mid december

A stellar day in any season. Above freezing. Reports have it the ice is thin.

Watched chickadees do their business. Sharpened the saw. Ran around town, wasting my time, to no avail.

Very fine day.

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.

Lisa

IMG_3584

It was Lisa’s birthday. She picked a ride into the mountains and a hotdog over a fire. I said okay, but I’d have to return the diamond ring I had for her.

We went until we couldn’t go any further. The branches rubbed the sides of the truck when the road narrowed. The creek, rushing at this time of year, finally got fed up with our ascent and washed out the road.

We walked around, built a fire at the base of Earl Grey’s trail, not just to cook the dog but to keep the mosquitoes away. We told jokes, said how much Scarlett and Cooper would love it here.

Willow ran, enjoying life away from the ruck. Dipping her tongue in mud puddles and white water.

Lisa’s been easy to please from the beginning, she loves the mountains and backroads, the spruce black, back lit, against the mountains. Sometimes I feel guilty I can’t give her more.

The birthday hot dogs were fantastic. The mosquitoes stayed away. The trip down was as good as going.

Happy birthday Lisa!

black & white

RCE_5949Roots from old logging set.

RCE_5981Making a getaway.

RCE_5938Ancient fire circle.

RCE_5937Pine Siskin.

Crows

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I’ve been watching a nest of Crows at work. The mother was quite throughout, she sat on the eggs only to leave for a short while. Once the eggs hatched she was constantly busy going back and forth for food for the hatchlings. It rained a lot and there were worms on the pavement, plenty to choose from.

I had to climb to the third floor to see them. Sometimes my work didn’t take me there, but I did it anyway each day. I always said I’d bring my camera, but I didn’t.

Every time I looked at those birds I couldn’t get over how much bigger they got, day after day.

Today they sat on the edges of the nest, all three black and shiny, confident,  if they are lucky they will always be so, the mother on a branch above, her eye on me, trusting, but knowing I can never be trusted.

They looked at me. It’s said Crows can recognize faces, I wondered how those wings worked and when they will figure out they can fly.

Early April

RCE_4940A Western Meadowlark, the first of the season, cheers on spring.

Fresh snow the last couple mornings. It is sure to green things up as it melts in the afternoon. Plenty of snow in the mountains keeping us along the lower reaches. It will feel good to get in the high country where the rocks reach the sky, ’till then we will take it one step at a time.

RCE_4934Willow keeps an ear and eye out for rodents busy under the snow. 

Yet to see a woodtick, yet they are sure to be around. Lisa checks Willow over after every outing.

RCE_4951The buds will soon overtake the ice.

The garden is starting to call. The frost is still about eight inches down. It will need digging when the pitch fork goes tine deep. Since we have extra time these days there will be no excuse to get lettuce, beets, carrots and peas in early.

RCE_4909Composted manure waiting to be spread on the garden.

The cannabis and tomatoes have been started inside. There are plenty of extras as they may come in handy as currency during these strange days. One Durban Poison plant equals ten pounds of asparagus. It all depends on what people have extra.

_LME4906Spent part of the day in the studio cutting paper for Lisa to print.

The birds were active in the fresh snow, calling to one another, showing off, getting ready to pair off and nest. It was good to see them. Sometimes you get lucky.

 

mid march

CRW_0012Trumpeter Swans, just passing through.

Just about time to start some seeds inside.

CRW_0025Canada Geese, sailing north.

looting

 

goldfinch.smA Goldfinch robbing the sunflowers.

Damn, there seems to be a lot of shit in the world trying to keep us quiet. Take the news for instance. Everything is grave. The President of the United States is a threat to world peace, he could fly off the handle at any time and push the button. Our own Justin Trudeau growing a beard to look more serious, perhaps to even the playing field. I remember when his father was the smartest guy in the room. That’s tough to live up to. The Corona-virus coming to get us. The world warming or cooling, one or the other, it can’t be good, fires, glaciers calving, storms bringing cold, snow, bush hot as asphalt. 

It makes you care less about the thieves around you when everything is going to hell in a hand basket.

Remember when New Orleans flooded due to Katrina? All the people looting? Mostly poor people, trying to get a new TV. The whole country looked down on them.

Here we are with nothing but bad news on the horizon and every small town politician, government worker, school superintendent and business leader are doing everything in their power to feather their nest, expecting us to be caught up in the news and turn a blind eye not only to their incompetence but their greed.

That’s taking advantage of the situation, that’s the real looting.

mid January

CRW_0010Not much for blue sky even through the -20°c stretch. Hopefully February will clear for the Milky Way to rise sideways adjacent to the mountain tops and church steeples.

Spring, just before it leaves winter, is aways away yet.

we can only prey

CRW_0015smBald Eagle, photo by Lisa.

Lisa and I saw a Northern Hawk Owl yesterday. It was a fortunate sighting. Owls are an animal that seem to be able to look directly into your soul. Unfortunately it was very low light and I wasn’t able to get a clear photograph.

The owl even soared down and caught a mouse in the snow and long grass. As soon as it flew away a Raven trailed after it, hoping for it to drop the mouse I suspect.

Opportunists get a bad rap. Not born with the sharp beak and killer claws it must depend on it’s smarts and perseverance. It has to steal it’s meal.

This is often the same with people. It used to be the poor steeling from the rich. Now it’s the politicians and big business men stealing from the many poor. Just a little bit from each, it’s counterproductive to completely ruin the hand that feeds you.

Like the Raven they quickly adapt. Even manipulating folks into leaving treats and rewarding them with trinkets.

Still you have to hand it to the Ravens, Crows, Turkey Vultures and Magpies. It was unfair of me to compare them to crooks in suits.

Lisa and I went out this morning in better light to look for the owl. They are very territorial and are often seen time and again in the same spot.

It was no where to be found. We saw the Bald Eagle photographed above. Lisa took the photo not trusting me after my shaky focus with the owl. 🙂