Saturday, June 21, 2014

Today's Baking

Today's baking: 2 loaves of 75% whole wheat bread, a lemon poppy seed cake (with a slice already eaten--because baking needs to be sampled, right?) and a dozen Saskatoon muffins.

For those not privileged to know: Saskatoons are like blueberries, but have a darker, kind of more purple flavour.  The bushes thrive here in our fairly alkaline soil, whereas blueberries need an acid soil.

These Saskatoons came out of an ice cream pail full in the freezer.  On the lid is the date they were picked: July 20, '07!  Saskatoons are pretty finicky, and don't produce if: 1. there is frost while they are in blossom, 2. there is wind while they are in blossom, and 3. there is not enough moisture when the berries are "plumping up."  Fortunately they keep well in the freezer.

We have four 300 foot long rows of Saskatoon bushes on the north side of the shelter belt, the low, windward side.  We don't tend them; that would be an awful lot of work.  And they have become infected with Juniper Rust, which ruins the berries.

When we first lived here, fifteen years ago, they were smaller and in better shape.  I ran a U-Pick one summer when there was a heavy crop and made $1,000 from those rows.

Here are a few cloud pictures that I took from the back door patio yesterday evening.  They looked pretty formidable from the ground, but on the government radar site they weren't all that threatening.  I did hear rain and thunder during the night, but nothing that amounted to much.

It was cold, rainy and windy this morning.  The thermometer read +8ºC which is about +48ºF.  Now the sky has cleared up but still with a lot of clouds and the thermometer reads +19ºC which is the equivalent of +66ºF, and it's still very windy.

One evening this week, about 9:45 p.m. there was a beautiful, full rainbow in the east.

This is the longest day of the year.  Sun rise was at 5:13 a.m. and sunset will be at 9:55 p.m.  Being this far north we have wonderfully long evenings in the summer--actually wonderfully long mornings also.
Civil twilight today extends from 4:25 a.m. to 10:44 p.m.  That means it's plenty light outside from before 4:30 to almost quarter to eleven.  It's one of the features of Alberta that I really enjoy!

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