Monday, July 21, 2014

Little monsters!

They do grow so fast! I hope they fledge soon and give Mrs Junco a chance for one more nest this season.  I thought I saw some mating behaviour going on, the male seemed to have erected his head feathers a little bit, and was cheeping away at his lady with his tail raised. I wonder if they'll reuse this nest, or build a third?

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Just made some easy, amazing soup for dinner!  Here's what I did:

10-12ish tomatoes, from the garden if possible, EXTREMELY ripe and delicious.  I'm growing Early Girls and some volunteer cherry plants that popped up from last year's lost fruit.  The EGs do have quite thick skin, and are determinate, which is actually a bit annoying for growing them in a pot - the weight of the fruit dragged the branches down, and they were damaged by the rim of the pot.  Next year I'll go back to a vining type in a cage.
4+ spring onions - mine grew from offcuts of bought green onions, re-rooted in a jar of water, then planted in a pot for a month or so.
8ish garlic cloves
10ish mushrooms
1 cob of corn

Cut tomatoes in half and put, cut side up, on a baking tray with edges.  Olive oil and S&P generously, then roast all veggies in a 450dg oven for 20-30 min til crispy and brown.

Veggies just going in.  Note brioche rolls proving in oven - also mmm!
Heat a glug of olive oil to medium in your big saucepan or stockpot (I really need a new one) and gently saute a few handfuls chopped herbs.  I used sage, rosemary, marjoram and parsley, since that's what's in the garden.  Whack all the veggies (except corn) into your pot, add a box of chicken or veggie stock, and heat through.  Actually, I cut about half of the corn off the cob and added that too, come to think of it.  Blend til smooth, I used the immersion blender, which is awesome for such applications.

I served it with an "iceberg" of sour cream and a drizzle of basil parsley oil, and the remaining corn kernels.  I also baked the brioche rolls you see in the picture from this recipe, although I used 3 cups of AP flour and 1/2 cup of gluten, which led to a stiff but workable dough.  I'll make them a bit smaller next time, and maybe use milk instead of eggwash to glaze - they smelled a bit too eggy for my taste.  I'll put burgers on them tomorrow!


I think there's two of them, and I think they're both cowbirds... 

Well, they've hatched.  See the rejected egg still over on the righthand side?  And the whitish egg is also unhatched.  When I Google "junco hatchling" most of the pics I see have dark coloured down.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Four eggs again

I saw both juncos in the bird bath so took the opportunity to snap another of the nest in better light. That one egg on the edge of the nest looks a bit precarious!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Four eggs

I feel like someone is messing with me.  I went to see if Mrs J was at home, and she wasn't, so I stuck my camera in the nest and...

Just like the last nest, there's one unspeckled egg!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A new nest.

The juncos have decided my back patio is no good.  We spotted them nesting in the little shrub out the front of our house, by the garage.  I took a closer look, and found the nest, which, 3 days ago, was empty.  I chanced another look this afternoon, and found...

Think that top left egg might be a cowbird's? It's a slightly different size, shape and colour :)