photography:: wrapping up my trip to Bermuda

While it was not my intent to drag on the Bermuda posts for 2 months, that is exactly what I have done…

If you need to get caught up, here are the other posts:

https://yarnchick.com/2015/11/25/photography-a-little-island-time/

https://yarnchick.com/2015/12/08/photography-more-island-time/

https://yarnchick.com/2015/12/10/photography-day-two/

https://yarnchick.com/2016/01/05/photography-day-two-part-two/

When my Mom does something, she has lots of follow-through.  She not only grew them, but hand delivered them on 3 occasions back to Bermuda.  The baby plantlets were carefully placed back in their natural habitat over the past 5 years.  It takes a little hike into the woods, then some climbing, and then even more creative cave navigation to get to the site.  But we did it & it was great to see some of them thriving!  Of course, not all the previously reintroduced plants survived, but more are making it to adulthood than ever before.

This is where the adventure began…quite a fairly-tale entrance to the woods if you ask me. 




The “FAB FIVE OF FERNS”


We went back later to work a little in the lab, and then all of our work duties were complete. So we spent the next 2 days taking in the sights and being tourists.
  
  

Not surprisingly, my favorite part of the tourist portion of our trip was spent hiking and photographing at Horseshoe Bay.  Lots of cool stuff to explore, very few people because it was the off-season, and ocean spray photo-ops galore.  


  
  

 Thanks for stopping by to share my journey!

photography:: day two, part two

Not that my last post explained it all or that this post will either, but I feel the need to expand a bit and show you more of Nonsuch Island before we move on to the fern reintroduction site.  Since it is so rare that the average tourist gets to see this microcosm of how Bermuda is supposed to be without human intervention, it only seems right to share.  Alison (our friend from the Ministry of the Environment) cares so deeply for her country, that she nearly had all of us tearing up when she said off the cuff that Nonsuch is how her Bermuda looked 400 years ago.  I guess you had to be in the moment there, but the pride in her voice was intense.

So without further ado, these are a few more of the sights from our hike up and down and around Nonsuch Island.

   

    
    
                                               

  

Thanks for stopping by!

photography:: day two

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Bermuda is actually a 22 mi. long island with many small islands surrounding it.  As you will notice in my photos, some are very, very tiny.  The only other island we visited in the area was Nonsuch Island.  It is a protected habitat with only a few regular conservationist employees and it requires a permit to visit.  Since we were there for the purpose of conservation, we were granted a permit and were given a fantastic tour by Jeremy, the scientist who has devoted his entire adult life to saving 1 species of bird, the Cahow.  They look much like a small version of albatross, and when he began working on Nonsuch there were only 2 mating pairs.  Each couple spends about 3 years digging an underground nest in the side of the cliff.  Not only do they dig back into the cliff, but then they carve out an escape tunnel straight up to the surface as well.  Crafty little things, aren’t they?  Once they have survived 3 or so years of making the perfect nest, then they finally take the plunge and decide to have a baby.  So yeah, they were nearly extinct.  There are now at least 141 mating pairs on Nonsuch!

Hurray for bird-sex!

So, in the following shots you will see my trek to Nonsuch starting at the dock on the main island, the boat ride, the visitor’s learning center, and Jeremy’s domain from buildings to birds.  This was my absolute favorite day of my trip and I took hundreds of photos during the 5-ish hour excursion.  I hope you enjoy!

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~the ‘Sunshine House’, also the house Bermuda said NOPE to Oprah when she wanted to move there~

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~this is where H. Ross Perot ended up after his career in the US, not too shabby for a family compound…~

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~and this is where Silvio Berlusconi hides out~

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~fyi…that is a 400 year-old toilet.  on the edge of a cliff above the ocean. with gun turrets. and a very very large cactus growing at the base of the exit chute.  and I laughed very very hard about this~

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~Jeremy told us to ‘hang on, let me grab a bird for you’~

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~he then proceeded to measure and weigh and do sciency things~

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~private, protected, un-touched beaches = paradise~

photography:: more island time

Thanks again to all who took time to read and/or comment on my previous post.  I try to keep things on topic here at yarnchick40, but I’m a real person that just needs to write sometimes.  And it’s my blog.  And I can be fickle if I want 🙂 And I’m really happy that you still visit even though I AM fickle occasionally. 

Talk about the perfect time to go to a tropical paradise, right?  While things were getting more blustery on the plains, I was soaking up the sun, hiking, descending into caves, and totally geeking out over a secluded conservation island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

I’m not sure how much you’re into over-kill explanations,  but I learned so much stuff that I want to remember.  If all my droning on and on gets to you…just hush and look at the pretty pictures 🙂

In my first post about Bermuda, I stopped after being in the country for all of 4 hours…there is oh-so-much-more!

