Fungus Hunter

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Today was 100% absolutely gorgeous all day long. And, it was my day off. I was having a very lazy morning. Sitting in my stink sipping tea, just taking it easy. The sun warmed up the house so much that I had to get up and turn the heat off. I thought maybe I should get outside for a bit, get some of that sunshine on me. Take a walk, blow the stink off me. If I sit around too long in my pj’s the malaise sets in and then the whole day has disappeared and all i have to show for it is a rainbow assortment of food stains on my sweat shirt.

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So I got my boots on, put some music in my ear and grabbed the camera. I wandered out towards the pond by our house. Theres a nice patch of woods and theres all kinds of mushrooms growing in there. I have no idea whats what, so Im not interested in picking them. I just like the look of mushrooms. They seem kinda magical. When I was little I used to think fairies lived in them and when you leafed your thumb through their … under frills (?) the fairies would fly out. But now I see that it was just millions of mushroom spores flying out into my wide eyed baby face. Haha, children are dumb.


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So I didnt realize this, but fireweed lets its delicious purple flowers drop off and then explodes into fluff.

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Like cotton ball bird feathers. So strange. This is me, giving the poof a squeeze. As I am known to do.

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Dogberries looking especially pretty against the super blue sky.

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Sunlight on a spider wed = artistic photography!!

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Some chewed up shroom.

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Some chickadees where very interested in what I was doing. I think they were attracted to the sound of the camera.

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They hung out within reach of me for the first  half of my walk, hopping from branch to branch, just keeping tabs. Nosy buggers.

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Rosehips! Time to pick them I suppose. Make some jelly and tea.

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Little mushroom looks like it was dusted with cocoa powder. Tiramisu mushroom. Tiramishroom.

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My favourite colour green!

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I can identify two mushrooms with certainty, chanterelle and hedgehog mushrooms. I have no idea what any of these mushrooms are at all, but mostly they didn’t look delicious anyway. I call this one.. Curly Butts Mushroom

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Shiny charcoal log covered in emerald moss.

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Pretty sure this is a crackerberry plant, but.. usually the leaves are green and the berries are red.. so this is weird..

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The aptly named, blue bead orchid

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Peeking through the moss

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These mushrooms look like pancakes. I dub thee, Pancake Mushrooms

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Look up! Look waaaay up! Yeah theres nothing there. Made ya look.

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Sunny trees lookin all pretty n’ chit

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Little red capped mushroom. I dub thee.. Little Red Riding Hood Fungus

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Some kind of berry? Tasted like.. dry… and .. numb…

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Path out to the pond

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Thats all blueberries!

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I sat down here for a while and listened to some Johnny Cash. It was nice. Wish I had brought a snack.

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The water was sparkly

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And the colour of beer bottles

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Upscale fairy condominiums.

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Leafs and stuff

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Some dogberries, whatever

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And thats the end of my walk.

Work is just now starting to ease off a bit. Hopefully I will have time to blog more. I miss it. It almost feels lonely, without an outlet for my ramblings and pictures of flowers. This weekend CB and I took a trip down to Bona Vista and did an event there called Roots, Rants & Roars. It was super, super fun and it is so crazy beautiful there. We ate.. everything. One morning, I ordered two breakfasts!!!! I didnt take many pictures but maybe I can dig them up.

Now Im going to have a cup of tea and watch The Rescuers, because that is a great movie. Goodnight!

Frogs and Mushrooms

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Oh Hi

Didn’t see you there.

Oh me? Just writing a blog.

You don’t remember what a blog even is? Or who I am? Or what you’re doing here?

Oh that’s very queer indeed… indeed..

*AMNESIA*

Yeah so, hi! Remember me? I used to write nonsense here and accompany it with pictures of homemade pizza or flowers for an audience that consists nearly entirely of my mother. Miss me for the last 3 months? Anyway I have had 2 days off in a row, which meaning summer is winding down. I found myself at home under a blanket, feeling that odd mixture of fidgety-ness and intense malaise that sets in around noonish on my second day off. Its like even if your days off fall on a wednesday & thursday, the second day always feels like a sunday. Then I thought oh YEAH Ill write a blog about stuff and things! I havent really participated in the world very much this summer, but our friend Imma came for a visit for a week and a bit. We went for a hike on Turpins trail in Tilting and took some pictures. It looks much colder than it was.

