Norawarren Trail

We decided to get out last weekend and go for a hike. The Norawarren Trail in Herring Cove looked like a good hike for a toddler so we thought we’d give it a shot.

Our first impression upon arrival was not positive as the trailhead started in a subdivision. However, it didn’t take long for the trail to feel remote. We saw other groups, but only a handful during the two hours we spent on the trail – so better than some actually remote hikes we’ve done in the past!

The trail was well maintained and generally easy to hike. A good portion of the hike was over rock (granite?) so the path was very solid and smooth as it was worn to bare rock. It wound through a well-treed woods and passed a good-sized pond. We stopped there due to a hungry baby and a tired toddler. The only complaint about the hike itself was that there weren’t any human entrances to the pond, just lots of dog entrances. It would have been nice to be able to stick our feet in the water after the hike out.

On the whole, 8/10 would hike again.

An example of the typical trail.

An example of the typical trail. Holly was a great hiker on the way out.

The surface of the latter half of the hike. Holly loved it!

The surface on the latter half of the hike. Somebody loved it!

Water achieved!

Water achieved!

There were a couple of tired kids on the ay back.

There were a couple of tired kids on the way back.

Cleveland Beach Provincial Park

Backlog post (January 17, 2021): The holidays were a bit quiet for us this year, and as Nova Scotia was recommending against travel over the holiday’s due to Corona virus so no exciting trips :(. But last week those recommendations were lifted so we drove south along the water an took a little family hike in a small park.

Cleveland Beach is a small island – or peninsula  – depending on the tide with probably less than a kilometer of trail, but the inclement weather (wind gusts up to 60 km/hr and intermittent rain) in combination with a walking 1 year old made that kilometer count. Even though it was a short trip, it was very nice to get back out of the city again, and hopefully we can keep trips like this up for a while.

Less than intrepid exploration

Less than intrepid exploration.

Vine Mittens

After some life events, I’m trying to get back in the habit of blogging. First up is a project I finished early in the spring: a new pair of mittens. I started these over the Christmas holidays, but forgot that a full time job and a toddler means that I don’t have a lot of knitting time. On the plus side, the mittens are good to go for this winter.

I may have been spending too much time looking at plants when I came up with this design.

I may have been spending too much time looking at plants when I came up with this design.

On the whole, I’m quite happy with these. I designed the vine pattern to fit inside my usual mitten pattern. The result can be seen here: VineMittens. That being said, I did manage to add in an extra 10 rows due to misreading the original mitten pattern. These were left in the linked pdf because fixing this means reworking the pattern and the mittens are still functional and look nice. Future improvements…

I’m looking forward to wearing these this year. I think my hands will be much warmer!

Crystal Crescent Beach Park

We weren’t going to let a bit of snow and wind and rain stop us from our beach adventures, so we got some coffee pastries and headed down south to another provincial park. Crystal Crescent was very nice and there was a well laid out trail that headed down to a couple sandy beaches, followed by a couple of less well maintained paths that went further south to rockier beaches.

We ended up only spending an couple of hours there as we ran out of trails that we could travel. The combination of cold wind and wet, steep, slippery rocks over the sea made us turn around with a desire to go back when the weather gets a bit more conducive to walks with a baby.

Nice sandy beach! Never mind the tonnes of seaweed.

Nice sandy beach! Never mind the tonnes of seaweed.

I feel like this picture belongs in a clothing magazine.

I feel like this picture belongs in a clothing magazine.

At least they are up front about the lack of maintenance.

At least they are up front about the lack of maintenance.

Now with extra scraggly trees!

Now with extra scraggly trees!

Someone is not very trusting with pastries, not saying who in the picture this applies to.

Someone is not very trusting with pastries, not saying who in the picture this applies to.

Martinique Beach Provincial Park

For the long weekend, we decided to go check out the beach! That is what everyone does in October, right? We made our way up north to Martinique Beach Provincial Park which is only a 45 minute drive north of Dartmouth and just hung out on the beach for the morning. It is not the first time we have taken Holly to the beach, but every time we go she can walk a little better so she gets more and more keen on exploring. Can’t wait until next summer when we can go swimming at the beach with Holly!

It was around 2km of unbroken sandy beach. Coming from the Seattle Puget Sound I am jealous.

