Gull Cove Road

Hola mis pequeños frijoles! A poem:

Spicy, spicy

BEANS BEANS

Picante!

Inspired by you. And this warm spicy weather we are having. Its well over 10 degrees every day! I have maybe a tan on my left arm. Although I think it went straight from “a whiter shade of pale” to “discount brand turkey bacon red.” BUT I also discovered my long lost friend; freckles. I missed them so mush. I accidentally typed mush there instead of much but Im just going to go with it because backsapcing is way too much work. I’ll leave that one too.. okay I best start correcting my typos now or this blog is just going to be totally unreadable garbage as opposed to the mostly unreadable garbage it usually is. Also all the wavy red lines all over the place as I’m typing is really distracting.

I digress.

I guess I do anyway. Not 100% on the meaning and usage of that word. As I type this Im sitting in one corner of the bedroom having a nice sunday morning tea, watching CB and Sweet Pea cuddle in bed being super super cute. I’ve come to terms with the fact she doesn’t love me The Most, because watching her love CB The Most is like the best thing in my whole life so far. Probably not even exaggerating. It makes my grinch heart grow three sizes each day.

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Anyway! Check out these cool rocks! Last weekend CB, Sweet Pea and I went for a walk out past Gull Cove Road. If you drive down through the Gabarus village and turn right down Gull Cove it takes you down a shady dirt road. At the end of the road is a cemetery from the late 1800’s. There’s a path there that leads down through the forest supposedly to an abandoned fishing village from long ago. Its been my life long dream for the last month to go see it. I pictured houses full of pirate booty, and cool stuff that I can steal photograph. So we finally went!

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Sweet Pea was in maximum Dog Mode. You would not believe she was 13 to watch her bomb through the woods, somersaulting around, leaping over creeks. She is amazing. She had a blast. It was a beautiful walk, and a gorgeous warm spring day with so much sun. This is a secret beach we found. We made a mental note to come back and maybe do some camping here sometime in the summer when the black flies aren’t too bad.
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We walked for over an hour without seeing any signs of a cool 19th century fishing village before we figured we should turn around. I was an IDIOT and didnt pack snack or anything, so we were pretty unprepared for a 2 hour hike through the woods. We started eyeing up puddles thirstily and getting jealous at Sweet Pea for being able to lap up the delicious spring water without dying of dysentery. Dogs are a superior species. We are too delicate.

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We found evidence of coyotes, which I snapped a picture of, but after looking at it decided it was maybe not blog material. I will spare you. I will just say, it was poop. And you could tell it’s diet consisted mostly of fluffy white bunnies….

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Someone is taking care of this trail and there was a nice clear path through the woods. However, it’s spring, so the nice clear path turned into a nice clear river in most spots. Our walk turned into a creek walk. It was so nice!

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In the puddles that get sun most of the time we found bundles of frogs eggs! At sundown you can hear their moms and dads chirping away. Its the nicest sound in the universe.

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In the spots that didnt get sunlight there was still beautiful patterns of ice on top. It was very satisfying to crunch through the icy layer into the mud below.

Crack, plomp, squelch.

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This is a terrifying “bridge” over the bog into the forest. None of those are nailed down. CB and I are going to come back again with a drill and some long screws and secure them. It was fun going across.

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This is a particularly lovely marshy bit before it turns completely into a lake. You can see just on the horizon the breakwater of stones that separates the lake from the ocean.

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Bridges dont last very long here by the looks of it. It was nice to have though, this area would have been impassable. Maybe one day we will bring Blairs canoe out here and paddle around like a couple of fancy adventurereers.

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Another bit of beach. As the waves came into the shore it would hit and then pull piles of rocks back with it, rolling them against each other into the water, only to push them back in again. It sounded like thunder cracking and rolling across the sky and for a second we thought it was. So nice!

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Sweet pea is in most of the pictures as a golden blur in one corner. Here she is stopping to smell something so you can actually make out her shape! She got so so dirty she is probably completely camouflaged in the last pics. She was just solid mud from belly down, she just did not give a shit. Nothing stopped her. She was a wild wolf, out in the woods. I was so damn proud. After the walk she let us spray her down with the hose outside, which I thought was particularly brave because that water was so cold. What a goddamn champion, my little Sweet Pea.

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A bit of sun beaming down onto a nice soft spot of moss. At the start of the walk I was proclaiming my desire to live in Olden Times where we could walk around all day eating bits of jerky and bread and cheese. Like Xena and Gabriel! Or Frodo and Sam. By the end of it I just wanted to have a snooze on this moss. It was like a lush green carpet… so inviting.. but we made it home. Next time out, we will make it to the village. I’ll pack snacks.

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!

February: Things I am Liking!

