Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Piping Plover Update!

This is just in from:

Matthew Bailey
Wildlife Biologist
DNREC: Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program

Beach-nester Update April 27, 2010

We have our first piping plover nest of the season!  A one egg nest was found yesterday at Cape Henlopen State Park at the Point.  In addition to the pair that has nested, at least two other pairs have set up territories at the Point. For the past four seasons we’ve had our first piping plover nest show up between April 23 to May 1, so the timing this year is dead center.

There are two plover pairs with territories down at Gordons Pond, but they are still ranging around pretty widely with their scraping activity, so, it is difficult to predict where they might finally settle in.

One pair of American Oystercatchers has been exploring the interior of the Point, but, no scrapes have been found yet.  Another pair of oystercatchers have made a scrape at Fowlers Beach on Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, but no nest has been found yet.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Small Kitchen Stories: Tuna Cakes

What to do with leftover bits of mashed potato and grilled fish?  Sounds like a doggie-bag take home from a "Big Fish" dinner or the leavings from the weekend's cooking.  Fish Cakes! 
In this case I only had the mashed potato and a lonely can of Tuna!

Tuna Cakes

Tuna, one can drained
Mashed Potato, ~ 1 big cup
Egg, 1
Chives, Dill, Tarragon
Dry Bread Crumbs

Mash it all up, except for the bread crumbs!  Form four cakes.  Dust in the bread crumbs and fry in olive oil!

Ta DA!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Small Kitchen Stories: Rhubarb Banana Crisp

I was on a roll!  At the Post Office I was offered fresh cut "free" asparagus!  
Then off I went to the Amish farm and found a small bunch of cut from the garden Rhubarb for $0.50!  
The Mom pregnant with # 10 kid, pulled for me a bunch of radishes, $1.00!
I was inspired!   A cool Spring day demanded the oven make a "Fruit" Crisp!  

Rhubarb-Banana Crisp  ( Yes, Bananas!  Get OVER it! )

Rhubarb: young and tender, small bunch, washed, and chopped into tiny dices
Bananas: 2, sliced and chopped.
Oatmeal, Quick Cooking-type
Cardamom and Cinnamon, Ground

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Find a nice deep pie pan and slather the bottom with at least 1 teaspoon of butter.
In a bowl combine the  Rhubarb, Bananas, the spices, ~ 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1 Tablespoon of melted butter.  Fill the pie plate!
In the same unwashed bowl add in ~ 2 to 3 Tablespoons of melted butter, ~ 1/4 cup sugar, ~ 1/4 cup flour, and then generous amounts of oatmeal stirring until you get the "crisp" consistency.  Add in more spices!
Pile and spread around evenly the crisp topping on the cut "fruit".  
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Tea Time!

Ta DA!


Monday, April 19, 2010

Cottage Opening: De-Winterizing

        Yes, my brain is still de-Winterizing from the December thru March's ordeals.  Winter is serious stuff. 
 Summer is the opposite. Thus the start of my Summer celebrations starts officially with, "The Call".
This is how it goes.  I make a date for the De-Winterization with Service Today ( they are The Best!), and make certain the key to the cottage is "available" (as in not lost). 
 I request, no DEMAND my FAVORITE Plumber!!!!!  He knows the place inside and out and then some.
  Then I wait anxiously for "The Day" and the follow-up phone call.
  Hallelujahs rang out when my Favorite Plumber called and announced, " You are Good to GO!"
  No boring blog this to list all the challenging events of  dealing with a 1960's Three-Season Beachy-Cottage.  So imagine my sigh of relief with the above good news!
Dewey Beach!  Beach Season starts NOW! 
 Make Some NOISE!!!!!!!

Ta DA!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Venus Finds her "Cute Beachy Tops"

I laid out all my new clothes for beach-time and saw two missing items: cute-going out tops and tee-shirts.
Yes, I have a PILE of faded ragged tee-shirts...... and yes I am constantly on the hunt for them...... yet I am always short on these.  
I am not about to pay huge $$$$ for a tee-shirt yet I am so fussy as to the cut and fabric feel.  Oh, and the tee should dress up easily!
Thanks to Kohl's, I found a huge stack of soft thin cotton ones with a feminine cut and faded-out water-color patterns.  I bought five!  I am determined to throw out every last one of my yuccky ones......... do you believe me?  Will I succeed?!  OK, one or two old ones will be kept for gardening and Cape Henlopen Trail Days!
Also at Kohl's I found the fun "out at nite tops".  From top to bottom, narrow ridges of tiny ruffles of stretchy material, looking like fish-scales, with graphic prints on a faded background is artful, fun, and make me look like a Mermaid-at-Studio 54!  I bought two!
I have already a selection of soft knit ballet skirts for all of the above!!!
Ta DA! 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Piping Plover Volunteer Meeting: CHSP Biden Center

This is just in!  Take note if you want to join: Bird Police!  

