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

time

Sometimes it goes quick. Looking at pictures of our children, thinking it felt like yesterday.

Sometimes slow, watching someone you love suffer. Wishing time would speed up.

The stars keep time, from our perspective, time is valuable, I’ve seen it, in the end it becomes the only gold.

***

Willow and I were out, down below the bridge. Looking at stars and smelling Marmot shit. She did one I did the other. The Columbia is still up. There is a coldness in the air. Snow in the mountains and frost threatening the valley bottom.

***

The days are warm, pure sunshine, the plants are dying back, yellow and drooping, refusing to give up the ghost, yet know it won’t be long.

***

Hanging on.

Mottled tiger

I used to see these caterpillars a lot when I was a kid, so I was delighted to see one again. As a child they looked so interesting, a furry worm. When you are young you get to see a lot of interesting things.

early september

Fall smoke.

The gardens near ready to be put to bed. Dry and dust. Tomatoes red, if they are left longer they will develop tough skins. The cabbage is raging. Bigger and harder. I wish I got that way when I got older.

Made 8 jars of salsa. Was interrupted by friends coming over. We drank a few beer. I pointed out my large cabbage. They were impressed. It’s good to have friends like that.

The moon was close to Mars this morning. They stayed up even after the sun showed up. The fall ain’t coming but’s here.

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? 

Ray

September 1st was Ray’s birthday. He is 102. Usually we take him out for supper. This year, with Covid part of our everyday existence it didn’t seem proper. Instead, Lisa thought we should have a parade.

Lisa put out a post on Facebook saying where and when. It was surprising how many people saw the post and commented and said they would be there (I am no technology guy but that Facebook thing might catch on 🙂 ).

Lisa got a cake. Ray and some of his friends who live in the building sat outside chatting and sharing stories (Ray has wonderful stories).

Ray was very surprised when the Invermere fire trucks drove by with many cars behind waving and holding signs wishing Ray a Happy Birthday.

Somebody said we needed the fire trucks just in case we decided to light all the candles. Ray thought that was funny.

Ray is as independent as ever. He lives on his own, making his own meals and going downtown daily to get his mail and groceries.

Earlier this summer Ray was hit by a vehicle crossing the road. It is crazy with tourists downtown in the summer. True to his nature, Ray was more concerned about the driver, a youngster in his seventies, that could lose his licence for hitting him. Ray was more concerned about the elderly gentleman’s independence than being bruised up. Of course when the word got around he had been hit, a doctor paid him a visit, other than being ‘black and blue’ on one side he was okay.

Plenty of people asked Ray what it was like to be 102, he said, ‘not much different than being 101’! 

darkness

It’s good to be out where you don’t have to worry about light. My eyes are taxed, the camera picks up colour, just like I could a long time ago, when choosing to sleep under trees instead of a bed was normal.

dark summer

They yip yip from someplace they’ve found at night to stay hidden during day. It gives Willow consternation. It’s toads they find, mice caught in the headlights, moths even, flapping sideways, awkward, born to be eaten, but they keep on keeping on, Willow does it all, but only as a hobby, these guys are serious about their vocation. That’s why you have to watch out. Still is there anything like the sound of coyotes rejoicing late summer? 

late night wondering

A meteor streaks above Isabelle’s falls on Cedar Creek.

Willow and I spent the night in the bush looking for stars. We were trying for the head of Cedar Creek but the road was washed out above the first bridge. We adjusted and headed for the top of Palliser.

It’s good to have a couple days off. To wonder the creeks and mountains does a person good. These are old familiar trails. They have changed over the years, more roads and more logging. The massive clearcuts are sad to see. I am lucky to have seen it before the big companies took over logging.

The conditions were prime for star gazing. The waning crescent moon was down most of the night, rising shortly after Venus around 5 am, leaving the majority of the night dark. That, coupled with being deep in the mountains far from any trace of artificial light set the stage for a spectacular night of looking deep into The Milky Way.

Traipsing around in the dark might not sound like fun. It’s true, you have to be careful. It helps knowing where you are and to keep things simple.

We were on the edge of The Height of the Rockies. My feet got wet almost right away in the creek. My boots are shot, cracked, without tread, with my toes just about through the front. This last pair didn’t last worth a damn.

The sky didn’t disappoint. The Milky Way was brilliant. Several meteors streaked, many were leftovers from the Perseid Meteor Shower, streaking away from it’s namesake constellation, Perseus.

A composite of several photos stitched together to show the sky from my vantage point. The camera picks up colour the eye is unable to see.

I took a few pictures knowing it was impossible to do justice to the glory of such a place on and above Earth. To see it is to believe it. After awhile I gave up put the camera down. Willow and I sat and watched, but not the same things. I watched the sky and she watched everything else.

Venus and the crescent moon.

Before long I was asleep under a 40 year old sleeping bag. We were up early to catch Venus and the Crescent moon. With light breaking we headed further up the river, watching the sun hit the tops of the mountains.

Crescent Moon near a wooded ridge.

All too soon we were due back in town. On the way back we stopped and I cut up some firewood and filled the back of the truck. It was a workout being tight grained fir and didn’t split easy.

Morning shadows recede.

Not much sleep the last few days. For Willow even less as she takes her watching more seriously than I. She sleeps on her blanket beside me. Now that I think of it I am a little tired myself.

Very fine day and night.

The mountains against summer’s blue.

putting the man in manifestation

RCE_6351-Pano

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.