Took off for the creek this morning. At first, we thought the valley bottom would be best. Reconsidered when the mud bogged us down.
The ground is frozen still with melt running over, making a mess of it, challenging buds to appear. Instead we headed higher, until we found a solid layer of ice and snow underfoot. Willow was saved a bath.
The birds have been at it. Most I can’t see. We hear them, chirping and singing, a crow spread it’s wings on the ground, shaking like taking a bath. It is hard to know what it means.
Time to start looking for the first robin singing or owl hooting.
I don’t see any weakness when I look at birds. They drop seeds for others and stash them for later. Sometimes the woodpeckers and starlings show up, sure there can be a ruckus. It’s just seeds however, at this time of year. They will fight to death in spring over nests housing young ones, but not over seeds in fall.
Been listening and reading a lot of stuff, done by smart people, that is supposed to explain things, why we have ended up the way we are. I’m not sure if I understand it or buy into it. I’ve always had fear about people with all the answers. I’ve even listened to folks with supposedly the same problems as me, and I can’t relate. I just find it dull. Don’t get me wrong I’m dull too.
I found my grandparents graves today. I looked all over. I remember when they were laid to rest. I thought it was more in the middle of the Cemetery. Goes to show memory can play some tricks, then again it was the early 70’s and from what I was told I was distraught. This is the first time I’ve looked since.
Those birds though on a brilliant day, without sentimentality, testing the trellis branches, not a worry of winter, knowing cold is on the way, they’ve got it figured out.
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.
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.
It’s good to wake up and not have to go to work. A long weekend gives that little bit extra. Fuck laying the clothes out on Sunday. Rushing, getting a shave in, reconstructing your constitution, always important to see you through.
To have a whole other day is a reward. The lawn ain’t mowed. The beans aren’t in. Still time to putter. Have a beer between jobs. Entertain Willow. Lounge at breakfast. Read the paper. All the good ones are online now. I am going to be pissed once my eyes go for good.
A smart man would take advantage of this extra time. After all the shit could hit the fan at any time. Still the odds are in my favour. It’s been awhile since an astroid hit, so excuse me if I take my time.
The wild orchids are up same as the spinach. Hummingbirds test the feeder and chase each other off.
It makes me wonder where my personal responsibilities lie considering the state of the world. How can I be happy when bombs are falling in the Middle East, when lies are being pushed be governments and officials of every creed?
The mountains are getting a dusting of snow. The frost is off for a few days at least. The plants will feed us through summer.
The stars are up each night. Doing their best to shine into my soul. They remind me to fight for what I think is right, but most of the time, they remind me I am part of something huge.
They remind to take advantage of what has been given. I can fight at the drop of a hat, but I have to be reminded to watch birds.
Willow is distracted by birds, even bothered by them, she is the only dog I’ve had that is so. It could be from the time when she was a puppy and we would give her a bone on the front lawn. The Crows would hoover, distract her and steal her bone. It was funny to watch. I know she didn’t share my sense of humour.
Willow barks at Crows and Ravens like they are a burglar breaking through the front door. I appreciate it out in the bush. Crows and Ravens follow bears around and it gives me a heads up.
But at home it can be embarrassing when she scares off a Hummingbird or Song Sparrow, with her loud bark, their only crime having the audacity to hoover or sit on the garden fence. The Robins especially get a kick out of her, leading her this way and that.
Willow is not the dog you want on bird watching expeditions. I stand between them with hopes they will someday get along. The fact is they already are and I’m the lone man out.
Slight rain, a bit of snow mixed in. The grass is getting greener before my eyes. The trees are budding. Some grow with vigour and some don’t come back. It has nothing to do with harshness or strength. That’s why young die and we shake our heads at the sky.
Religion is both to blame and expected to offer comfort. If you believe in that stuff.
I prefer the rain thawing the ground. The creeks filling with water dirtied by sluff, carving a new route, washing out bridges when necessary. It seems more truthful.
Even a slight rain will soak through, if you let it.
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.
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.