Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking Book One by Patrick Ness



The Knife of Never Letting GoLife can get very noisy when you hear the thoughts of all those around you.  Todd Hewitt has grown up on such a planet.  He is the first generation born on New World, and has never known any other type of life.  He has always heard the thoughts of all the men around him.  From a young age he's heard the stories of how the indigenous population, the Spackle, released a Noise Germ that infected all the men and animals and killed all the women.  He is the last child left in Prentisstown, and when he has his thirteenth birthday in one month, he will become a man.

Todd doesn't question his life and planet until one day he is in the swamp collecting apples, when he hears something unexpected, rather he doesn't hear something.  He notices an area with no sound.  He has never experienced this before.

Viola has no experience on New World, she has just arrived and is totally unprepared for what and who she finds. 

I so want to tell you more about this world but that would spoil the story for you.  It is definitely a coming of age story for both Todd and Viola, but also for the settlers to the planet.  They have been there over twenty years, but they are still adjusting to hearing everyone elses' thoughts.  Their plans for a new society could not work with this 'hearing' and they have splintered into many small settlements that are out of contact with each other. 

There are several interesting characters in this story. Recently,Todd had been given his first dog.  He didn't want one, but he and Manchee become inseparable over the first few chapters.  I grew quickly to like him.  He played a larger roll than expected of a dog.

From the first moment I was introduced to Aaron, I despised him. If he lived near me, I would go out of my way to avoid him.  Something very creepy about him.

The Mayor of Prentisstown is a secretive man.  He gathers his men to him and they do mental exercises that Todd doesn't understand.  What is he preparing for or is he just trying to teach the men some control such that they can live together in a more peaceful manner.

It is interesting how the various small communities have found very different methods for dealing with this noise that the men hear.  Each seems to work, though some seem much more effective than others.  I wonder if the planet born generations will fare better than the earth born settlers.  Guess I will have to keep reading and find out.  Thanks to author Patrick Ness for a thought provoking story.

This is the first book in a trilogy.  it is followed by The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men.
Thanks to Candlewick Press for the use of the cover image.

Also reviewed by:

Petty Witter at Pen and Paper

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Needlework Tuesday - Afghan for a warm day


Needlework Tuesday is open to all readers looking for inspiration, encouragement or who want to share their recent needlework project. Introduce yourself in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your current post. Feel free to grab the cute little mouse for your post.
 
Last week I showed you the wonderful assortment of yarns I purchased at the Bernat tent sale in Listowel, Ontario.  I have started my first project and am motoring along.  I am using the chunky and 6.5 mm round needles.  The pattern is a slight adaptation from Bernat  for the Baby Coordinates Chunky Cables Blanket.  You will need to sign up for a free membership to view the actual pattern.  I added one extra repeat and went a size larger on the needles. It is for an adult after all.
 



I am almost finished my third repeat and on ball four.  Plan to use at least 12 balls, though have 15 if I want longer and have the time.  Will reveal the recipient later.

Didn't make it to my sewing machine this week, though I did spend some enjoyable time visiting quilting sites around the web.  Found myself two different blog hops of quilts.  What a pleasure.  do you have a favourite blog hop that you like to follow?  please leave a link in the comments, am looking for one to browse during the upcoming long weekend.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Weekend Cooking: A World of Hummus Recipes

Endurrun Logo
  
A week long race results in a lot of hungry very hungry runners and volunteers.  Fresh foods go a long way in helping to fill all those hollow legs (my mother often said we must have had hollow legs when we were growing up and eating so much).  Over the course of the past few summers, one of the most popular dishes has been hummus. Not just your traditional chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic combination, but a range of flavourful and imaginative ones.  This years assortment really hit the spot.  I whipped up eleven different flavours.  A few are repeats of favourites from previous years, but most of them are new to me. 
 

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Avocado Hummus
 
As you can see, hummus with any flavour never lasted long and there was rarely any left to take home to my family.


