Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk - taking off

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk - scanning the back yard
So our little, well not so little actually, feathered friend has been visiting our yard just about daily.  Yesterday was perfect to get some good shots of him as it was a cloudy day with the sun peaking in and out.  Before he went into the tree, he was by my studio window again standing on our utility trailer - about 6 feet from the window.  So I stood there and watched him, like a hawk.

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk - still scanning
I got these shots from our bedroom patio.  Like last time, I just sat there watching him through the binoculars.  He is a large, gorgeous bird with beautiful markings.  He continued to scan the yard, which was full of birds.

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk - found something
Something caught his eye, so I decided to just keep clicking away.  Glad I did because I am really happy with how the photos turned out.  I'm no professional photographer by any means, but I think they are pretty cool!

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk - getting ready to take off!
This is my favorite of the day!  When I looked at the pictures I became REAL excited!  I just LOVE this shot.  I have another one in flight, but all you can see is tree...totally missed the hawk.  Oh and if you click on the pictures you get the larger view.

That's all for today.  Just had to share these awesome photos.  Now it's time for me to take off.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Raw Scetti and Not Meat Balls


I just LOVE my spiralizers and use them a lot!  I now have two of them because Mark bought me the Paderno World Cuisine Spiral thing-a-majig for Christmas.  It makes two sizes of noodles, ribbons and slices.  It is very cool.  The other one I have is the Saladacco Spiral Slicer that makes awesome angel hair pasta out of zucchini - and other veggies - like in my pasta dish above.   

The raw vegan gluten-free "not-meat"balls are walnut based and have plenty of herbs and spices. I got the recipe from Raw Food Made Easy, but altered it little bit.

I made just a small batch for dinner that night, which was plenty.  By looking at the "not-meat" in the bowl and the formed balls above, they look like the real deal.  I think so at least.

So as you can see, eating raw is far from boring.  It's so funny, before I was like "ugh... now I have to make dinner..." and now... I can hardly wait to get into the kitchen to create!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hawk in our back yard - awesome!

Hawk in the back yard 1/19/13
Saturday afternoon we had a pleasant surprise in our back yard. The hawk that visited us a few weeks ago returned!  He was perched on our back wall, about 20' from our bedroom patio, scanning the yard that WAS full of our regular feathered friends.  I was SOOOO ecstactic that I yelled for Mark to come see and forgot to grab my camera - which I thought was charging.

Close-up view of the pic above
So there we were, me on the floor at the arcadia door with my binoculars and Mark standing beside me.  We just kept watching him as he continued to scan the yard and look for, sadly, little mammals or unsuspecting birds - which obviously knew he arrived as they were all in hiding. 

I can't tell you how freakin' exciting this was - better than last time!  I didn't want to stop watching him, but decided to head into the other room to grab my camera real quick.  Well, he then flew into our neighbor's large tree that is right by our back wall.  This was fine because I was able to get better pics than last time.

"I see you Rocki!"
I went out back and got as close as I could...he did NOT budge!  He was rather large, around 2 foot tall is my guess.  He turned his head around and just looked at me as if to say "you know, I love squirrels too."  It was beyond amazing.  The adrenalin was shooting through me like coffee in Mark's veins!

Beautiful bird!
Then I got to thinking about the kids...our dogs.  For those who do not know, we have 3 little ones and I'm not sure if they would be too big or not for the hawk to take off with.  Yogi probably not, but Maelyn and Sasha possibly.  So, there was scary thoughts mingling with the excitement.  I would be absolutely mortified if that happened - or seeing any other animal in his talons.  But, I understand that's what he eats.  Still scary.

Cooper's Hawk or Sharp-shinned Hawk?
I stayed out there until he flew away, then immediately grabbed my bird book.  After pouring through the book and the internet, I've concluded that he's either a Cooper's Hawk or Sharp-shinned Hawk.  It's really hard to tell because they are so closely matched, but I believe he was a Cooper's Hawk. 
Hawk at studio window - 1/3/13
Okay, pardon these last two pics, but these were taken with my cell phone from inside my studio and through a sunscreen.  I have feeders out there and love watching the birds while I work.  Anyway, that day something caught my eye so I looked up.  There was a hawk!  I practically squealed with excitement!  Wait.  Scratch that.  I in fact DID squeal!  Our neighbors probably thought I was bleeding to death or just won the lottery.

This was an awesome site!
Honestly, I was fumbling with my phone like hot potato as I was afraid that he would be gone before I got the camera up.  It finally came on then... click click click click!  I even got a short video of him sitting there and then flying away, but it won't upload.  I was bummed that the pics came out so crappy, but at least I got a little proof of our new visitor. 

I called Mark afterwards and...okay... squealed like a little girl while telling him of what just happened.  (I didn't know my voice went up that high)  He thought it was pretty cool, but since he got to see him up close and in person this time, he was pretty excited too.  Well, he didn't squeal though.  Oh, and I'm not sure if it was the same hawk because the one in the back yard seemed much larger.

Every day we have a huge variety of birds that visit all of our feeders, so I'm always looking outside.  However, now I'm looking out there even more - like a kid on Christmas eve waiting to see Santa!  I just hope that I don't ever see him with a little one and flying off with it.

I also hope he doesn't like squirrels.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Raw Lasagna? You betcha!

I was so excited to get the recipe ebooks that I ordered from Kristen Suzanne of Kristen's Raw that I practically salivated all over my screen while going through them all!

The first thing I wanted to make was her Italian Lasagna (in her Entrees book) which is filled to the brim with raw vegan goodness!  There are a few steps to this recipe, but I don't know of any quick lasagna recipe.  Besides, it was well worth it.

This isn't your typical large pan lasagna recipe, but it filled up my 8x6 dish just fine.  You can either serve it right after making it or pop it in the dehydrator for an hour or two to warm slightly. 

Since we've been having some unusually cold weather, I decided to warm it a little.  Yes, it is still a raw dish as the food never went above 115 degrees.  In fact, using my handy dandy infrared digital thermometer, it only reached 105 degrees - which is much cooler than it sounds.  We also had a nice healthy salad to go with it, AND got two more meals out of it. 

One word about the lasagna: deeeeeeeelish!

I only bought 2 out of 11 of her ebooks, but I can see that I'll be picking up a couple more down the road.  Raw food is not so boring now, isn't it? :)