Saturday, July 16

Saturday's Trail Pics

That is corn growing down on the bottomland near the Raccoon River

Natures Layers

Friday, July 15

Today's Ride

When a tree falls in the woods does it land on a person? No, but it could have. I came across this obstacle on the trail and pondered at the cause and then further investigation told me it was a rotten tree carcass that had finally collapsed.
 I cleared a trail through the debris and went on my way. Today's ride was 8.42 miles.

Pictures from yesterday's ride. Also 8.42 miles. Same route.

My Church

Wednesday, July 13

Animal house

When I came home this morning and settled in next to my computer this is what I saw from my window.

Seconds before the bottom pic was taken the Bluejay was with the rabbit and the squirrel. The squirrel rules however but does tolerate them waiting their turn.

Balloon Flowers and more

 Keri had some balloon flowers at her place and I admired them. Gleaned some seed and apparently planted them in the front flower bed and promptly forgot them. A few weeks ago I spotted this plant and did not know if it was a flower or weed so left it alone and was very surprised when it flowered out to be a balloon flower.
Below is how it will look in years to come after getting firmly established. I will recognize it next time. It is a beauty!

This morning's ride was one adventure after another. As I neared the intersection before the big bridge there was a farmer man walking down the road. I slowed and then noticed the young cow alongside the trail. The cow tried to come my way but didn't know how to deal with me so I crowded it a little and it turned back making its way left avoiding me and the farmer. He followed it, I said, "Good morning" and he said the grass is always greener over here. His cows are out frequently. So on I went and reaching my turn-around point I decided to go on. 
It was more humid than I like but the sun was shining and the wind created by the ride felt cool. So I continued to the next crossroad, 265th street or as I call it Rogers Road. Roger Conant lives nearby and he is a cousin by marriage to me.
The ride from there to the bridge is my number one favorite section of the entire Raccoon River Valley Trail. It is more exquisite than words can express and all downhill! The trail is canopied with beautiful trees and the summer flowers are in bloom with various shades of blues and yellows. It is my church as the song goes.
 I loved every second of it!

 As I came to the big bridge there were two cows and a calf on the trail blocking the north exit of the bridge! There was no way past them and their choices were not the best either. So I kept coming toward them dinging my little bike bell and hollering at them. They finally saw me as a threat and turned off the trail. It was a steep descent for them and I heard one of them fall but I went on my way. They were near their pasture when they reached the bottom and what comes up must go down. I think some long overdue fence repair is in order. I see cows loose near the trail more often than deer!
The remainder of my ride was pleasant but uneventful.

A couple of days ago our granddaughter Ann had some pictures of her and her husband Anthony on a special date. Anthony is stationed in California. They certainly make a beautiful couple.

Sunday, July 10

Does it look like grandpa cooks?

Butch would clean the grill and get grease spots all over his shorts so I reminded him that he did have an apron and should use it. Sonali gave it to him as a gift when we work-camped at Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA of the Rockies. Yes, his knees are bothering him (note the black knee pads ) and so is too much sun but he is ready to cook and it will be burgers for supper!

The view from my computer set-up in front of the window.

Crock Pot Ribs

I made these ribs when the kids were here and they liked them. I was always intimidated with cooking ribs but these were easy and so worth it.


Memphis Pit BBQ Ribs
What You’ll Need:
1 blender
1 3-quart crock pot
1 baking sheet
aluminum foil
basting brush
5 pounds (2 full racks) of pork spare ribs
1 apple
1½ cups applesauce
1 diced onion
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
18 ounces BBQ sauce
What You’ll Need:

Okay, now let’s get down to business. First, arrange your spare ribs in a circle around the edges of your slow cooker. Continue layering the meat until it reaches the top, but has a large hole in the middle. In this center section, place your cored and sliced apple.

Now for the marinade. In a blender, combine your apple sauce, onion, sugar, and vinegar along with half of your BBQ sauce. Puree until smooth and then pour the whole thing over the top of your apple slices and meat. Cover and cook on high for about 5 hours. When you come back, try to resist sneaking a taste. Instead, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the ribs separately onto the surface.
Using your brush, baste the remaining BBQ sauce over the top and sides of your spare ribs. Broil for 5 to 10 minutes and plate as soon as possible for the best and most unique version of this classic we’ve ever tasted!