 
Carrot Hummus and Beet Hummus
 
 Flavours of hummus Served during the ENDURrun 2012
Recipes follow further in this post, or I have added a link to a previous post.
 
Artichoke Hummus
Avocado Hummus
Black Olive Hummus
Pecan-Apricot Hummus
Carrot Hummus
Beet Hummus
Orange Hummus
 

Black Olive Hummus and Sweet Potato Hummus

Orange Hummus


Clockwise from bottom left: Beet Hummus, Pecan-Apricot Hummus, Lime-Cilantro Hummus, Orange Hummus, and Black Olive Hummus 


Artichoke Hummus
(adapted from a recipe at The Food Network)

2 - 6oz jars of artichoke hearts, drained
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
2 cups chick peas
1/4 cup tahini
2 tbsp olive oil (optional)

Put all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth.  You may need to add water.  The olive oil helps to make a creamy spread.  Add salt and pepper to flavour as desired.

Avocado Hummus

Make the traditional hummus recipe as shown above, and add the flesh of two ripe avocados.  This will require quite a bit of mixing to incorporate them.  Be sure to scrape down the inside of the food processor several times to ensure you don't have lumps of avocado.

Black Olive Hummus
from Pinch My Salt

This is a fairly salty dish, though you can vary the saltiness by using a different type of olive.  I used a Kalmata olive spread which happens to be quite salty.  The runners loved the saltiness as this helped with re-balancing their electrolytes.

3 cups chick peas, rinsed
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup black olives

Put all items in the bowl of your food processors and mix until smooth.  You might need to add some water.  I used a 6 oz jar of Kalmata olive spread that I bought at Sobeys.  For a less salty version you could use the large canned black olives rinse them before adding them to the processor bowl.  Be sure that the olives are free of pits.  The original recipe called for 2 cups of chickpeas, but I felt it was too salty at that level and a nicer texture with the additional cup.

Pecan- Apricot Hummus
from A Bicycle Built for Two

1 cup chick peas, rinsed
1 cup raw pecans
4 dried apricots
3 pitted Medjool dates
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp agave or honey

I put everything in the blender together.  I didn't bother pre-chopping the apricots or dates, but if your fruit is quite dry, then it might be a good idea.  If you want to make this a vegan dish, then use the agave.  I used honey as I didn't realize this and one of our vegan runners kindly explained that honey is a animal product.  oops.  I added a fair bit of water to thin this to a nice consistency.  I served it with fresh apple slices.  Great idea for on a dessert platter with fruit and cheese.

Carrot Hummus
From Once Upon a Cutting Board

1 cup sliced carrots, cooked
2 cups chick peas, rinsed
1/4 cup tahini
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tbsp agave or honey
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
2 tbsp olive oil

Peel and slice carrots.  Cook in a small amount of water till tender.  Drain, saving the cooking water.  Put all ingredients, except the cooking water in the bowl of the food processor and mix until smooth.  Add some of the cooking water as required to get the consistency you like.

Beet Hummus
from Eat Right Ontario

3 medium beets, washed, leave skin on
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup onion- diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 cup chick peas
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

  1. Cook beets in a large pot of boiling water for 40 minutes or until tender. When cooled, peel beets and roughly chop. Set aside. Can be done 1 day in advance.
  2. In a medium fry pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and cumin and cook, stirring often, until onions are soft, 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add beets, onion mixture, chickpeas, tahini, water and lemon juice to a food processor and puree until smooth.
  4. Serve immediately or store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Orange Hummus
from Company's Coming - printable recipe at this link

4 cups chick peas
3/4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
1/2 tsp dry coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/8 tsp cayenne powder
3 garlic cloves crushed
1/3 cup tahini
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce (optional)

Put all ingredients in the bowl of the food processor and mix until smooth.  You might need to add some water to get the desired consistency.  I didn't add the soy sauce as mine had gluten and I wanted to keep this dish gluten free.  This definitely tasted better after it had sat overnight and the flavours had a chance to mingle.

