Friday, 7 February 2014

Land Loss and Supper Salad

The sea, they say, is gaining on us.  Around Ottawa, it is housing that is constantly advancing on us.  Last month I drove by a spot where a small stand of trees had been left by a housing developer.  Behind them sat a brand spanking new set of condo buildings where, just weeks before that, a forest had stood.  The trees caught my eye because I could see two leafy, messy nests balanced high in the tree forks, unmistakably squirrel nests.  These were very close together no doubt because of the sparseness of the trees left there. I understand squirrels prefer more space between nesting sites and I felt sorry for them trying to cling on to what would have been their familiar territory.
 Just now I drove by and saw that the stand of trees is also gone.  What became of the squirrels, I wonder.
There has been a steady and startling advance of houses here.  People have been lobbying hard to slow it down, but it doesn't seem to help.  One small community saw 5500 new homes built between 2011 and 2013 and are now grappling with the subsequent increase in traffic.  People purchased homes backing onto farmland and now find themselves sitting in the middle of a huge housing tract.  Some have concerned themselves with the loss of farmland but to be fair to the developers, a lot of the land lost was not good farmland anyway or at least that is what was written in the paper.
I guess it is progress; a means to provide the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.  Everyone deserves a home.
For me, it is just worrisome to think of the animals...deer, coyotes, raccoons, etc., not to mention the birds too, that are now having their territories invaded and seized.

 Other things...Supper last night...

This is my vegetable and shrimp salad.  I sometimes use leftover rice to make a supper salad.  This one includes chopped onion, chopped cabbage and one green pepper fried in olive oil till soft.  I mixed this with the rice, some chopped dates and apricots.
I mixed together 1 cup of broth (chicken or beef), 1/4 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, and a little soya sauce (I try not to use much of this because I find it salty).  This got poured over the rice mixture and heated through.  I added the shrimp last so they wouldn't overcook.  I use whatever vegetables I have on hand...peas, corn, carrots, whatever for this recipe and sometimes I add a can of chick peas.