Saturday, June 20, 2009

A fun Saturday

Fish Lake on a cloudless, sunny day



Kind of a steamy Saturday. I woke up early and did an 11 mile run. It was humid and there was not a cloud in the sky, so the day heated up quickly. By the time I had finished, it was already creeping into the 70's with a dew point in the 60's. I was drenched!

Nice morning for wildlife. I saw five bunnies for a respectable .45 Bunnies Per Mile ratio. I saw many catbirds, robins, I heard a hawk whistling, and I found another pair of sedge wrens in a swamp south of me. My neighborhood must have been invaded by them this year!

Around noon, I ventured up to the Elm Creek Park Reserve to do some hiking around. The place was a zoo. It was in the mid 80's and their man-made swimming lake is open, so that place was packed. However, once I got past the parking lot, I was able to escape the crowds.

I made an interesting discovery; I found this little black butterfly along one of the trails. I had never seen anything like this before. He was kind enough to sit still for some pictures so I could at least identify it. A few e-mail exchanges with Mom and Dad, and we figured out it is called a red-spotted purple. What a pretty little guy!

A red-spotted purple butterfly at Elm Creek Park



Other highlights included watching a mother cedar waxwing feeding berries to her baby, who was the same size as her! I also saw a green heron, American redstart, more catbirds, and...you guessed it...even more sedge wrens. 2009 is the year of the sedge wren. I am declaring it so!

A blooming wild rose along one of the trails at Elm Creek



For tonight's dinner, I revived an old school lunch cafeteria classic; tater tot hot dish! Ground beef, cream of (your choice) soup, French cut green beans, and tater tots over the top. Yum!

Hot out of the oven



To do it right, I really believe you need to use cream of mushroom AND cream of celery soup. The celery just adds a different dimension to the dish. And while this has always been considered something of a lowbrow kids meal, I have corrected this with the use of sauteed crimini mushrooms, fresh thyme and parsley, and my cheddar cheese that I won at the Udder Run last week. :)

School lunch never tasted so good!



Not a bad Saturday so far. What is this? There is NASCAR night racing on ESPN2 in less than an hour?

Saturdays rock.

Until next time,

Jean
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