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Bonjooourrr

Man it is WINDY! I just ran out to throw a load of laundry into the dryer in the basement and the wind not only took some laundry out of the basket but took the whole goddamn basket out of my hands. It went careening with great comedy styling towards Walter Johns frozen potato patch at 70km an hour while I flapped along through the snow after it. I’ve engineered a kind of heavy towel tarp to go over top the next time I have to get a load dry. Now I am safe inside, with a cup of tea, watching an youtube video of a Russian lady slowly folding a towel into a decorative swan. I’ve watched this video about eighteen times and it never fails to make me feel super relaxed.

Ive been poking around reading a lot of blogs lately. Seemingly mostly by gals from NZ and it makes me miss it muchly. Its summer over there, and I miss the smell of that lovely island that is literally the polar opposite of this one. One girl does a weekly gratitude list and I realized it’s been forever since I did a “Things I Am Liking!” post. Here goes!

THINGS I AM LIKING IN FEBRUARY!

partridgeberryapplepie

 

Pie.

Love pie.

I am the most badestassenist genius to put pie on the menu at work. Because, it means, I get to make pie every other day! I have a deep spiritual connection with the act of making pie. Making pie makes me feel one with the universe like a star stuck up in the great web of the cosmos, waiting for the Space Spider of Time to unwrap it from it’s gauzy cage of ageless light and gobble it up. Or something. A La Mode gives me bones in my pants.

 

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This! Winter. I know, I should hate it, but this is a picture taken on the worst most wintery day ever and it was still beautiful as all hell. I took it while I was out foraging around like some mad badger for herbage hidden deep beneath the crunchy snow. The wind nearly sandblasting my face off the whole time, it was still nice..

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This is the kind of junk I was after. The snow let up for long enough for me to hike it to the top of the hill and grab some good stuff. I’ve never seen caribou moss with red shit on it before, I think probably it was super poisonous fungus… SUPER POISONOUS FUNGUSSSSS!

I avoided that patch..

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My awesome unicorn mug. Nicole got it for my for christmas and its amazing. I like to fill it with juice and sip it ponderously during important business meetings. 

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FOOD! We havent been eating very interesting stuff lately, but our chef sent us home with a couple nice aged P.E.I steaks on valentines day. I made broccoli and cheese sauce to go with it, and CB and I watched supernatural while making steak-love noises together. Romance!

I love all kinds of other things this month but I dont have any more pictures. I have been a neglectful blogger lately, sorry. Also I havent called you in weeks, mum! Tomorrow is my day off and we shall skype!

Toodles, y’all.

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!

Junuary Walk

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Good news, everybody! June 19th marks the day we FINALLY TURNED OFF THE HEAT!

Bloody hell. Its always so fecking cold! I was told at work that “oh yeah, its always cold this time of year here. We call it June-uary” OH HOW QUAINT GOD DAMN IT! Mostly I’m just pissed because I bought this toque that was obviously someones first attempt at a hat and now Ive been wearing it for like 9 straight damn months! BAH! I SAY! BAH!

Anyway, these pictures are from my day off on Tuesday. It was sunny, and I decided to go for a walk and do a bit of foraging for some goodies. Flowers are starting to bloom, and leaves are all sprouting up and so many things are edible! My front lawn is pretty much a salad. All it needs is some thousand island and voila.

I packed my Foraging Kit:

– bottle of water
– camera
– cool shades
– a variety of plastic baggies
– a glove for picking prickly things

And I set off! I was fully imagining I was Princess Nausicaa in the beginning of The Valley of The Wind where she’s running all around collecting specimens in glass tubes….. My brother and sister may be the only ones who know what the hell I’m talking about. But that movie was my life as a girl.

 

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I needed to collect some caribou moss, as usual. We go through a lot of it. I candy it and put it on cakes. Today I made a little forest scene on top of a birthday cake with candy dirty, and candy rocks, candy moss and then shooting up through it was real violets on their stems. It looked pretty cute. Im probably the only mofo putting shit like moss and candied beets on people’s bloody birthday cakes and getting away with it.

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These little bell things are cute, not 100% sure what they are though. I think they will eventually be a berry.

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Nice patch of creeping juniper here. I use the branches for syrups, or blitzed up in sugar for flavouring things. I also use the berries. There’s so much juniper here that I sometimes fantasize about opening a gin distillery here.

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Now this is what I was really after; fireweed. The leaves taste exactly like tea, and the blossoms make a beautiful ruby red, perfumed jelly. Not enough were in bloom and the few that were were covered in bees frantically scraping up all the polleny goodness out of them. I felt too guilty taking away what limited blooms there are here from  the old bee’s so I’ll save it for next week.

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These little darlings are spruce tips. Each three fingered prong gets these beautiful, super flavourful little bud on them. They are DELICIOUS and packed with vitamin C. Im doing all sorts of stuff with this, because the syrup and jelly is a beautiful purple colour.

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They are full of pollen right now as well, if you can see it on my grubby little finger there.

 

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Oh a bone!

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I trudged my way up the hill, on my search for a better picture of some ice bergs. They have been so close and beautiful and I have no good pictures of them!

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See them there.. those wee white specks in all that blue? Yeah thats them!

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I took a break by this pond, which had this tangle of bog rosemary growing in it.

