Friday, February 28, 2014

Mud pots and Grand Prismatic Spring, Epic Yellowstone, Day 2

Epic Yellowstone 2013

Don't forget the small wildlife.  This one is noteworthy because it looks just like one of many fly-fishing ties that GreenEyedGirl saw growing up-what a coincidence!  We then had to look for them in the store...ended up in a bit of a conversation with the fisherman/sales guy...

Day 2 continued the visit to Gibbon Falls and then the thermal basins that are near Old Faithful.

Turns out that Yellowstone has many really great waterfalls.

Midway and Lower Geyser Basins have some of the best examples of mud pots and photogenic springs that are easy to get to.

Every time I kept thinking, can that blue be real?

Mud pots!

Oh the mud pots!  These are neat because they change over the course of the season.  In the spring when they are full of snowmelt they are like a pot of boiling soup.  As the water dries off through the summer they thicken and make more of a 'bloop' than a boil.

Of course some of the mud pots are spring fed and stay watery all the time. They make quite the splash.

This area has one of the best views of a thermal stream running into a river-so fascinating!

At the top it was particularly steamy-time to get funky pictures.

On one side of the walkway is Excelsior crater-I din't see this type of cliff/crater anywhere else in the park.

 Grand Prismatic Spring is on the other side.  This is one of the most photographed areas-such a great reflective surface.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Book cleaning!, veg chili, garden in an unusual February

February 2014

I have joined Jolie Kerr in her Year of a Clean Person challenge and I just finished February which was clean your book shelves.  I love my books and have a hard time giving them up so I knew this would be a big job.  I had forgotten that lots of cruft collects around the books as well.

Those are the main book shelves...

But of course some of them end up in the bedroom
and the cookbooks get to be in the kitchen.

It was daunting but sooooo satisfying.  It took about 3 weeks and most of the time the living room looked like this.

In the process I donated 7 bags of books to the library, shredded a giant stack of old notes, got rid of a bag of knick-knacks 
got rid of the CD collection

and organized the LEGO and board game collection.

All clean and organized

Feels fantastic!

New soup is 3-bean and vegetable chili.  I'm not sure I would really call this chili, but okay.
The base is lots of beans, onions, garlic, carrots and tomatoes.  The chili in this case came from dried New Mexico chilies that I soaked, blended and strained (white bowl on the left).  Then near the end of cooking time, add in the green chard.

turned out pretty good and very nutritious.  Feeling like I am really branching out in my soups-thanks Little Friend T for the great soup book!

cheddar cauliflower from the garden-yum!

What else is happening in the garden here in February (in my Mediterranean climate)?
I raked the last of the fall leaves

the hydrangea is starting to bud 
so I cut off the dead flowers which doesn't usually happen until March or April.

 my wild lilac is in bloom

we continue to eat the winter peas and carrots

and the poppies are blooming again!