snags

A bunch of coulees, bluffs, creek bottoms, waterfalls and draws, trees scattered like match sticks hither and yon. Fire lay it bare, exposing the mountains for what they are; slides, rock, coves, caves, ridge and a bunch of hiding spots – just ask the grizzlies and goats.

You don’t want to be lost in it. That’s for sure. It’s better to stay on top then be wondering in the dark, not a star in the sky, only the dim moon shining through falling snow, silver here and there where the water shows.

Even best instincts aren’t enough. Nothing coming good or bad. The fire and deep snow doesn’t care, nor does the burnt snag falling to the forest floor give a damn if it’s heard or not.

another go round

Mile long trains hauling coal to the West Coast to be loaded on ships destined for Asia. British Columbia prides itself in sound environmental practices. We may not burn coal for power, however we don’t mind selling it to countries that utilize the dirtiest fuel on the planet.

A quiet thanksgiving. Was up early poking around, snapping a few pics around town. I prefer the town without it’s gentrified veneer.

Silly season came early this time around. BC NDP Premier John Horgan, in an attempt to remove the Greens from around his neck, called an early election, taking advantage of the pandemic and his position in the polls to secure a majority. There is very little enthusiasm for this election from the public and seemingly even less from the candidates. John Horgan will get his majority, our Liberal MLA Doug Clovechok will sail into the prestigious position of two term MLA and claim another very lucrative defined government pension. I am always amazed at how well the dullest knives in the block take to becoming small time politicians and implement their first rule, feathering their own nest. Business as usual.

a dusting

The temp dipped long enough to deliver snow to the mountains one range back. There would have been a day I’d clamour up. Might even haul my skis. Not so ambitious now.

It’s good to see it. The cold turns on us we will hope for global warming. Speaking of which, it’s damn near time for a fire. Normally I catch fish on this weekend.

Getting older, satisfied with tinned goods and cabbage. And kale – Christ now there’s a vegetable! Grows all year long, straight into November, maybe December, considering the warm spell. You can even bust it off, frozen, and throw it in soup.

We need a year it snows everyday. Fill up those canyons. Get the glaciers proceeding.

fireweed

These days everyone wants to know what side you are on. It ain’t as simple as when Pete Seeger gave voice to the union men. Now unions are refuge for apathy and laziness.

The right-wingers are just as bad spouting racist, sexist garbage and wondering aloud why it ain’t being bought.

That’s the political landscape these days. Meanwhile most people don’t fit into either camp, but it’s presented to all they must choose.

***

The rain hit. Temperature is still up in the teens. Even the mountains will be void of snow during this warm October.

***

It will take one good frost to shake the rest of the leaves, stripping the colour and freezing the ground cock hard. That’s how fast it will happen.

***

Months go by quick, even during this time that is supposed to be trying.

north & south

This perch allows sights to the south. There is a bluff in my way obscuring the north. That’s good for now, the only thing coming from the north is wind and cold, bad weather. It’s a mistake to keep them in our face, especially when sneaking up. It’s nature after all, not wanting our scent to announce our entrance.

Early October

A small Mule Deer buck poses for Lisa and her camera.

It’s been good to feel the cool air again. There has been a touch of frost in the mornings but only a quick dip. It has been mild for this time of year. Without a hard frost the leaves are hanging on. It has been clear and sunny, kids are still swimming in the lake and diving the high cliffs up the pass. Smoke rolled in today and it feels like it will storm. Here is a few photos from the past few days.

A honey bee gathers pollen from broccoli gone to flower. Both Lisa and I have wondered what the honey would taste like. One thing for sure the bees love the broccoli flowers.
The time of year the buck’s start fighting for the right to engage the doe’s. Lisa was out early in the morning to take a few photos of the near full moon on the ridge and came across a large mule deer buck letting all the young bucks challenge him. He beat them all, however may have been too tired to seal the deal with the roaming doe’s.
‘Can’t everyone just get along.’ Being Hunting season it was a good thing for these guys Lisa just packs a Nikon instead of the old 30.30 Winchester rifle.
While watching the deer Lisa just about forgot about the moon. Luckily she caught it as it rolled along the ridge before dipping out of sight.
Backroads.
Lisa and Willow on this mornings walk.

