distance at the centre of the photo is where the St. John River is.  The body of water right here is called the Mactaquac Arm.  When the Mactaquac Dam was built across the St. John River over 40 years ago the flood waters backed up the river and the Mactaquac Stream (now the Arm) and it is very deep and wide.  

In the cove of the very first photo is this beaver lodge which has been there for a long time.  Normally the water is much higher and only the top half of the pile of wood is showing.  It is unusual to see a shoreline along the river unless the water is being lowered during spring runoff or if there has been a heavy rain all along the St. John River and they have to open the dam gates.

Looking up the Mactaquac Arm toward Crabbe Mountain.  Yes, that is a 'mountain'.  ðŸ˜  And it is a ski hill too.

The land on the right side of this photo is all Mactaquac Provincial Park which has many hiking trails, two boat marinas, a golf course, campgrounds, a public beach and picnic areas.  Treego - a zip line outfit - is also located in the park.  
It is a very busy spot from May through September and many boaters take advantage of the river where there are bass fishing tournaments twice in the summer.  There are also houseboat rentals at the marina.

Tons of old trees and wood etc. come down river every year with the high water.  It is scooped out with a large excavator and put into dump trucks then piled up on NB Power property near the dam.  You can see a log or two in this photo and I took a photo of the pile as well.

Next we drove across the dam from the other side (Keswick Ridge) to the Kingsclear side in this photo to take pics of the water coming through.  The gates had been closed more than they have been so less was being expelled but it is amazing to see the force of the water as it comes down the spillways and crashes at the base into a white roiling foam.  It then flows down the St. John River to the Bay of Fundy - about 105 km or 65 miles away.  It's along the area below Fredericton that the water has breached the highway in spots and flooded some basements, yards and farms and this happens almost every year.  The most recent bad flood was 2008 when it flooded parts of downtown Fredericton.  It's quite a science to adjust the water flow at the dam with the amount of influx along the river above it from snow melt and rain.  The St. John River starts in Northern Maine and flows through the province of New Brunswick.  

A closer shot of the action.

We left there and I took this photo as we crossed back over the dam.  We're heading to that spit of green grass jutting out in the river below the generating part of the dam.

Here are the trucks I mentioned that haul the logs and debris away that is collected from next to the dam.

And this is some of the pile of logs and debris that has been collected the past few years.  Some of it is hauled off to landfill sites I think.

The road down to the generating station below the dam has some great views of the St. John River, Kingsclear and Islandview.


This is taken from the parking lot on the green spit of land I mentioned you could see from the dam and looking back at the dam.  You can't see the spillways as they are around a bit of a corner on the right.

There are two sets of spillways and you can see the roiling foam from them here.  One set is behind that jut-out and one it to the immediate right where the spray is.  Note the vehicles driving across the dam.

That's it for our tour of the St. John River at the Mactaquac Dam.  

Maple tree blossoms.

Back at home at suppertime, almost 6:00, and the sun is still high and the grass is so green.  I love this time of year but just wish it would warm up about 5-10 degrees more as we're barely into the teens yet most days.   I'm still not barefoot in sandals!  haha.  

I hope you had a good weekend and wish you a great week ahead.  And a very happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

Take care.

Blessings,
Pam




Wednesday, April 26, 2017

vintage cookbooks are so interesting






Let me start by saying I'm not a great cook.  I'm a basic cook.  I don't entertain a lot and don't make fancy new dishes that are trending all the time with food I haven't a clue what to do with.  Murray likes meat, potatoes and veggies.....and cookies....and now we eat salad a lot.  Haha. 



I have a few old cookbooks that were my mother's and my mother-in-law's.  As a new bride I received many cookbooks, a traditional gift at bridal showers, and have given most of them away.  They were taking up valuable space in the cupboard and have pretty well become redundant with the Internet and all the thousands {millions} of recipes available there.


The cookbook on the top left was given to me by my older sister for Christmas in 1966 "from the cats".  ðŸ˜Š  I use a lot of recipes from that tattered and worn cookbook today....most often the chocolate chip cookies recipe and one for butter frosting.  The one on the right is the original Purity Cookbook from 1932 that was my mother-in-law's.  She even wrote recipes on the inside covers and pages!  The books are pretty well identical inside except the photos are different.  There is a new edition of this cookbook available now too, but the photos are black and white.


A photo from my book.

Our favourite cookie recipe.  I used about 1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips and omit the nuts.

