Author: Ray Watson

New Garden

Putting in the New Garden

A garden makeover When we moved into the house 16 years ago i ripped out the garden that was there and built new cement walls and added new earth.  Over the years I’ve added compost and even built up the walls higher so I could keep adding more organic matter.  I guess everything has an end.  Productivity was falling off, the second half of the garden which had the asparagus patch was also on the decline.  Time to rip out the old and bring something new to life! I took the occasion to dump a bunch of garden scraps, old flowers etc into the bottom of the new raised garden boxes to bump up the organic matter content of the soil. You know when you measure your garden beds and figure you need 7 cubic yards of soil it’s probably a good idea to buy 7 cubic yards of garden soil.  I however got to the garden center and realized that if you bought 10 cubic yards it was cheaper per yard.  DEAL!!  Now I …

Seagull from my 2014 trip to the Tadoussac area.

Photography Road Trip Summer 2015 Planning

Planning for my summer photography road trip has commenced! The preliminary plan is a 6 day road trip along the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River. Boisbriand to Tadoussac/Les Escoumins (6 hours) on the first day. Zodiac trip out to shoot whales (with a camera) on day 2. Tadoussac/Les Escoumins to Longue Pointe/Mingan (7 hours) on day 3. Day 4 or day 5 (depending on the weather) full day out with whale researchers at MICS and boat trip out to Mingan Islands on the opposite day.  Day 6, 13 hour drive home.  

Fishing boats in dry dock waiting for spring. Gaspé.

Road Trip to Maria in Gaspésie

Phil is now going through the internship portion of med school at the University of Sherbrooke.  This involves mostly 1 month placements in different hospitals while he practices different medical subjects.  He had just finished up a month at the hospital in Riviere du Loup and was then moving on to a one month dermatology internship in Maria, Gaspésie.  We jumped in the car after work on Friday and drove down to Riviere du Loup.  Saturday morning we drove to Maria with Phil and spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday visiting.  We headed back home on Monday morning.  The Gaspé peninsula and the Baie des Chaleurs are a very different place in the winter!  Some great landscapes and interesting little villages.

Jalapeno, red jalapeno, hot portugal and hot cherry. Oka cheese and a Guinness for lunch!

Homemade Salsa Recipe

This is my recipe for making a great tasting tomato salsa. It's easy to make and even easier to eat. Makes about 5 x 500 ml mason jars. Ingredients: 8 cups chopped tomatoes (seeds and juice removed) 2 cups chopped onions 1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper 8 jalapeño peppers (you can add a hotter variety of pepper for more heat*) 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 can tomato paste 3/4 cup white vinegar 2/3 cup chopped cilantro, lightly packed 1/2 tsp ground cumin The tomatoes, peppers and onions can be chopped to the size you want depending on how chunky you want the salsa to be. Blanch, peel, seed and chop tomatoes.  When you chop the hot peppers up you should wear gloves. Combine tomatoes, onions, green pepper, jalapeño pepper, garlic, tomato paste, vinegar, cilantro and cumin in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil; boil gently, stirring occasionally, until salsa reaches desired consistency, about 30 minutes. Once you have all the ingredients cooking you can prepare the jars.  Place the mason jars on a …

Olive Grizzly Dry Fly

Tying the Olive Grizzly dry fly pattern.

This Olive Grizzly dry fly is a pattern I created based on a pattern I found over on  I modified the colors to match the material I had on hand.  The image shows the pattern in both size 12 and size 16.  I tye this with both black and chartreuse thread to suit the lighting on the water. Materials: Hook:  Size 12  and smaller Body: Uni-Yarn in Olive Rib: Small vinyl rib in Brown Hackle: Rooster Saddle in Grizzly Thread: Uni Thread 6/0 in Chartreuse or Black  

Ray’s Beef Jerky Recipe

I have wanted to visit the Mingan Islands for years now.  I decided the time was right for a photographic road trip! I will be camping for about a week without much access to electricity so I wanted to bring foods that will not need to be kept cold.  First up Beef Jerky!

Snowshoeing and hunting… and the killer rabbit.

On Friday December 28 I went up to my friend Paul's chalet on Baie Ignace – Lac Taureau for a 3 day snowshoeing/hunting weekend. We arrived at the chalet Friday around 1 PM. It was sunny and -6C outside and -8C inside. After getting a fire going and the cottage warmed up we got dressed and headed out with out showshoes. Paul had about 8 snares set up so we took those along. We did not bring the shotguns as we just wanted to look around. It was a good move as there was about 3 feet of fluffy snow so the less to carry the better.  

A walk in the woods with coyotes and deer

Out for a walk yesterday and found the final resting place of a deer about 500 feet behind my parent’s house. There is a bit more than 2.5 feet of snow and the deer’s legs go all the way to the ground as the snow is very soft. There is a small crust about 3 inches down which is strong enough for the coyotes to stay up on while the deer break through. Easy hunting. The area around where the deer was killed is a wintering area for the deer. There were almost as many coyote tracks as deer tracks. First time I’ve ever seen coyote tracks that close to the house.