Saturday, November 16, 2013

Quack 'n Cluck! Fresh Eggs from the Petting Zoo

Well, you never know what you'll find driving around the countryside if you just slow down long enough to read the road signs.

When Auntie's BFF Sean and I zip from one flea market to another on summer Sundays, we have an unspoken agreement that when either of us spots a road sign for something we deem "detour worthy," of course we must stop. 

It could be anything that strikes our fancy - from "Garage Sale" to "Chip Wagon" to the rare and completely exhilarating, "Free Kittens" sign. So when Auntie spotted a sign for "Fresh Eggs and Strawberries," it seemed too good to be true.  Auntie slammed on the brakes.

Personally speaking, I'm always on the lookout for detours of the culinary kind especially ones that may result in a billowy dessert soufflĂ© for dinner. 

A few metres after the sign, we veered to the right onto a gravel patch where there stood a lady at a little wooden farm stand packed with fresh strawberries, raspberries and vegetables at good prices too.

After buying some strawberries and eating a bunch (natch!), we stretched our legs a bit and then it was time to find those eggs!  

The lady at the farm stand pointed us in the direction of a narrow grassy pathway.   Sean and I walked along the path and not far from the farm stand, we arrived at a little fenced-in meadow and a small, immaculate barn.  
Cloud and roof
Around the back of the barn we saw some llamas, noisy geese and some waddling ducks.  As it turned out, all of the birds were the "feather department" of what was a little family petting zoo.
No way!  Pony rides!

In the barn there were about a dozen hens walking about and pecking at the ground while a rooster strutted back and forth managing the situation.  They all seemed very happy and healthy.  While we were admiring the birds and soaking in the scene, a nice woman wearing galoshes and a big smile came up to us.  "Would you like to go inside?" she asked.  Auntie is definitely a city slicker so the prospect of going into a real hen house in a pretty barn seemed like a lot of fun. 

The floor of the barn was coated with fresh wood chips that made it smell nice, and here and there were milk crates filled with straw.  These were the nests where the hens laid their eggs.  In one of the crates, Auntie spotted two big eggs.

Auntie really wanted to take those eggs but the nice woman said that she'd already collected the eggs for the day and had some waiting outside for us.  My, those were very big eggs to have come from such small hens!

After I took some photos, we left the barn and went back outside towards another little stand to get our eggs.  They cost $5 a dozen.  A real deal considering how big and fresh they were and we were now personally acquainted with the hens who'd laid them.

The nice woman asked if we'd ever cooked with duck eggs and then she gave us one of those too.  It was a lot bigger than the hen's egg and it was white instead of brown.
Sean and the duck egg
Big eggs from happy hens
He rules the roost, just like Uncle Jim!

Well, it was definitely worth the detour and next time Sean and I drive down that road we'll stop in for more eggs. We'll have to take one of those pony rides too!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Something's Been Bugging Me

Don't you know it's rude to stare?

It's no secret that Auntie takes a lot of photos.  Maybe too many.

This escaped Uncle Jim's notice for the longest time until one day when Auntie ran out of storage space on her computer.  This was followed by strange screeching noises coming from my hard-drive, a funny smell, and a dreaded "blue screen."

This forced Uncle Jim to pay closer attention to what Auntie was up to with her camera.

Uncle Jim keeping his eye on Auntie
While he was keeping a closer eye on Auntie, Uncle Jim noticed that Auntie didn't have a lens for taking close ups.  So Uncle Jim kindly bought Auntie a macro lens.

Ever since then, Auntie's been on her knees and belly, taking a closer look at things, especially in the garden where very strange things seem to be everywhere.

A dried up bat, a spider eating a fly, loud buzzing insects and ants on the march.  Auntie has seen some strange goings on.

And you thought Halloween was scary!

A dried up bat I found
Ouch! Tthat's got to hurt

What IS that thing?

I've fallen over and I can't get up!

Seems that all the pictures I've taken with my new macro lens have filled up my hard-drive again.  It's back to the drawing board for poor Uncle Jim!