The Day After…

Leesburg VA reports 27.5″ of snow from the storm.

I’m still miles away on
a different continent, but, here are the reports I’ve gotten from
home — digging out.

08h00 Sunday, February 7, 2010 —
the sun does come up, post-snowpocalypse

08h00 feb 7

16h00 Sunday, February 7, 2010
dug out, to the road,
16h00 feb 07

Snowpocalypse 2010!

Here’s how the current winter storm  is playing out in the
Washington DC area:

Reporting from the LA

“As of late afternoon, a total of 32.4 inches was recorded at Dulles
International Airport outside of Washington, according to the National
Weather Service. That two-day accumulation topped the previous record,
compiled during the blizzard of January 1996, the weather service said.”

I’m “enjoying” my first business trip of the year, so I’m miles away on
a different continent.  But, here are the reports I’ve gotten from
home — snowpocalypse in evolution!

10h00 Friday, February 5, 2010 —
first flakes fly

Feb 05 2010 10h00

16h00 Friday, February 5, 2010
hunkering down

Feb 05 2010 16h00

09h00 Saturday, February 6, 2010 —

Feb 06 2010 09h00

16h00 Saturday, February 6, 2010 —
there are cars in there?

Feb 06 2010 16h00

Mother Nature Rules…

… and don’t you ever forget it!

We were driving by Castalia Marsh at high tide, the other day, and were astonished to see that it was completely flooded.  It’s winter, high tides tend to be at their highest, and we did just have a wicked storm system come through, that did significant damage in Port Elgin, NB.  But, still — this was a couple of days later, and we’d never seen the Marsh as anything other than, well, a marsh, with small tufted islands and channels of water.

Instead (click for slightly bigger) — in the image below, you can see the picnic area almost overrun, and the remains of a couple of duck blinds poking out of the water in the distance.

flooded marsh

And, as you can see below — the causeway/breaker wall between the Bay of Fundy and the Marsh was completely overrun.  The 3 pictures below show progress along the causeway, on what used to be the access road.  It’s now strewn with football-sized rocks, tossed up by the surf at some point.  (While we were there, someone came by in their F-1Million pickup truck and tried to pick his way along — he gave up and retreated).

road to now where

4 wheelin


It always impresses me what the simple forces of nature can wreak on our carefully engineered, man-made interventions (like, say, roads).

A slightly different perspective — looking back at the exit from the picnic area parking:  the road just stops:

The water was still somewhat stormy that day — lovely winter colours.


I dug through my old photos to try to find some useful comparisons.  It seems that the things that were photogenic in the wintry, flooded, stormy state were not the same as the things I thought to snap when it was in its seasonal prime!  But, a few comparative pictures of the surrounding shorelines, below (click for bigger pics).

Before January 2010
house before house after
island before
island after
ferry before ferry after

Cats in Amsterdam

Many buildings in Amsterdam are old.  And they have a “native population”, that survives transfer of ownership.  To help deal with this, it is not unusual for restaurants to employ “peace keepers” of the four-legged sort.

I recently met Mavis:


Mavis was not above supplementing her rodent-chasing diet with handouts from the restaurant’s kitchen:

a good thing going

While I’m not naming the restaurant above, it should be noted that I have actually seen mice running across the floor in a (different) restaurant in Amsterdam, and Mavis was not the first resto-cat I’d encountered in that city.  Sometime back in 2003, I met this “greeter”:



Double-duty mouser & maitre d’? 😉

168 hours to Play!

When looking at grey November vistas, stunning in their simple beauty…



there’s only one question:  guess who’s coming…

look who's coming

… to dinner?


And a fine dinner they were, too.

Didn’t stop me from playing with the “Duck
a la Something or Other”
recipe — browning the cabbage and onion
before adding it to the duck in the slow cooker to braise for the last

duck redux

And this year’s sauce was orange and raspberry:

duck dinner

Wanting to play with something completely different, I came across a
recipe for smoked
cheddar, spinach and sundried tomato ravioli
.  But, I thought
it would be dull to use the wonton wrappers called for — made some
fresh pasta, instead.  And, I didn’t have a ravioli form — went
with a mini-muffin tin, instead:

raviol - i


Which made yummy, if oversized, ravioli!

And, there was pasta leftover.  I cut the leftover pasta into
fettucini.  Now I know why there are those nifty holes in the
backs of chairs:

leftover pasta

And, in more discoveries… The measuring cup lurking on the stovetop
in the duck adventure?  Well, gelatinous.  And, suspiciously
like “graisse
de canard

graisse de canard!

Haven’t quite found the gumption to try a slice of this on bread…
might just sort it into duck soup (still have the bones) and keep the
fat for confit.  Who can say what the next culinary adventure will
be?  If you could, it wouldn’t be play…

Local Colour

Here’s a fine example of something that should be seen, and not heard:

Mr Pheasant

These pheasants make a noise that sounds something like a car starter being turned after the car is already running.

Mr Pheasant, too

This guy & his missus have taken over our property, strutting about in full ownership mode.

They might be even better tasted than seen, but that’s not a direction I’m planning to pursue.

Teleconferencing — Grand Manan Style

We share an office here, so the rule is that someone who has a
teleconference has to wander off to some other part of the house to
have it.  It’s not all bad — the views are pleasant, and watching
the waves (“~~~~~”) is fun:

voip teleconf

Sometimes, there are added distractions — the teleconferencee is not
necessarily the only one getting harried:


In particular, in this case, there’s a bald eagle being pursued by
crows (ravens?):

bald eagle -- cms
(Photo by CMS)

I perhaps didn’t catch all the
detail on that particular teleconf…