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Chicken Fillets with Vegetables

Chicken Fillets with Vegetables ~ Paleo

Chicken Fillets with Vegetables ~ Paleo

Here’s another easy and tasty paleo meal ~ Chicken Fillets with Vegetables.

I should tell you upfront that I purposefully did not cook my vegetables all the way through as I wanted them to be crisp when bitten into.  Feel free to cook them first before adding them to the chicken if you prefer them well cooked.

What I like about this recipe is the ginger, Braggs liquid aminos and garlic taste.  It leaves a burst of flavor in your mouth.

Braggs Liquid Aminos

Braggs Liquid Aminos

But before you start prepping anything, you need to marinate your chicken once it’s cut up in bite sized pieces.  It’s a simple thing really ~ cut then add the chicken pieces to a bowl, sprinkle it with the liquid aminos, salt and pepper then set it aside for at least 20 minutes.

Marinated Chicken Tenders

Marinated Chicken Fillets

While the chicken is marinading, prep your vegetables and spices.  (The small glob of yellow is the grated ginger …)

Prep vegetables and spices

Prep vegetables and spices

Once the chicken is ready, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet set on medium then add the minced ginger and garlic.

Add garlic and ginger to skillet

Add garlic and ginger to skillet

Allow this to simmer for a minute or so before adding another tablespoon of olive oil then the chicken.

Add Chicken Fillets

Add Chicken Fillets

Next, and this is important, you need to make sure the chicken is cooked almost all the way through so toss it around ~ turning each piece to make sure it’s not going to be raw.  Raw is NOT good. The chicken below is only halfway cooked.

Stir Chicken Fillets until almost cooked

Stir Chicken Fillets until almost cooked

Next add your vegetables ~ broccoli and carrots ~ and stir.  When the chicken is thoroughly cooked, add a handful of cashews, stir and then …

Chicken Fillets with Vegetables ~ Paleo

Chicken Fillets with Vegetables ~ Paleo

Enjoy!

Here’s the recipe ~

Chicken Fillets with Vegetables

Chicken Fillets with Vegetables

Chicken Fillets with Vegetables ~ Paleo

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken tender fillets
  • 8 to 10 pieces mini carrots, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 stalk broccoli, cut into small pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated fine
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoons Amino Acids
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Cashews, handful (optional)

Instructions

  1. Clean then cut the chicken tenders into small bite size pieces.
  2. Add the chicken to a bowl along with 2 tablespoons amino acids, salt and pepper then mix it together and set it aside to marinate for 20-30 minutes.
  3. In a wok or other skillet, on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  4. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and the ginger and stir this around for a minute.
  5. Add the chicken to the skillet, turning occasionally until the chicken is almost cooked through.
  6. Once the chicken is almost cooked through, add another tablespoon of olive oil and amino acids.
  7. Add the broccoli and carrots then stir several times until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  8. Once the chicken is cooked, add a handful of cashews and stir this all together.
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Thinking Differently

Purple Hydrangea

Purple Hydrangea

On the east side of our house sits a hydrangea. Its growth is huge but we rarely get blossoms ~ except for this year.

The purple blossom burst into color late in the season.  Quite a difference from the pale color it started as.

Early Hydrangea Blossom

Early Hydrangea Blossom

As I pondered this, it made me think of my own life and how I have always thought “differently” ~ yet changing with time.

I remember over 35 years ago, I took a correspondence class to learn Fortran (computer programming). I diligently studied and sent my lessons in only to have them marked “incorrect, try again.”  The frustrating thing was that the answers were right but the steps I took to get to the answer were a little longer than their steps.

As much as I tried, I could not figure out how we both came to the same answer following different steps.  Yet they were saying my way was wrong.  Inside though, I knew I wasn’t wrong.  Different, yes.  Wrong, no.  Unfortunately I had to drop the class.

Has this ever happened to you?

I find many instances where my “thinking” is different from others and I’m looked at as odd. Of course, many times we don’t come up with the same conclusion ~ as with math which is a challenge for me.

Another example:  Not too long ago, my husband purchased an electric weed whacker. He put the battery in the charger and the next day it was ready to use. And so it was ~ another challenge that my “differently thinking” brain was going to have a hard time figuring out.