shrooms

Lisa and I took a quick dash into the bush tonight to look for mushrooms. The weather has been damp and cool so we were hoping to have some luck. Sure enough, they are just starting to break through. We picked a handful, for supper. Most we had to brush the dirt off the tops. They are small and firm, and of the best quality. The soup is on the stove. When I take it off the heat I will add a couple tablespoons of brandy and Marsala and a little cream to finish the mushroom bisque.

summer’s end

We’ve been told due to the economy coming to a halt due to Covid and a good portion of the work force on CERB that the economic outlook for Canada is dire. So why is it, everywhere I look, money is being spent hand over fist.

Roadwork at every turn, money and tourists flowing like never before from Alberta, government rumbling about spending on everything from increasing our social safety net (for somebody but not us, Lisa and I will be lucky to claim a pension) to plenty of make-work projects and salary increases across the board for public employees?

***

Covid and the impending environmental crisis have made the public think they can’t do anything to help their own communities. Why care about issues such as local governance while a pandemic will wipe humanity off the earth and if that doesn’t finish us global warming will? I, of course, am inflating the risk, but not the point people feel defeated when it comes to fighting the little daily battles that make a huge difference in our lives. Meanwhile this has been a godsend for small town politicians and businessmen who make their living feathering their nests.

Our Mayor, for instance, pushed through buying a piece of land that will be made into boat launches and tourist shops. Who will be the ultimate benefactor; our Mayor who owns the local building supplies and hardware. Of course the real estate agents on town council will do well for themselves as well. Meanwhile, no one even flinches at the conflict of interest, because how can we worry about such petty issues when the whole world could stop turning at a moments notice? Maybe Musk has an open seat on his spaceship to Mars.

***

I’ve noticed the School District have used pesticides on the school grounds again, disregarding a District bylaw forbidding its use. Who cares what a little poison spread around children in light of all the environmental problems we face. Besides the students are wearing masks anyway.

***

It is futile to try and make a difference in times like these. Your best bet is take cover and avoid the jack asses tearing it up to make a buck.

***

The bush at night is a sanctuary. The September smells and light are a reprise from the dreaded summer. To smell the the leaves changing, feel the coolness, hear the hidden small chirp of birds knowing more than we can imagine, the snow moving down the mountains will soon turn the trail silent. I welcome it back.

***

There is a tree I’ve watched since I was a child. It’s always been dying. An old fir, it hasn’t changed, part spike, part crag. The wind has turned it to driftwood at the top. Curled boughs hold green, hanging on, the base shows scars of lightening strikes. Regardless, it stands above the surrounding forest. Somehow it’s still there, standing vigil through long nights and 40 below winters, the summer sun thickening it’s bark. It leans away from the slope, making it seem even more in danger, precarious, like a slight wind might send it toppling to the creek bottom. Still it stands, it will continue to stand long after I am gone, oblivious to the triviality of any man’s problems. I take comfort in that.

La sunset

All the mischief gets done after the sun goes down. The same here as anywhere.

Bark

Willow has started barking at Geese going south. She barks and I look around like a bear could be approaching, then back at her, like what the fuck! That’s when I notice her long neck and head cocked upward, clocking the migrating geese. She looks back down at me and barks. I swear she is taking her job too seriously.

***

It could be the smoke in her eyes. Strange days, odd light, the birds flocking up, which is the exact opposite of humanity fucking up. Different paths for different species. Kind of funny we think we’re the intelligent ones.

***

The garden is dying back. More ripe tomatoes than I can remember. Still not a frost in the valley bottom. The tomatoes have been great. Like Guy Clark said, ‘only two things money can’t buy, true love and home grown tomatoes’.

***

Money never got me anything. Probably because I didn’t let it. That was my first mistake, my second was dismissing anyone who tried to impress with dough. Never cared how much the wine cost. Couldn’t see any sense in the big houses the Albertans build on the shores of Lake Windermere. Sticking out like a sore thumb. No wind break, apt to flooding.

***

My dog barks at them too. To no avail.