Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fruit Bats

We saw these on the touristy Quinte Avenida in downtown Playa del Carmen on the 22nd. They are so cool I thought you might like to see them. I think they are the Common Fruit Bat, but as you can see from the video trying to get a good look was difficult. However, they were grabbing the figs and flying off with them!

We also saw many Baltimore Orioles and Common Grackles that spend the summers in South-Central and Eastern Canada (and elsewhere but this is where I saw them) and winter here on the Yucatan Peninsula. On our walk today we saw a flash of iridescent blue in the forest and discovered a flock of Yucatan Jays. We have a gecko that lives in our room.The Spanish word for gecko in Mexico is cuija and they make kissing sounds at night. We also see lots of butterflies, flowers, iguanas and gartijas (a small lizard).

Monday, December 26, 2011

Feliz Navidad!

Okay, so I am a day late but still I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!! We started the day at the beach and found a small reef about 800 m away and did some snorkeling.
The party started at 8 pm and went until 6 am! I was pooped by 2 am and my Spanish was failing so I bailed early. We had a blast at the party, 10 adults and a 3 year old. This year the celebration was at Diego's sister's place to make it easier for our nephew Santiago to get to bed after opening his presents. The thing I find the most interesting is how they decorate their houses with Christmas trees, snowmen and Santa Claus. They actually import live trees from Canada and the vast majority of Mexicans have never seen real snow!!
They do have Santa Claus and he does come in the night so Santiago had more present to open in the morning! I asked them how Santa got into the houses since they don't have chimneys and they have bars on all the windows... I don't think any of them had ever thought of that before, not even as children! One tradition that we don't have is to celebrate the arrival of the Wise Men so on Jan 6. On that night the kids put out a shoe and get a little gift. There is also a traditional cake that I describe here when I was fortunate enough to experience the celebration in 2009.

There were lots of gifts to go around and with each gift you have to hug and sing which just adds to the fun and celebratory ambiance. It took almost 3 hours for all the gifts to be opened and then it was time to eat (at 12 am!!!). As usual we had WAY to much food and we will be eating leftovers for at least another couple of days. I made Canadian style turkey dinner to go with the more traditional Mexican dishes and everyone LOVED IT! I even brought canned whole berry cranberry sauce to give them the real experience.
We also had Bacalao a la Vizcaina which is salted cod fish soaked in water to remove the salt and then cooked in a tomato sauce with onions, potatoes and olives. This is a very traditional dish for Christmas in Mexico and dates back to the Spanish conquest. There is no cod fish in Mexico but the Spanish used to fish the cod off the Canadian and American coast and brought the tradition with them. The link to the bacalao recipe is from Diego's great-great grandmother! The one we ate this year (photo below) is from his brother-in-law's family.
We had pork loin stuffed with nuts, plums and grapes with a nut and red wine sauce. Although not traditional and it doesn't look very appealing in the photo below, it was DELICIOUS! I am getting the recipe for sure. There was also a lasagna with walnuts, almonds, capers, olives and ground beef...who would have thought to put nuts in a lasagna but it was very tasty!
For dessert we had ensalada de manzana (apple salad with a cream sauce - in the yellow bowl) and hojaldra. Hojaldra is very traditional at Christmas and New Years and comes from the Yucatan peninsula. It is a layer of a pastry, one of ham, another of cheese and then topped with another layer of pastry sprinkled with coarse grain sugar. Diego's sister made it and I forgot to take a photo but for New Years, Diego's mom is going to teach me how to make it and I will pass on the information because it is delicious!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Noche Buena

Noche Buena or Christmas Eve in Mexico...we are preparing for the family gathering tonight. This will inlcude traditional food such as romeritos (dried shrimp with a type of grass and potatoes cooked in a chocolate and chili gravy),bacalao (salted cod with potatoes in a tomato and chili sauce) with the accompanying Canadian stuffed turkey. The gifts are wrapped and ready to be opened. For now we will head to the beach since the party doesn't start until 8 pm!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas filled with good food, excellent company and lots of laughter.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Delicious Twist on an Old Favorite

Being in 2 different departments at the University leads to many holiday parties. So to keep things simple during a busy time I always fall back on an old favorite with my added twist....Banana Bread. What is the twist you ask? Well adding a holiday fruit like cranberries and to balance the bitterness of the berries a few chocolate chips for a decadent treat!
I made this yesterday and a friend asked for the recipe, so I thought I would share it with everyone!