It was around 2 km of unbroken, sandy beach. Coming from the Seattle Puget Sound, I am jealous.

Now with extra walking

Now with extra walking!

It only rained a little bit

It only rained a little bit.

Exuberant Walking!

Exuberant walking!

Homemade Iris Ink

I realized in the middle of summer that it had been a while since I had done any fun projects for no purpose, which was sad. The iris that we had clipped and left on our table was also looking sad. When it dropped some purple water from the wilting flower I got and idea: I should make some ink!

After looking into it, there seemed to be a lot of varied information about how to make ink from plants, but nothing said you could make ink from iris flowers with certainty. Rather than care if it worked, I decided to use science, randomly cluggeded together info from websites, and a variety of flowers to see how it worked out.

The chosen flower, based on what was blooming in the yard. Poppy / Iris / Camilla

The chosen flowers, based on what was blooming in the yard. Poppy / Iris / Camilla

Step 1: Boil white vinegar and salt with the flowers. I put in too much salt, really you just need a pinch as you boil down the ink later.

Step 1: Boil white vinegar and salt with the flowers. I put in too much salt. You really just need a pinch as you boil down the ink later.

Strain (I just used leftover muslin) the peddles after 30 minutes of boiling.

Strain (I just used leftover muslin) the petals after 30 minutes of boiling.

Results! the far right is Iris after boiling down to the consistency of ink.

Results! The far right is iris after boiling down to the consistency of ink.

The top left shows the inks after one boiling and straining. They were much more like watercolors than inks. Middle left, I reduced the inks by half volume and they worked as paint, but were not quite ink. Bottom left, I boiled down until I got the consistency of ink and it worked! The colours were all pretty muted by the end of the boiling and the poppy was especially hard to use as the additional salt started to crystallize the ink, but this is certainly a way to make ink.

I used a piece of ornamental grass cut at the end to a sharp angle as an impromptu quill.

I used a piece of ornamental grass cut at the end to a sharp angle as an impromptu quill.

Overall, I would say this was a great success; I succeeded in making ink. While I just threw these out when we moved, I am certainly going to try this again next year with some measurements and a real quill!

We’ve Moved!

Sorry for the lack of updates recently but we have had a very busy couple of months! Jasmine wasn’t happy with her job so she found a new one – with a twist. It is a marine robotics job located in Nova Scotia. So a couple of weeks ago, we finished all of our preparations and moved to Canada!

We have a bit of a backlog of posts, some moving related, some crafting before we put all of our belongings into a box. I plead tiredness, but the posts will begin anew soon!

We were all tired.

We were all tired.

Jellyfish Mobile

I bought a book of knit amigurumi patterns a few years ago. I’ve made a lot of things from the book, but kept thinking about the jellyfish pattern. Just one jellyfish seemed weird and I didn’t know how to get around that problem. So when Lloyd and I talked about making a mobile for our daughter, I knew what I wanted to do. Two trips to the yarn store and a few months later, we had an fun mobile (The knitting was easy. Finding the time was … difficult.)!

The jellyfish is knit in five parts: a body and four tentacles.

The jellyfish is knit in five parts: a body and four tentacles.

Attach the tentacles to the body and you get a jellyfish.

Attach the tentacles to the body and you get a jellyfish.

The completed mobile in the nursery.

The completed mobile in the nursery.

I can report the mobile is well loved. Holly gets excited about it on a regular basis. Success!

Spring Flowers

One of the few benefits of the quarantimes is extra gardening time since you are not going anywhere anyway! The unfortunate part is that there are not a lot of open nurseries or garden centers so our vegetable patch is looking a little sparse but, on the plus side, we have a lot of perennial flowers and herbs and even some overwintering veggies. Enjoy the various views of our spring here in West Seattle (and hopefully we are getting into enough of a groove that posts will be more frequent again soon).

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Holly likes exploring the vast (to her) backyard.

A couple different sorts of tulip, daffodils, and some purple flower I don't know. Up next are the rhododendrons and roses.

A couple different sorts of tulips, daffodils, and some purple flower I don’t know. Up next are the rhododendrons and roses.

Made a pesto with the local parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and Swiss chard.

Made a pesto with the local parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and Swiss chard.