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Turpins trail! Which has a really daunting little emblem… It looks like a Wickerman in the shape of a bunny with a scythe over top….. yeah never noticed that before.. okay… moving on..

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This is the very TRAIL we walked upon! We took the Road Most Travelled, not because we are conformists, but because everything else is made of rocks or steep drop offs into the ocean.

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The ponds are so mineral rich they are very still and very black. We were having a peek for baby fishes or a sign of life but ended up just staring into our own reflections… deep, dude.

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CB dropped a rock in.

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This is a larch tree. Its pinecones are little rosebuds growing straight off its elegant little braches. Cutest conifer ever!?

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So there was a whole plethora of fungus to be seen along the trail. These ones were the prettiest. Something had been nibbling them. Somewhere in the woods a caribou was having a real weird day.

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As you walk the trail, the environment changes super drastically every so often, and you get to experience a variety of ecosystems. This one had a bench that has seen better days.

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Marshy marsh. Boggy bog.

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CB is classy as shit and smoked a stogie on the walk. Cigars, pine trees, and salt water go nicely together, someone should make a really classy cologne.

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It looks really cold, but it wasn’t so bad. It would threaten a drizzle every now and then but that just kept us feeling zesty fresh on our hike.

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Random pile of rocks in the shape of a pyramid.

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WE FOUND A FROG! I dont care what anyone says, frogs are rare here. They are RARE! CB is like #1 Champion at catching frogs and turtles, so he gently scooped him up so we could get a good look.

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Aside from a little bit of pee, he seemed pretty chill.

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These are Blue Bead orchids. The leaf shoots are edible in the spring/early summer but the delicious looking blue flower pods left behind are poisonous.

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A moldy mushroom! Look at that! That mushroom got moldy. weird.

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Imma holding the cutest button mushroom we found. Awww.. like a little snowball.

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Over the bridge

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Seagull making a racket over head.

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Found this rock, nicely labelled, in the middle of nowhere..

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Imma standing over a perfect line of black lava stone pressed in between plates of granite, leading right to the sea. So neat!

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Follow it!

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Lovely still pond

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CB threw a log in it

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Skeleton of a boat rotting on the beach

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Sun bleached sea shells

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CB wiggling a creepy wormy tube of seaweed on a stick at Imma

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Imma somehow on the walk picked us each a four leaf clover. Magic!

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Seal Cove is my favourite place to put my feet in the water, but it was too cold and we managed to turn a 2 hour walk into a 4 1/2 hour walk so we walked by it

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Chubby bumblebee on a thistle, beautiful

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Tiny specks in the water are two ducks floating around

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Sappy cones

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Me taking a picture of Imma taking a picture of Ghost Pipes. They are really strange things. Somewhere between a plant and a mushroom, it has no chlorophyl and lives symbiotically with trees and mushrooms, taking what it needs from both. Creepy little things.

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Pretty piece of turquoise sea glass

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Tidal pools, hunting for sea urchins and crabs, unsucessful

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Oyster leaf growing between the rocks on the shore. They are a succulent, their leaves are plump with water, making them salty and briney like an oyster.

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An area of the walk was covered with bird wings. Maybe a dozen or so.

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We stopped and watched an epic battle between a crow and a small, very fast little bird. CB thinks it was probably a chicken hawk. He wasnt going hungry.

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A bleached out log jutting out of the rocks. I dont know if it got stuck there in a storm, or by people, but it was very striking as the storm started to come in.

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Creeeeepy little out house..

And that was our walk. TIME FOR CURRY LUNCH! BYE!

Snow Boos

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There’s a small herd of caribou across the road from us this morning. Its weird because they are never there, but they seem to be chomping on some marshy bits.

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Uh oh looks like they forgot somebody.

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He finally figures it out, that his gang of friends has moved on. Now he’s gotta cross the road by himself, which he is visibly nervous about.

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He makes a run for it!

 

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He catches up just in time, they are moving out over the marsh further inland.

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Phew, safe.

Its nice to see the caribou out and about. Hardly see them in the winter. They are majestic, like scraggly unicorns made of moss and bits of scrap felt.