 Be There or Be Eaten By an Osprey!


Matthew Bailey
Wildlife Biologist
Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program
(302) 735-8677 (office)
(302) 382-4151 (cell)

Beach-Nester Update April 12, 2010

The 2010 beach-nesting bird season has gotten off to a solid start.  The Point at Cape Henlopen State Park (CHSP) was closed to the public on March 1st.  During the first week in March, fencing at CHSP’s Gordons Pond and at Delaware Seashore State Park was erected to protect potential and known nesting areas.

For the past two weeks piping plovers have been seen regularly at both the Point and Gordons Pond.  Most surveys have been conducted during or after times of high winds, so, it has not been possible to determine whether the plovers are making nest scrapes yet (the wind erases from the sand bird tracks and unmaintained nest scrapes).

American Oystercatchers have been seen regularly at the Point and also at Fowlers Beach on the Delaware Bay.  Unfortunately, the high winds have made it difficult to determine if the oystercatchers have progressed to the nest scrape stage of their breeding season.

A date has been set for the annual volunteer orientation.  Both new and experienced volunteers are invited to the orientation.  At the orientation Matthew Bailey, Division of Fish and Wildlife biologist who coordinates the beach-nester monitoring and protection program, will report on outcomes of the 2009 breeding season and will discuss the types of activities that beach-nester volunteers can assist with. Matt will use a slide show to illustrate the information covered.  Returning volunteers will be encouraged to share their impressions of their experiences working with the program and to offer advice to new volunteers.

The orientation will be held May 15 from 11am until 1pm at the CHSP Biden Center.  Refreshments will be served and, weather permitting, Matt will lead a field trip to search for piping plovers and other shorebirds on the tidal flats at the Point.



Matthew Bailey
Wildlife Biologist
Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program
(302) 735-8677 (office)
(302) 382-4151 (cell)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Summer Cottage Preparations, ~ 1960's

I spent my Childhood Summers, Memorial Day to Labor Day, in Dewey and Bethany Beach from ages a few months old to age 12.  I learned from my Mom to purchase the entire household staples in one fell swoop.  Then it was only the perishables we were after: fresh berries, corn on the cob, and trips to Indian River Inlet for fresh fish!  
How well I remember the trip to the Safeway Foods for the stocking-up occasion.  We were shopping for two adults and four children!  We walked every aisle, loaded cart after cart, and I remember being horrified at a total bill of ~ $400.00!
This seasons load of all my needed sunscreen products to last until October 31st tallied at least $75.00!
We loaded up two even-old-for-the era Chevys with our household pets, clothes, toys, bikes, beach towels and linens, the above supplies ...... and headed out!
One year en-route we had a flat tire.  My parents failed to change the Snow Tires out.
Going over the Bay Bridge, my heart sang out with relief!  It was the dividing line of "School Days" to" Summer Beach Days"!
Outfitting the cottage was done fast, we said "Hi" to neighbors, and then we hit the beach!
Paper plates and cups were "the thing" to save time and trouble for washing dishes.  
My parents saved money for the family of four on shoes and sandals: we wore none until the first day of School!

Beach Blessing,


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cottage Opening: Preparations!

Since I have the objective of not wasting a minute of beach time running Route 1 errands, for weeks I have been gathering the beachy-cottage "must haves" to last until October 31st!
I've gathered the basic items for the laundry, outdoor shower, bathroom, and the kitchen.  I've not yet shopped for the basic pantry items.   I'll do that the week before opening.
I've shopped for the entire season's needs of lip balms and sunscreen!  A fortune!
I collected the season's worth of skin care creams and lotions, and cosmetics.
I collected the hair demands: shampoos and hair pins/clips and such.
I've shopped for swimsuits, clothes, and jewelry, ...... but my new beach hat hunt still eludes me.  I'm after "Slogger" hats, the soft-woven ones...... but my usual stores this season refuse to re-stock!!!!!
This week I also set the dates for the De-Winterizing, for Spring Cleaning, and Spring Lawn Clean-up!
Last season's arrival was a bit upsetting as the refrigerator had died...... and woah, did it take some doing to make the replacement.  Three weekends without a refrigerator, living out a cooler with melting ice, is not something I want to repeat.
I'm ready Beach-Cottage!  I'll be there soon!