One day, a friend came to help me work in the yard and one of the things I asked him to do was use the weed whacker. We headed over to where it was charged and I unplugged the charger.  Then my brain went blank.

It looked easy enough but honestly, I had no idea what I was supposed to do with it.  I turned it around and around but normal logic did not kick in.

The picture below shows the battery in the charger.

img_6047

This next picture shows where the battery is supposed to go.  My brain knew “something gets plugged in here.” But as much as I wracked my brain, I could not figure out how to get the battery out of the charger.

img_6048

Such a simple thing ~ well, for most people.  I simply had to slide the battery off but as much as I tried, I could not figure out how to do it.

My friend saw my frustration, picked up the charger and slid the battery off. Just like that!  Now I know how to do it ~ the visual and hands-on training helped immensely.

img_6051

I have learned throughout the years that my logic and other people’s logic is not the same.  I used to get frustrated that I didn’t “get it” but I’ve since learned that being different doesn’t mean stupid or slow. I’m just wired in a special way.

This has actually made me more empathetic to others who are also “different minded.”

Any more specially wired people out there?

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Greek Stuffed Meatballs ~ Paleo

Paleo Baked Greek Stuffed Meatballs

Paleo Baked Greek Stuffed Meatballs

Not too long ago I received an advertisement in the mail for a subscription for two magazines for $10 for a whole year.

I don’t normally jump on offers like this but after mulling it over I decided, why not?  It’s cheap and it will give me a chance to check out the magazines which I don’t normally purchase.

One of the magazines is Better Homes and Garden and recently they had a recipe for Greek Stuffed Meatballs that are made in a crockpot.  Well, I am normally prepared.  Really, I am.  But on this day I was a little lazy and didn’t read all of the instructions until a couple hours before I needed to make the meatballs.  So ~ I had to improvise as I would have to bake them instead of “crockpotting” them.  (Is that a word?)

The other change I made in the recipe was to paleo-ize it which was quite simple ~ I merely changed out the bread crumbs for almond meal and it worked great!

I’ve seen this exact same recipe on other internet sites so I’m not sure who the original owner is but here is it for you to check out with my changes.  I must say, they turned out fantastic!  I even put them on my “favorites” list.

First, let’s talk about cheese.  I used Kerrygold sweet cheddar (which has just a touch of sweetness) for this recipe.

Kerrygold Sweet Cheddar Cheese

Kerrygold Sweet Cheddar Cheese

You can use any cheese you like although you want to be able to cut it in cubes (large or small).

Cut cheese up in small chunks

Cut cheese up in small chunks

Keep in mind that these cubes will go in the middle of your meatball.  I made large meatballs so sometimes I used two small pieces in a ball.

At first the recipe felt like it might have too many olives.  Is that even possible?  Well, you really don’t taste the olives as much as you would think because they are diced so don’t be afraid of that.

The mixture with the egg, almond meal, olives, parsley, garlic, salt & pepper will look like this.

Egg Mixture

Egg Mixture

And after you add the lamb and the beef it will look like this.

Greek Meatball Mixture

Greek Meatball Mixture

Now, it’s really a personal preference, but I like to use my hands to mix everything together and form it into balls.  If you decide to do this, please make sure your hands are really clean.  No use spreading any more germs in this already germ filled world.

I picked up enough of the meat mixture to put it in the palm of my hand, flatten it then add a piece or two of the cheese in it.  Then I covered the cheese with the meat mixture.

Making a Greek Meatball

Making a Greek Meatball

I had prepared a casserole dish for the meatballs by putting a couple tablespoons or so of tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish.

Cover bottom of casserole dish with tomato sauce

Cover bottom of casserole dish with tomato sauce

Then I added the meatballs to the dish.  You really don’t need to oil the dish as the meatballs let out enough grease on their own but I like to have the meatballs covered in sauce ~ both bottom and top.

And then ~ whala!

Unbaked Greek Stuffed Meatballs

Unbaked Greek Stuffed Meatballs

Next you spread the rest of your tomato sauce over the top of the meatballs, put aluminum foil over the casserole dish and plop it in the oven.