Peach Salsa
 This year I suggested that we try fresh salsa.  We hadn't served it before and didn't know how it would go, but I shouldn't have worried, fresh fruit and veggies are always a hit and the bowl was emptied each day.  All of my recipes came from 300 Best Taco Recipes by Kelley Cleary Coffeen.  I reviewed this book in an earlier post, though at that time, I only tried one of the salsas.  I'm glad I tried more of them, as they are all very tasty and easy to make.
 
Recipes made during the ENDURrun:
 
Pico de Gallo (tomato)
Veggie Salsa (corn and zucchini)
Peach and Red Onion Salsa (recipe to follow)
Sweet Pineapple Salsa
Margarita Melon Salsa
Citrus Salsa
 
Peach and Red Onion Salsa
 
6 peaches, peeled and diced
1 red onion, diced
juice of 2 limes
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 jalapenos, diced
1/2 cup chopped jicama
 
In a large bowl, gently combine peaches, red onion, lime juice, bell pepper, jalapenos, and jicama.  Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or for up to 2 hours.  I didn't use the jicama as I couldn't find it at my grocery stores.
 
Links to other popular recipes:
 
Key Lime Pie - gluten and dairy free
 
 
Next week I hope to post the dessert recipes from Julie Schmidt, the chocolate layers dessert from Wednesday evening and the chocolate almond cracker bars.
 


For more foodie fun, be sure to visit Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking post. You are invited to add a link to your recent food related post.
 

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

A Late Summer Safety Reminder


Yesterday  I cut the grass in our yard for the first time since late June.  It just didn't rain and the grass didn't grow until this past week.  As always I wore my safety boots (Green Tag).  I own these for no other purpose than to cut my grass.  I value my toes and feet and wouldn't put them at risk by going bare foot or by wearing flip flops to cut my grass.  I also insist that anyone I have hired to cut my grass, also wear safety boots.

I have an uncle who lost his big toe to his lawn mower several decades back.  To this day it affects his walking, with every step he misses that toe.

Next time you cut your grass, remember to put on your safety boots and do your feet a favour.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Needlework Tuesday - Haul from the Tent Sale at Bernat

Needlework Tuesday is open to all readers looking for inspiration, encouragement or who want to share their recent needlework project. Introduce yourself in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your current post. Feel free to grab the cute little mouse for your post.

This past week I have been volunteering at a week of running races.  Check this post for a virtual visit to the races.  Now that the races are done, I hurried off to the Bernat outlet in Listowel, Ontario for their big summer tent sale. The sale continues till Saturday if you are within driving range. Quite the haul that will keep me knitting for months. 



At the back are 4 large cones of size 10 crochet cotton.

20 skeins of chunky in taupe and red.

20 skeins of ruffle scarf yarn for my friend Linda.

12 cones of a thin chennile.  Daughter wants a hot pink scarf, though there is enough for several, and the other colours will make a great afghan, not sure if I'm giving that to my sister.

3 skeins of Mosaic.

Total cost including taxes: $101.00

Now time to put them away before hubby gets home from work.

Other than being hot outside, I find that I stitch all year long.  You won't find me sitting on my deck, but inside looking out works for me.


Marie at Daisy's Book Journal has posted an update to her Sky Scarf.  It's a very unique project.

Virtually Running the ENDURrun

Endurrun LogoWow, that was one busy week.  As usual, I volunteer for the entire week of the ENDURrun International.  Eight days of cooking to feed at least 60 runners, as many volunteers and many family and friends. 

This is such a wonderful event, that I wanted to share it with you, especially those of my readers who have not attended a running event.  I recorded several short videos to share with you.  

