Out into nature …

Today’s forecast was for 10-15 mm of rain, so we felt very blessed to have dry and sunny weather while we explored Stoney Creek Park. I love this place – it feels like a world apart. The creek is so accessible and who can resist shallow, moving water? We crossed four footbridges over the meandering brook and, as we clambered over rocks and debris to get to the ancient Jewel Weed Nurse Log, we were surprised to come across a large, dead, fascinating fish. Maybe a salmon – this is a spawning waterway. Hopefully we can get an identification.

Eventually we made our way to our final destination – the glade with the enormous hollow Western Red Cedar, which is always a highlight. More exploring and then, just as we decided it was time to head home, the rain started. Our timing was perfect.

*Thanks to some help from people in high places, we have a positive identification. This is a Chum Salmon (Oncorhynchus keta). Pretty amazing!

Our final “look-only” treasure moment of the walk was discovering these beautiful shaggy mane mushrooms, thanks to Cariana’s sharp eyes and unfailing curiosity. We examined the area more closely and found, in total, four mature specimens and one just barely popping through the soil. Since mushrooms emerge with the rains, it will be interesting to see how many this field produces.

Apparently this fungus is also known as lawyer’s wig. How apt.

Coprinus comatus

Foods and Nutrition …

Felicity has been suffering with a cough so the first thing we did was to prepare a herbal remedy tea using mallow root and thyme so it would be fully steeped when the lunch was ready. We put together a broccoli cream soup by cooking broccoli, onion and garlic in homemade turkey bone broth. When the broccoli was soft, we added a can of organic coconut milk and Cariana pureed it using the immersion blender. We seasoned it with grey coarse sea salt, black pepper and hot pepper to taste. Turkey pepperoni was available for protein and added spiciness. We rounded out our feast with the ever-popular (at least among granddaughters) gluten free rice crackers with chevre and daikon radish sprouts, and for beverages enjoyed Papa’s raspberry kombucha and  thyme-mallow tea.


It’s always a treat to explore someone else’s treasures. Today’s twenty-minute project was to empty, dust and reorganize two shelves of glassware and miniatures. Every piece has a story attached, which made the time spent even more special.

Pigment colour theory and painting miniatures …

Our next goal was to paint the flour and salt dough miniatures. I pulled out my tubes and jars of acrylic paint (and tossed a couple that had dried solid). We had limited colours – magenta, phthalo green, yellow, black and white. As long as we could get along without blue, every shade we needed can be mixed from these. The time flew by as our tiny food and toys grew realistic under their true colours.