Monday, August 22, 2016

Paradise ponders...

Paradise ponders...  Yesterday morning, early, Debbie and I took a drive to Hardware Ranch and the 5M Ranch on the way to Ant Flats.  There were two highlights for us. 

First, near the dammed lake on the way to Hardware Ranch we saw two moose: a mama and her baby.  Baby was about the size of a VW Bug, and mama most of a locomotive.  Those things are big.  They were south of the road about 200' when we first pulled up to watch, but within a minute or so they ambled off into the willows lining the river.  It was quite impressive how fast those two monsters totally disappeared into the cover.  For a little while we could see the willows twitching, then ... nothing.  You'd never know they were there. 

Later, very close to Hardware Ranch itself, we saw a tiny little chipmunk very busy eating the seeds from mature grasses near his rock.  He'd climb up a stalk, bite off the seeds, then retreat to peel them all off and stuff them in his (tiny little) cheeks.  You might wonder why we'd be excited to see a chipmunk.  Here's why: squirrels and chipmunks are almost completely absent from the areas near us, as are rabbits.  We very occasionally see a rabbit up in the mountains, and even more rarely a squirrel.  This was the first chipmunk we'd seen since moving here two and a half years ago.  We can't figure out why this is true.  It looks to our eyes like rodent heaven here, both in the mountains and in the valleys.  It's a mystery to us.

Later in the day I made a new dish for us.  Besides tasting good, we're also trying to lower sodium and raise calcium.  I started with a steak, but used Mrs. Dash (zero sodium) seasoning instead of our usual salt-based seasoning.  Then I warmed up some corn tacos, mashed some avocado, chopped some Napa cabbage, and made a drizzle of sour cream, lemon, onion, oregano, and cilantro.  I sliced the steak into thin pieces.  All that made a nice taco kit, and we disappeared the whole thing.  Along with a can of low-sodium refried beans that were surprisingly good.  We weren't hungry for a while after that! :)

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