Before we could even get to our bed and breakfast style hotel, we got to meet Alison & her boss.  Alison is my Mom’s main contact with the Ministry of Magic (the Environment actually) in Bermuda.  The way we met her boss was quite unorthodox.  As we wrapped up our little stroll through Kim’s gardens we were greeted with a couple of very large and very dead piranha fish dangling from a man’s blood covered hands.  It took a moment to process that he was not in fact bleeding, but the fish were.  These are believed to be pet fish that someone dumped in a protected park’s pond.  Remember kids, spay & neuter your pets, or don’t try exotics if you won’t be their forever home.

They sure get huge, no?

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Because Bermuda is such a small bit of land in a vast ocean, when a non-native species of anything is introduced it can have a big impact.  At the Ministry, they spend the better part of their jobs working to conserve the natural species and minimize the damage done by invasive species.  Unfortunately over the years many, many invasive non-native species of plants and animals have wreaked havoc on the little island.  We learned about at least 50 different plants & animals from Alison that had changed their ecosystem.  She was a wealth of knowledge and interesting to listen to, and of course patient with all of our curiosity.  We must have sounded hilarious with all of our questions.  Or super annoying, but she was a trooper!

We finished up day one by Alison driving us back to our b-n-b (that didn’t serve breakfast???) through the narrow & twisting roads.  Once we were settled in, we got a taxi and headed to the grocery to get outrageously priced food to stock our kitchenette.  Nearly everything in the stores is imported and consequently we had some sticker shock.  A baguette that I normally pay $1 for in the States was $5, a dozen eggs ran $7 and convenience foods were marked up even more.  Needless to say, we decided to divide & conquer to purchase supplies that were healthy, easy to cook and complemented each other to cover some of our meals.  As you can imagine, with having to use a taxi every time we wanted to leave (there is literally no place to walk but in the middle of the narrow roads) and with the cost of goods, restaurant food was super pricey.  The locals eat deli-style food for lunch when out & about so we followed their lead.  It was delicious and more reasonably priced, but the cheapest you could get a lunch was about $20.  Sit-down dinners were close to $40 per person before buying alcoholic beverages.  Needless to say, I did not imbibe at those prices.  I also felt like I needed to be the protector of my mother & her assistant in a foreign country.  Listen to me trying to be Miss Badass ~ ha!

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~this was the view from our balcony, aren’t the colors divine?~

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~ this is a wall of rock and vegetation mere inches from the edge of the roadway, hence the reason taxis were a necessity~

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Up next:: my visit to Nonsuch Island where you will meet the guy who calls this his office…

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~that’s a ‘wish you were here’ postcard shot~

life:: eulogy

IMG_2924We’re going to take a moment here to mourn the loss of my Annie Annie.  She passed away of a heart attack too young, after recently retiring from the corporate life to pursue her dream and open a cake decorating business.  She was my fairy godmother and yes, I realize I didn’t call her my Aunt Ann because although she had 26 nieces and nephews, she was MY Annie Annie.  (I often stressed that to my cousins back in the day.)

On the day I was born, she gave me my most cherished childhood toy, my Buffy Puppy.  Recently, I had worked at re-creating Buffy for a pattern to share here.  I wanted other kids to be able to love a stuffed toy that much too.  That is how much it meant to me. Although it’s not done, I now feel the need to work harder at perfecting the pattern.

  That is one overly loved stuffed toy ~ poor thing has seen better days.  But hey, Buffy is 47 years old…cut her some slack.

When I was a small child, Ann moved from the country with my Grandma Amy to the big city.  She lived with my family for a time in the 70’s before getting her own apartment.  She was a godmother, a big sister, and a spare mom all in one while she lived with us.  At the time, I was still the only child so it was awesome to have another playmate to annoy at all possible moments of the day.  She was a captive audience.  And what an audience she was.  She was so present in every moment.  When I spent time with my Annie Annie she made me feel heard, cared for, and that time spent being silly was never wasted.  She had a wonderful sense of humor and never let me forget that I announced as a child I should be addressed as ‘Lisa Victoria From the First’. She would also play loud music on her record player in the basement and we would have dance parties to ‘Benny and the Jets’, or ‘My Baby Does the Hanky Panky’ which would invariably end in both of us collapsing in giggles.  She added so much to my love of silly.

In the 80’s, I had the first real and true scare in my life.  Ann had cancer.  Ann survived with courage and grace.  She lived very far away by then, but came home often and I took every opportunity I could to spend time with her finding our silly.

Fast forward to my 30’s and I got the next real and true scare of my life.  I had cancer. My Annie Annie was there for me.  There were so many questions and she was patient and helped me through all of the answers.  She coached me through surviving with courage and as much grace as I could muster.  She was a calm voice, a cheerleader, a fairy godmother.

When my father got diagnosed with cancer next, I relied on all of her advice to help coach him through too.  I tried to pass it all on, pay it all forward.  I think I helped, and I owe it to my Annie Annie for the strength be his calm voice and his cheerleader.

This spring, she finally was able to retire at 68 from her day job.  She was starting her next career.  I was so excited for her.  She had recently called me to tell me that she had finally picked a name for her new endeavor.  She was calling it Annie Annie’s Cakes.  That was so sweet, it bought tears to my eyes.