1-3/4 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp of salt
1/3 cup of shortening or butter or lard
2/3 cup of sugar (I use 1/2 cup when I have chocolate chips)
2 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla
3-4 mashed very ripe bananas
1 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 - 3/4 of a 340 g bag of fresh or frozen cranberries

***Update Jan 19, 2012 - instead of white flour I used Spearville Mills' Whole White Flour and it was VERY moist! I also used 1-85% dark chocolate bar broken into chunks instead of chocolate chips and I enjoyed it much better than the sweetness of the the chips. It was heavenly to bite into a chunk rather than a chip!***

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add bananas and mix well. I sometimes freeze my ripe bananas to get enough for the recipe, if you do this too thaw them first and not need to mash them before adding them to the mix. Add the vanilla and mix well.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and powder and add in 4 portions to the mixture. Mix until smooth after each addition. Pour into a well greased pan and bake at 350F for 50 mins or until a knife comes out clean from the centre.

This tastes AMAZING right out of the oven with a little butter and a tea (or coffee)! The cranberries add extra moisture making this cake feel dense but the cake itself is light as is the flavour because of the bananas.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Diego's Big Day!

Diego successfully defended his PhD Thesis today!!! He is now Dr. Diego in Biological Oceanography! His defense was 2 hours long and he did GREAT with all the questions. I am very proud of his success! One down, one more to go in the family! But now, it is time to celebrate!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Brave New World!

"What we are experiencing at the moment seems to be very exceptional…. This means that we are entering into the world which has no equivalent in the past."

If you didn't hear about it, you should read about it here... Arctic Sea Ice Loss Unprecedented in 1,450 years.

The fact that the ice is melting faster than the worst case scenario in climate models can be: 1) a testament to scientists conservative estimates OR 2) they were missing a piece of the puzzle OR 3) both. Either way, it doesn't look good...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Big FIND and my Pumpkin.

Last week Sherrie came to Halifax for a visit and as usual after dinner we headed to Value Village and what did I find....
12 Nancy Drew Books!!! I loved reading these as a child and am now in the process of building my collection. I already had a few from childhood (still in my parent's basement...) but most I borrowed from the library. I just couldn't pass them up and I already finished my first book! They are great stories.
This year for Halloween we decided to stay home and hand out candy. So to let the kiddies know to come on over, I carved my very first pumpkin that doesn't have the traditional triangle eyes and toothy smile. I had a BLAST carving it and enjoyed it's glow all evening.
Now I just need to get the evil tree's eyes and the moon to glow next year. I also made roasted pumpkin seeds and they were a delicious and healthy snack that I enjoyed all week!
I hope you had a great Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

More Good News!

In the early morning fog on what was a beautiful Fall day I quietly celebrated getting another thesis chapter done...well almost...I am waiting for comments back from my committee members before I submit it for publication! For those of you who may not be familiar with graduate school and how it works I will give you a quick overview.

Once you have been accepted into a Doctoral program and you have a project you have to select a committee of 2-3 people other than your supervisor who will be there to help guide you and evaluate your work throughout your program. You want to choose people with a range of expertise that you can draw on but that can offer you insightful comments on aspects that you are learning and that your supervisor may not be an expert in. Once you have selected your committee you have to defend your proposed project. After about a year of classes and literature review, you write up a 5-10 page document outlining your project, its goals, how you will do it and why it is important. Then you have an oral exam (Admission to Candidacy Exam or ATC) starting with a presentation of your proposal then you answer 2-3 rounds of questions from your committee and can take up to 3 hours. This is a pass/fail type of exam and if you pass you move on to actually being a PhD candidate and doing your research. If you fail, you start again with another proposal but if you do not pass the second time you are kicked out. You typically meet with your committee once a year to keep them updated on your progress but are able to see them anytime for particular issues or one on one discussions. One year before you finish your thesis you have a Preliminary Exam. This is an oral exam that prepares you for your thesis defense (another ~ 3 hr exam). This exam is based on one of your thesis chapters. This exam is designed to be on the broader topic of your thesis not some particular data you collected, it is supposed to put your work into the broader context of the field and it meant to evaluate your ability to see the bigger picture and synthesize your work. Again, it is an oral presentation with 2-3 rounds of questions from your committee and an new examiner from within the University but external to your committee. Another pass/fail event and if you fail twice you are out. The last hoop is the biggest, the thesis defense. This is your last (~3 hr) exam and the one with the most riding on it! You are there to defend the work you have done for the last 4 -8 years (average at Dalhousie is 5-6, they kick you out with or without a degree after 9). For this event you have another external examiner but this time they are an expert in the field from outside the University, for example Diego's is coming from France! After the thesis defense then you have a BIG party! :)