The first four videos are from the 4th day of the series.  It is an evening hill run, approximately 16 km of very hilly terrain.  The first is pre-race.  Pre-race ritual is important for many runners, some use it for socializing and others for quiet meditation.  No matter how many races you have run, there is still that exhilaration in those minutes before the start. The second shows the start of the race.  Notice that the runners are starting near the bottom of a hill that they will have to run up to finish the race.  It is steeper than it looks.

video video

Since I walked to the bottom of the hill to record the start, now I have to walk back up so I can work on food preparation.

video

The video shows the first runner approaching the finish.  An exciting moment to be sure.

video


The next two videos were taken at Stage 5 at Chicopee Ski Hill.  Five loops of five kilometres each.  Yes, they really are running up the ski hills.  The next video shows a water station in action.  On this race the water stations are about 2.5 kms apart.  Water, Gatorade and sport gels are available along with lots of encouragement.
video

Finally, the post race food station.  While the food changes everyday, we try and keep the set up the same.  Hope you enjoy the virtual buffet.

video

In the next few days, I'll post recipes for a variety of the dishes including eleven varieties of hummus, a big hit with most of the runners

Thanks for joining me for your virtual race.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Free Audiobooks from SYNC - 10


This is the final week of free audiobooks from SYNC.  For those who have been following along, you now have a good library of current YA books paired with literary classics.  I hope you've had fun listening and 'read' some good books.

I think that this weeks pairing is my favourite.  I have read and enjoyed both books and look forward to listening to the audio versions.

August 16 – August 22, 2012
The Whale Rider
by Witi Ihimaera, Read by Jay Laga’aia (Bolinda Audio)
The Call of the Wild by Jack London, Read by William Roberts (Naxos AudioBooks)

For further details regarding this program, read my introductory post.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Needlework Tuesday: Yarn bombing in New Zealand

It's my volunteer week and I am occupied helping to feed dozens of runners.  They sure can eat after getting off the course.  In the meantime, I am leaving a few photos of yarn bombing that I spied in New Zealand at the Sculpture Gardens outside of Helensville.  Photos by myself and my daughter.










Sunday, 12 August 2012

My Children are Growing UP

There is currently a popular website that features pictures  of old photos being displayed many years later at the site where they were originally taken.  I don't get it.  What is so interesting about an image of a photo floating in the sky? The first one I thought was unique, but that was it.  I didn't think it was 'cool' or anything.  Dozens or hundreds of them, a book deal,  and whatever spin offs.  I don't get it.  It doesn't show anything new, nor advance the story of the original photo.

While we were on vacation, I suggested we go to Mission Bay, New Zealand, which we had visited five years earlier.  Our kids had posed under a massive Norfolk Pine tree, and we'd taken a photo.  I asked them to pose under it again.  Such a change in my kids in those five years.  Wow.  I can only hope that we'll travel there again in the future for an update to these photos.


I am curious, do you take photos of your children in the same location year after year?  I have a few of my kids on the first day of school, standing on the front porch, but they wouldn't let me continue doing that once they got past grade 1 or 2.


Saturday, 11 August 2012

Weekend Cooking: Butter Chicken Soup

Chicken marinading in an assortment of spices
In my last foodie post, I told you about a canned soup I tried in New Zealand.  It was a soup version of butter chicken. Since that brand is not available in Canada, I determined to find a recipe.  It was far easier than I thought, the first recipe I found, was then quoted in the next four sites I checked.  Since it was being recommended again and again,  I knew that was the one to try.

The recipe was developed by Sophie Gray of  destitute gourment and was published in Healthy Food Guide, a magazine from New Zealand that is dedicated to presenting information and recipes to help it's readers prepare and eat food that is healthy for them.


Browning Chicken


While this recipe does have a long list of ingredients, it is very easy to make, just remember that you need to let the meat marinade in the spices for at least one hour before you continue with the soup making.

Butter Chicken Soup
Marinade:
1 large boneless chicken breast
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed

Soup:
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/4 tsp chili powder
400 gram can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste  (I used tomato ketchup)
2 tbsp all purpose white flour
2 tsp brown sugar
3 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup basmati rice, uncooked
1/4 cup light cream (I used 5% cream)

Cut the meat into small pieces.  Combine with the other marinade ingredients in a glass bowl, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.  Add marinated chicken and chopped onion.  Stir constantly until the chicken is sealed (white looking) and the onion is soft.  Add the dried spices and ginger, then stir in the tomatoes and chicken stock.  When simmering, pour in the basmati rice, stir and simmer for 10 minutes.
Mix together the tomato paste and flour and whisk, a little at a time, into the soup.  (I added broth from the soup into the mixture as it was very thick, to thin it before adding it to the pot)  Add the brown sugar and cream and season to taste.

