The Kaleberg Journal - March 2019


03/12 - Various March Birds

This hasn't been a good year for hiking, but it has been a good year for bird watching. The eagles are easy to spot from the Dungeness Dike, and we saw a hummingbird in a bush right near the trail. There was a woodpecker on the forested part of the walk to Dungeness Spit, and a big hawk in a tree as we headed west from the Morse Creek parking lot.

A big hawk

Just some trees, unless you look closely

They're full of eagles.

A hummingbird at rest

A hummingbird in motion

The sea and sky off Dungeness Spit

A woodpecker at work on the trail

Keywords: birds, dungeness, dungeness spit, eagle, morse creek


03/10 - Pineapple Upside Down Cake

We love pineapple upside down cake, but it has been hard to find a good recipe. Too many of them use whole wheat flower and taste dark and gritty. Others are dry, as if they need to be soaked in pineapple juice to be made edible. We spent years trying to make this classic dessert, then we gave up, for years.

More recently, we decided to make our own version. We use Edna Lewis's caramel cake recipe for the cake and an improvised pineapple topping that starts on the bottom.


Pineapple upside down cake
The cake is simple, if you know how to make cakes from scratch. If you don't, it's worth learning how.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CAKE BATTEWR

  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CAKE BATTER
  1. Cream the butter. Smoosh it with a fork. Smoosh it with the flat of your hand. It helps to get leave the butter out of the refrigerator for an hour or so. That makes it easier to smoosh.
  2. Use a fork and smoosh in the sugar until it is dissolved in a gritty mixture.
  3. Stir in the two eggs. This will make it creamier.
  4. Add one cup of the flour, the baking powder and the salt. Start smooshing it into the mix.
  5. When the flour starts to mix in, add 1/3 cup of milk, the vanilla and the lemon.
  6. When this starts turning into a soppy mess, add the other cup of flour.
  7. When the soppy mess has dried a bit, add the final 1/3 cup of milk.
  8. Keep stirring until you have a smooth cake batter.
Now for the assembly. You'll want an 11" x 11" cake pan. You can probably use a 10" x 10" or a 12" x 12", but we haven't tried it. You'll also want some baker's parchment to line the cake pan. INGREDIENTS FOR THE PINEAPPLE TOPPING
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • 1 can crushed pineapple or pineapple rings
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Optional: maraschino cherries
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE PINEAPPLE TOPPING
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Butter the cake pan and line it with parchment. We just fold one sheet to cover the bottom. There's no reason to line the sides.
  3. Melt the butter in the microwave and pour it into the cake pan.
  4. Spread out the brown sugar and sprinkle in the salt.
  5. If you want a pretty topping, you can make a pattern with pineapple rings and maraschino cherries.
  6. Drain and squeeze the crushed pineapple and fill in any gaps or just use 1 1/2-2 cans worth to line the entire cake pan.
  7. Pour in the cake batter.
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes. Ovens vary. It might take 20 minutes.
  9. When you can stick a butter knife into the cake and it comes out with no uncooked batter stuck to it, the cake is done.
  10. Let the cake cool.
  11. Turn the cake pan over. The cake should slide out. The bottom will become the topping.

Keywords: recipe


03/09 - Another March Day in Seattle

We spent a second day in Seattle and walked from the UW subway station to Foster Island and on the Arboretum. We are desperate for signs of spring.

The waterway

A long shadow

To Marsh Island by causeway

Coots - There were lots of coots.

On Marsh Island

A sign of spring!

To Foster Island

Another causeway

Back east these would be pyracantha

New green leaves

Witch hazel still in bloom

Keywords: seattle, spring


03/08 - A March Day in Seattle

Text of entry goes here

Mount Rainier as seen from the Bainbridge ferry

Winter blooms at the Ballard Locks

A big flock of docks at the locks

Hellebores

One of the sea ducks

Winter berries

Early, hardy pansies

Mahonia

Crockett and Tubbs - 1980s Miami VIce retro

An honest accountant

Bateau's frankfurter, but the steaks are better.

Keywords: ducks, seattle, winter


03/02 - Winter on the Elwha

Just about all of the snow has melted in Port Angeles and Sequim, so we were surprised to see how much snow was still on the ground just west of town. We made our way to the parking lot at Madison Falls at the current end of Olympic Hot Springs Road and explored the winter paradise. There was bright sun, black water and white snow. We followed the track made by other hikers and cross country skiers past the mule camp, now with its electric fence removed. We were relieved when we made it to some shade and delighted when we made it past the corner where we had an excellent view of the river.

As noted above, the water was almost black and framed by the brilliant white snow. The trees were gray and bare. We continued along the road, lured by the snow capped mountains beyond. There is almost never this much snow in this area. This has been a very snowy winter. We made it to the first river crossing where the park service usually has a small metal truss bridge except that the bridge was gone. The channel ran dark and deep before us. No fools, we turned around and made our way back to Madison Falls.

While the hiking is rather limited, it was well worth coming out and exploring. There is that back trail around the flooded area, but we've yet to try it. For now, at least, we'll enjoy that part of the river that we can get to.


The Elwha River

Olympic Hot Springs Road near the mule camp

A view of the Elwha

Another view of the Elwha

Ditto

Brilliant sun and black water

The end of the road

Another view ...

... and yet another

Sparkling water

The mountains, still beckoning

Keywords: elwha, winter


The Kaleberg Journal - February 2019


02/28 - Dungeness Spit

In case you are wondering what happened to us in February, we were sick. We caught some kind of monster cold, possibly in Bhutan, more likely in Bangkok on the way home, but possibly even back home in Port Angeles. We have been recovering, and even took a short walk on the Dungeness Spit. It was a nice low tide and the walking conditions were excellent with lots of sand. The spit can be rough going in the winter offering a choice of slippery rocks or too soft sand. This year the walking was just right.

Exceptionally clear air - Mount Baker and the Dungeness Light

Good walking conditions on the spit

Ribsy, or what is left of it

Heading south, into the sun

The spit from above

Keywords: dungeness spit, winter


02/03 - Goodbye to Bhutan

We flew out of the airport in Paro heading towards Bangkok. The approach is probably a pilot's nightmare with the plane corkscrewing to gain altitude in the narrow valley. Then we were over the base cloud layer, leaving Bhutan.

Back in Paro

Another view of the dzong

From a distance

At an angle - The acceleration threw off our sense of level during takeoff.

The base cloud layer

Keywords: bhutan


02/02 - Last Walk in Bhutan

Our flight from Paro to Bangkok was in the afternoon, so in the morning we took a short walk near the hotel. The sun was shining, and the great snow covered mountain, Jomolhari, was brilliant in the distance. We took one last walk through the forests, the town and the fields and enjoyed the improved weather. Odds were good for our flight to Bangkok. We weren't getting a bonus day.

The manicured forest around Amankora

Jomolhari

A fairy tale setting

One of the local birds

Another wagtail

The mountain village

Another fairy tale view

Country scene

More mountains

View from the forest

Jomolhari again

Another mountain friend

View of the valley

Another view

OK, We're getting sentimental.

Village house

A road side wagtail

Country lane

We'll be back.

Keywords: bhutan


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