You are not required to publish your chapters as you go but it does make it easier in the end. Most students who don't publish as they go have a hard time doing so once they have completed and moved on to the next thing. It is also nice to have all those publications on your CV right away, you are more competitive for the positions that do come up.

Now that I have 2 down...just 2 more to go! On to chapter 3!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Finally Some Progress!!!

Friday was a GREAT day... After a long summer of hard work I finally finished Chapter 2 of my thesis!!! I also had my first chapter come out in print (you can view the abstract here) AND I finished the first week of teaching without a hitch! Diego is also progressing nicely! He has one chapter left to do revisions and his thesis will be off to his committee members...his defense...definitely before Christmas!

First and foremost I want to say Thanks to all of my friends nearby and in cyber space for your patience. It is hard but necessary to completely immerse myself in my work and I will need to keep at it for the next two chapters! I will keep you updated with my progress as I achieve "small" victories!

Of course it hasn't been all work. I do have to have some diversions to keep me from going absolutely crazy! Like my garden (the photos are from earlier this year)!
Our upside down tomatoes...they had white flies but still produced lots of cherry tomatoes.
Our herb garden was out of control! We also had lots of tomato plants everywhere! I made sauce with them for the winter.
We had lots of peas and the brussel sprouts are starting to form!
Our potato plants flowered...did you know the smell amazing!?! AND they made about 2 kg of potatoes! I planted red ones and they are delicious!
We also made a lot of delicious food...like this amazing Hawaiian Pizza! I made 3 batches of strawberry jam (Diego LOVES it on yogurt), 2 batches of strawberry-rhubarb and one batch of plum jam. They are all very tasty!
We had a couple of small side projects too (that are still in progress...). We were inspired to make our kitchen space more efficient so we magnetized our wooden cooking utensils! Now we have more counter space (no utensil holder) and they are right where we need them.
We also magnetized our existing spice jars to go on the side of the fridge and freed up some space on the shelf above the stove...it was a nightmare of crowded jars and spices were hard to find...not anymore!
Can you see the hanging wooden spoons? We drilled holes in our salsa spoons so we could hang them within reach...now they are no longer crowding up our drawer! Can you tell we have been spending too much time cooped up at home??!
The last item of note is my new found passion for vintage hairstyles! Diego bought me the above book for my birthday (end of Aug) and I have been doing vintage styles ever since!
I did this one on my b-day dinner out. I had victory rolls at the front, late 40's style. Many of them are time consuming and require patience BUT once you get the technique right then you can start making it more efficient.
This one is my favorite. It is a 30's style and the front has a finger wave. It is also one of the easiest to do! I usually do half at night (like foam curlers) and then sleep on it so it only takes 15 mins in the morning. Although, you do have to sleep in a kerchief! Diego loves the styles and laughs every time he sees me in a kerchief. I have yet to venture and try the beehive! I will let you know when I do!
Back to work! Ciao for now!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Amazing Salsa!

Music that is!!! Last night we went to the Latin night at the Atlantic Jazz Festival and the headlining band was la-33 from Bogota, Columbia. They were AMAZING!

They put on a great show and the music...Diego and I danced the whole time!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Metallica ROCKS Citadel Hill!