They will come out looking like this … not too pretty but that’s because of the grease that comes out of the meatballs.  You can pretty it up once it’s on the plate, eh?

Paleo Baked Greek Stuffed Meatballs

Paleo Baked Greek Stuffed Meatballs

Okay then ~ ready to see the recipe?  Enjoy!

Baked Greek Stuffed Meatballs ~ Paleo

Baked Greek Stuffed Meatballs ~ Paleo

Paleo Baked Greek Stuffed Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped black olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 6 ounces Kerrygold Sweet Cheddar cheese or a cheese of your own
  • Tomato Sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl beat the eggs.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the almond meal, green olives, black olives, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper then add this to the beaten eggs and mix together.
  4. Add the ground beef and ground lamb to the egg mixture then blend everything together. (Using clean hands will make this easier.)
  5. Using your hands, pick enough of the meat mixture up so that you can pat it down into the palm of your hand then add a cheese cube (or two) in the middle.
  6. Completely cover the cheese with the meat by forming it into a ball.
  7. In a casserole dish, spread a little bit of the tomato sauce on the bottom then add the meatballs to the dish and cover with tomato sauce.
  8. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  9. Bake approximately 35 minutes then remove the dish from the oven, turn the meatballs and put them back in the oven for another 10 minutes uncovered.
  10. (The above directions are for cooking in a convection oven. If you use a regular oven your cooking time may be a little bit more.)
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Da Bears!

Bear In Tree, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

Bear In Tree, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

Bears, bears and lots of bears.

We visited the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary on a trip we took to the Voyageurs National Park which is nearby.

The non profit sanctuary, located in Orr, Minnesota, was started by a man named Vince Shute who decided to stop shooting the bears that were coming on his property in search of food and instead make them a safe sanctuary where they could eat.  Trying to peacefully co-exist.

When we arrived, we were directed where to park and then we headed to the admission ticket booth where we paid $8 per adult. From there we stood in a line and waited for a shuttle bus to take us “up” to the sanctuary which is on a 1 mile gravel road.  Our driver warned us that bears roam freely here so we could see them at any time.

Once we arrived, we disembarked the shuttle bus and went through a caged type entrance to get to the viewing deck.  The viewing deck is long and heads in different directions so you can see bears on all sides.

Looking down from the deck, I noticed there were employees walking among the bears and putting food down for them.  They seemed unafraid and later I was told that there is a compound that they wear that the bears do not like to smell.

Although we were told that the food they give the bears is to supplement their diet, some of the bears looked overweight.  (Is that possible?)  I didn’t understand why bears would have to have a supplemental diet myself but … it is what is it.

Here are a few bear pictures.

The bear below was just lounging around.  You can see some of the food they give them underneath him.  Looks like he might be protecting it.

Bear, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

Bear, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

This fella looks like he was enjoying the smell of something in the air.

Bear, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

Bear, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

Although this bear was able to climb to the top of this tree stump, it appeared as if he was afraid to come down once the other bears came nearby.

Bears, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

Bears, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

This little guy was fast asleep.  Occasionally he would change positions.  How is it they don’t fall off?

Bear Cub in Tree, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

Bear Cub in Tree, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

Playing peek-a-boo with the cameras …

Bear, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

Bear, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

Bear, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

Bear, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

Doing the cha-cha-cha …

Bear, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

Bear, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

Mama bear with cubs … (one is hidden).

Bear, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

Mama Bear & Cub, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

It’s hard to know how many bears come here but there were quite a few ~ as in more than 40.

Bears, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

Bears, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

Well, have a beary nice day.  hahahaha

Bear, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

Bear, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary

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Buena Visa Park, Alma Wisconsin

Lock & Dam #4, Alma, Wisconsin

Lock & Dam #4, Alma, Wisconsin

A recent trip that took us through northern Illinois and then up through Wisconsin along the Mississippi River brought us to a small town called Alma, Wisconsin.

As we were driving through, I noticed a small gift store sign that my husband drove past and I asked him if we could go back and browse.  He immediately turned around.  Yay husband!

