Thursday, January 30, 2020


I am sharing old flower photos today, because I am thinking Spring!  At this time of the year, I am looking forward to visiting our local gardens again, any garden in fact.  Even though I consider myself a lover of winter, the spring flowers will be a welcome sight.  I guess that's why we live in a place where we can experience all the seasons, and that first spring flower is magic!
"You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming."
~Pablo Neruda~
"Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?"
"It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine..."
~Frances Hodgson Burnett~
"The Secret Garden"
"I am going to try to pay attention to the spring.  I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees.  I am going to close my eyes and listen."
~Anne Lamott~
"If winter comes, can spring be far behind?"
~Percy Bysshe Shelley~
"Ode to the West Wind"
"It's spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what is is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!"
~Mark Twain~
"The deep roots never doubt spring will come."
~Marty Rubin~


A photo of a pretty horse walking alongside a simple fence.  We were on the same road trip as my companionship post.

If you would like to see other Fences Around The World, or join in with your own, you will find them on Gosia's blog here.  

Thank you for hosting Gosia, and thank you for visiting everyone.  Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020


We came across this beauty inside the aviary at a zoo we visited on one of our holidays.  He posed very nicely didn't he?

Thanks for looking and enjoy  your day.

Monday, January 27, 2020


I took this photo outside another visitor center.  We were on a road trip several years ago, somewhere in the southwest.  It is one of my favorites. I took it as we were resting in the shade of an overhanging rock face.  We had just walked around the center and headed to a vacant bench outside, blissfully in the only shade.  I remember it being very hot.  The little dog was staring at me as if to say, “Hot isn’t it?” and I replied, “Yes it is” and got the camera out.   

Thanks for looking and have a great day.

Sunday, January 26, 2020


I have been looking for meatless meals to put into our weekly meal plan.  As we are both Thai food fans, I chose this one.  

We found the meal at Minimalist Baker at this link, hosted by Dana.  I recommend reading her information and advice while making this recipe.  She also has a great food blog with many delicious recipes.  Thank you Dana for adding to our list of favorite meals.

Crispy Peanut Tofu and Cauliflower Rice Stir-Fry

The tofu is baked not fried, served over cauliflower rice with sautéed vegetables.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves 2
Freezer: sauce only, nothing else



12 ounces extra firm tofu (organic and non-GMO if possible)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 small head cauliflower

2 cloves garlic (minced - 2 cloves yields 1 tablespoon or 6 g)


1-1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (tamari for gluten free eaters)
1/4 cup light brown sugar (or honey if not vegan)
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
2-1/2 tablespoons peanut butter or almond butter (natural, salted)

Optional extras:

Vegetables: baby bok choy, green onion, red pepper, broccoli

Toppings: fresh lime juice, cilantro or Thai basil, sriracha


First step, drain tofu for 1-1/2 hours before you serve up your meal.  The instructions say that if your block of tofu is larger than 12 ounces, trim it down, that you don't need a full pound for this recipe, though truthfully we added the whole 16 ounces.

Roll tofu in a clean, absorbent towel several times, and then place something heavy on top to press.  Our blog host used a pot on top of a cutting board, and occasionally added something to the pot to add more weight.  Do this for about 15 minutes.

Near the end of draining, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (204 C.) and cube tofu.  Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet (I used non-stick aluminum foil) and arrange in a single layer.  Bake for 25 minutes to dry/firm the tofu.  Once baked, remove from the oven and let cool.

Prepare sauce by whisking together ingredients until combined.  Taste and adjust flavor if needed.  Our blog host often adds a little more sweetener and peanut butter (we felt it was fine without the extras.)

Add cooled tofu to the sauce and stir to coat.  Marinate for at least 15 minutes to saturate the tofu and infuse the flavor.

In the meantime shred cauliflower into 'rice' by using a large grater or food processor.  You don't want it to be too fine, just somewhere close to the texture of rice.  Set aside.

