Wildlife near Sonora Island, BC

Tuesday, 11 October 2016
Canada really is a wonderful destination. I find it easy to get there, communicate with locals, and it is relatively safe. My favorite cities include Montreal and Toronto but we recently visited Vancouver and took a trip north to the wilderness of BC. We stayed at the Sonora Resort on Sonora Island and spent time on the water watching for wildlife.
On our first day, we took a group boat tour and spotted the majestic Bald Eagle. This one had caught a large fish and was chowing down on the rocks. Unfortunately, our boat spooked it and he/she flew off. It was quite a site to see so close up. 
How often do you see "Caution Bear In Area" signs? Not often unless you routinely spend time in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The bears in this case are Grizzlies, however, and we were able to see them. They live on an island inhabited by First Nations people and we took a fascinating tour with a Homalco Wildlife Tours guide who was extremely knowledgeable about the animals. 
The bears are in their "hyper-feeding" stage and are attempting to pack in 1 million calories before it is time to den for the winter hibernation. We learned that they don't hibernate because of the cold but instead because they lose their food supply completely. 
It looks like we were able to get fairly close to these large creatures but we used zoom lenses. It was certainly close enough when I considered just how quickly they can move and how powerful they are. 
Another large mammal that lives near Sonora Island is the Stellar Sea Lion. They are enormous and can be a bit clunky in the water. Their smaller cousin, the Harbor Seal, moves more quickly in the water but really can't do much when lounging on the land. I was enamored by their beautiful coloring. 

Solmorejo from the south of Spain

Monday, 3 October 2016
Chef Llamas taught me how to make another cold tomato soup. It is perfect for using up those end-of-the-year garden tomatoes. Unlike gazpacho, solmorejo doesn't use cilantro and it takes a bit more bread than gazpacho. 


I didn't peel the tomatoes but I did seed them. That's pretty easy to do - just core them and gently squeeze the seeds into your compost bowl. I also gently brush out any leftover seeds away from the inside flesh. 

SOLMOREJO – a cold tomato soup from the south of Spain
2 cloves of garlic
2 tomatoes, peeled
¾ c extra virgin olive oil
day old bread
1 red pepper

Soak bread in water, sherry vinegar. Process soaked bread with liquid if needed with all other ingredients. Add ¾ c olive oil slowly to the mixture while processing.


Garnish with red peppers, fresh herbs, ham (bacon?), and goat’s cheese. I didn't have cheese or bacon on hand so I toasted cubes of bread with salt, pepper, and garlic powder with a little olive oil to make croutons.