Highway 1, California

bigsurWith views hazy from the ocean spray and the Californian sunshine, everything in Big Sur seemed more dreamlike than it already is. Winding and steep at times, Highway 1 was by far the most scenic drive I’ve ever been on (kudos to Dad behind the wheel); and we made frequent pauses along the side of the road to take it all in. Mile after mile, the scenery didn’t get old. Those massive waves crashing over huge, jagged rocks like they’re just little pebbles that stand between them and shore – it’s the kind of scene that reminds you just how powerful nature is. Even from way up above on the bluffs, the swirling ocean looks like billowing clouds before a storm (under the least threatening cloudless blue sky). It’s a dangerous kind of beauty.bigsur1bigsur2

“So that later when I heard people say “Oh Big Sur must be beautiful!” I gulp to wonder why it has the reputation of being beautiful above and beyond its fearfulness, its Blakean groaning rough-rock Creation throes, those vistas when you drive the coast highway on a sunny opening up the eye for miles of horrible washing sawing.” –Big Sur, Jack Kerouac

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Wine County, Ontario

PEC (1)pec (1 of 1)Fall colours, summer sunshine, French onion grilled cheese, scenic drives, good people, and (of course) delicious wines. Not a bad way to spend a Monday.devil's wishbonepec (1 of 2)PEC (2)hinterlandWith vineyards in the region just starting their harvest, we made it down for a quick winery blitz in the county. (Thanks to Devil’s Wishbone, Exultet Wines, Lighthall Vineyard, and Hinterland Wine Company for the hospitality and wine chats on our short tour!) As usual, Prince Edward County left me wanting more. Cheers, PEC. Hope to see you again soon! exultetpec2poppy cafepecounty

Cardamom and Cloves [Moroccan Carrot and Red Lentil Soup]

c&cCardamom and Cloves brings a world of spices to Ottawa’s Little Italy. Nestled among the restaurants on Preston Street, Jodi Samis’ shop has pretty much every spice you could ever think of needing to get cooking.
SONY DSCSONY DSCWith jar upon jar lining the shelves you’re also bound to find ingredients you didn’t know existed, but Jodi will be happy to educate you. I met my parents at the shop last week for a workshop dedicated to a spice that’s ubiquitous in many kitchens, but that I honestly couldn’t have told you much about: cinnamon. As we sipped our apple cinnamon infused water, Jodi cooked and taught us about some of the history of the spice, the differences between “true” cinnamon and cassia, as well as some of it’s lesser and more commonly known health benefits. Jodi has a whole bunch of great workshops (only $10!) lined up this fall, AND (bonus!) there’s a great little deal on Groupon right now — go spice things up!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetSONY DSC Click to continue to recipe

Fauxtography: Summer in the City

duskcanalchamplainLike all good things, my summer vacation came to an end with a return to school last week. I was funemployed for the first couple months of the summer, and for the first time in a long time had (almost) zero commitments. It felt a little weird at first: no set schedule, no job (no pay-cheque) and no classes, but I adjusted pretty quickly…it was glorious.gatineau I decided to fill some of my free time with a class (couldn’t resist some kind of organized activity, I guess.), and signed up for a beginner photography class at SPAO.national gallerymaman Ever since starting this little blah-blah-blahg of mine, I’ve wanted to set some time aside to properly figure out what I’m doing with a my camera, and this summer seemed like as good a time as any to get the basics under my belt. I’m still learning (but when aren’t we?), and I don’t think I’ll ever call myself a photographer, but hopefully the quality keeps improving around here. My favourite aspect of the class was that it set aside some time to go out into the world with the sole intention of taking pictures. This meant tinkering around with my camera of course, but it also meant that I got to enjoy even more of Ottawa’s summer beauty through my lens. backyardDSC_0891I took an awful lot of pictures of flowers. And Dunlop. Flowers and Dunlop together! And food, of course.dunlopSONY DSC Click to continue reading

Field Correspondence

cranberryfieldcampindianpipeplantlakeogilviemorningreflectionsmosquitonetresourcesswampturtleInitially I resented this field course popping up at the end of my summer. It was a mandatory nine day class in the boonies of Ontario. But with such a fun group of classmates (and profs, too!), we managed to fit in a lot of fun between the lab and the field work. There were marshmallows and camp fires, sunny days, mice in our cabins, canoes on the lake, and (maybe too many) beers. We bushwacked, barbecued, and battled leaches. It was full of late nights and early mornings; I came home exhausted, bug bitten and bruised…and wishing that I could have stayed by the lake a little longer. Cheers enviro sci kids, and thanks for all the fish.

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