Mince garlic if you haven't already done so, and prepare any vegetables you want to add to the dish (this is optional).

Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, and if adding any vegetables to your dish, cook them now in a drizzle of sesame oil and a dash of soy sauce.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Cover to keep warm.

Using a slotted spoon, put the tofu into preheated pan.   Drizzle a few spoons of sauce to coat.  Cook, stirring frequently for a few minutes until browned.  It will stick to the pan a bit, but don't worry.  Remove from the pan and set aside.  Cover to keep warm.

Rinse your pan under very hot water and scrape away any residue.  Place back on oven top.  Add a drizzle of sesame oil to the pan, then add garlic and cauliflower rice and stir.  Put cover on to steam the 'rice'.  Cook for about 5-8 minutes until slightly browned and tender, stirring occasionally.  Next add a few spoons of sauce to season and stir.

In two individual plates or bowls, divide equally the cauliflower rice, top with your vegetables and tofu.  Serve with any leftover sauce.  

Leftovers reheat well and will keep covered in the fridge for up to two days.  

This is approximately 524 calories per serving.  

What did we think?  Delicious!  Not much here that we would change.  We enjoyed it just as the recipe said.

There were leftovers for the next day and as often happens, the meal tasted even better.

Thursday, January 23, 2020


An old favorite photo of a mother sowing the seed early.  Mum was taking photos of her children surrounded by nature and they were all looking through the fence.  
I was resting on one of the benches, waiting for a bird to visit a branch I had seen them visit earlier.  It was enjoyable watching the family across the lake.  They were looking through the fence at the koi and several turtles below, a heartwarming scene as I listened to their excited voices.  The fence sealed the deal for today's post.  Thank you for hosting Gosia!

If you would like to see other fences around the world, or join in with your own, you will find them here.  

Thank you for visiting everyone and have a great day!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020


My sister-in-law took us to Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.  
The birds were in hiding during the time we were there, but maybe they were in an area we didn't walk to.  Nonetheless it was a fun ride there and back, and we had a very interesting browse around the visitor center.  It was where we saw the display I shared in a previous post here.
The Refuge is on Hatteras Island and covers 13 miles of Cape Hatteras National Seashore land.  It is a completely undeveloped piece of land, with gorgeous views and peaceful, off the beaten path nature trails.  You can read about it here.  This was on display outside of the visitor center, poor whale.
The volunteer at the desk, a very nice lady, answered our questions about the local area.
Aloft was a Tundra Swan.
She had this book where she explained the differences between the types of swans.  If you enlarge the photos you will get more detail.
She let me take photos of the pages.

There were several display cases of the wildlife in this area.

There is a short video where you can see them swimming here.

A replica of a turtle's nest.  This website shows information.
Lots of posters and information signs.
 If you enlarge the photos you can just about make out all the names.

This area is one of the many places I would like to visit again, and next time we will find those birds.

Added note as of 1-22-20, I have just read that "Pea Island is about to undergo a restoration project to excavate sand in order to create open water intertidal pool areas for multiple bird species, including the piping plover, American oystercatcher and terns.  I found that here from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020


When I recently saw all the Tundra Swans in North Carolina, it reminded me of the Mute Swans we saw when we were in England in 2015.  They were in St. James Park in London.   
These I am sharing again as I am also trying to transfer favorite photographs from my old blog which I love to look back on.   Embedded in my memory, cast in stone so to speak, is the joy of seeing the swans with their cygnets that day.  When I look at my old photos those feelings come flooding back.

Added note: I am getting a real good education on identifying these beautiful birds.  My thanks to Eileen of Viewing Nature with Eileen for helping me.  I had at first identified them as Trumpeter Swans, but realized after refreshing my memory, that these are Mute Swans.  I have corrected my post.  I also borrowed the same illustration that I found for my Tundra Swans post. I should have remembered to look at that first, and my thanks again to Eileen.  I always appreciate my blogging friends' help with correct ID.

Enjoy your day and thank you for looking at these old photos.