Perfectly Spherical Racoons & Also A DEER!

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Derp! Look what I found, just hanging around a wild life park/rehabilitation centre! This here cool dear!

He was most excellent, and we became total 100% buds. I pet his nose and fed him bits of moss and told him cool stories while CB was very impatiently waiting for me to go look at some dumb otter. Which is usually what I live for, but this deer was enchanting. He was great! He followed me along this fence for most of our walk. Probably because he thought I would feed him, but I like to think it was because some kind of deep, lady-animal soul bond. Like virgins have with unicorns. I have with.. derp faced deers in rehab. I didnt ask what he was in for, but after spending time with him I think it may have been for moss addiction. HAW HAW HAW

On to the next thing!

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Look. At. This. ARCTIC FOX.

He is in his fancy winter coat and it, like me in my winter jacket, makes him look like a sausage. It was early in the morning and very cold, but he was up bounding around, pouncing on leaves and stuff. He jumped up and pooped in his house, while looking at us deviously. “Ha ha! Check it out guys! Pooped in my own house! I’m CRAZY! Don’t mess with me! ANARCHY FOX 4EVER”

 

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Next was the moose and black bear enclosures. The moose’s habitat is super big, so it’s pretty unlikely to see him I think. The black bears were still sleeping. Lazy bastards.

This is a peregrine falcon, one of the fastest things to ever exist. Like, I am talking, just super swiftm here.

As a kid, I liked to draw them as much as possible. I was REALLY into drawing eagles and falcons. This one was oddly interested in us, for a bird. He hopped down out of his little roost area to get a better look at the weirdos staring at it. But one of his wings didnt work and he had a hell of a time hopping back up so I felt like a jerkbag for bugging him.

 

 

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Next door were these little hooties! We were watching them so intently, we were freaked out to turn around and find a cougar giving us the old up and down. She liked what she saw, RAWRRR.

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Actually she looks kind of disinterested. I have to admit, I was actually a bit scared. I ran away, to look at this REINDEER!

 

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Hello there big fella!

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Actually he was oddly small. Like I couldn’t have ridden him anywhere at all.

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There was approximately 6,927,192,812,975 bunnies running around. This one was my favourite because it was maxin’ and relaxin’ directly outside the wolf enclosure. Nibbling stuff. What a tease.

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The wolfs paced… biding their time.. until its hasenpfeffer time, baby!

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They look mean and snarly here but really he was just sneezing. I was scared to go up to them at first, because it is a VERY unnatural feeling to walk up to a pack of wolves. But they were just like a bunch of puppies when we got up to them. Whining and sniffing. Cute!

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This is one looking at CB..

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RACOONS!

 

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Look at these fluff balls!

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Getting a little sun.

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Hanging out.

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Thinking deep thoughts.

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Scratching their substantial winter tums. CB was all about these racoons.

MEANWHILE, I was falling in love with this deer:

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OH YEAH HERE IS MY DEER FRIEND! I think I shall name him.. Derek.

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CB saw an otter! Big deal! Whatever! Cute otter that is usually my favourite animal to watch, but…

MEANWHILE:

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Derek the Derp Deer. Has a runny nose. I hope he’s not in rehab for a cold.

 

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CB saw these turkeys lived with an Emu and we wondered if they thought he was their God. Or possibly dad.. They ran around slipping on the ice, which was hilarious, and I wish we had it on video. Watching a turkey lose its balance is some serious high-brau type comedy slapstick hijinx.

MEANWHILE, DEER:

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Still paying attention only to this cool deer. He loved moss. I think he liked me because I am so salty.

 

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Peacocks got my attention though. I love them, and they had some lovely white ones.

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They seemed a bit cold..

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That concludes the wild animal segment of our tour. Now it’s time for PETTING ZOO! Which means, lots of ducks, couple swans, and of course the ubiquitous Llama’s Who Hate You!

 

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Totally hates you.

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We saw this HUGE horse. Like.. too much big. Like he was maybe a freak of nature giant horse. His head was the size of me, if I was curled into a vaguely horse head shaped ball. Why I would be doing this, I dont know.

