Monday, October 14, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving from Powell River Books

For all of my Canadian readers and friends ...

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

from
Up the Lake

the home of
www.PowellRiverBooks.com

If you are celebrating your Thanksgiving today, we both hope it is a joyous one. -- Wayne and Margy Lutz

Friday, October 11, 2019

Airplane Noise and Blue Skies

If you love to watch military aircraft, Whidbey Island in Washington State is the place.

You can camp at Deception Pass State Park or enjoy the beaches near Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

Take a seat and hear the jets roar or watch the marine patrol aircraft take off and land.


If you have a military ID, you can enter the base for an even closer look at the EA-18G Growler fighter jets ...


... and the larger maritime patrol and reconnaissance P-3 Orions and P-8 Poseidons. All of these planes and their personnel keep our country secure and safe.


In between sorties there are blue skies and white clouds to enjoy.


Posting to Sky Watch Friday. Go to the Sky Watch Friday website and you'll see sky photos from all over the world!

Stop by and take a look at a meme called All Seasons.

And a Wednesday linkup My Corner of the World at Photographing New Zealand. -- Margy

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Available Online: "Flying the Pacific Northwest"

Perfect for Pilots
and Aviation Enthusiasts of All Kinds

Flying the Pacific Northwest

by Wayne J. Lutz

Description: Airports of Western Washington and Oregon form the backdrop for adventures in the Pacific Northwest. Take the controls of a Piper Arrow, as your personal flight instructor leads you to out-of-the-way spots where recreational aircraft give us the freedom to pursue personal goals. Hints for cross-county and local flying, as presented by a 7000-hour FAA certified flight instructor. For armchair pilots and experienced pros, this book is an escape so realistic you’ll swear you’re airborne.  

Kindle $5.99
Print from Amazon.com $10.95
Check with your favourite e-book dealer 
for other formats.

Check here if you need a Kindle 
or free Kindle App.

If you enjoy the book, consider writing a review at Amazon.com
Happy reading! - Wayne

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Coastal BC Plants: Indian Pipe

I is for Indian Pipe

Indian Pipe poking up through the moist duff.
I was walking through a grove of mature hemlocks and firs when a spot of white caught my eye. What I thought was debris on the ground turned out to be an exciting find, Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora) emerging after days of rain with warm temperatures.

These pictures were taken on July 11. We were supposed to have a dry, hot summer, but unexpected rain changed growing conditions, especially in the shaded forest understory.

These specimens were just emerging, so they were a brilliant white. At maturity, they turn dark or black. Another common name is Ghost Plant, you can see why.


Indian Pipe is a herbaceous (non-woody) perennial (lives from year to year) plant. It's white because there is no chlorophyll. Nourishment comes from underground fungi associated with tree roots. You can find Indian Pipe in temperate, moist zones of Asia and North America.


They appear after dry spells followed by periods of rain. The white stems, rise from a fleshy root mass. The plants reach their full height (5–30 centimetres) in just a few days. Small leaf-like structures are translucent, giving them their ghostly appearance. At the top there is a single flower that droops downward, looking like an upside-down pipe, until the fruiting body is mature.


Have you ever discovered an unusual plant? What was it? Where did you find it?

References: E-Flora BC Atlas: Monotropa uniflora and Wikipedia: Monotropa uniflora.


For ABC pictures from around the world, stop by the ABC Wednesday blog. This is the twenty-fifth round of this popular meme.

And a Wednesday linkup My Corner of the World at Photographing New Zealand.

Another fun meme is All Seasons. Stop by and take a look.

A for a new favourite of mine, visit Letting Go of the Bay Leaf for Mosaic Monday. -- Margy

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Growing and Preserving Garlic

Garlic harvested from three containers.
I've grown garlic for years. In the beginning, it was in small containers. I got plenty, but the bulbs were on the small side.

I'm always changing the plants in my float garden. After I removed an old asparagus patch, there was room to grow garlic in the empty space.

Garlic takes very little attention. Plant cloves with the growth point up, mulch, water, feed periodically, dig, dry, and enjoy.