The “small” store, called Water Lily Gifts, wasn’t so small after all as both the main floor and the basement were filled with unique items that immediately captured my attention.  After paying for our purchase, we chatted with the store’s owner and it was then that he asked us if we had visited Buena Vista Park.  When we said no, he immediately said “You can’t leave town without going to Buena Vista.”

So we decided to take his advice. He walked us outside and gave us directions to the park. This was a friendly town indeed!

The store’s owner was right ~ this was one park we didn’t want to miss.

The drive up to the bluff was a winding one and reminded me of a mountain road in Puerto Rico that I had been on.  I was surprised to find farms way “up here.”

When we got out of the car, we noticed a road that went down to where the view is. It wasn’t too long of a road.

Road to Buena Vista Park, Alma, Wisconsin

Road to Buena Vista Park, Alma, Wisconsin

The park is just a portion of the 240,000 acre of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

Arriving at the end of the trail, the views took my breath away.

Buena Vista Park, Lost Islands, Alma, Wisconsin

Buena Vista Park, Lost Islands, Alma, Wisconsin

Part of the view is of Lock and Dam #4.

Lock & Dam #4, Alma, Wisconsin

Lock & Dam #4, Alma, Wisconsin

Here’s another view of the Lock & Dam.

Lock & Dam #4, Alma, Wisconsin

Lock & Dam #4, Alma, Wisconsin

Pretty, no?

Buena Vista Park,, Alma, Wisconsin

Buena Vista Park, Alma, Wisconsin

Lastly, here’s a picture of the plant next to the Mississippi River.

Buena Vista Park, Alma, Wisconsin

Buena Vista Park, Alma, Wisconsin

And to think ~ we almost passed up this jewel of a view.  It is definitely worth the time to visit.

 

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Baked Chicken With Broccoli & Cauliflower

Paleo Baked Chicken with Broccoli & Cauliflower

Paleo Baked Chicken with Broccoli & Cauliflower

I knew I wanted to have chicken today but wasn’t sure exactly what to have with it.

Looking in the refrigerator, I noticed some leftover cauliflower from last week’s meal along with broccoli and mushrooms.  Hmmm … I thought.  That’s a nice combination.

Taking the veggies out of the refrigerator, I rinsed them with cold water and cut them up into bite sized pieces.

The now defrosted bone-in skin-on chicken thighs sat waiting to be prepared.

I wanted this paleo Baked Chicken with Broccoli & Cauliflower recipe to be simple and easy so I decided to use only a few items to prepare it:  white pepper, onion powder, salt and toasted sesame seeds.  I tossed a little of each over the chicken thighs.

To give this meal a little flavor, I used toasted sesame oil to toss the veggies in ~ just enough to make them glisten.

Spices

Spices

I added the prepared chicken to a greased casserole dish then arranged the veggies around it.

Unbaked Chicken with Broccoli & Cauliflower

Unbaked Chicken with Broccoli & Cauliflower

One thing I noticed while preparing the chicken is that one of the pieces was a lot smaller than the other three.  That’s important because it means they will bake differently, i.e., the small one will be very well done.  Oh well, I won’t worry about it.

I used the convection baking setting on my oven to bake this casserole.  If you decide to make this recipe and use the regular baking setting, just know that it will take a little longer so you’ll have to check on it periodically  (I usually poke a chopstick in the chicken to see if blood comes out ~ no blood means it’s ready.)

Alright then, enough of my chatting here.  Ready to see this recipe?

Baked Chicken With Broccoli & Cauliflower

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Baked Chicken With Broccoli & Cauliflower

Paleo Baked Chicken with Broccoli & Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs, bone-in skin-on, cleaned and trimmed
  • Cauliflower (half, cut in bite sized pieces)
  • Broccoli, cut in bite sized pieces
  • Mushrooms, 5 large, sliced
  • White pepper, to taste
  • Toasted sesame seeds, a sprinkling
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. After trimming and cleaning the chicken, season it with white pepper, onion powder, salt and the sesame seeds on both sides then set this aside.
  3. After cleaning the veggies and cutting them into bite sized pieces, add them to a small bowl and toss with the sesame oil. Add enough of the oil until the veggies are shiny.
  4. Add the prepared chicken to an oiled casserole dish then toss the veggies into the same dish.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes in a convection oven until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. (Note: In a regular oven this recipe can take 10-15 more minutes to bake.)
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Enjoy!

