Sunday, November 24, 2013

Safari West

Safari West Nov 2013 with The Neighbors

For Logan's 8th birthday we visited Safari West up in Santa Rosa.  We hadn't heard of it, but are really glad we went!  The safari part is amazing by itself-I much prefer this to a zoo.  We were able to stay the night and in the morning this is the view.

(the giraffes near the cabins are sculptures)
We happened to arrive on the rare rainy day, but I loved it!  The cabins are canvas tents, so we heard the rain all night long-a real treat for us in California.  It is a little chilly on fall nights but there are electric blankets and it is so luxurious to be warm and cozy in bed.

You will be getting up early because these guys wake up at 6 and they let you know it!

Our actual tour didn't start till mid morning, so after breakfast we visited the birds and animals near the cabins.
 Two different flocks of flamingos

When we passed these guys at night, some of us thought they were fake...and apparently it's a common mistake.

Lemur Island

 Feeding time for the small birds

That would be seeds and fruit for the song birds and hamburger and mice for the predator.  

We started our tour by walking through the aviary to get close ups.
 Scarlet Ibis


Guinea hen

Pheasant that is related to the peacock

This one particular crane took a liking to E-, danced for him, and then followed us around.  Apparently she was hand raised by a man and so she will often pick out a guy on the tour to follow!

We moved on to the primates

 Nomming on a corncob

We got one special stop in the giraffe barn since it was so wet outside.
 They were interested in us and stuck their heads out.  Close up you realize just how large they are, eyes the size of your fist.  Small children only come up to their knees.

Into the jeep for the next tour-they are old Army type jeeps with bench seats added and a bonus seat on top for the bravest of your group.

I feel a little bigger in the jeep, but not much.

 The zebras are shy on rainy days, we were lucky to seem them out at all.

Many different antelopes were out.  I didn't know that different species have different 'follow me' markings on the back side. They think it is so if you see a bunch of your relatives running away, you know to start running too.

The Rhinos stayed inside and I was too fascinated by the Cape Buffalo and Ostrich to snap their photo...ah next time!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Potato and tomato soup, Buhdda's hand citron, fall

I got a neat cook book that is all soup (thanks Little Friend T!!), but I started with Roasted Root vegetable and never really moved on, so this winter I will be trying out more.  Today was Potato and Tomato with Sage to use up the last of the summer tomatoes :( 

Biked to the produce market and picket up veggies, then out to my garden for herbs.
Skimpy on the potatoes, since I am meh about potatoes

Herbs from the garden

Skinned tomatoes and chopped herbs

Onions before and after 40 minutes of low, slow cooking.

And you have soup!

A few years ago I bought a Buddha's Hand Citron tree because I had no idea what one was and there was only one, but the picture of the fruit was so....odd.  It is one weird fruit-there is no actual fruit inside, it is all skin and pith.  It is used to scent a room (a lovely mild citrus), flavor alcohol, or cooked with sugar it makes 'citron', most often found in fruitcake.  This summer the tree got transplanted and is thriving so we have 6 on the tree when we usually get 2.  The first one ripened and we turned it into citron.

How could you resist this Lovecraft inspired fruit!

Diced and soaking in sugar.

drying out

 Coat in sugar

I used a strainer to separate from the sugar


It really is fall-though we don't get snow in Silicon Valley, the leaves still turn colors.

And need to be raked-I will clean up this pile about 4 times this fall!