my meteor

I’m getting to be an old fool. I’m not sure what arrived first the foolishness or the oldness. Lately they seem to have come together as a sort of unwanted conjunction, making me look for my keys while the truck is already started, grabbing my gloves to chop wood, then outside, realizing they are the oven mitts I use to check the roast.

Still, who am I to deny my feelings, after all reality is in the eye of the beholder.

Lisa and I wondered the creek bed far from the maddeningly crowds. Since the backroads are free of snow we travelled deeper and higher than other years. Once we got to the white water cascading from the melt that never ceases, we took off on foot.

I was happy to walk on rocks that are usually covered in water in warmer months. Looking at the scrapes and scratches. Digging in the sluice looking for gold that I know isn’t there, quartz but no black sand.

Then we came across a black rock that didn’t belong. It was the only black rock in the river bed. The only black rock I’ve seen in the area. It was out of place. The river would normally be over it.

I lifted it and it was heavy. This was a meteor I figured. Yet, it was pockmarked, not smooth, I held a magnet to it and it didn’t stick.

Regardless, I like to think it was catapulted from space, after a quick trip around the sun, hell bent, entering the atmosphere at ten times it’s size and burned down, in a magnificent streak of colour from red to green, until it hit with the force of ten tonnes of TNT, boiling the river, burying underground, letting a thousand years of high water wash over, until I came along and found it.

That’s most certainly not the way it happened, but it’s the way I like to look at it.

A powerful source, the river in December.

late november

Moon between the mountains

Picked a heap of kale for chips. It’s been frozen and thawed, the deer eye it up from the sidelines. It would be theirs if it wasn’t for the high fence. Willow barks the bucks away, us both brave again in each others company.

The chickadees are still hard at work, taking advantage of the warm weather. Seeds tucked into the woodpile. A few left for when times get tough.

First the moon, then mars followed ahead by Saturn and Jupiter. If you count where we’re standing that’s five circling the sun, bright, up before the rest of the stars.

The chips were crispy and sweet. Why shouldn’t they be?

hiding seeds

Spent some time watching chickadees and creepers taking seeds from the dried flowers and hiding them in the trees. It should be noted, they shell them, dropping the husk to the ground below, before tucking the meat into the crevasses of the bark.

I’ve watched woodpeckers come right after and steal the seeds. Damn those thieves.

Still the chickadees do their chore with cheerful vigour, regardless of thieves or winter coming quick or slow. I can’t imagine they are coming back to the ones they’ve hidden, trusting instead to the thoughtful nature down the line, birds hiding seeds in the trees above snow-covered ground. What goes around. . .

***

BC has implemented additional measures to slow the Covid virus. The ant-maskers held a demonstration downtown. I was conveniently in the bush, hiding, watching my grandchildren laugh, marvelling at the frozen lake while the mud puddles were open and thawed.

***

Just before dark, I watched a young boy with roller blades stick handle a ball down the sidewalk. It made me wish I was young.

The lake has a skim of ice. I’m hoping the cold takes hold, the snow stays put high until it’s hard enough to skate. That’s all it will take to make this old man happy.

Scarlett and Cooper, posing nice for their Grandma, in matching pyjamas taking advantage of a fine November day.

before the freeze

The last of the open water.

Very fine day. My hound is feeling better. Lisa and I took one last look at the lake. Marvelling at the still water open before the freeze. Later we headed for the mountains, throwing the truck into four wheel drive.

Willow caught on the wrong side of a fight. A Penrose drain and some antibiotics needed to make her feel better.
A curious bird.

I offered Scarlett and Copper $5 each if they could find a bird in their guide book. It made me feel good they found the American Dipper and damn near got in a fight about who would hold the book for the picture.

Scarlett and Cooper making their old grandpa happy.

It cleared as much as it does in November. Jake climbed a tree in his between fall and winter boots. A true swinger of birches. The sun was down by 4:30 and dark by 6.

The fire is on. My arms remain strong. Plenty of wood needs splitting. A good day rouses me as much as a bad, when it doesn’t I’ll have to take a good long look.

Election

The election is over thank Christ. The NDP got their majority. Our own Doug Clovchok, Liberal, got re elected. The Greens sucking hind tit were shook from the Premiers neck.

If you want to watch shit float, watch an election.

TV and Radio, even the internet claimed a 7000 percent increase in mail in ballots. A bunch more, took advantage of advance voting, as we did.

Cripes making it this easy must translate to a big turnout.

Not so. The turnout was less than 50%

***

If it were a roadway, folks would be up in arms, it would be redesigned sure as the mountains are high.

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.

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.