For additional paleo recipes, click here.

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Easy Roasted Cauliflower

Easy Roasted Cauliflower

Easy Roasted Cauliflower

Finally!  An easy paleo roasted cauliflower recipe. Just can’t get much easier than this folks.

I have not been a fan of cauliflower (are you?) but when roasted, it actually tastes pretty good.

I headed out early this morning to pick up my full head of cauliflower at the grocery store. And what a beautiful Minnesota morning it was.

Next, to prep for dinner. I took my head of cauliflower and, with a large knife, cut it into small pieces.  Although, once you start cutting into it, the cauliflower starts coming apart and you can use your hands to separate it easily. I then threw it in a mesh basket that I have hanging over my sink and sprayed it with cold water to clean it.  I let it drip dry for a few minutes.

Cut and Clean Cauliflower

Cut and Clean Cauliflower

Next I placed my fairly dry cauliflower in a large bowl, sprinkled it with olive oil and pepper then salt and tossed it all together.  You don’t want too much olive oil but you want enough that the cauliflower glistens (looks a little shiny).

Toss Cauliflower in Olive Oil, Pepper and Salt

Toss Cauliflower in Olive Oil, Pepper and Salt

Next you’ll be spreading the cauliflower out on a cookie sheet ~ no need to oil it as the oil that you added to the cauliflower will suffice.

Spread cauliflower out on a cookie sheet

Spread cauliflower out on a cookie sheet

Then you’ll be roasting it.  I used my convection oven but this can be roasted in a regular oven so no worries there.  In the convection oven it took 13 minutes and I took the cauliflower out at the 7 minute mark and tossed them about.  In a regular oven, you would roast it for 20 minutes and toss it at the 10 minute mark ~ but I would check your oven as some of them heat hotter than others.

I served the cauliflower with my Indian Chicken with Gravy recipe (although I substituted skinless chicken thighs for the skinless legs) and a Tahini Sauce that I found over at the Minimalist Baker site.  It all came out pretty pretty good.

Ready to see the recipe?

Easy Roasted Cauliflower

Easy Roasted Cauliflower

Easy Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt, to your taste
  • Pepper, to your taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut the cauliflower with a knife or your hands into smaller chunks.
  3. Clean and allow to dry.
  4. Place the cauliflower in a large bowl then toss with olive oil, pepper and salt. (Toss with enough olive oil to coat the cauliflower but you don't want the cauliflower swimming in the oil.)
  5. On a cookie sheet, spread the cauliflower out.
  6. Roast in a convection oven for approximately 13 minutes tossing at the 7 minute mark. (You want the cauliflower to be roasted but not burnt.)
  7. Note: This can also be roasted in a regular oven for 20 minutes, tossing at approximately the 10 minute mark. (Check occasionally to make sure the cauliflower is not roasting too quickly.)
  8. Next ~ enjoy!
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Enjoy!

For additional paleo recipes, click here.

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Beauty in the Midwest

Midwest Road

Midwest Road

A recent trip through northwest Illinois then into Wisconsin gave us ample opportunity to see much beauty in the Midwest.  Driving along the backroads there is very little traffic but lots of corn and soy farms along with houses that have attached large barns ~ most of them painted red.

I’ve always wanted to knock on these doors and ask the people who live there why they choose to live there.  To live remotely, away from what one might consideration civilization with its cell phones, cable, Starbucks around the corner …  Sometimes I think they have a better quality of life than most of us.

One day I hope round up enough guts and nerve to knock on a door.

Illinois Country House

Illinois Country House

Illinois Corn Farm

Illinois Corn Farm

One scene that majestically appeared over and over again is of puffy clouds hanging beautifully in the sky with odd shapes that made me wrack my brain to determine what they might resemble.  A dog? An angel? A person?

Illinois Cloud

Illinois Cloud

Further north towards Wisconsin, we stopped at the Mississippi Palisades State Park in Savannah, Illinois and snapped some photos.  There were two other couples taking pictures who were also camping here ~ otherwise all seemed quiet.  I wondered why more people weren’t out enjoying this area.

