Sunday, March 11, 2018

Spring has arrived on Yukon Street

Today we sat outside in the sun on the back deck--without jackets. Hooray! I think spring has arrived. We can't complain because we missed most of the rain and wind while we were in Mexico. But what a joy to sit outside and feel warm. Our thermometer registered 24 degrees C. It may have been in the sun a bit--but who cares. It felt like 24 degrees for a short while.

This is what happened to the trees in the park across the street over the weekend. They blossomed.

Happy Spring.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

A Walk around the block

We woke up this morning to pale sunshine and pretty much all the snow melted away. Spring is showing her face here and there. I took my camera for a little walk to capture the day.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Winter's last gasp?

It snowed a couple of nights ago. And it was really pretty--for a few hours. After dinner I headed off to a meeting in our neighbourhood crunching through the snow. Everyone was out enjoying a taste of the winter the rest of Canada experiences.

The following morning we headed off to Beacon Hill Park. The snow shadows make for nice photos of dead grass. And we enjoyed seeing the ice on the ponds and lakes there.

But it seems that it didn't make the ducks very happy. They had abandoned their usual practice of swimming around ducking under the water to feed. They were standing disconsolately around at the edge of the melting snow wondering what to do.

These ones had discovered something edible in the mud at the edge of the snow and we busy feeding there. Including one Canada Goose that had flown in from somewhere else. (Usually we see these out at the bigger lakes but not often in the park).

Across the lake there were bunches of ducks shivering on the ice and looking very unhappy and cold indeed. 
I love the way their orange feet show up against the ice. We felt quite sorry for the ducks, who are really not used to their ponds being frozen over. Fortunately as we were leaving, a guy pulled up in his car and started scattering duck food around on the pathway.

Here's what happened then: Every duck within sight started running or flying over to join the fray. 

We left the park knowing that the ducks were being fed and headed home to make our own cozy dinner. There's something nice about cooking on a snowy night.


Today there's still snow but it's melting. There may be a little more tonight but the forecast is for temperatures to rise tomorrow. We're hoping that it's winter's last gasp--and so are the ducks.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Of tulips, snowdrops and iguanas

The valentines day flowers are still looking perky and the sun is shining. It's mighty cold outside though, hovering around 0 degrees Centigrade but when we're inside looking out it feels as though spring may soon arrive in Victoria.

The snowdrops are up in my garden and the crocuses are popping up everywhere so it can't be too far away.  We're gradually getting absorbed back into our life at home.

It's funny how it takes a while to remember what it is we do in our days after we've been away for a while.  I'm back to my bungee and fitness classes and we had a social weekend reconnecting with friends.

But now my mind is going back to a few pretty cool things we saw in Zihuatanejo. Here's an iguana resting on a tree trunk and a shot of boys playing soccer on the beach and a lovely condo we spotted just back from the beach on our last day after spending the morning on Playa Madera. Things like this we will miss.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A last look at Mexico

We're back home from our four-week trip to Mexico--and it is lovely to be back in our familiar space. Before I get buried in daily life I thought I'd post a few photos of our trip. These won't be beach or sunset photos because I posted a lot of those from Zihuatanejo. These ones are from our six-day excursion up into the mountains.  

A sweet historic cafe in Urapan, where we had cappuccino every morning.

Several images from Patzcuaro, where we were entranced by the buildings and decor, and even more by the Indigenous people who populate the town.

Above is a view down the cobbled street to one of Patzcuaro's iconic churches featuring an incredibly ancient wall and gate that reminds me of something you might find in Italy. I love this wall so much that I've started to do a watercolour painting of the scene.

And here's  wall another from the old city of Morelia, which features so many stone buildings.

We enjoyed our time in Mexico, including the beach life in Zihuatanejo but the temperatures on the coast were a bit too hot for my liking. The only time I was comfortable was when we were on the beach or in the ocean. We chose Zihua because I wanted to swim in really warm water--and that was lovely, but the trade off in the humidity and heat at that latitude didn't make it worthwhile for me.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Pozole day in Zihua

Thursdays are Pozole Day in Zihuatanejo and Sandy and Vidal took us out to their favourite place yesterday at lunchtime.  This restaurant specializes in the Mexican soup called pozole (po-zole-ee), made from hominy. I've heard of it for years but had never tasted it before.  I don't know why I waited so long. It's delicious.

Apparently it takes a long time to make because it's only served on special celebratory occasions, and in certain restaurants on Thursdays. In fact this particular restaurant only opens on Thursdays when they serve several kinds of this special dish to a crowd of Gringoes and Mexicans. We got there at 12:30 and took our table which Vidal had reserved for us. Here we are at the table. Vidal is on the right, behind him is Sandy, and behind her is Lou, Sandy's mom who is visiting from Chicago.

The place was already crowded even though the pozole wasn't quite ready. The waiter brought a big platter of avocado, radish, chicarone, tacitos, tortilla chips and other goodies which we nibbled on while we waited. There are three types of pozole: red, white, and green. And you can get it made with either pork or chicken. We chose the verde with chicken and this is what it looked like when it came to the table. It turns out that those condiments I had been nibbling on were to add to the soup. Good thing there were still some left.


This was the small bowl, plenty large enough to fill us up for the rest of the day.

Now that we're back at our little casita I've been doing a little bit of water colour painting. The first one I did was from a photo of the mercado. It's not a very good photo of it but it give you an idea.  And yesterday I finished one of our little courtyard with the morning sun on the table covered by a tablecloth we got at the old fabric mill in Uruapan.

Yesterday I thought I was getting used to the heat and but it turned out that it was just a somewhat cooler and less humid day. Today Harry and I are flattened again.

We have some plans for the next couple of days to get together with people and our plane leaves Monday for our return trip. We're almost looking forward to the cold!