Friday, July 24, 2009

55 ~ July in the Garden

dove 1 (click photos to enlarge)

I'm sorry I have been neglecting my blog posts in the last days. It's nearing the end of July and holiday time for most folks and here in the Canary Islands it is quite warm and humid. It sure slows down everyday activities and makes it even difficult sometimes to sit in a chair facing a computer for very long.

windowBut I have a moving show in front of me. When looking out my window I see a continual rivalry between the blackbirds visiting the feeder hanging in a tree just outside.

mirlo eating
young mirlo
The older males attempt to monopolize the food tray, chasing away the youngsters and females with threatening gestures and flapping wings. Added to that drama we now have an attractive resident dove who comes several times a day to feed. It is a ring-necked dove and as more have since come to visit, I checked that their latin name is Streptopelia Capicola.

dove 2
dove 3In among the cactus and succulents growing, we have a plant with a spiky stem called a Madagascar Palm, (Pachypodium Lamerei),which isn't really a palm at all but is rather a succulent, and it has bloomed for the first time in 25 years, with beautiful white waxy flowers resembling a frangipani (Plumeria Alba).

madagascar palm
This plant does take a long time to flower but ours was being overshadowed by a small palm which cast shade when it should have been in full sun.
These are the first photos:

madagascar palm
madagascar palm
And in the other side of the garden, the Piccabeen palm (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana) has a cluster of seeds which have turned bright red.

palm seeds
And the Mandevilla is blooming everywhere in this summer heat.

And the Iceberg Rose has its second flush of blooms.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

54 ~ Recipe: Susa's Apple Cake

torta de susa (click photos to enlarge)

Although I'm not a food blogger, sometimes a recipe rises to the surface and I remember how good it was last time I made it.

Here's one of them:

cut cake

SUSA'S APPLE CAKE - Torta de Manzana Susa - Venezuela

3/4 cup sugar (125 grams)
1/2 cup + 1 TBS butter (125 grams)
1 1/2 cups flour (200 grams)
2 eggs
2 golden apples, peeled and sliced
1 teasp baking powder
1 teasp cinnamon
zest of 1 lemon finely grated
a little more sugar for topping

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour an 8 inch (20 cm) springform tart mold.

2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, adding the sugar a little at a time, then add the eggs one by one.
Add the grated lemon zest.

3. Mix the baking powder with the flour and add it a little at a time to the mixture, beating until well blended.

4. Pour mixture into tart pan and spread to cover bottom. Arrange apple slices around in a fanshape, sprinkle with a little more sugar and the cinnamon.

5. Bake for about 45 minutes.

Source: Translated from "Recetas de Tia Tiqui" - Caracas, Venezuela

My Notes: I didn't peel the apples and served the pieces with a spoonful of nonfat peach yogurt.

I hope you will try it, because it's easy to make and good!

Monday, July 13, 2009

My World Tuesday

fisherwoman A fisherwoman cleans sardines at the harbour
(click photos to enlarge)

fisherman A fisherman unloads freshly caught tuna

cutting tuna And here he cuts the tuna into steaks

Scenes down at the fishermen's harbour in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Canary Islands.

Click here to see other interesting scenes from around the world.

Friday, July 10, 2009

53 ~ Adding Text to Photos

step 8Some time ago I was showing a friend how to add text to a photo using PAINT, the free Microsoft program found under Accessories ...
(Click Start - All Programs - Accessories).
You can add titles to your photos or make greeting e-cards with this simple program. I kept my little tutorial and thought perhaps if I post it here it could be useful to others. Here it is step by step. The photos will enlarge when clicked.


Adding Text to Photos in PAINT

Before you start, be sure the photo you want to use has been resized to the desired size.
If you need help with that I can post other text I have about resizing in Irfanview.

With the PAINT program opened on your screen begin:

1. Action: Left click on FILE - then OPEN
Result: Opens browser window. Browse to desired photo.

2. Action: L.Click on desired photo then OPEN.
Result: Photo opens in Paint workspace.

Step23. Choose the text option by clicking on the large 'A' at left and then your choice of a solid text box behind your lettering (upper icon) or a transparent box as illustrated here (lower icon).

4. Action: L.Click on photo where you wish text to begin.
Result: Dotted line box appears with cursor at top left corner.

5. Stretch box to fit desired size by pulling on tiny blue dots on all 4 sides when double arrow appears as cursor is passed over blue dots.

6. Action: With cursor inside text box, right click and choose 'text toolbar' from the menu that just dropped down.
Result: Text toolbar appears at top of screen - (seen in photo 7).

7. Choose font and size, bold, italic or underline from text toolbar at top and then text colour from palette at screen bottom left. (In my example I used Vivaldi Italic.)

8. Type in text. You can correct with back arrow and 'Undo' from the edit menu at top of screen.

9. When done, L.Click outside of text box and dotted lines of box will disappear.

last step
10. L.Click FILE - then SAVE AS and save your photo with a filename different from the original.

I don't think anyone will have a problem with this but if something isn't clear, please ask :-).

Monday, July 6, 2009

My World Tuesday

antiques Antique Shop Window (click photos to enlarge)

Strolling around looking at shop windows can be an entertaining way to have a look at new businesses, see what is offered as summer fashions and browse through displays of antiques and jewellery. Here in the town where I live is a window full of antiques, an enticement to enter and look for bargains.

Click here for glimpses of other places around the world.

52 ~ Window Shopping

cake Bakery window (Click photos to enlarge)

There are many German bakeries in the area where we live in Tenerife, and their cakes are very popular with tourists and locals. A bakery in our neighbourhood has added a few chairs and tables outside and now serves coffee and cake to those who can't resist their four o'clock cafe und kuchen, the four o'clock afternoon coffee and cake, a very German custom.

poppyseed cake Poppy seed cakes

The German breads are very good; many of them made from sourdough, rye and spelt, and topped with oats, sunflower seeds, and other grains.

buns Whole grain rolls

jewellery A jewellery window

Now we come to the ladies' wear. It can be difficult to pass by shop windows displaying attractive outfits without stopping to wonder about the price...and the size.

white outfit Summer whites

orange outfit Summer colours

window For dressing up

And who could resist such a charming straw hat, adorned with roses and pearls for wearing to a special summer tea out on a cool lawn.

straw hat


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