A quick jaunt down the path led us to views of the Mississippi.  So peaceful here ~

Mississippi Palisades State Park, Savannah, IL

Mississippi Palisades State Park, Savannah, IL

Mississippi Palisades State Park

Mississippi Palisades State Park

Mississippi Palisades State Park, Savannah, IL

Mississippi Palisades State Park, Savannah, IL

It was indeed, the start of a beautiful day.

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Voyageur National Park
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Voyageurs National Park

A weekend getaway allowed us to explore the Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota.

Our first stop was at the Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center which had a friendly ranger, nice bathrooms and a spectacular view.  They also have a boat launch and offer a water tour which is about 5 hours, I believe.

Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center, Voyageur National Park

Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center, Voyageurs National Park

It was a perfect day for a hike so we decided to start with the Echo Bay Trail which is a 2.5 mile loop and the difficult level is easy.  Although the brochure said the hike would take 2 hours, we were able to do it in less than 1.5 hours.  I’m guessing there was a reason for this quickness.

A few days prior to our arrival, the area had a large rainstorm. So, we were walking in mud for a few sections of the trail.  The insect population was a-bustling.  Lots of mosquitoes and other flying bugs.  I had worn a long sleeved sweater and walked with the front of my t-shirt covering my mouth for part of the way so the mosquitoes wouldn’t “smell” my carbon dioxide.  It worked!

But it felt like a long arduous walk.  The trail was not cleared of tall grass and there were several places were downed trees had not been moved so you had to walk over or under them.

Echo Bay Trail, Voyageurs National Park

Echo Bay Trail, Voyageurs National Park

Echo Bay Trail, Voyageurs National Park

Echo Bay Trail, Voyageurs National Park

Towards the end of the trail, there were a couple of small boardwalks.

Echo Bay Trail, Voyageurs National Park

Echo Bay Trail, Voyageurs National Park

From this trail we headed over to the Ash River Visitor Center which is also staffed with a friendly ranger.  The short walk to the water from the Visitor Center is worth it and offers spectacular views.

Voyageur National Park

Voyageurs National Park

Pretty, no?

Voyageur National Park

Voyageurs National Park

But wait, there’s more.

Voyageur National Park

Voyageurs National Park

The picture below is one of my favorites.  The view is westward.

Voyageur National Park

Voyageurs National Park

Oh ~ and this one also.  And yes, the clouds look fantastically beautiful against the bluest skies.

Voyageur National Park

Voyageurs National Park

Voyageur National Park is a beautiful place to visit.  There are many boaters and you can rent a canoe to get to some of the area islands.  Or, take a tour that is offered through the park.

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The Crow

As we pulled up to my brother’s driveway, I saw a crow sitting on the lawn. It was odd in that it was standing so still in all it’s glorious blackness.

I’m not a crow fan ~ never have been and never will be.  The sound of them cawing in the mornings makes me say “ugh” as I turn over to the other side and cover my ears.

I’ve heard that crows are intelligent birds and people have told me many crow stories that attest to their intelligence.  Can you believe it?

Getting out of the car, I walked up to this crow only to realize that it was made of plastic.  I laughed out loud at the “mistaken identity” ~ thinking the crow was real when it was fake.  It does look real though, doesn’t it?

The Crow

The Crow

Before leaving my brother’s house, I asked him if I could have the crow and he said yes.  I had a brilliant idea that I couldn’t shake.

And so it was when I arrived home that I put the crow in my front yard.  The bright idea I had?  I assumed that the other crows would not come near our house because a new “family” of crows had arrived.  Such a brilliant idea, no?

I hadn’t noticed anything different for a few days until one day, after heading out for a bit with the hubby, we pulled into the driveway and there were four crows “hanging around” with the plastic one.  As soon as we pulled in closer, they flew away.  No!  I told myself.  Crows are supposed to be intelligent and not come around other crow families …

A few days passed by and I again left the house and upon arrival, there they were again.  It appeared that these crows were trying to figure out who the new crow in town was.

My plan had backfired ~ instead of scaring the crows away with a new “crow,” I had managed to call them in to make friends with a fake one.

Who knew?

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