Flowery Friday.

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Happy Friday!  I can’t believe I had to flip the calendar over to May this morning.  What’s up with time, anyway?  I know it seems to fly as you get older, but for me, it’s feeling pretty supersonic at this point.  (Awhile back, I came across this review of a book about the perception of time in relation to age…might make for some interesting reading).

I managed to get out to Nose Hill one morning this week and saw all the willow catkins emerging…I quickly took a few photos and rushed to get myself and my camera out of the rain shower that suddenly started right above me (and only me, as far as I could tell).  We really could use a nice, soaking rain, although everything is greening up despite the dry conditions.  I noticed our neighbour’s fantastically floriferous forsythia (too much?) on the way back from the park – it is, of course, competing with all those show-off Prunus species.  All this incredible colour and beauty is enough to make your eyes drunk.

I planted some spinach and radish seeds in the raised bed at the community garden this week – this is the earliest I’ve ever put these crops in, although many would reckon I’m actually running late.  I know some people who plant outside under cover in March – and unlike most years, we didn’t have much snow and ice in that month.  Last year, I planted my spinach on the 20 of May. Most of my garlic is up now – I just love to see those spiky green shoots splitting the soil.

What are your plans for the weekend?  I’ve got a deadline looming on an article about lacto-fermentation (BTW – do any of you do any fermenting?  I’ve been puttering around lately with several different whole leaf herb ferments – they’re easy and fun).  I’m also hoping to get out for some fresh air – I was reading a recent blog post by a local hiker, Barry Taylor, and he suggested Strathcona Ravine here in Calgary for a little nature jaunt.  I’m keen to check it out – we’ve lived here nearly two decades and I hadn’t ever heard of it before.

Before I leave you, I have to share the foodie extravaganza that is the list of midway culinary treats for this year’s Calgary Stampede.  If you thought last year’s were over the top, you haven’t seen anything yet.  I can’t believe that gigantic ice cream cone or the $100 hotdog…and we won’t talk about the cockroach offering.  I feel pretty much like I did last year – the poutines are the most tempting for me (well, except for the one with the doughnuts and the jalapenos – that just smacks of a stomach ache in a bowl).  What would you try?  Which of these is just too excessive (well, besides ALL of them)?

Alberta Snapshot: Rainy day sunset.

 

Rainy sunset in Kananaskis

 

From the archives of my blog There is a Light: A rainy sunset in Kananaskis Country, May 2012.

It’s raining here this morning, but it’s nowhere near as picturesque as the photo above – rather, it’s one of those nasty ice rains that is predicted to turn into snow this afternoon.  I’ve been absolutely swamped with work and writing projects this week so the flowerbeds and my community garden plot are still in a state of Autumn 2013 neglect…and now, on my day off, I can’t get out there to do anything.  Oh well!  I think I’ll have another cup of tea and then go for a nap….

While I put the kettle on, I’ll leave you with a few topics I’ve been musing about:

Banff-based photographer Paul Zizka has a book out called Summits & Starlight:  The Canadian Rockies (2013, Rocky Mountain Books, Alberta), with some absolutely breathtaking and unique shots of the mountains next door…I finally had a chance to go through the book and I was just astonished at the places he has visited and captured.  Check out his gallery to see what I mean – these aren’t your average roadside pics of giant rocks.

I’ve been seriously considering the idea of creating a sourdough starter…this would be my first crack at it and so any tips you bread-makers out there have would be massively appreciated!  The clincher is that I have a huge amount of red fife flour in the freezer, so I want to make my starter from that, not regular all-purpose white flour.  I found a book at work called Baking Sourdough Bread (by Göran Söderin and George Strachal, 2014 Skyhorse Publishing, Sweden) that looks like it may be able to offer up some assistance, so we’ll see how it goes.  I don’t know when I will embark on this new venture…I am in research mode right now.  🙂

Speaking of food, The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, The Calgary Stampede, has announced its midway food offerings for this year – I don’t know if scorpion pizza will have universal appeal, but poutine with perogies sure has my vote.  Peruse the madness here (and let me know in the comments what grosses you out the most…or what you’d willingly sample).

Have a wonderful weekend!