 

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Beautiful little pink flowers.

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I love anything with the prefix of “bog”. It’s charming.

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All around the pond was a thick, green moss looking exactly like the shag carpeting that was in my nan’s living room when I was a kid. It was nice to sit on, in the sunshine, staring at my murkey little pond and eating random stuff.

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I mentioned caribou moss, now this beautiful little puff ball is reindeer moss. Its finer, and grows in orb shaped puffs. Its lovely. And actually, not moss, it’s a lichen.

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So cute.

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Labrador tea, starting to bloom. They get pretty white flowers.

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More fireweed growing in amoungst some short birch trees.

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I found this weird stuff, and it was very pretty. I tried a bit, and it tasted like INTENSE seaweed followed by the unpleasentness of what I imagine licking an infected wound would taste like.. yeah.. like.. rot and pennies and blood and salt. Bleah. I really, really regretted that. But just in case I was wrong, I had another. CB told me that when he would go mushroom picking with his Poppy, he would have baby CB put anything they tasted in their pocket just in case it made them horribly ill and they needed to identify what it was. I should have put some of this in my pocket… because I was maybe worried I was going to die. DONT EAT RANDOM SHIT OFF THE GROUND, KIDS! Stay in school dont do drugs.

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“Oh sweet, alfalfa sprouts! BLEH A DEAD MERMAIDS BUTTHOLE!”

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And back home again.

There’s a lot more stuff out there thats ripe for the picking; burdock root, dandelion leaves, sorrel, baby violets, labrador tea, chicory, clover, pungent sweet gale.. nettle, wild mint.. lots of leafy stuff thats good for eating. I’ll keep posting what I do with what I collect. SEE YA!

Moss Candy

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It was really mindblowing to finish work late and come out to a SUNNY DAY! I should have been exhausted but the sun imbued me with some magic maniac vitamin D energy and I took off to the hills! I found a sweet snow pile by our bedroom window that was hard and perfectly smooth snow and I slid down it until it stopped being smooth and cut my butt up a bit. CB said he could hear me crying about it from inside the house.

Oh but I know there’s something good out there. I best not waste the opportunity of no wind and no snow and get me some good stuff from the rocks. I’m talking about the velvety green stuff man, moss. I’m going to make it into candy. HEALTH!

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Not off to a good start. A rather meager patch if I may say so..

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Sweet, looks like a bonfire party is about to happen any second. I wonder if there’s like 7 or 8 frozen hobo bodies all around the drum underneath the snow.

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I am likin’ this lichen! It kind of looks like a cool guy face with a big mouth and sort of a winky eye.

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BINGO!

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It’s like a shag carpet, only less gross and with less bacteria! BEAUTIFUL!

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Gotcha! Caribou moss. I hope the caribou don’t mind me thieving their crop.

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Oh noooo my paper bag ran awayyy!

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AHA! This is the fucking kid that rides around in circles around our house every hour of every day on his fucking 4wheeler with a cut off exhaust so it sounds like the fucking apocalypse GAGRGR I know where you live now, mother fucker! Im coming to jam a potato in your tail pipe!!

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Beer bottle bum.

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Copper BB’s shining on a tiny little ice puddle.

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Now to deal with my precious harvest..

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Throw a bunch of baking soda in a bowl.

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Soda’d.

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Add moss and cover with water. Swirl it around a bit.

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Cover and let sit overnight. Then rinse it, clean it, pick all the stray furry other mosses out between it’s branches, dip in hot simple syrup and bake at 250F for an hour until hardened. Tada, moss candy!

Stomping Moss Like a Boss

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We’re in Newfoundland! I’m off to work in a few minutes, but I thought I’d throw up a few pictures I took last night while CB was making fried porkchop dinner! We got home and out of the car and he told me to turn around. And then when he said turn back, he was holding a handful of tiny perfect blueberries!! All the little scrubby plants around our place were actually BLUEBERRIES! Yeeeah! So naturally I wasnt interested in anything else and ran inside to get a cup and spent an hour combing the heath around our place looking for deliciousness.

So, this is our new backyard. It’s pretty great. Its breathtakingly beautiful here and everywhere I look is like a goddamned post card so next day off Ill go around the town and take some proper pictures. Its been sunny and 21 degrees out the last couple of days. CB and I havent done too much exploring, just a few drives out around the coastline watching the sun set over the ocean. I like it so far.

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Willy’s flower.

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Some sort of raspberry. POSSIBLY something called a Hairy Plumboy which is awesome.

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Baby bloobs!!

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Patridge berries. They taste like a cranberry with a funky kind of aftertaste, I like it.

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Some moss. Not as delicious.

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This is the church across from us.

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An entire field of blueberries.

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Out to see.

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A quick shot of the colour palette here, didnt come out very accurately.

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A fishermans hall that is currently being used as a woodshop beside our humble trailer.

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Some birchiness.

One of the best things so far is last night I was filling out paperwork and for address I had to put “The Trailer Behind the Big Church”. Oy veh.