Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pacific Northwest Plants:


Cottonwood Trees

Full grown Cottonwood Tree
For a week now in Bellingham there have been puffy white seeds floating everywhere from the Cottonwood Trees.

Cottonwoods are a type of poplar, with the same quivering leaves. They grow in moist areas, so the wetlands behind our Bellingham condo is a prime spot.

Male and female flowers are in separate catkins (long, slim clusters) that appear before the leaves each spring.

The female catkin produces the cottony seeds that are blown long distances. It's these fluffy white masses that give the tree its name.


Each spring the white fluff flies through the air creating the plant version of a snow storm.

video

The seeds are very small (1X4 mm) which is remarkable considering they can grow into one of the largest trees in North America, up to 100 feet (30+ metres) high.

Cottonwood Catkins
Not only are Cottonwoods large, but fast growing, reaching maturity in 10-30 years. Young trees can add an amazing six feet per year.

Historically, their trunks were used by Native Americans to make dugout canoes. As a commercial product, their course wood is best suited for making pulpwood in the paper industry, pallets and shipping crates.

As summer changes to fall, the leaves of turn bright yellow and orange, making a warm contrast to the cooling blue skies.


Here's one framed by a double rainbow near sunset.


Thanks for visiting part of my world this week. For more great posts from Our World Tuesday, click here.

And also a meme called Through My Lens by Mersad. -- Margy

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Crock Pot Chicken Tamale Pie


You've heard of chain letters. This is a chain recipe. I googled and found it at Krista Kooks. She got it from Beantown Baker. And she got it from Stephanie O'Dea. Stephanie got it from Lorie's Stitch in Time. Each blog has some great recipes. Now it's my turn to add my own twists to Crock Pot Chicken Tamale Pie.

When we were recently in town, I bought a rotisserie chicken for dinner. Afterwards, there was lots left, so I boned it and here's how I used the meat.

Crock Pot Chicken Tamale Pie

What drew me to this recipe was its simplicity. Spray the crock pot with cooking spray. Put all of the filling ingredients in the pot and stir until completely mixed. That's it.

Filling Ingredients

2 cups diced chicken
1 can drained red beans
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can drained corn (reserve 1/4 cup)
1 small can sliced black olives
1 small can diced green chilies
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cornbread Topping

1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg beaten
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup drained canned corn

In a bowl, mix the cornbread topping. Start with the dry ingredients, then the wet and blend. When finished, pour evenly on top of the filling in the crock pot. If it is too thick to pour, add a little extra milk.

Cover and cook on low for 5-8 hours, or on high for 2-3 hours.

I always use the low setting. That way there's a hot supper ready for when we are ready to eat, a win, win for everyone.

p.s. Let me know if the chain continues.



Hop on over to the Not So Modern Housewife and see some great ideas for homesteading and simple living.

http://nancyonthehomefront.com/Want more ideas? Try Nancy's Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop. -- Margy

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Christmas Spirit on Lopez Island, WA


During a trip to Lopez Island, Wayne and I walked from the airport to the marina to get lunch. On the way, we passed a unique mailbox.

As you can see, every day is like Christmas on Lopez Island.

Lopez is one of the San Juan Islands off the northern Washington coast. It can be reached by air (your own plane, Kenmore Air or San Juan Airlines) or sea (boat or ferry). Lopez is one of the most rural of the San Juans. Walk or drive the quiet back roads and you'll see lots of interesting mailboxes. Come and see for yourself. -- Margy

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Powell River Sunset


We returned town in Powell River to see this awesome sunset from our balcony. The view is northwest towards Vancouver Island. I think you can guess why they call this the Sunshine Coast. If you haven't made your summer holiday plans, this is the place to come. It is uncrowded, lots of outdoor activities for all ages, and friendly people. Want more information?


Click here to link to the Powell River Visitor Centre. Come join us in paradise. -- Margy

Friday, April 7, 2017

Quick Shuttle Service from Bellingham to Powell River, BC via Vancouver Airport


Quick Shuttle connection at the Bellingham Airport.
Want to get to Powell River without taking a car on the ferries? Take the Quick Shuttle bus that connects Seattle and Vancouver airports. It has several stops, one of which is Bellingham Airport. Reservations are mandatory and passports are required.

The bus uses the Pacific Highway Crossing in Blaine. You get off at a special building and take your bags inside to clear Canadian immigration and customs. For up-to-date information about border crossing requirements check with with the Canadian Border Service Agency and US Customs and Border Protection before you go.


Boarding the Quick Shuttle
The amount of time necessary depends on the number of passengers and buses in line. Plan on at least 30 minutes, more on holidays. By the way, the Quick Shuttle has free WiFi so you can surf the web the whole trip (or work if you must). The cost is very reasonable, currently about $49 round trip, or $29 from Bellingham to YVR. They will also stop at the train station, cruise ship terminals, downtown Vancouver and most major hotels. Along the way you will see forests, farmlands, small towns, glimpses of the ocean, and finally the big city.


Vancouver Airport South Terminal
Whether you arrive at Vancouver Airport by bus or plane, Pacific Coastal Airlines has a free shuttle every half hour outside the lower level to take you to the South Terminal. Pacific Coastal has connections to many Vancouver Island and BC destinations. From Vancouver, it is only a 25 minute flight to Powell River.


Over Powell River, BC
One-way fares start at about $140. The Quik Pass program includes discount fares for frequent fliers.

Transportation is easy in Powell River. Your Pacific Coastal flight crew can call ahead for a Powell River Taxi to be waiting to whisk you away to your first adventure. If you are on the ground, you can call them at (604) 483-3666. You might be lucky enough to get one of our good friend John's brothers, Rick or Rob. They both have Prius cars to be environmentally friendly and economical.


Powell River Airport
If you want a car, Budget car rental is in the terminal. There is also a stop for the Powell River Regional Transit District bus outside. This bus can take you all around town or, with a connection, to the community of Lund at the end (or beginning depending on your point of view) of Highway 101.  No matter how you get here, Powell River is the place to visit and live. Join us here someday soon. -- Margy