Mid September Rain

Pine Siskin

Grey and rain, frost the last couple mornings. It’s feeling like fall. September can’t be beat.

Most of the tomatoes are in. Sitting in flats waiting to ripen in the dark in the basement.

Split wood for the fire. Saw a herd of Pine Siskins. I told Lisa it was too early, but she was damned and determined to warm the old place up. Since we have a lot of wood and grandkids sleeping over I agreed before being overruled.

Back in the ‘old days’ we went as long as we could without heat. My sisters and brother can attest. Oil, coal and electricity has always been expensive. Frost on the walls and old coats used for covers. You could watch your breath until dipping your head under the covers to warm up.

Wind and big defined clouds should be celebrated. When the clouds burst open we should all run outside and feel the water on our faces, soaking us to the skin. My grandkids agree.

Durban Poison

kids

Kelsie, 4 years old.
Scarlett with a handful of worms, 4 years old.

My granddaughter Scarlett loves the garden. She eats peas raw, same as beans and onions – yes onions, she calls them chives.

Today she took to finding worms. She took them from one spot in the garden and buried them in another spot.

She reminded me of another little girl from a time long ago that seems short now.

The picture of Kelsie was taken on a medium format film camera, I had to scan the b/w negative, which took me ages. The picture of Scarlett was taken on my phone.

Times are changing, but the important things stay the same.

Sunday Morning

Lisa and I decided to have coffee on the backside of Swansea. It was up an old steep road we haven’t travelled in some time. Before long we were on our perch, Willow chasing her nose, the clouds lifting and descending, depending on the direction.

Fall is here, colours are deep from the rain. We walked the ridge. Without rain we could have seen Baldy Mountain.

The mushrooms have popped up and gone inky. Solomons Seal has turned rouge in the cooling air.

Both Lisa and I commented that it is such a relief the fall season is upon us. We are both looking forward to the slowness and quiet that accompanies winter.

This and That

No frost yet. The garden’s on hold waiting for cold to harden the carrots and sweeten the turnips. Still not many ripe tomatoes. The ripe ones don’t stand a chance while Scarlett is on patrol, she grabs and eats them before they can be counted.

***

September 11th is our parents anniversary. It is also Kelsie and Tom’s. A beautiful time of year to have a wedding. The trees turning and usually bright blue skies. The time of year you wake up to a chill, but are warmed throughout the day until a fire can be put on. The last of the long nights and early mornings.

***

9/11 is also a time in history the United States was attacked and commenced a 20 year war against terrorism, invading two countries killing hundreds of thousands. Doing so, George W. Bush, and the American political structure entered into a situation that further alienated the US from the rest of the world while trying to achieve some level of retribution that can’t possibly exist in world affairs where our best strategy is to try and live with each other’s differences that are not that great when thought about.

US President Trump and Biden decided to end the war in Afghanistan. Both would have ended it differently. The job however, fell on the Biden administration who choose to end it with the United States, the most powerful nation in the world, tucking its tail.

It was done by design and it’s a good thing. The US can now withdraw from its disastrous foreign policy and focus on its many internal challenges.

***

Canada is in the midst of a federal election. Trudeau no longer looks like the fair haired boy of his youth. Leading a nation through a pandemic is sure to do that.

Still what are the choices. Our riding goes either Conservative or NDP without the Liberals making a blip on the screen.

So here are the choices:

NDP: the local candidate is a long time politician and government employee who served a term as MLA. He was reported on CBC as an MLA who was collecting a large defined government pension while collecting his 6 figure salary. In other words, a greedy bugger, who doesn’t know how most of his constituents live hand to mouth.

Conservative: The conservative incumbent for Kootenay-Columbia is an ex-cop from Vancouver parachuted into the riding to capture the last election, and it WORKED! Nobody hears much from him. Conservatives say they like him however. Just a reminder the dumbest guys in high school became cops.

One of the two of these jokers are going to be MLA. It’s a choice between a shit sandwich and a kick in the teeth. Many will hold their nose and pick the least of the worse.

But what if we we voted for candidates different from the same old same old? Canada and the entire world needs to change if we are going to survive, we have to get our greatest engineers and thinkers away from Apple, Google and Facebook and working at saving this planet and maybe humanity. That isn’t going to be done be voting NDP, Liberal or Conservative. It’s going to take something more. This election we may not have a choice, with luck we will in the future.

Things are changing.

looking out

A long weekend and the valley bottom is alive with ruck, revellers stirring it up.

Luckily I was wrestling with a nasty sewer pipe and stubborn toilet flange, protecting me from the glut of overindulgence the town has become. The trip to the hardware to pick up closet bolts was a doozy.