Beach Blessings,

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Small Kitchen Stories: Chicken Salad Sandwich

I'm on a "New Summer Sandwich" kick for my Cape Henlopen State Park, Bay-side outdoor picnics, and this one instantly sends me reeling back to my Bethany Beach Childhood Summers. 
The filling starts with left-over barbecue chicken which was more than our weekly staple.   Combined with the chicken, the cheddar cheese and sweet pickle speaks: Delmarva Grandma's kitchen! 

Barbecue Chicken, Breast and Leg: skinned and chopped fine
Green Scallions: chopped fine
Cracker Barrel's: Aged Sharp Cheddar: shredded ( not chopped ).
Hellman's Mayo
Drew's  Salad Dressing: Sesame Orange
Vlassic's Sweet Pickle

In a small ceramic bowl add in the finely chopped chicken and scallions, and a generous portion of the shredded cheese.  Then add appropriate to taste dollops of the Mayo, Dressing and Sweet Pickle.  Mix well and laden a good and toasted sourdough.

Ta DA!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Beachy-Life and Handbag Logistics!

Oooh, the Summer Handbag Logistics! 
 I've worked it out, but I am always eyeing "street solutions"!
I travel to the cottage with my "everyday" favorite which holds a house and more.
Once at the cottage: out come the selections.  I'm very form follows function....... but the bag has to please and amuse the eye, and be a pleasure to feel and hold.
The vintage-y, almost-preppy flat-bottom straw basket gets tons of use for day-time errand shopping.  It holds my sunglasses, thrown in keys and small wallet, lip balm, and my notepad and pen. 
My minimal-design, smooth-straw, tiny wristlet gets play for fun nights out.  Key here is that it does not need to hold my bulky sunglass case!  The wrist strap can covert end-to end, like a normal bag.  Bonus points here as the handle can be hooked to the bar chair or rail.
The favorite going-out bag, for when it must hold the sunglasses, goes to a sexy-ruched-shaped, soft black leather bag with a tassel trimmed small handle! It fits perfectly under my arm.
Birding and outdoor adventures? It ain't camo-covered, but my hot-pink backpack works!
I do admire the fancy going-out backpack solution........ but it just seems too sweaty for  going-out clothes!
Hung on metal flower hooks, the cute handbags serve double duty decorating my bedroom walls!

Beach Blessings,

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fenwick Island Whale Necropsy

Lewes' MERR organization recently conducted a necropsy on a Fin Whale at Fenwick Island.  
Below is a report and photos from a MERR volunteer and friend.
Note the Meer Director, Suzanne Thurman, atop the whale looking not more than a crawling inchworm.

*** We did a necropsy, and it had been struck by a ship, but we don't know if it was dead before it was hit. It was quite amazing, and the necropsy was quite exhausting, to say the least. *** 

At the MEER Lewes location, The Fin Whale skull will soon be on display as soon as the composting critters have their way.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What Would Venus Wear? Earrings!

Each new Beach Season I look forward to adding at least one new earring to my collection.
You would think this would be easy..... but I have certain requirements.  The earring must say, "Summer", and signal my boho-glam beach-combing-ethic. 
 As well I need a gold wire earring ( lever-back preferred ) which is easy and light-enough to wear for the travel, hold up to a weekend of activities, and be light-hearted and fun-enough for evening wear.
 The earring must be compelling in beauty but simple in concept.  Anything too glitzed-out just looks like too much make-up piled on under bad lighting.
I'm not looking for anything too expensive in case it is lost to ocean and sand, or would not hold up to the effects of such.
My choices seem to have the color white as a threading theme.  White jade, fresh water pearl, mother-of pearl, rock crystal all speak to that thrill of finding the just found conch shell!  The white color plays nicely off my Summer tan and seem to make my look a bit more crisp even if I'm melting from the humidity.
Venus says: go find your beauty!  Go find your Summer earrings!