Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Found Nests and Blown Quail Eggs

A couple weeks ago Ryan phoned from my Aunt's farm, asking if I wanted any quail eggs.
"Quail eggs?" I said, "Where on earth did you find Quail eggs?"
A friend of my Uncle had sent them home for them to enjoy. But, having hens of their own, they already had more eggs than they knew what to do with. So, in walked Ryan empty handed, and out he walked with a small carton of a dozen and a half fresh Quail eggs.
Having never used a Quail egg before, I wasn't quite sure what to do with them. But then thoughts of Easter and my table setting came to mind and I thought I would try and preserve these delicate little eggs by blowing them.
It wasn't as hard as I had heard. I simply poked a small hole in the top, and a slightly larger hole in the bottom. I then blew the contents of the egg into a glass, held the empty shell under water to rinse out the inside and set them out to dry.
After I use them for my place settings this Easter, I think I might frame them in a shadow box and set them on a shelf in the nursery beside my small collection of found nests.

Each egg is speckled in it's own unique pattern.

This is a nest I've had for years. It was found in our back ravine, abandoned through Winter and found in early Spring when the trees are bare and spotting it was easy.

I thought it was so cozy that little bits of cotton string were lovingly woven amongst the grass.

This is another nest that Ryan found with Willen on a hike. It's a little more sturdy.

Once dry, I lined an old wooden tray with a cloth and gently tucked them inside to keep them safe until Easter.

Monday, March 11, 2013

First Signs of Spring

This afternoon, with both boys sleeping and a rare moment of quiet, I snuck out to the back to poke around in the muck that this warm weather has turned the yard into.
There, tucked amongst the remaining leaves from the Fall months, are the first promising signs of Spring.
Pushing their way up through clumps of damp earth and debris are the Snowdrops and the Daffodils and the Eranthis.
A promise that Spring is on it's way.

Dainty white Snowdrops.

These are found in our neighbor's yard. Yesterday, while coming in the door, I noticed a small patch of Snowdrops in our hedge. Today, when I went to take a photo, our dear neighbors, the Lambs, must have been having a good laugh at my expense. Mrs. Lamb finally came out and told me to take a walk through their "dell" (They're a lovely old British couple), and see the other blooms. This was much easier than trying to maneuver through a hedge.

Daffodils sprouting.

Our walkways in the ravine are all speckled with pretty yellow blooms - Eranthis. It's actually part of the buttercup family. It's a nice contrast to the barren trees and they bring bits of colour to the grounds.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Saturday Morning at the Sugar Bush

This weekend Willen and I spent some time together, just the two of us.
We spent the first Spring-like day of the year wandering through the forest at our local sugar bush, Agape Valley.
We enjoyed a hayride down to the sugar bush and toured the sugar shacks that were busy boiling down freshly gathered sap into beautiful maple syrup. We tromped through the mud and thawing snow, and peered into buckets slowly filling with sap, one drip at a time, and even watched a demonstration on how the Native American's and Pioneers purified their sap.
In the afternoon, we made our way back up the the Pancake House for fluffy pancakes smothered in pure maple syrup.
It was a beautiful day and there wasn't a better way to spend it than outside, soaking up every bit of sun. Not to mention getting a little muddy along the way.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Painting and White Cabinet

I decided to hang a painting that I've had stored away for months in our living room yesterday.
I got it from an Aunt of mine who had it hanging in her guest room, but had grown tired of it and was going to donate it. I had always admired it.
However, this beautiful piece of art is old, and worn. It's Gesso frame has broken and chipped over time and it's colours have dimmed under years of dust and impurities.
Regardless, I still love it. The wood and plaster frame compliments our sofa covers and adds life to the all-white walls.

I hung it above an old cabinet I had purchased two years ago.

It's a pretty pastoral scene with a farmer in blue, a small flock of sheep, a simple barn and a small town with a church in the background. It's quaint and warm.

As you can see, the frame has broken in many spots, but the details are beautiful.

I added a simple Ivy potted in an old ironstone sugar pot and a pillar candle in a hurricane vase to add a bit of warm light in the evening.

The frame compliments the room and matches the large Gesso frame hanging above our couch. It also is worn and old, but still beautiful.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saturday Morning Coffee with Biscotti and A Good Book

While browsing through an Italian grocery shop this past week, I couldn't resist picking up a package of biscotti.
These traditional Italian cookies are the perfect pairing for with a morning coffee. And I couldn't think of a better way to spend my Saturday morning than with a cup of coffee, a Cappuccino Dipped Biscotti and a book I picked up at the library yesterday.

My Hyacinths are still in bloom. These are the second blooms.

These biscottis are the best I've tasted in a very long time. They are perfectly crisp, but still hold their own when dipped in coffee. These are Cappuccino Dipped with Almonds, but I also tried the Chocolate Chip Dipped in Chocolate. They were delicious as well!

The book is called Simple Country Wisdom by Country Living.
It's "501 old-fashioned ideas to simplify your life" and as you can see from the table of contents, it covers just about everything.

I wasn't the only one enjoying the treat. He snuck in and knew exactly what to do!
Willen absolutely loves our trips to the library and loves to read. This is one of the things I love about him. He can pick up a stack of books and easily sit for an hour, quietly reading to himself. It's something we've really tried to encourage. His closet in his bedroom is his Library.
The last of my Daffodils are still blooming as well.
They've almost finished, but they've brightened our entrance for a couple of weeks.