Serve in soup bowls with a dollop of natural yoghurt, chopped fresh coriander and torn up naan bread for dunking.

printable recipe for Butter Chicken Soup.


This soup was wonderful.  It's a good thing I made a double batch as we wanted to eat it again as soon as we finished dinner.  We'll be repeating this one many times.

If you enjoy eating Butter Chicken, you might also enjoy visitiing Always Cooking up Something, and reading her review of The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken by Tarquin Hall.

I missed a few pictures from vacation and wanted to share them with you.  We are big fans of sushi and when I saw this version of 'sushi sandwiches' I had to take a photo even though my family are embarrassed when I pull out my camera.  It was  in a food court not a gourmet restaurant.  I could eat these every day.  You can barely tell, but there is a layer of salmon in the middle.



i had also told you that we ate at a wonderful cafe called Little and Friday.  Finally found where daughter had put those photos.  First photo below is of the most amazing donut I have ever eaten.


I don't know what these are called, but they are like a rolled bread muffin with a bit of sauce, cheese and veggies. Again, these are something that I could eat repeatedly.



For more foodie fun, be sure to visit Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking post.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Murder on Ice: A Figure Skating Mystery by Alina Adams

Cosy mysteries are such fun to read.  They are the perfect vacation book; I can pick them up, read a few pages, put them down, then pick them up again without losing my link to the plot. 

I bought this one ages ago when my son was still involved in figure skating.  Once he got to high school it was seriously not cool for a boy to skate and jump around.  I put the book aside unread until I was packing my bags for our July vacation. I'm glad I finally got to reading it.

Rebecca 'Bex' Levy, has been hired as a figure skating researcher for a popular news network even though she has no skating experience.  She is a very competent researcher and has proven herself time and again during the previous seven months of the skating season.  Now at the world championship in San Francisco, her boss is calling on her once again to save their broadcast.  Bex thought that this would be nothing out of the normal, dealing with bickering co-hosts, frazzles nerves and hectic work hours, but then a seemingly controversial judging decision sets every one on edge.  To top it off, one of the judges is found dead in a room where she had no logical reason to be.  Bex can't accept that it was an accident but who would want to murder her, or better yet, it turns out, who wouldn't want to murder her.

I used to be a huge fan of figure skating and watched it at every chance.  I got dis-illusioned when it became obvious that there was some bias in the judging.  Too much talk about  the competitor 'paying his dues' before he could win gold, and the commentators saying that certain competitors wouldn't win because they had strayed from the 'ballet tradition' of figure skating.  Does this mean the fix was in even before any blades hit the ice?  Bex had to wonder the same thing after finding a note in the dead judges pocket.  (note: in the past few years there has been a major re-working of the judging in this sport eliminating any chance of 'fixing' the results)

This story explored the egos, insecurities and jealousy of the competitors, their families and their coaches.  Ms. Adams also kept me off balance by tossing in revealations that came totally out of the blue.  After each of those, I had to stop and re-think my whole grasp of what I thought had happened.

I enjoyed the writing of this mystery, but I didn't have the appreciation for it that I would have had back when I was an avid skating viewer.  Still, I would definitely read more by Alina Adams.

Bex and her figure skating associates continue with four more books in this series.

Update: be sure to read the comment from the author.  She has released enhanced ebooks in this series and they sound well worth their price.
Website for author Alina Adams

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Free Audiobooks from SYNC - 9


Time to download the current free audiobooks.

