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.

smoke

The smoke rolled in from the fires in Oregon and Northern California. BC’s largest forest fire is burning about 50km from us. It’s been burning for over a month, yet hasn’t generated much smoke. It is reported that most of the smoke is from the US. It is stifling, casting odd light and turning the sun red.

Reports say the end is nigh, and worse, we have done it to ourselves, but we still have time to repent. It sounds a lot like religious fervour to me. That it was something in our control. If we only voted this way or that, stopped using plastic bags, weened our way off oil and harnessed the power of wind.

All the while we live in the best time of human history, living to an age unheard of 200 years ago, where more than ever humankind has enough to eat and fresh water to drink. Where we get to contemplate our navel instead of worrying about what the predator under the rock will do to us.

We sure could do things better. It is a shame how we treat the Earth and each other. The Earth is turning. It’s had enough of our disrespect of the land and sky. But that’s only part of the story.

Shit is bad. It’s depressing, our leaders, internet and television try to make sense of it for us but they are empty idols. It will be something else, something we haven’t thought of yet, that will get us.

In the mean time lets stop racing around the bush in ATV’s, churning up the waters in motorboats, stop building second homes, tossing cigarettes out the window, letting meat go bad, blaming others, burning what we don’t need, considering we are hard done by, thinking we are bigger than the earth, killing each other over race, rioting even if deserved, a Molotov cocktail and teargas never solved nothing, either right or left can we agree we want our kids to grow up, be happy and live.

It is hard to know what is in store for us in this climate. We’re not calling the shots nor is any deity, voted in or conjured. My money is on sanity, objective thinking, clarity of purpose, ingenuity, and above all else love and humility.

Photos by Lisa and Bob

Damn

I smoke marijuana every chance I get. – Allen Ginsberg

Part of being Canadian is listening to American politics. It dominates most of TV channels and internet news. It also headlines much of Canadian news sources. CBC News, for instance, often opens with what Donald Trump has been up to.  It has been said, Canadians know more about American politics than our own Canadian government and it’s goings on.

Our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has done his fair share of stupid things in recent years including being caught red handed in scandal; sexual, legal and political. He even dressed in blackface with a banana down his pants. However, he has skated through it all unscathed. Of course, it helps when the leader of the free world, Donald Trump, is stealing all the headlines with his own shenanigans. It’s like having a bad brother. Just when you think you are in trouble with Mom he has done something worse and let you off the hook.

If you follow American news you know Trump’s nemesis Nancy Pelosi was caught on security footage getting her hair done in a closed salon and. . . wait for it. . . the 80 year old Speaker of the House of Representatives, didn’t have a mask. Furthermore the owner of the Salon, not the person doing her hair, was outraged that she is closed while a politician, seemingly skipped protocol to have her hair styled.

Okay, I know what you are thinking, how can this be news!

***

But it gets better.

Pelosi released a statement saying, she was set up. Caught red-handed getting her hair done, using her influence to have her hair washed, cut and styled without a mask. I know, I know these are serious allegations.

A set up that must have had America’s greatest evil Republican Party minds working overtime, night and day to pull off.

Now here is the punch line ( if you didn’t think it could get any funnier).

Donald Trump, as he is known to do, tweeted:

“Nancy Pelosi says she got ‘set up’ by a beauty Parlour owner. Maybe the Beauty Parlour owner should be running the House of Representatives instead of Crazy Nancy?”

Okay, all I can say is Holy Fuckin’ Shit! The whole thing is beyond funny. All the writers from Saturday Night Live, Late Night With David Letterman and Conan O’Brien couldn’t come up with anything funnier!

And it’s all coming from old people, Trump, Pelosi, Biden, Schiff, Sanders. Cripes, it’s like the Golden Girls meet the Muppets. And not the good muppets like Kermit and Grover, but those old grumpy men in the balcony.

People should consider Trump isn’t serious about his position, he enjoys driving people crazy. When he ran he probably didn’t even want to get in. Now President he is making a joke of it, getting back at all the people that laughed at him over the years. After all he has been a joke his entire life.

If he was a Canadian politician, Trump would have ran as a Rhinoceros Party candidate, promising to tear down the Rocky Mountains so Albertans could enjoy the West Coast sunsets.

I can’t imagine Trump getting back in for a second term, even going up against ‘Sleepy Slow Biden’, (Trump’s nickname for Mr. Biden not mine).

Once Trump is out I hope he writes a book saying he was never serious, it was all a joke and America had to be reminded to laugh at themselves.

This may seem flippant, but I don’t mean it that way. America under Trump has killed fewer poor people overseas in the name of justice, oil or weapons of mass destruction (opps sorry about that. . . bad intel.) than his predecessors. 

In a perfect world, perhaps, history will look back on Trump as a comic satirist in the same vein as Sacha Baron Cohen or Mark Twain.

All I know is I can’t take it all too seriously, and when it shows up on CBC it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s news.

Like Allen Ginsberg asked a long time ago:

America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.   
America is this correct? 

putting the man in manifestation

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A little rain to keep us sane after a stretch of high 30°’s.

Lisa and I were in the bush a few days ago. We picked 8 freezer bags of Huckleberries. It’s nice to find them plump and plentiful. Scarlett and Cooper are coming to visit and they love them.

The garden is booming, we have too much broccoli. It is being given away and frozen, but still threatens to bolt. I made broccoli and cheddar soup the other day and it was a big hit.

The peas are just about finished. The second planting of lettuce is coming along nicely. It will bolt quickly in this heat. I am considering another planting to come due in fall, perhaps some radishes and beet greens as well.

