|January 2006||Newsletter Archive|
Notes On Work
January has been really busy with meetings. The Pinawa CDC staff and committees are having strategic planning sessions concerning marketing and a proposed budget for this year's goals. Our major events that we are planning or participating in this year are the following:
June 17th Centennial Celebrations "Power for The People" at Old Pinawa or the Pinawa Provincial Park. June marks the 100th year for year-round hydro production in Manitoba. Stay tuned for more information on this event sponsored by Pinawa, RM & Town of Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba Hydro, Manitoba Conservation and Manitoba Parks & Natural Areas.
June 25th Once again Elite Communications Cruisin' for MS is having a Show 'N Shine in Pinawa. All funds go to help the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Manitoba. Maybe we can beat last years tremendous effort of 126 cars and $76,000.
July 8th is the Kids of Steel Triathlon, July 9th the Free Spirit Triathlon. July 14th, 15th, and 16th is the Pinawa Birthday Weekend.
July 16th, August 13th and December 2nd are when the Pinawa Town Markets are scheduled. The year just rushes by when you have events that need to be planned and organized.
Look for some of our marketing in two Manitoba Travel magazines, Outdoor Adventures and the Vacation guide. We are happy to say that our Soft Launch Campaign will commence in another month. Pinawa is actively seeking people that can set up a business or e-business in Pinawa. People that want clean air, water, and feel safe in a community should consider Pinawa. We have just such a lifestyle in Pinawa that most of us take for granted.
According to our Building Inspector Mr. Ole Vik, 2005 was a record year with 11 new homes started. People are also upgrading their homes as there were 64 building permits issued. I must say we must have the best Public Works Department in any community that faces lots of snowfall. Our streets are very well maintained by the Grader and Front-end Loader Operators. They take care to never block our driveways with snow, keep our sidewalks cleared, and the area sanded when it is very slippery. A tip of the hat goes to them. Our Water Treatment Plant Staff just recently received a commendation from the Manitoba Minister of Health. They were presented with a certificate in acknowledgment of their proficient operating record for 2004/5.
Next month I will summerize the Pinawa CDC's Mandate and Goals. We are always looking for suggestions on how we can help community groups as well as areas to market the amazing lifestyle we have in Pinawa.
Notes On Nature
Around here I happily feed the squirrels and don't deny them access to the feeders. Silly thing decided that the feeder was his/her private domain and started putting moss into a nest in the feeder. I wondered where the moss was coming from and thought it was from the hollow stumps I had put flower baskets in. I had covered the rims by placing naturally growing sphagnum moss and left them tipped over for shelter for any small animals. But that wasn't the case the little so and so was stealing the moss from my pride and joy. Late this fall I had carried home a small stump that was about 16" high and as thick as my arm. What was so unique about this stump was it had a mop of soft feathery green moss (Knight's Plume - Ptilium crista-castrensis) gracefully draped over the top. It was so cute and as I "planted" my garden art I proudly showed my husband my "find" and watered it very well to keep it moist before the "big freeze". Now, it is just a piece of wood sticking out of the snow, oh well, I guess I will have to find another one in the spring.
The Carolina Wren caused quite a stir so people are looking into what might help it through the winter. Delta Marsh (north of Portage La Prairie) has a sighting as well and they suggested ground peanuts to sustain the wren. Since it normally eats insects I thought meal worms or fish food would be a good source of protein. I put ground non-salted nuts and Betta Fish flash frozen red grubs out for the wren. I haven't seen it since early December but being at work all day I may never see it again.
Well news flash! The wren was at my house on the weekend of January 21 & 22nd. On Sunday evening we watched it darting in and out of our log pile and under the tarps looking for a place to roost.
Last month I promised I would give you some recipes to keep the birds happy. Please remember when you start a feeding program, to be sure to always keep the feeders full, as the birds you attract will become reliant on your handouts. A word of caution, generally any hard fat (chicken, beef, pork) is good to use but don't use bacon grease as it contains salt.
Winter Pie For Birds
In large pot cook 2 cups oatmeal in 4 cups water, boil for 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat; add 1lb. lard and 12 oz. (approx. 11/2 cups) peanut butter. Mix thoroughly; remove from heat. Add 31/2 cups each dry oatmeal, cracked wheat, and cornmeal (1 lb. bags). Mix thoroughly. Place in plastic sandwich containers or recycled yogurt containers. If you use round containers place them on their side and slightly flatten the contents before putting on the lids. You can then place in suet holders or recycled onion mesh bags (my favourite choice)
Suet Pie For Birds
Add together the following ingredients: 1 part peanut butter, 1 part vegetable shortening (or lard or suet), 3 parts cornmeal, 1 part whole wheat flour, 1 part finely cracked corn. If the mixture is too sticky add more cornmeal or flour.
Festive Cookies For Birds
To make the cookies you'll need the following ingredients, large cookie cutters of different shapes, and a lined large cookie sheet covered with waxed paper or parchment paper.
Melt 1 cup lard, 1 cup crunchy peanut butter in a bowl in the microwave. Add the following; 2 cups rolled oats, 2 cups cornmeal, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar. Stir well to form a thick mixture. Pour or spoon into the cookie cutters. Make a hole in the top with a straw. Freeze until solid. Once you have removed them fro the cutters and waxed paper thread old yarn through the holes and hang in your trees for your feathered friends. (Makes 8, 1 inch thick cookies).
Notes On Gardening
People that love plants will garden all year round. This month I thought I would write about some interesting plants and people in Pinawa. Jerry and Loraine Tretiak moved to Pinawa only 21/2 years ago. Loraine works at our local Post Office and Jerry works in the Whiteshell Centre (where my office is) and also the local Co-op Gas station. In the course of conversations I found out that Loraine loves orchids and has been growing them for 12 years when she received one as a gift. Daunted by the fact it was an orchid Loraine, living in Winnipeg at the time, went on a fact finding mission to ensure the survival of her gift.
Her first stop was to go to a specialty greenhouse called Orchid Greenhouse where they were so very helpful. Once she was through the door, however, Loraine was immediately smitten by the number and variety of orchids. Truly intrigued by the orchids Loraine became a member of the Manitoba Orchid Society and in her own words "kept buying orchids which almost became an addiction!" She is not interested in the orchids as a breeder or for profit but simply because she likes the flowers.
Loraine now has 20 orchids and they are a wide variety of the easiest ones to take care of such as Paphiopedilum, Phalenopsis, Oncidiums or Dancing Ladies, Cattleya, and Odontocidum. Her orchids at one time were under grow lights but now they thrive in the east and west windows of her house. I was very interested to hear that they were actually on a window sill during the winter, but because orchids require cool roots, cool evenings, and warmth during the day they weren't harmed by the cold window. Simply water with a weak fertilizer solution once a week. Loraine's advise to anyone that would like to grow orchids is to do research and talk to an expert such as the folks at the Orchid Greenhouse or go to the greenhouse's website.
My house is as full of bloom as Loraine's. My many African Violets are blooming and the Christmas Cactus is blooming for the 3rd time since September. The Amaryllis I mentioned in the last letter is now sending up another flower stalk and is producing another "baby" bulblet. The petunias that I cut back are blooming! I must constantly pinch the plants back as they will take over the area under the grow lights. Next month I will discuss planning for spring and wildlife such as birds in the garden.