Monday, July 21, 2014

so much citrus

Garden and preserving update  July 2014

The prettiest are the pickled plums

I had a new crop of Rangpur limes delivered and wanted to try something new-preserved limes.  Most recipes are for preserved Meyer lemons which are generally mild but I figured you won't know if you don't try.  

I started looking for recipes at Punk Domestics.  They seem to have a nice mix of usual and unusual.  There were quite a few that all have the same basic idea-mix lemons, salt and juice and let sit anywhere from a week to 3 months.  I ended up at West and Wander because there is a recipe for lemon salt as well.  Shockingly Delicious and Prim and Primal have the most recipes for using them-everything else vaguely  references Moroccan food.

I'm terrible at following a recipe word for word. First off, I have WAAAAAY more fruit than the recipes I find. Does everyone else scale down? Do you really only do a jar at a time? I usually just scale it up and see what happens. For the preserved limes, I cut everything into quarters and tossed with salt rather than try and keep them whole.
I think this let me shove more into each jar. Maybe that is bad?

I also needed way more juice than the recipes.  I'll chalk that up to different type of fruit. So far they look pretty good.  I think I will try the next batch with added spices.

I still had extra limes so I made the lemon (lime) rosemary salt.
washing the rosemary seemed tough till I put it in a strainer and swished it around

easy peasy lemon squeezy!

guessing at the proportions

mix and dry in the oven for 30 minutes-not bad!  Now I need to find a reason to use it!

Next up the pluots

I decided to preserve them like my Mom used to do peaches.

but DancinTurtle also found pickled plums-lemon, mint, vinegar.  Pretty tasty-lightly pickled and refreshing.

All the finished pluot products.

And finally the garden this month
the roses had a second burst of flowers

the apples are getting big

and oh my gosh the blueberries are so pretty.  They are sooooo close to being ready...

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Iguassu Falls-Flora and Fauna

June 2014, Iguassu Falls

Iguassu Falls has some great wildlife-Coatis
I got my picture with zoom

NOT like this.  Stupid people!

We were walking back to the rooms and this pack of coatis
 run across to the bamboo stand. 

They just kept coming until ~20 of them were in and around the bamboo digging in the ground.

 They do tell you to watch out-they hang around the snack stands and grab unattended snacks.

They little guys were shy and didn't come into the open much.  We decided they were capybaras but we really have no idea.

 These guys were everywhere.

These were not-the picture is terrible, but these are toucans!  We saw this pair flying about in the morning.

In the past I've seen a lot of butterflies but it was so wet that they didn't come out until the last day and then not in the quantities I was expecting. 

  The ones that did come out were beautiful!

Jungle Ant!

I love to photograph the fungus...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Iguassu Falls, A Deluge of Biblical Proportions

Iguassu Falls, June 2014

Since we were going to be in South America for the World Cup I wanted to show my family the super amazing Iguassu Falls.  Turns out it was an interesting time to go-they had so much rain I saw one headline call it A Deluge of Biblical Proportions.

So much water was going over the falls that you couldn't even SEE the falls.  They haven't seen this much rain since the 80's and they had to close the trails for the first 2 days we were there.  The bridges out to the Devil's Throat were actually destroyed and you won't be able to get out there until at least 2015!

Here is a comparison from our last trip.  This is a trail that ends very close to a waterfall and you can see it from above.
an overhead close up from September 2012

In June 2014 the trail was closed, you can see why, the end of the trail is barely visible in the center of the picture and is completely covered by the rushing water.

The next day they let you to near the end of the trail, though still not all the way out, which is still under water!

Hey look, I took almost the exact same photo
Sept 2012
June 2014  You can see all the extra water and how the color is so different from all the mud.

Sept 2012 I originally took this for the rainbow, but you can see the island in the back and the boat that takes folks to the island beach.  Also note the color of the river water.

June 2014, this is the island-the water completely covers the beach and flows over areas of the island that had been completely dry.

The river below the falls was not something I even bothered to photograph but now you can see that the river has covered tree trunks and the rain has made the cliffs slide.

In fact the viewing platform on the Brazilian side collapsed!


Even the news people were out-the guy on the right was interviewing people when they reopened the trails.

Trail closed

The water levels dropped very quickly once it stopped raining.  When they let us back on the trails you can see why the water is all muddy.

The flattened grass survived being underwater but hasn't popped back yet.

Here the river hasn't completely dropped down.

What it looks like over the edge of the bridge
Sept 2012

June 2014

I wonder what it will be next time I go!