The B-Roll

Baby

It’s about to happen. The first brood of bluebirds nesting in my garden will fledge any day now. Unlike April the Giraffe, this mama’s accomplishment probably won’t go viral.

DSC_0444 (2)
Bird watcher watching the bird watcher

checking_in

Don’t make me come in there!

No matter, it has been my pleasure to hear chirps of delight with each delivery of some tender morsel that managed to escape, one of what is sure to be countless, pesticide applications in our community this year. Homeowners and city officials alike seem to have little regard for the damage being done to beneficial insect populations in the name of vigilance against West Nile.

fking
Chemical dependent f King species

Just like abstinence only education, constant spraying does not prevent mosquito hook ups from happening whenever the mood strikes. I digress.

alert
Be sure to get my good side.

Birds, bees, and blooms are putting on quite a show for us. We even had a surprise visit by a bobcat on Easter Sunday. Similar to the war on mosquitos, over-development has all but eliminated the wildlife habitat in North Texas. There I go again.

bird_dash

B_Roll

DSC_0150

Still, spring is a magical time filled with bullfrog serenades in the evenings and butterflies beginning to find their way back to the Texas natives seeded on the Wild West side of the garden, which I was surprised to learn almost got me fined by our HOA.

Oh, the perils of civilization!

bird_on_a-wire

DSC_0286 (3)

IrisColumbineDSC_0146

2017creatures  DSC_0324

DSC_0634 (2)

Concerning A Visit To The Pacific Northwest

dsc_2099

Like Lewis and Clark, only with internet access, my Loyal Follower and I investigate places we want to explore when we have the opportunity to travel for pleasure. It’s important to us to jam as much fun as we can into a long weekend make the most of our time. Travel sites are great for getting a general idea of what to see and where to stay, but if you want to know what the locals know, it’s best to go to the source. A few years ago blogger Allan Smorra helped us discover the wondrous world beyond the Golden Gate Bridge and we had the good fortune to meet Allan in San Francisco.

We recently ventured west again for a getaway, this time to Oregon, and once again a blogger provided the inside scoop that made our trip extra special. It was a pleasure to meet Mark Petruska and his charming wife, Tara. They treated us to a taste of Portland I will not soon forget. Funky, and more than a little freaky, Rimsky-Korsakoffee House was the perfect ending to our Pacific Northwest adventure. Thanks, Mark & Tara!

img_1922

I emailed Mr. Petruska with a vague request and he replied promptly with generosity above and beyond the call of a virtual friend, proving bloggers truly are the salt of the earth. Speaking of salt, Jacobsen Salt was on our list of stops. It was not meant to be.

TRAVEL HINT: Do Not Rent A Vehicle From Budget. (Possible future rant including pics.)

dsc_1908-2

San Francisco is where clouds are born, but the Oregon Coast is where they are conceived. That’s right; Highway 101 between Astoria and Tillamook is where the action is. There were many, many photo ops along this route. I could have spent weeks capturing the scenery. This, too, was not meant to be. I only had four days. Of 200+ shots, only fifteen made this post. There are more to come. We packed a lot into our short stay.

dsc_2224

My impression of the Oregon Coast: go for the view, stay for the food.

Dynamic duo Bob Neroni and Lenore Emery, owners of EVOO Cannon Beach Cooking School, lovingly prepared pumpkin squash risotto hugged by sesame seared chanterelle mushrooms and kissed with a fresh Pecorino and beet tangerine slaw. This divinely inspired first course was paired with Neroni’s Chef’s Blend Oregon White. Ordinarily white wine is not my go to, but the crisp citrus notes and fresh peach finish was the perfect contrast to the velvety rich risotto.

img_2549

Next we enjoyed pan-seared rockfish topped with puttanesca & aioli sauce served with hand cut buttered linguini and lemon zested arugula salad. It was paired with Pete’s Mountain 2014 Haley’s Block Pinot Noir. 

img_2557

Just when I thought I could not eat another bite, a cast iron grilled NY striploin with pomegranate wine reduction was served with potatoes, carrots & Brussel sprouts. This taste of heaven was accompanied by J.Scott Cellars 2014 Petite Verdot.

img_1877

No gastronomic excess is complete without dessert, and right on schedule a warm gingerbread spice-chocolate soufflé dressed in white chocolate sauce cozied up next to orange sorbet and salted candied orange peel & nut brittle for the big finish. This sweet shot is a bit out of focus as I was feeling quite dizzy by this point in the meal.

img_2567

While in Cannon Beach we also ate at Sweet Basil’s Café twice. It was that good. Insomnia Coffee and Sea Level Bakery and Coffee gave us scrumptious sustenance between feedings.

dsc_1848

dsc_2192

dsc_2350-2

dsc_2122-2img_2565-2

img_2562

Note: No calories were counted during this trip.

img_1846