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!
Roots from old logging set.
Making a getaway.
Ancient fire circle.
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.
A 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.
Willow 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.
The 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.
Composted 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.
Spent 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.
Trumpeter Swans, just passing through.
Just about time to start some seeds inside.
Canada Geese, sailing north.
A 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.
Not 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.
Bald 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. 🙂
A Bald Eagle, sitting on an osprey nest, hunting. Keeping an eye on the fishing shacks. Opportunity knocks when a fisherman throws a Pike Minnow on the ice.
It was whistling to two others circling the lake. Also keeping a sharp eye on me, making sure it was only a camera and not a gun.
The Osprey nest platforms are man made to keep them from building on power poles. Of course the Ospreys are wintering in Mexico at this time of year so they don’t mind the intrusion. Come spring it will be a different story.
A herd of Bohemian Waxwings get ready to swoop down into a berry tree. Such a treat to watch. Their chirps fill the sky while coasting onto a perch, and what voracious eaters, they can strip a tree in no time sometimes passing the berries back and forth and even getting drunk on the fermented fruit. Can you imagine the thrill of flying under the influence? Of course you would have to be wary of those Bald Eagles.
Lisa and I had breakfast up the creek. Willow ran hither and yon, nose down then up, sniffing tracks and tracing birdcall.
We saw Bald Eagles on a freshly killed deer. They flew as soon as I put the camera up. I didn’t pursue the photo by camping out near the deer. Although the temperature is only -8°c, I shouldn’t be interrupting a feast of much needed energy for these animals. We moved on so they could return.
Once above the creek we spotted the tell tale rings on the side of a pond; an American Dipper. They are fun to watch, we hiked down to creek bottom where it dipped and flitted oblivious to us. I snapped a couple photos. Willow barked but it had little effect on the happy Water Ouzel.
The bird with the short tail is often seen alone or in pairs. I know I have a good photo when I am able to photography it’s white eyelid. This morning the light was low, with snow falling, I wasn’t able to capture any sharp photos. That is okay. It’s the encounter that is cherished. These photos will serve as a reminder of our luck on this fine day.
Thank you to everyone who stops by and reads these posts and looks at the photos. I appreciate it. Lisa and I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Holiday Season. All the best in 2020. Take care out there. Bob