Ok, so I am not a HUGE metal fan but Metallica was one of my favorite bands in high school. Needless to say they are no longer on the top of my playlist but I do listen to them on occasion. However, when I heard they were coming to town, I jumped at the opportunity to see them live. The last time I had the chance I was 14 and to my great disappointment, there was no way my parents were letting me go to a Metallica and Guns & Roses concert... so it was time. Although, I was not ready to pay the $150+ to actually be in the audience. Luckily, it was an outdoor concert and if you place yourself just right on the hill you can actually see one of the screens (albeit far away) but you can hear the music very clearly. So at 8:30 pm last night we dressed in our rain gear and headed to the hill. By some miracle, it stopped raining as the band came on and held off for the whole 2 hour concert. My favorite part of the show was when they played One (see video).

From our vantage point we also got to see some gate crashers...literally! The fences keeping us out were held together by cable ties. Police and security would patrol every once in a while but they got pretty complacent about half way through the show and a group of kids pushed down part of the fence and bolted for the crowd. Security was way too late to catch them but they did step up patrol after that! We decided to leave during the encore so we wouldn't be stuck in a huge crowd trying to walk home. We passed behind the stage and I was glad we were 500 m away on the hill, the music was so loud I would have had to wear earplugs if I had been in the audience...am I showing my age or what! ?!

All in all, it was a good time, I am glad we went and now I can finally say that I went to see them but I think I had my fix for the year. Tonight we will head to the Jazz Festival to see a Columbian band with some friends. This is more our style and we will dance the night away! This will be worth paying for! :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Delicious Food!

Other than food, work, a little gardening and yoga outside (when it is not raining...which is not often!) there is not much else going on right now. I am trying very hard to get 2 chapters of my thesis done this summer so I can finish my PhD by next summer. I know I said I would take a blogging break this summer but I just couldn't help myself. I have actually been missing it. Since all the excitement in my life is about food, this is what I will be posting about today.
I made these amazing strawberry-rhubarb galettes for Father's Day (photo from the recipe website). My dad would have loved them! The recipe says that it makes 6 personal sized galettes but really one can be easily shared between 2 people. I did not have the 5 spice mix that it called for so I substituted with cinammon, nutmeg, cardamom and cloves and they were DELICIOUS!

Yesterday, Diego and I made the fresh strawberry pie I posted last year at this time. I also have 10 quarts of strawberries waiting to made into jam and pies. I will freeze the pies uncooked to be eaten over the winter.
This is my latest cookbook acquisition and I LOVE it! If you love Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan food, this is the book for you! You can take a peek at it here. A friend of mine turned me on to it by cooking amazing recipes from the book every time we went over so I bit the bullet and bought it last week. Every recipe I have tried so far has been amazing. I have only personally made 3 from the book but have eaten at least 6. The recipes are not all that complicated but you should read them ahead of time. There are usually quite a few steps but you can do them concurrently...like cooking the chicken while preparing the sauce...

One of my favourite recipes from this book is called Beets with Tropical Flavours and has been reproduced here. If you don't know what to do with beets, definitely give this a try. I have beets peeled and ready to make it tonight!

I had a whole happy (free range organic) chicken in the freezer so I opened the book to the chicken & eggs section and just picked a recipe more or less (I read the ingredients to made sure I had everything) at random. I was not disappointed.

Aromatic Slow Cooked Chicken (serves 5-6)
Source: Mangoes & Curry Leaves by Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid

2-lb of bone in chicken or on2 2.5-3 lb whole chicken
3 cups of water
1/2 cup of vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter)
1 tsp cumin seeds (I used ground cumin)
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup of grated onion
1 Tbsp of minced or mashed garlic
1 Tbsp of minced or mashed ginger
1 Tbsp of ground coriander
1-1/2 tsp of salt
2 green cayenne chilies, minced
2 Tbsp of plain yogurt
2 tsp of rice vinegar
1 tsp of sugar
1/2 cup of chopped fresh coriander leaves and stems

Wash the chicken and remove the skin and discard (this video shows you how to skin and cut up a whole chicken). Chop breasts into 4 pieces and separate the thighs and drumsticks. If the drumsticks are large, chop them in half. If you are using a whole chicken, you want to have 10-12 pieces. Remove any bone fragments and rinse the chicken well. Place the chicken in a heavy pot (I used my cast iron dutch oven) and add water. Bring to a vigorous boil, lower the heat and simmer partially covered for 30-40 mins or until the chicken is just cooked through. Remove the chicken pieces and set aside. Measure out 2 cups of broth and reserve. If you have more than 2 cups, you can use the rest to make rice to accompany the chicken. If you have less, top it up with water.

