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Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, December 18, 2014

“Holy Sauerkraut, Batman!”

Tonight’s post is going to be another mixture of several unrelated subjects.  Sometimes, that’s how life its.

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Just before sunset last night, I had a new visitor to the hummingbird feeder.  A diminutive Verdin came to dine.  This little dude is about the size of a chickadee and eats small insects, fruit, and nectar found in the desert.  I really like that yellow face and splash of red at the top of its wing.

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They’re quite acrobatic and don’t sit still for long.  Kind of reminded me of an Olympic athlete on a bar or ring routine.  Can’t imagine how they have the strength to do this.  I’m thinking I may hang a half of an orange out tomorrow to enjoy more views of this little dynamite. 

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I couldn’t believe I slept in until almost 8:00 this morning, but it wasn’t very bright outside.  On Emma’s first outs, I was shocked at the view.  What happened to the pond?  It was lost in the dense fog.  I just never really expected fog in the desert.

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I had to bring a towel out to cover my rocker before I could sit down without getting a wet deck.  By 9:30 some of it had lifted and I could see the pond once again, but it took some time for that fog to lift off of the mountains.

79 Imperial NWR 2014-153Later in the morning, it was time to head into town to do my weekly grocery shopping.  Before hitting Fry’s, I like to stop at one of the two farm stands along US 95.  Only sweet onions, navel oranges, and tangelos for me today, but I’m just loving all the fresh vegies that are available here.  I’ve always liked iceberg lettuce, but never had it as fresh as it is here where it is grown.  Yuma is known as the lettuce capitol, and I can see why.

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Both farm stands are surrounded by farmer’s fields.  Can’t imagine how many pounds of sauerkraut could be made from this one field of cabbage.  I’ve heard that farmers here have seven crops per year.  Cotton in the summer, and then cabbage, onions, broccoli, kale, several varieties of lettuce, cauliflower, and who knows what else in fall winter and spring.  It’s kind of hard to wrap your mind around it if you’re from the north where farmers are lucky to get one or two crops a year. 

The rows of crops are also different than I’m used to seeing.  Instead of a single row of a crop, hills are built up with irrigation ditches in between.  Each row is then planted with at least three plants of each vegetable next to each other.  So there’s three heads of cabbage or cauliflower or broccoli, etc., across the hill in each row.  Not sure I explained that well, but I hope you can figure out what I mean.  I find all of this very interesting.  I’ve also heard that it can take up to two weeks for a head of lettuce, for instance, to make it to a northern store after it has been picked.  I just never thought about that before. You folks in the north will just have to drool over the difference in taste with fresh vegetables that I have compared to what you are getting in the stores in winter.  Thinking smile

Several of the ladies here in the volunteer village have been busy baking away and providing sweet treats to everyone to help celebrate the holiday season.  I don’t do much baking of cookies and breads and such, so it has really been a tasty treat for me.  If I baked two dozen cookies, they’d probably be hard as a rock before I ever finished them.  I’m more of a salty crunchy snack person.

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So, today while in town I gathered the ingredients for Cheesy Pretzels.  It takes three days before these pretzels are ready, but they are delicious.  I haven’t made them in quite a few years as three pounds of pretzels is more than even I can consume before they get punkie.  I’m kind of wishing there was an HEB in Arizona as they have more interestingly shaped pretzels.  You need three different kinds, and at HEB I’ve found pretzels with Texas shapes such as cowboy boots, the Texas state outline, and even Christmas shapes.

Just after sunset tonight, Emma went berserk in the rig.  I guess she saw something out the front window.  Probably a coyote by the way she was carrying on.  I had to chuckle out loud as her barking resonated in the Thunder Gourd I have hanging down from the driver’s side sun visor.  It was like surround sound barking!  The coyotes sure got the message, and took up howling and yipping away not too far from the rig.  The Chicago Symphony Orchestra never sounded like this!  It wasn’t Ferde Grofe’s ‘Grand Canyon Suite’, but it may have been ‘Emma’s Imperial Desert Suite’.  Winking smile

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                                                                              THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

20 comments:

  1. You should share your recipe for cheesy pretzels! That farmers market looks fantastic! Fresh is so much better! Lucky you! :)

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  2. I am fortunate to have fresh produce year around and I'm so grateful for it. I couldn't ever open a can of vegetables again, nor do I even like frozen (unless I freeze it myself). I also have always preferred salty to sweet, but now I devour anything I can get my hands on.

    That little birdie is so pretty.

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  3. I loved your desert concert. Way to go Emma. I like both the sweet and the salty and preferably together.

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  4. Something I've learned in my salad days (er...when I was leading large groups) is that if you want to keep your audience active and awake when you have a dull subject, give them sweets in the morning and salty things in the afternoon. Now I'd never admit to delivering a dull subject, but...

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  5. ...and the recipe for "cheesy pretzels is???????

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  6. You captured the red on the verdin's shoulder... how neat is that! Oh my... those fresh veggies.... love 'em!

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  7. Okay, you got me. What's a "punkie pretzel"? I'm already confused enough with my new computer without you adding to my confusion with these technical terms... :cD

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  8. One more vote for the Cheesy Pretzel recipe! :)

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  9. I am not much for iceberg, liking the darker leafed varieties. But fresh no matter what kind, is always welcome. While in Amish country in PA. earlier in the month we got HUGE cabbage for $1.00 and enormous cauliflower for $1.50. Looking forward to getting to the Rio Grande Valley for their oranges and grapefruit. Having different fresh local produce for various parts of the country is just one more benefit of the vagabond lifestyle.

    Good Emma - keep those coyotes at bay.

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  10. Our MH was parked right by a field of celery last year when we were in Yuma...we woke up every morning to the wonderful smell of fresh celery. I was amazed by all the fields of veggies and even more amazed at how they are picked and packaged right in the field.
    I spent more than an hour yesterday searching in my new Sibley Bird guide looking for the Verdin. And finally identified it. Can you believe we had one on our Hummingbird feeder yesterday as well? My first time to see one! I actually got a picture of the Verdin and a Anna's Hummingbird sharing an afternoon snack!

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  11. Fog is something we rarely see in the desert.

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  12. Love "Emma's Imperial Desert Suite". Too funny. I love to hear coyotes howling. This NWR sure is in a fabulous area and your site move was A#1. Can't believe that fog. I've never seen a Verdin. Too cute! I wonder what will eventually happen to all those delicious looking vegetables once the water wars officially begin?

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  13. Amazing photo of the Verdin leaning in to sup from the feeder -- agile little feller! Neat to see. Don't know that I've ever seen one before, but, then again, as you say, they don't hold still long enough to get a good look! Our little birds are "drowning" in NorCal! :- )

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  14. The produce in that area is amazing. Excellent photos as usual.

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  15. Fabulous pictures of that Verdin. I don't know that I have ever seen one. Farmers have really had to expand in order to make a living. Our farm used to grow a couple of crops ( cotton and something for rotation) and now my brother does 7 or 8 per year.

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  16. I like the cabbage shot with the mountains in the background...all the crops remind me of south Texas...and no, you can't beat fresh!!!

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  17. I especially like the mind image of Emma's bark resonating and multiplying!

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  18. I love the sound of coyotes, I'm sure I won't be hearing it for awhile now that camping season is done for me. I'll have to live vicariously through you and everyone else out there on the road this winte.r

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