August 9 – August 15, 2012
Skulduggery Pleasant
by Derek Landy, Read by Rupert Degas (Harper Audio)
Dead Men Kill by L. Ron Hubbard, Read by Jennifer Aspen and a Full Cast
(Galaxy Press)

For further details regarding this program, read my introductory post.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Knit one, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton


I didn't bring my knitting with me on vacation, and my fingers were getting a little edgy after being still for almost two weeks. Good thing I had packed this book. It gave me just enough needlework action to keep me from going into wooly withdrawal.

Kelly Flynn has returned to her hometown of Fort Connor, Colorado to arrange her dear Aunt Helen's funeral. She was expecting to undertake this task alone and is surprised when Helen's friends from House of Lambspun shop jump in the help. They quickly draw Kelly into their warm fold, offering their support in which ever way they can.

At first it seemed that their friendship developed way too fast, but then I recalled that most of the women had know each other for years, and that it was only Kelly who was the new comer, and they had all  known of Kelly and her care of Helen all along.

I enjoyed the way the solution to the mystery of who murdered Helen was revealed.  It included the dredging up of long lost connections, unknown family connections and budding romance.  It all seemed quite feasible that a thorough accountant could find and put together these clues.  All in all, this was a good choice for vacation reading.

There are now 10 books in this series, the latest titled Cast On, Kill Off.
Website for author Maggie Sefton

Also reviewed by:

Rikki at Rikki's Teleidoscope

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Needlework Tuesday: Long Term Projects


Needlework Tuesday is open to all readers looking for inspiration, encouragement or who want to share their recent needlework project. Introduce yourself in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your current post. Feel free to grab the cute little mouse for your post.

 
The Dutch 9 Patch block from Quilter's Cache is one that I have loved since I first pieced it a few years ago.  My intent is to make a wedding quilt for my nephew, fortunately he is no where near engaged.  I have about 20 blocks made, and added two to the total this past week.  Don't know how I will put them together, but I still need a few more dozen, as they are 9 inch blocks, so I have lots of time till I need to worry about that.
For his sister, I have been making tiny Churn Dash blocks.  These are from a pattern in the October 2001 issue of McCalls Quilting.  These are 5 inch blocks and I have completed 35 of 128.  Work on these two projects will continue at a sporadic pace until a marriage becomes imminent.
Two weeks ago I came across a new tutorial that Deanne had posted on her blog, Wedding Dress Blues.  It is for The Wave Goodbye Bag.  I fell in love with it and decided that rather than add it to the bottom of a very long list, I would sew it right away.  I already had a bunch of strips cut, so started right in.  Green and peach seemed the perfect match.
A little bit of sub cutting and pressing.
every thing sewn together and pressed.
A gorgeous tote bag for me to use when shopping, but not for groceries, this one is to stay clean.
Early in June I bought a ball of Bernat Baby Jacquards.  I have been knitting scarves for a few years and my family now has more scarves than they can possibly need.  Hats would be a good choice.  When I spied the free hat pattern on the band, I bought the ball.  OK, I don't have a baby to put the hat on, but it sure is cute.  In fact, the 100g (3.5oz) has enough yarn to knit three hats.  I have made two so far and will do the third shortly. Shown are the smallest and largest sizes.  I used the colour named 'Easter Basket'.  These will be going in the basket and when I have knit enough hats, then family members will be invited to select one.

Knitting these hats was a perfect choice while watching the Olympics.  Are you as addicted to watching the Olympics as I am ?  Did you pick up a stitching project to do while watching?

Friday, 3 August 2012

Roaming around New Zealand


A few more photos from my vacation in New Zealand.  The first three were taken on the beach in Mairangi Beach, on the North Shore (north of Auckland).


Looking toward Rangitoto Island, classis volcano shaped island.


My son.  We loved the way this tree has branched out.


In Rotorua with my niece, son, myself and hubby

I guess that we'll find these birds no matter where we travel

This huge tree is growing outside the library in Devonport.  It has numerous roots growing down from the branches.  Someone has added poles around the roots to protect them from damage.