Yesterday I wrote an email to the managers where I work asking for a raise. In the email I justified the reasons I felt deserving. I didn’t send the email, I figured I would have Lisa read it over tonight before sending.

This morning I was called into my managers office. He closed the door and gave me a raise, the exact and generous amount I asked for in the email that was never sent.

I fucking near fell on the floor, for the raise but also that I had written the email the night before.

Lisa called it manifesting or co creating your world through the energy you put out. I said it sounded like a bunch of bullshit to me. More of a coincidence I figure.

Regardless, I’m thankful, very fine day.

August 1st

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Pea patch.

A good thunder storm hit in the evening. It felt good after the hot weather.

I left for work about 5:30 in the morning. Lisa always gets up to say goodbye. Because it’s been so hot she opens the front door to get a cross breeze with the open windows. This morning a bird flew in. It did a couple laps of the front room and went out the door, or so we thought.

This evening Lisa went to her sewing room, she spread the closed curtains to let air in through the open window. To her surprise a bat fell out onto her. The bird that flew in and out wasn’t a bird at all. The open door at that hour must have looked like an inviting open cave.

I looked for my fishing net and finally found it under the back seat of my truck. The bat was hidden, but finally flew. It and I worked together, he refused to hit me and I was as careful as I could. I set it free into the darkening evening sky. Lisa took a video and sent it to Scarlett and Cooper.

***

_LME6499Poppy seeds.

It’s a busy weekend. Broken glass at every intersection from tourists bumping into each other.

***

The nitrogen from the thunderstorm will do the garden good. The small amount of rain is like spitting on a campfire. It all makes a difference though.

***

_LME6495Some green.

The air is cooling, Lake Windermere is warm. If I was a little younger and knew a place along the shore not so busy I’d dive in.

late July

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This could be our hot spell, the grass is dying, turning yellow along with some of the trees. It doesn’t take long.

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Despite everything affecting us humans the natural world seems to be getting along fine. It has enjoyed a respite, although slight, from our usual rape and pillage, jets flying tourists pretending to be explorers to the four corners, mining and burning. The sky is bluer to have those jokers grounded. With luck they will notice what’s around their own corner and start to love it.

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The lesson is the world will absorb us if we let our hubris get the better of us.

backroads

_LME6476Five Finger Road.

Some nights don’t feel quite right. Was hotter than a three dollar pistol today. Not a cloud.  Willow and I went out looking for comets and stars. The moon was waxing, close to going down. I remember these hot summer nights, but not fondly. The best was being in Lake Windermere, diving at night, not being able to see the bottom or sky.

The smell of water in the air as the earth cooled is unmistakably summer. Willow was startled by a toad. She barked. I got her away from it before she got over her fear and ate it. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have agreed with her and damn sure it wouldn’t have agreed with the toad. Sometimes you have to run interference.

The Milky Way is turning, sticking straight up and down. The backroads are calling, with their sides of long grass and dark trees. Hoots, loons, birds calling their final chirps, coyotes yip yiping, and stars moving like anything else matters.

My granddaughter, covered in raspberry scratches and mosquito bites, wondered the pea patch and brought her bounty to me to open for her. She could get into them if she had to, but she is kind.

summer nights

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It feels good to wonder around with Lisa on a summer night. Everything going on in the sky, planets moving, the Milky Way, the Tail of Scorpius just above the mountains, comets and satellites.

The mosquitoes were ferocious. Willow riled up some deer. Elk lined the highway. Lisa and I both looked for eyes in the ditch far ahead. We can’t see the way we used to, so go slow now.

There was a time I used to dive off docks and rocks in the pitch black with faith there would be water below me. In summer nights the water is warmer than air. I can still see you wade in. Lisa made her own bikinis. There was fish down there that swirled around us.

It never really gets dark in summer.

take it easy

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Willow goes for a stick!

Lisa and I were up the creek this morning.

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Wood Lily.

The valley bottom and roads are absolutely crowded with tourists racing in every direction at once, all in a hurry to have fun and see as much as they can in the time they have away from the city. It sure keeps you on your toes while driving with folks doing the damndest things. The ambulances and STARS helicopter have been busy the last few weeks. That’s summer for you!

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Wild Orchid. 

I made the mistake at stopping at a summer market. It is a touristy place and I rarely stop. The prices were beyond belief. Even the tourists were complaining at the till, $14 for a small basket of cherries, $7.50 for a few leaves of lettuce. At that rate, I have about $100,000 worth of lettuce in my garden I can’t give away! I also had people nudging and bumping into me. They obviously didn’t get the memo about the Covid pandemic and the importance of social distancing. I got the hell out of there. Lisa thought I was nuts to stop in the first place.

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Paintbrush.

Lisa and I got off the main roads and turned behind the mountain and followed the creek. We stopped and walked a familiar trail, breathing easy away from the ruck of the maddening crowd.

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Fireweed.

The flowers are out in abundance due to our wet early summer. Willow enjoyed a swim.

Once back home we decided it safer to stay put.

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high-rises

RCE_6445Venus and the waning moon.

It depends on how you see things. What’s funny and what’s not. For instance, our whole fucking predicament, could be considered funny. There is thousands of old folks that haven’t seen the light of day because of an invisible threat.

They are busting their doors down to get out.

We’ve gotten old without cause. Comfortable. Confused by what’s true, the news slinging  varied truth. It’s a narrative now. The best writers in the world, people trained to tell the truth, help the downtrodden, have been tricked to further an agenda. Write and wrong has two sides, forgotten for now.

The truth is lying in the grass, between the buildings, high up in the high-rises.

So they say.