Still, I stuck my head out long enough to see the young Cedar Waxwings picking the berries off an Ornamental Cherry. The blue sky crowding the Sunflowers. And the weed doing its best in the lowered sun.

I’ve left out the picture of the sewer pipe and the crowds, I’ve had enough of them for a day.

Purple Kush

Early September

Beside the river.

Stepped out the other morning, along with Willow. From the step Orion was up, Sirus still down, the Twins were overhead, a crescent waning moon with earth glow if I squinted and a streaking falling star went right down the middle. What are the chances. It pointed back to Perseus. One left over maybe. It could only be a good day after that.

***

The Cedar Waxwings are back, eating the shrinking berries. They are careless birds and fly into windows. I put them on the window sill away from predators. Sometimes they revive themselves and fly away and sometimes they die. Willow is interested either way regardless of scold.

***

This is the last long weekend of summer. The tourists have been unrelenting to the glee of our business community and small time politicians. The rest of the people, the people on the front lines are done with them. Even the gift of earning minimum wage isn’t enough to satiate the masses. There is an aggressiveness in this year’s tourists I haven’t seen before. Things are changing. Alberta is leaderless and searching, the wealth and decadence is slipping, some executives can’t buy second homes on the lake with their yearly bonus. Times are tough. Still they want to get it all in while they can, that’s the hurry, that’s the panic and aggression. It’s contagious, running from the top down.

Two of my coworkers were assaulted, last week, by guests, in a resort that charges $400 a night.

***

September is a wonderful month. There is a chill in the air. The skies have cleared of smoke. The sun is tilted in such a way to light the mountain tops in morning and before bed. Then there are those winter stars.

varmints

I try to keep the garden free of pests. Every once and awhile one gets in. You have to watch out for deer. This time it was a rabbit. Now a rabbit can cause some damage. They can eat all the carrots, also the lettuce. This one was picking young beans and munching them.

She even made friends with my hound. I’m starting to wonder who that hound serves. After all it’s her job to keep the garden safe.

Before long they were in cahoots, burying unripe tomatoes, both with dirt on their tongues. Me sitting there wondering where I went wrong, nursing a beer, watching the garden get churned up. Counting my lucky stars.

Falling Star

This photo from the night of the Perseids shows Taurus, Pleiades and Perseus. It also has a few stars belonging to the bow of Orion. The summer stars are surrendering the sky to the winter cosmos.

The two faint ‘scratches’ in the sky are satellites. It is difficult to get photos of the night sky without satellites showing up somewhere in the frame. Very different from when I was a kid and I would search for them among the stars, squinting to detect movement. I have read, in the future the majority of ‘stars’ in the night sky will be in motion, making them not stars at all, but satellites.

The larger streak is a meteor. Although difficult to detect in this small version of the photo, green can be seen in the streak at the beginning and end. This colour is often detected as the small grain of metal, dust from a long ago comet enters our atmosphere and burns up. I always feel lucky to see this natural phenomenon.

A little Faith

These days it seems we need a boat load of faith to get by. I’m not sure if any time was different.

I had a boss a few years back who was a white supremacist. He and his religious buddies used to head for Finley Creek to shoot off their guns and practice for the race wars that were surly coming.

He told me he was so short because a height of scaffolding fell on him. Like I gave a shit how tall he was.

The lesson I learned after hearing him talk to me for a half hour every morning was that these guys couldn’t even organize a BBQ.

I lasted a year before I told him, and his enlarged prostate, which he also told me about, to go fuck himself.

He had settled in a spot that accepted him, it was his world not mine.

***

We had rain today and it felt good. Plenty of people locked inside came out to let it fall on them. The mountains can be seen. August didn’t disappoint with cooler temperatures. That’s the way it should be.

***

People settle into their spot. Little bullies, find their spot, same as the white supremacist, the right and left, the religious and the atheists. It’s tribal now. We don’t think about ideas or compassion for our neighbours. We think about the size of our tribe. How many supporters, likes and followers we have.

***

Still, goddammit, with the world burning, people dying for their beliefs, regardless, I’m hoping. It takes a boat load of faith, and luck, to get by.

***

The rain has stopped short of cooling the earth.

hounds

Gemma walks around without purpose, she is getting old, but she loves it, like she can tell, the trees get tall for a reason and the creeks swell by the season on time.

It bothers Willow not able to give her a bark and return her to earth. She tries the same to me on occasion. So far, I listen

I guess our final wish is to run wild, jumping, getting tangled in leashes that are placed around our necks. Once they are off, it is a startled surprise there is no were to go.

Gemma