This battered cookbook was my Mum's.  It is full of handwritten recipes in my mother's handwriting and my older sister's as well.  My sister re-wrote a lot of recipes in her nice penmanship (she became a school teacher) for Mum.  There are sometimes names or just initials at the bottom of the recipe denoting where it came from.  Also there are some loose pages of recipes jotted down on scrap paper, some clippings from magazines, a diet Mum was following at one time in the 60's, and notes.  

My Mum's handwriting.  ðŸ’—
I think someone lifted the beaters of the old Mix Master before turning it off and spattered chocolate batter all over the pages.  ðŸ˜‹ I wonder if they were making chocolate pudding.  

My sister's precise handwriting.  ðŸ’—


I found this note on the back of an old envelope from Mum to my younger sister tucked in the pages.  


Yes, this was a 'favourite' fudge recipe.  When I was growing up we had natural gas in Moncton so we had a gas stove.  It was what I learned to cook on and getting it 'just right' was tricky.  I remember cold winter Saturdays someone would make a batch of chocolate fudge for a treat.  I've never tried this recipe since and as much as I love chocolate and sweets I don't make fudge.  Perhaps I should try it again.


Recipe Clippings. 
Have you cut out recipes from magazines (before the internet)?  It was the thing to do in the last century and this handy book could store them in various categories.  Some of them date from 1949!



I love the graphics of this little recipe book tucked in Mum's book.  I don't know of Dwight's Baking Soda.  Arm & Hammer is the brand most common here and all I've ever used.


These vintage items were my mother-in-law's.  Look how worn the wooden spoon is....but you didn't throw it out.  She was the queen of thrift and recycling way ahead of her time because she grew up in the 30's when times were really tough and you 'made-do'.



Do you have old cookbooks?  Do you still use a cookbook or mostly internet recipes?  I do both.  
And there are enough recipes out there to tempt us as we are inundated with them on Facebook too.  Not a 'friendly' place to scroll through when you're sick.  Haha!

I hope you enjoyed seeing my vintage cookbooks. Have you found anything interesting in yours?

Have a great day!
Thank you for visiting.

Pam






Tuesday, April 18, 2017

seasonal flooding and bird watching



The moon setting over the field while the deer graze at sunrise on Thursday morning.



We had a really good, and very busy, Easter weekend.  The above photo was taken Thursday evening on our way to church for music practice.  The rivers are up and flooding their banks so all the fields were flooded.  So far it hasn't breeched the roadway!

The Islands in the river are flooded as well, a usual occurrence.  The St. John River runs through the province from northern Maine down to the Bay of Fundy in Saint John and is now totally ice free, which is good, as there won't be any ice jams causing major flooding of the Perth-Andover town  upriver.  However, it doesn't mean there won't be anymore flooding of properties.

This is the much same view taken on Friday morning on the way to church.  It looks so much prettier in the sunshine with blue skies doesn't it?

We had our Easter dinner on Good Friday as it was the only day our son and daughter-in-law weren't busy with her family and because of our music commitments at church all weekend.  I made a little white cake with vanilla butter frosting (and a few sprinkles) for dessert along with 'fresh' strawberries (all the way from Florida so I'm being facetious when I say 'fresh').  I found the recipe on my friend Faye's blog "The Blessed Hearth" and it is delicious!

The flooded fields at sunset on Saturday evening.

Saturday was sunny and warm at 15C so we got some yard cleanup done before we had to head to church to practice for the evening service.  

A Tree Swallow peeks out of the birdhouse behind our back deck on Saturday afternoon.  There have been a few around all week and they have been visiting now and then staking claim to this house.  This afternoon there was an Eastern Bluebird checking out this same box which could be interesting to see which wins out.  We put another box about 20 feet away which the Bluebirds were checking out on Sunday.

The female Bluebird checking out the new house.

And the beautiful male Bluebird sitting on the clothesline waiting.  Isn't that typical - the wife out 'shopping' and the husband waiting.  ðŸ˜

Our snow is just about gone.  There are two patches in the ditch by the driveway and a small patch out back.  It is hard to believe all that snow went so quickly.  Mind you, we woke to a dusting of snow this morning which has since melted, and it's really chilly here today, so our wintry weather isn't finished with us yet.  

Today is dull, cloudy and cold.  But, I see green in the brown grass and the buds on the trees are swelling and the daffodils have buds forming.

I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend and wish you a beautiful spring-like week ahead.

Thank you so much for visiting and commenting.
Blessings,
Pam



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