I wish I had held a dollar bill for scale like on eBay! Okay — I could have fit my foot in his nostril– I didn’t, RELAX, CB wouldnt let me, but I could have. He was so big. Also not interested in pets no matter how flat my hand was. He looks super nervous. I dont know if anyone ever told him he’s the biggest animal in North America, it would have quelled his anxiety some.

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This old donkey, hanging out with this small duck. This duck actually led us around from place to place as if showing off her personal collection of geriatric farm animals. She was very proud.

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ERMAGERD, PERNIES!

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So majestic, with the wind sweeping through their lustrous manes, braving the arctic chill like frosty sentinels. LOOK AT THEIR TINY LEGS. I want to paint their hooves with nail polish and make them wear sweaters and reading glasses!

(Kristy can you guess which one I said was you…)

 

 

 

 

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There were two beautiful blonde lady horses having some hay. They made me especially happy because they looked *EXACTLY* like our Barbie horse growing up. Western Barbie’s horse Sunrunner.

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(Remember Kristy?! I spent my time meticulously rolling microscopic grapes out of plasticene for a fruit bowl on my All You Can Eat buffet table at my Barbie restaurant next to my Barbie hair salon, Barbie clothing store, and Barbie grocery store… and you had the horse and lived alone on a mountain.. never once even came to town for groceries, my hand written barbie sized gossip magazines, or even for tiny plasticine devilled eggs with tiny paprika sprinkled on top… it was all for you, my sister! Dont you see! IT WAS ALL FOR YOU! I digress.)

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Beautiful, with sparkly ribbons in her hair.

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Monch monch monch.. I would name this one Petticoat, and the other one, Werther’s Original.

 

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Then there was suddenly this goat!

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Haaa-eeyyy

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Pig babies! I hope they didnt snuffle up the bacon smell I had on my hands after breakfast…. oh gawd.. I am a monster.

Oh also, weird thing I didnt take a picture of– there were two baby cows across from these pigs and one of them was “suckling” on the other.. but the other one was just pissing. Just pissing into his brothers mouth and looking at us like “I know something’s not right about this but it’s soooo awkward to bring it up…” poor baby pee cows… they dont understand.

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Oh and then THIS creepy mutherfucker….

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Some borin’ ol’ shee’

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And that concludes our tour. Goodbye, my furry friends.. goodbye odd duck tour guide. Goodbye, horses..

Soup & Cellars

bloobyYou can feel the winter creeping in, now. Mid October. That came so fast! The winds are picking up and carry with them an icy feeling. Its been so dang blustery I havent been able to light my jack-o-lantern. Very disappointing. CB and I were up in the wee hours of the morning, into work. The place was dead so he made every soul he saw a big breakfast. I baked, and cleaned. It was nice. We came home and chilled. I cooked some things.

Cooking away the afternoon.. steaming up the windows with the cold rain pattering against the window panes and the wind howling away. An older action movie on tv, barely holding our attention.. The smell of dinner and the sound of Tommy Lee Jones makes me think of home. Feels more like a sunday, for sure. Definitely a jogging pants kind of day.

I have been on a binge of cabbage soup lately. We buy 2 chickens, roast, pick the flesh from the bones and eat them with greedy greasy fingers. Then throw their bones in a big pot for stock, let it bubble overnight until its got all the goodness out. The next day I cook some garlic and onion in the schmaltz I saved from the roasting pan. I add the stock, and cubes of turnip, potato, some rubbery old carrots, chopped cabbage and a couple of bay leaves. Lots of black pepper. Probably too much salt.

Then it’s meatball time! Squishing the pink ground meat between my fingers I massage it into many little balls. Carefully I fry them off in batches, saving the pan fond. Deglaze the cast iron pan with half of my beer.. sip the other half. Nice beer. Then with that I make a gravy, with a little flour, and milk. This gives us meatballs & gravy for dinner.. half of the meatballs go into my soup. Too much cabbage! So chop the leaves fine, rub salt into them and it will soon become a jar of sauerkraut for the cupboard. Lunch and dinner done for a few days. Dishes everywhere. Oops.

 

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View out of the buick window, on our way to the post office. NO MAIL! Bahhhh…

 

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Later in the evening we went out for ice cream. I have been off sugar for .. I’ve lost count.. 20 days I think now. But today, I will have ice cream. It was delicious, and worth it. We listened to a radio show about Beethoven, and how we might be playing his symphonies too slowly. They sound AMAZING when sped up. When we got back home it’s not raining so I went for a walk up the hill.