Fall planted garlic heavily mulched with chopped garden waste.

I purchased garlic bulbs good for my climate at the nursery. Now I save my best bulbs for fall planting.  A few bulbs go a long way. You pull the cloves apart and plant them seven inches apart for growth room. I plant in fall and mulch heavily through winter.

Fall planted garlic sprouts in early spring.

When the tops start to brown, wilt, and fall over, it's time to pull the bulbs. If the weather is dry, I leave them on the surface to dry.

Initial drying in the garden after pulling the garlic bulbs.

After the surface of the bulbs have dried, I brush off as much of the dirt as possible, tie the tops of half a dozen together, and hang them in a protected spot outdoors.

Hanging to dry in the shade under the side porch.

This starts the preserving process. I leave them outdoors until the skin on the bulbs is dry and flaky. I trim the tops shorter and hang the bundles in the cabin's storage room. By this time there's no odour, and they're handy to grab for cooking.

Dried garlic hangs in our storage room ready for use.

If you live in an apartment with a balcony, or a home with limited garden space, you can still grow garlic and have plenty left over to share with friends and family. -- Margy

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Renewed Raised Bed Floating Garden

My float garden in 2007.
My floating garden was built by our good friend John in 2003. It's served us well over the years, but the cedar siding on my four raised beds and the center walkway are rotting away. It was time for the wood to be replaced.


Over the years my garden has been highlighted in the media.
I called John for the renewal of my floating garden. He purchased cedar 2x8s and nailed them to the outside of my existing bed borders. That was the easiest solution without tearing off the old boards and losing precious soil in the process. 

Closeups of the new raised bed siding and center walkway.

Each bed is four feet wide and eight feet long. Soil depth is seven inches, but you would be amazed at how much I can grow in this little space. Click here to read more about float gardening.

New cedar boards outside and in.

Heavy fiberglass cloth called mill felt is on the bottom of each bed. The mesh is fine enough to keep the soil in, yet porous enough to allow water to drain. Click here to read more about the construction.

My renewed floating garden back out on the log boom to deter critter invasions.

Do you garden in raised beds? What are some of your favourite crops? -- Margy

Friday, August 16, 2019

Cabin Journal: Homemaking

I grew up in the 50s and 60s. In junior and high school, classes in sewing, cooking and homemaking were "electives" girls had to take.

When I was working, homemaking was farther from my mind than algebra. I did the minimum possible and Wayne shared in the duties. Now I enjoy homemaking, especially up at the float cabin. You'll find me sewing, cooking, baking, canning, gardening and even housework.

June 27, 2019

With cooler weather we had a fire in the woodstove and I turned on our battery powered inside decorative lights. It's the first time since we've been home that it was dark enough to enjoy them. Unless we stay up past 10:00, there's plenty of sunlight to keep the cabin bright. I used the indoor time to do some hand sewing. I patched a cloth grocery bag and covered new holes and thin spots in my work sweat pants. I had them before I met Wayne, so they must be pushing 40 years old. Wow!

I call my sweatpants Patches for obvious reasons.

Click here to read "The Story of Patches".


July 2, 2019

We are running low on fresh food. Yesterday was the last doughnut and the bread ran out on Saturday when I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for our breakfast while driving the barge to the Shinglemill. I had a banana and a half going brown, so I looked up a recipe online for banana bread. I was short some mashed banana so I settled on a recipe or pineapple banana bread. I didn't have any crushed pineapple, but I did have some tidbits left over in the fridge from our fruit bowls. I diced them finer and had everything needed to make a late breakfast with fruit, a hard boiled egg for Wayne and yogurt for me. Yum! Plus we have extra for dessert or breakfast tomorrow.

Cooking and baking are now fun.

Click here for the recipe and directions to make Pineapple Banana Bread with Pecans.

Did you take homemaking classes in school? Or were you a lucky guy who got shop? Educational offerings have changed a lot over the years. More classes are co-ed, but unfortunately many of the home arts and shop classes have been eliminated. -- Margy