She was so special.

She will be missed.

My life has been made better by having her in it.

photography:: a little island time

As you may or may not know, my Mom is a plant scientist.  She is also an extreme conservationist. By extreme, I mean she is a save-plants-from-extinction kind of extreme conservationist.  She is pretty awesome.

Ten plus years ago, she received a request from the government of Bermuda to help them save a fern. There were only 3 plants left in the world.  So she traveled there to get samples and brought them back to do her magic. I think she has an enchanted blender & beaker collection in her lab where she mixes and stirs and sprinkles fairy dust. Then in a poof of smoke, hundreds of baby plantlets appear in petri dishes.   After a little growing time, she returns them to the wild. Actually, a lot of growing time because these ferns are finicky.  Pretty awesome, right?

These baby fern plantlets have to be hand carried back to Bermuda to be handed off to their government officials who then give them more growing time before reintroducing them to their native habitat. Lucky for them, I needed to be one of those hand carriers this time.  So, we hopped on a plane with bags of petri dishes filled with baby fern plantlets.

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This is Kim opening her haul of about 60,000 baby fern plantlets. She works at the Ministry of the Environment, aka the Ministry of Magic.  (I like to think I was brought along for comic relief. Scientists can be a tad on the serious side.)

We then wandered through Kim’s greenhouse & gardens. Excellent photo ops for someone like me who adores floral photography!  So enjoy these and I will be back in a few days with lots more photos of my amazing trip to Bermuda.

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food::annual pasta day

My friend Martha & I try to get at least 1 pasta making day in every fall in an attempt to fill our freezers with fettuccine & pierogi.  This year we recruited Darcy to help.  Frank had to work, so with just 3 of us, we still fit into my tiny kitchen.

That is 8 batches of dough resting.  What were we thinking?!

 

Martha is the KitchenAid queen.  I have given up on rolling the pasta.  As Darcy found out, it is NOT as easy as Martha makes it look.  She gave up within seconds of me taking this shot.  She and I are forever on measuring, mixing, and finishing duty.  We’re letting Martha stay the queen of her rolling domain.

See how pretty Martha makes it?  Yeah, she is a shoo-in for this part of the work. 

I love taking this same photo every year.  All that beautiful pasta drying is one of my favorite sights.  We work hard, but it is so worth it!

This year, we are planning a second pasta day because it never lasts long enough.  Next time, I will not only share more thrilling drying rack photos, but I’ll find links for the dough we use & get them posted for you.  We have done quite a bit of trial & error over the years, so we should have the perfect recipes to share.

Thanks for stopping by!

crochet:: random stuffage i’ve been making

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen all of these in the past few weeks and I’m so thankful that you follow me over there!  *cough*cough*only 4 people follow me but I love them for it*  I’ve had my ups and downs with Instagram, kind of fits and starts and quits and start-overs…I lost my first account and never really got into it and thought ‘do I really need more social media?’ and then I realized it was all in how you look at it.  If you see Instagram as more of a micro-blogging platform, then you tend to have a little more fun with it.  Or I do anyway, or something, or I dunno what was I saying?

Here are some pretty pictures to look at because I forgot where I was headed with that. We have various doll accessories, baby hats, and a throw-back to my childhood stuffed puppy (whose name is Buffy beeteedubs) 

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So anyway, I’m liking Instagram lots these days and I’m totally over the whole Facebook thing.  If you ask me, it is nearly worthless already with all the ads and anger and UGH…

 [Insert grumble grumble algorithm bulls**t grumble]

And really, even my Yarnchick page gets only a pitiful 2 views whether I post daily or weekly or ignore it for months, and it just doesn’t generate any fun.  It hardly seems worth it when there are much more pleasant places to be like here, or Ravelry, or Instagram, or Pinterest.  At Instgram the focus is more on the art than the words…and maybe I like that more.  I mean, I can only be self-deprecatingly silly for so long and then I’ve worn out me welcome, right?

Not that I’m going anywhere soon, but my problem is that I’m finding less and less time to blog…how about you?  Do you like micro-blogging platforms?  Why or why not?

not just crochet:: how i spent a fall weekend

Because I am a homeowner, of course I spent much of the weekend fixing stuff. Stuff like cleaning the garage & gluing broken crap & vacuum maintenance.

Because duh, that’s most weekends. Amirite?!

BUT, because I am awesome at being a hermit and never leave my house, I was also able to finish up a few more desirable projects too.

My C~A~L socks are done & entered in the drawing for loads of squishy, pretty yarn…

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My ivy has been hung successfully…

it took 2 tries because I am pitiful at measuring sometimes 

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I got PUPPY TIME!!!

Alex’s girlfriend brought over these 2 for a play-date…PRECIOUS!

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Drumroll please…

I finished a spice rack up-cycling friggin masterpiece…

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Thank you to Martha for the donated old spice rack! My buttons are so OCD happy now😃

Thanks for stopping by!