Rinse and dry the pot, then heat the oil or ghee over medium heat. Toss in the cumin seeds and black pepper and when the oil sputters a little (after ~ 30 sec) add the onion, garlic and ginger and stir. Cook for ~5-10 mins, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened and translucent, then add the ground coriander, salt and minced chilies. Stir well and cook for several minutes to blend the flavours. Stir in the yogurt, one spoonful at a time, until well blended. Pour in the reserved broth and add chicken pieces. bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for several minutes. Add the vinegar and sugar and stir in. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat slightly and cook at a strong simmer for several minutes. Toss in the chopped coriander and simmer for another minute. Serve, hot with the remaining coriander strewn on top as a garnish.

This is amazing over rice or with Naan bread. We ate it for at least 3 meals and it just gets better with age. I followed the recipe to the letter (except the cumin seeds) the first time but next time I would cook the chicken in a separate pot while preparing the sauce to cut the prep time down by about 10 minutes. Since I used the same pot as the chicken, once everything was cut up I had about 10 mins to spare.

I can't wait to try some of the fish recipes on our CSF fish...that starts next week! They have more delivery locations this year and will set up a new location if you get 10 or more subscribers. Definitely check them out here if you like sustainably caught fish!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Keeping Myself Busy

Despite teaching being done for the summer I have been keeping myself quite busy. Before my parents came for an Easter visit, I did a long awaited (ahem...6 years) clean up of our front entryway. It is a vestibule that is not heated or insulated but protected from the elements because it is closed in. I guess we kinda considered it part of the "outside" and it was sorely neglected. We used it as a storage area and stuff just piled up, it was such a mess. The walls were sooo dirty, it took 3 buckets to clean them! I finally got fed up with seeing the mess every time I came home. I thought to myself, "This is what greets me after a long day or work...it is also what greets our guests, this is not acceptable" and the cleaning began. I am not proud of our neglect, but I am proud of the final product!
We now have a welcoming place to greet our guests, a spot to store our scooters and hang our helmets complete with name tags!
Eventually, it will need to be painted but this is a good start!

I also prepared some lemon marmalade using this recipe and some of Sherrie's Meyer Lemon and Vanilla Jelly as a birthday gift for my Dad. He LOVES marmalade. I am not a big fan so I didn't try it...I hope it turned out okay!
Making Pectin
I know the lemon Jelly turned out AMAZING! I will definitely be making it again soon. We had it on crepes with blueberries and light maple syrup on Easter Sunday and it was delicious!
My parents brought us a gallon of Ontario maple syrup that we have been using up on yogurt and homemade granola! They also lugged a bunch of items from my youth, 3 sets of tarot cards, some kids Christmas books and my favourite musical pillow! Stashed in among the stuff were some lovely crocks that I have placed around the house (thanks for the spelling correction!).
While they were here, we stayed at the lovely place on the ocean from my previous post. We were lucky to have a couple of sunny days and took advantage of it by going hiking along the ocean.
Even though it was sunny the wind was still cold! We saw lots of eider ducks and some black guillemots! We also explored the remnants of World War II. There are lots scattered along the rugged coast along the Halifax Harbour approaches.
Train tracks to bring concrete for building the bunkers and other supplies from ships.

Now I that they have gone and I am back at home I have been working on my thesis. I had a meeting with my supervisory committee last week and they have approved my remaining chapters (YAY!). Now I just need to buckle down and get them done!!! It is time to be a hermit which means I will be taking it very easy on blogging but I will continue to keep up with everyone.

Take Care! :) See you all soon!

PS. I hope you all like my new spring banner...complete with the ominous fog bank sitting just off the coast. I LOVE fog and we have been having a lot of it lately! :)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Weekend Retreat!