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Dead raspberries and the fluffy ghosts of dandelions.

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I dont know what these are, but they are crunchy now. They taste like paper! Loving the fire truck red of the blueberry bushes at this time of year.

 

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A look out from the hill.

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Red, blue and yellow.

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I like this lichen. It looks like someone painted on this rock.

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Pink, green, blue and black.

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I found a cool thing! An abandoned root cellar! With its TOP OFF! Eeee!

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OooO what’s in there…

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Hmm too dark..

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FLASH! Oh it’s just some garbage. Time to go home.

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Having a berry snack on my way back down the hill. These are probably the last blueberries of the season. Like ice wine, the cold weather has made them so, so sweet.

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Time for meatballs!

Gone Troutin’

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Yesterday I went fishing for the first time in my life! It has been just.. a total fistfuck lately at work.. pardon my strange phrasing, I have a cold and have been trying to sterilize myself with whiskey. It makes me say things like that and then apologize but not really care enough to change it. Sorry, internet! I know you have delicate sensibilities… LOL Kidding, I have seen what you people google when no one is around.

ANYWAY, it was all sleep work sleep work sleep work and was getting to the point where if I didnt do something interesting and summery like a real person I was probably going to go on a shooting spree with my bb gun… One of the awesome amazing best ever girls I work with mentioned trouting and damn it, WE MADE IT HAPPEN! I left work after 9 hours, giddy at the thrill of not being in my small stainless steel box! I thought briefly about hanging a “Gone Fishin'” sign on our kitchen door. CB and I picked Nicole and her nan Phyllis up, and they brought some spare rods. Phyllis is a rabid trouter.  They took us out to a pond near here, called Kelly’s Pit. It’s where all the kids go to have bonfires and skinny dip and do young people stuff like that. Everyone got right down to skewering poor wriggling worms onto their hooks and trying to catch some trout while I fucked around making a fire and making sure everyone had adequate snacks. I may or may not have set fire to my pants, however briefly. It’s pretty possible that I am not very outdoorsy.

I discovered that the ONE MUST HAVE outdoor survival tool any good adventurer must pack is Cheetos. First, under CB’s advisement I used their starchy little cheesey puff bodies as kindling and the fire LOVED IT! Started a fire no probs. Second reason is obvious, for snacking purposes. Third, they are brightly coloured and you can use them to mark your path through the woods in case you get lost– we didnt have to use them for that though, luckily.

Fourthly, they can be used instead of worms on your fishing hook in the case of squeemishness.. I did a couple of cheeto-based casts out onto the beautiful placid pong but to my shock and chagrin, got no bites. Fish are idiots.

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This is Nicole being a total badass while hooking a worm, TOTALLY not going “ew ew ew Im going to barf” the whole time. IMG_8226

 

Logs that I was sizing up for my bonfire, and some nice fireweed. I decided that they were too big and also probably full of spiders.

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Phyllis’s tackle box. It be full-o wormies!

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They have no idea they are about to get hooked and then thrown through the air into a body of water.

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So nice. Everyone was fishing all quiet and fishing away, looking very zen. I sat on a stump and ate a hotdog because I was afraid of hooking myself in the face.

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Finally Nicole forced me to do it, because she is TOTALLY not super bossy! Haha sorry Nicole if you are reading this right now, I know you are going to frown at me later for that. Anyway Im glad she did, because I really loved it. CB and I are going to buy a rod for our next morning off together.

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Sleepy little buttercups

 

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Cheeto lure! How could it NOT work! Mudder drove over and joined us for a bit. We could hear her coming from miles away, bass booming in her little car. She is a maniac. She hates trouting so she just watched. We left having caught very little– Phyllis managed to catch one wee trout. Sun setting like an angry red fireballs down behind the hills around us, the areas mosquitos happy and full of our blood. Pale, soggy cheetos bobbing around the edge of the lake… poetry man, poetry.

Fanny Pack Snacker

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Only having 1 precious day off a week is a blessing in disguise I think. Instead of fritter and waste it away by watching terrible youtube videos for 8 straight hours.. not that I would ever do that.. I cram as much good stuff into it as possible!

