Monthly Archives: April 2012

Just Recycle It!

Posted by Teri

Happy Earth Day Eve everyone!  Recycle It

I was reading my Whole Living magazine this morning (in the hot tub!) and came across a bit in recycling that caught my eye. With San Juan County looking to privatize our Solid Waste collection  and the future of our community recycling program uncertain, we all need to take responsibility in making sure our recyclables don’t become trash. Here’s a handy chart to find out where to take your recyclables and what products they actually become:

Material Where it Should Go What it Becomes
 #5 Polypropylene Plastic Check  Toothbrushes, razors, tableware, cutting boards
 #4 Low Density Plastic Bag check  Bike racks, eco-friendly lumber, reusable shopping bags
 #3 Polyvinyl Chloride Plastic PVC check Vinyl flooring, siding and piping
CDs, DVD’s and their cases  Check Office equipment, streetlights and auto parts
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs IKEA, Home Depot and Local Hardware Stores New fluorescent light bulbs
Printer Cartridges Printer Manufacture’s mail back, Office Depot New printer cartridges

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Filed under Community

Sweet Honey 

I have never thought about finding a honey comb in our local woods. Well now I am thinking and looking.


Found Honey Comb

Jay was at the local neighborhood “club house” and saw a honey comb sitting on the counter. One of the guys had found it out in the woods and brought it in.Just another show and tell at the end of the day where a few beers are enjoyed and stories of the day’s goings on echo around the room. But, nobody was getting too excited about the bee’s work.

Jay can’t think of anything going to waste, and more importantly, he is always looking for a “find” to gift his bride-me!

The honey comb came home and placed in a plastic freezer bag, small hole cut in the corner and the project was hung by the wood stove with great hope of something sticky and sweet. I was feeling a bit like Winnie the Pooh!!

Thoughts of Winnie the Pooh in my head

Thoughts of Winnie the Pooh in my head

We are now enjoying the sweetest of treats and dreaming of more edible finds in the woods.A great website for honey:

Honey-Lemon Jelly

Makes 2 pints

  • 5 to 6      lemons
  • 2-1/2 cups      honey
  • 1 package (3      oz.) liquid pectin

Grate rind from lemons to measure 4 teaspoons; set aside. Squeeze juice from lemons to measure 3/4 cup pour lemon juice through fine strainer, discarding seeds and pulp. Combine rind, juice and honey in 6-quart saucepan, stirring well. Bring mixture to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in pectin. Return mixture to a rolling boil, and boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat; skim off foam with metal spoon, if necessary. Pour jelly quickly into 2 hot, sterilized pint jars, filling to 1/4 inch from tops; wipe jar rims. Cover immediately with metal lids and screw on bands. Process
jars in boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Cool jars on wire rack.©1997 Southern Living, Inc. Reprinted with permission.

Tip: A 12 ounce jar of honey equals 1 standard measuring cup.

Looking to enjoy the simple life on beautiful Orcas Island? Contact T Williams Realty – we’ll help you find your way home.


by | April 15, 2012 · 11:00 am

I Brake for Newts

Posted by Sandi

Rough-skinned newt on Orcas Island, photo by Bob Friel

Rough-Skinned Newt - photo by Bob Friel

Since we moved to Orcas we’ve cataloged much of the wildlife we’ve seen. It’s reassuring to look back over  the years and see patterns repeating themselves. One of the “events” we track is the spring and fall migration of rough-skinned newts. These critters emerge from their winter hiding places as soon as the conditions are right — temperature and moisture — and head for bodies of water where they lay their eggs.

Newt crossing Channel Road in Deer Harbor, Orcas Island

Newt crossing in Deer Harbor

We live near the Richardson Preserve in Deer Harbor where scores of newts have to cross the road to get to the wetland. They move extremely slowly and, sadly, many get crushed by cars. The other night, I was coming home about 8pm after a rain. The temp was 52 degrees, and my headlights illuminated a number of newts. I stopped my car, put on my flashers, and moved 21 newts across the road! It felt so good to have a measurable impact, regardless how tiny. (Note: rough-skinned newts are deadly poisonous — 10,000 times more toxic than cyanide – and you must wash your hands immediately after handling!)

Newt Crossing sign from Kwiaht

Sign art from Kwiaht

We do have “amphibian crossing” signs erected, but they’re faded and have been there so long they don’t catch  attention. After reading a blog post and article about our local newts by Russel Barsh of Kwiaht – I contacted him to inquire about getting more signs. There’s no money in their budget for the signs but he sent me the artwork and offered to help coordinate. He said indeed that section of road is one of the top 3 or 4 “worst traffic locations” in San Juan County for newt accidents. I’m confident I can pull together donations from our caring community members for new signs. In the meantime, if you’re driving in an area near a wetland, please pay close attention to the little ones just trying to make it across the road. Long live the Newts!

Looking to enjoy the simple life on beautiful Orcas Island?
Contact T Williams Realty  – we’ll help you find your way home.


Filed under Nature