Woke up this morning before light. It looked like it was raining. +4°c the thermometer said. Next I looked it was snowing giant flakes. It was wet regardless.
Before testing outside I made a batch of Huckleberry Preserves. The berries were from this summer when Lisa and I wondered the mountain side. I tasted a few of the frozen berries and was instantly transported back in time picking the ripe berries, feeding a few to Willow to ward off thirst and watching Lisa’s red hair, flipping this way and that, bent down, dodging horseflies, picking only the plumpest and ripest.
Up the pass the snow was deeper and not nearly as wet. Much more enjoyable. The clouds parted to show the long lost mountains, but only briefly, before filling in again obscuring the stars.
Still, the birds sang hidden like a soundtrack dedicated to earth in all it’s glory.
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.
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.
The snow covered mountains are over 130km away. There is a haze just above the lowest ridge. Woodstoves I suspect as it was a chilly morning.
More than a few years ago I would look south down the valley and wonder if the haze at the horizon was pollution? And was it there the year before or the last time I looked? It would glow orange. Of course we get our share of pollution when the forests are on fire during the summer months. I’m talking about the rest of the year.
Much of industry is carried on south of us where the majority of the population resides. It could be that I have been missing them, but the skies seem exceptionally blue at the horizons where smoke is most noticeable.
Regardless, it was a beautiful blue day. I can’t help but think we are going to be a more mindful society after this threat passes. I know this; the blue skies sure make the birds feel better, like always, they can be trusted.
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.
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.