CB worked today, but we had a nice breakfast together. Then we had AFTERNOON NAAAPS which is the greatest thing human beings can possibly do on a monday afternoon. So nice. And then I loaded up the ol’ fanny pack with snacks and headed out on an ADVENTURE! To EXPERIENCE first hand the MAJESTY of the NATURAL WORLD!

Well I went for a long walk on a trail here. Its about a 2 hour walk, or, if you dawdle like me and bring your camera, a 4 hour walk. Stopping to take pictures of every single flower and to nibble random things that might turn out to be the newest taste sensation– it never is…

Okay so, theres a million pictures and my phone died within the first half hour. So I missed out on pictures of: a red fox being super curious with me, a double rainbow, AND A KILLER WHALE! ISAWAWHALEISAWAWHALE! I caught it out of the corner of my eye, about 50 metres off shore just swimming around. Beautiful. I sat on a hill and watched it for about a half hour. It was so amazing. I shouted at it to do some sweet Free Willy style flips over my head but he wouldnt oblige.

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This is where the trail starts for me, on the beach. I think this is probably where it ends for everyone else but I like doing the beach part first. Sandy toes!

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Turquoise water and the worlds most well placed salt box house.

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ERMAGERD JERLYFERSH!

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Nice but, romantically splashing around in the surf in my bare feet lasted about 0.396 seconds because I instantly remembered that its the fucking NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN and is very, very, deeply concerned with remaining as cold as possible forever. I mean for gods sake it comes with it’s own ice cubes.

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Tried to get a picture of the giant “ice cube” icebergs but alas, they are just tiny tiny white dots you cant even see from here. With my eyes I could see they were the size of a bloody building though. And one was the shape of the Titanic which is super ironic!

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Off onto the trial, in search of adventure!

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OU FLOWRS!!

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Wild Irises of the North Atlantic! My new Biker Babe Club name..

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Pitcher plants, looking all gothic in their bog. *Doin’ ma Bog Boogie, shake your booty-oogie* Yeah i dunno..

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It’s sad for me.

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EEEEH! I’m likin’ that lichen, ya!

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Sun bleached Urchin

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Sea plantain– you can eat that! Maybe if you want to! I dont know!

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A thoughtfully placed bench.

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Waves, rolling with their homies.

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And then suddenly, forest!

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Complete with 50 trillion misquitos waiting to suck out my special juice. HEY! I’m using that!

 

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Pretty little secret beach! I thought I found a sharks tooth but it was just some garbage..

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Crab bod.

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Just me and a seagull, walking all over the place.

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A nice stump

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Canada comes with cool factoids!

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Next time I want to spy a starfish.

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Oh, around here is where I royally pissed off some little fatty bird by mimicking it’s little peep call. It was SUPER offended and started peeping at me hardcore and shaking it’s ass. I dont know if it was angry or wanted to mate with me, but it followed me back to the car…  look here, I took video of evidence in case I needed to use it in court later…

 

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A bridge over some mucky bits.

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A cool shell.

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There! You can KIND of see the icebergs now, can you sort of see them???

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And this is the bench I sat one and had my iPhone immediately die. And then, out of the corner of my eye I SAW THE WHALE! It was amazing. I literally went “WAAUFHOHHH!!” outloud and pointed it out to all the people who were not there.

So I called my mom and sister and told them all about it so they were mega jealous. It really happened, I really saw it! And Im gonna see more.. next days off I want to see more.

AND THEN I had an ice cream at the store. And THEN I came home and typed this blog. And NOW Im going to go for beers with the guys at Chefs house. Although Im feeling oddly shy about going now all of  a sudden. I always get shy and dont want to go right before social interactions and then everyone thinks Im a super asshole when I dont show up and just stay at home in my pjs drinking beers by myself watching Louis C.K and laughing so hard I spit my half chewed hotdog all over myself and fall onto the floor, pounding my fists on the lineoleum and cackling alone in the dark……

 

Yeah maybe my sudden onset social trepidation is some kind of latent survival tool meant to keep me from showing any of *this* to other people.. oh well, hope they have chips there! See y’all!