I am lucky to be house sitting for my supervisor and her husband. They have been away since before Easter and we were lucky to have my parents come for a visit and stay at the house on the coast. My parents have gone now and I am enjoying a quiet weekend on my own in this peaceful place. As I am writing I look out the office window a pair of young deer walk by and stop to eat grass at the front of the house, I can hear the call of the male ring-necked pheasant, the family of crows and the fog horn on the hill.
The house in the background is their newly acquired guest house. The male pheasant brings his date for breakfast every morning and he calls constantly throughout the day.
Today it is foggy and cool. I cannot see the ocean from where I sit or sleep. This is the view from the bedroom this morning.
This is the view on a clear day.
The regular sound of the fog horn is comforting and will lull me to sleep tonight as it did last night. I miss this sound in Halifax. They decommissioned the fog horn 2 years ago.
The house is passive solar and heated with wood. I started my very own wood stove fire last night. I feel very independent! LOL. Today is cool and I have the fire stoked. It is a good day to have a hot bath and curl up with a cup of tea, the cats and my thesis.
Fredda is enjoying the warmth and laziness of this foggy day. I will post more on this lovely place when I get to my pictures at home. Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Let's Make History!!

I am not one to typically blog about politics but I think this time it is warranted! My beliefs are closest to the Green Party of Canada. I think Elizabeth May is outstanding and would make an AMAZING Prime Minister! However, the reality is that although they are gaining support Elizabeth will not win the election (she might win her riding and if she does I look forward to seeing her in the house of commons!) and what we need is REAL change NOW....something other than the same old switch between Liberals and Conservatives that we have had since our first Prime Minister Sir John A MacDonald in 1867.

Unfortunately, our electoral system leads us to the scenario we have had for years, which in most cases seems to be vote for the lesser of two evils (strategic voting), rather than who you truly believe in to make sure the candidate you dislike the most doesn't get a majority. This youtube video explains it very well.

There are alternative voting systems but we need to get a party in there that will WANT to make a change to the system. The Conservatives want the status quo, that is their campaign.

So how do we make history??
Graph from http://www.electionalmanac.com/canada/
The most recent polls are showing a huge surge in New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) support (orange line in the graph). This has been attributed to the changing demographic. Thanks to social media and vote mobs, young people are getting involved!!! If we all get together and vote for NDP, get them in with as many seats possible, we are in for a change in the face of politics. Even if they do not win enough seats for Jack Layton to be Prime Minister they will be the Official Opposition! This has NEVER been done before! If enough of us get behind the NDP, we might change the outcome of the election altogether!!!

Imagine, someone other than Stephen Harper as Prime Minister! Imagine, a Prime Minister that actually cares about the people and the environment rather than big business. Imagine, electoral reform so we can vote who we truly believe in rather than the same old strategic voting. It is possible, check out the NDP platform.
So let's all vote NDP to get Harper out and get Canadian values back into the House of Commons.

Friday, April 1, 2011


This week has been absolutely crazy, with barely a moment to breath. I came home two nights ago to find these on the kitchen table.
Diego's thoughtfulness almost brought me to tears. He is such a sweetheart. They were just what I needed to get me to slow down. Their colour makes me smile, their scent makes me relax and their meaning makes my heart swell.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring has arrived!

Happy Spring!
I saw these crocuses displaying their colours 2 weeks ago even before many other plants had even started pushing the soil up!
Diego and I went for a long walk yesterday and although it was a bit nippy in the wind we found the signs of spring all around us.
We made it to the waterfront spring has been underway for a couple of weeks now. As soon as there is enough light (usually early March) the microscopic plants (phytoplankton) that drive the highly productive ocean system here off of Nova Scotia came to life and started multiplying. This is why the water in the photo below is greenish. Normally (now that we have sewage treatment!) the water would be crystal clear in the winter.
Once the phytoplankton get really abundant then the very small animals and larvae of bottom dwellers and fishes called zooplankton "appear" and begin to feed on the phytoplankton and each other! If you look closely at the photo you will see little round balls with two training tails. These are called ctenophores (or sea gooseberry). They are voracious predators and always appear after a week or 2 after the spring bloom starts. Eventually, the phytoplankton get grazed down by the very abundant zooplankton, which then also attract larger predators (krill, larger fishes) then eventually the whales arrive to dine on the feast that Altantic Canada has to offer.
Now that Spring has arrived to both land and sea, it will soon be time for planting in the garden! Above are the first awakenings in our garden. I can wait to have our very first chives!