The Palliser

White water.

We set out to find driftwood 35 years later. It is a good spot the Palliser rushes towards a series of falls before joining the Kootenay in the valley below. The wood from its tributaries banks are pummelled and smoothed in high water, left on the stones once the river goes down, like gold in the sluice.

We found love in this spot among the large boulders, on top and behind. Because of that our kids saw the same rocks.

looking for patterns.

The river always takes me, down, the flow, the rush. When I was a youngster it all seemed so natural. The quartz and blue water whispered in my ear, cascading into canyons that if caught in the current would mean death, since we are not, after all, driftwood, our skin only a thin layer of bark.

Now we are older, we poke around, picking up rocks, turning over polished wood, watching the current. It’s the same place my Father opened a can of peaches with his pocket knife in the rain. Where my Mother said the light was good. Where we were cautioned and in turn cautioned our children about the power of the river.

Sunday Morning

Lisa and I decided to have coffee on the backside of Swansea. It was up an old steep road we haven’t travelled in some time. Before long we were on our perch, Willow chasing her nose, the clouds lifting and descending, depending on the direction.

Fall is here, colours are deep from the rain. We walked the ridge. Without rain we could have seen Baldy Mountain.

The mushrooms have popped up and gone inky. Solomons Seal has turned rouge in the cooling air.

Both Lisa and I commented that it is such a relief the fall season is upon us. We are both looking forward to the slowness and quiet that accompanies winter.

This and That

No frost yet. The garden’s on hold waiting for cold to harden the carrots and sweeten the turnips. Still not many ripe tomatoes. The ripe ones don’t stand a chance while Scarlett is on patrol, she grabs and eats them before they can be counted.

***

September 11th is our parents anniversary. It is also Kelsie and Tom’s. A beautiful time of year to have a wedding. The trees turning and usually bright blue skies. The time of year you wake up to a chill, but are warmed throughout the day until a fire can be put on. The last of the long nights and early mornings.

***

9/11 is also a time in history the United States was attacked and commenced a 20 year war against terrorism, invading two countries killing hundreds of thousands. Doing so, George W. Bush, and the American political structure entered into a situation that further alienated the US from the rest of the world while trying to achieve some level of retribution that can’t possibly exist in world affairs where our best strategy is to try and live with each other’s differences that are not that great when thought about.

US President Trump and Biden decided to end the war in Afghanistan. Both would have ended it differently. The job however, fell on the Biden administration who choose to end it with the United States, the most powerful nation in the world, tucking its tail.

It was done by design and it’s a good thing. The US can now withdraw from its disastrous foreign policy and focus on its many internal challenges.

***

Canada is in the midst of a federal election. Trudeau no longer looks like the fair haired boy of his youth. Leading a nation through a pandemic is sure to do that.

Still what are the choices. Our riding goes either Conservative or NDP without the Liberals making a blip on the screen.

So here are the choices:

NDP: the local candidate is a long time politician and government employee who served a term as MLA. He was reported on CBC as an MLA who was collecting a large defined government pension while collecting his 6 figure salary. In other words, a greedy bugger, who doesn’t know how most of his constituents live hand to mouth.

Conservative: The conservative incumbent for Kootenay-Columbia is an ex-cop from Vancouver parachuted into the riding to capture the last election, and it WORKED! Nobody hears much from him. Conservatives say they like him however. Just a reminder the dumbest guys in high school became cops.

One of the two of these jokers are going to be MLA. It’s a choice between a shit sandwich and a kick in the teeth. Many will hold their nose and pick the least of the worse.

But what if we we voted for candidates different from the same old same old? Canada and the entire world needs to change if we are going to survive, we have to get our greatest engineers and thinkers away from Apple, Google and Facebook and working at saving this planet and maybe humanity. That isn’t going to be done be voting NDP, Liberal or Conservative. It’s going to take something more. This election we may not have a choice, with luck we will in the future.

Things are changing.

hounds

Gemma walks around without purpose, she is getting old, but she loves it, like she can tell, the trees get tall for a reason and the creeks swell by the season on time.

It bothers Willow not able to give her a bark and return her to earth. She tries the same to me on occasion. So far, I listen

I guess our final wish is to run wild, jumping, getting tangled in leashes that are placed around our necks. Once they are off, it is a startled surprise there is no were to go.

Gemma

monochrome

Red Maple
Bunchberry
False Solomon’s Seal

Orchids

Mountain Orchid

Lisa and I had a good trip up the pass on the weekend. It has been busy.

We had an eye out for wild orchids. We caught sight of plenty of Venus Slipper’s and even a few rare Yellow Lady’s Slipper’s. The Venus was especially prolific. These small orchids are only about three to four inches high, but stand out among the moss on the damp forest floor.

Calypso Orchid.

The next two wild orchids to appear will be the showy Wood and Franklin.

On another subject, we had a light frost this morning. It doesn’t look like it damaged any of the plants, however, I had to put the run on two small buck mule deer with nub velvet horns that decided to trim two of my flower baskets.

Willow sniffing out the Orchids.

mid may

Morning light.

Was up the pass this morning. Lisa and I got higher with the week of warm weather and snow melt. The Calypso Orchids have stems, yet no blooms. Next weekend for sure. It’s still early.

Watchful eyes.

The garden is all up. Considering I usually don’t plant until next week, we are ahead of the game. Next week I’ll plant the beans and put in the tomato and zucchini plants. Lisa and I are looking forward to a good feed of greens.

Trees before mountains.

The rhubarb is up and ready to be eaten. The sun is shining still coming up slanted and going down so. It’s a good time of year.

Willow wearing her Thunder Vest in the truck, so excited to get out in the bush.

late april

A young transplant.

It feels good to be caught in full fledge spring. The warm air, the quick change to chill, shades of green in every direction and the promise of work, good work.

Willow watches over the composted manure.

Planting a small garden but bigger than we need. Assessing the trees, some dying quicker than me doesn’t seem fair. The lake flat as a pancake, reflecting the mountains, light just right, oblivious to abuse.

There is a lot to be done. That’s spring for you.

An unlucky bug captured in a web. I was surprised to see this spider out so early filling up on a Box Elder bug. Spiders have patterns on their backs to scare off birds. If I had a macro lens to see the pattern, I’m sure it would be every bit as interesting as the stars and Milky Way. Judging from the web, there could have been a struggle.

April

Spring dusting.

Most spring days are strange like the weather and I like that. Took off for the Kootenay on Saturday. Willow and I rounded up some firewood. It wasn’t hard. The Kootenay was clear as a bell and I could have brought back supper if I had half a mind and a rod.

Lisa asked if I worry about my head considering, concussions, sickness, drinking and all the rest. I said nope, I remember things just like I want to. I know this is selfish.

It did piss me off coming back with a load of wood not remembering the creek my father and I stopped for water. There was Fade-Away Creek, Witness Creek and Bone Dry Creek, but damned if I could remember the small trickle that crept, ice cold, filtered under a thick canopy of full grown spruce around mile 9.

A Ruffed Grouse

I stopped at the creek and the water was just as good. That’s what’s important after all. Perhaps the name will come to me.

The time between still early and damn late is shorter as you get older.

Solar wind

Greens and purple auroras give way to approaching dawn.

Lisa called me to look at the Northern Lights at around midnight. They were spiking and visible from within town. Having been asleep for a couple hours I didn’t feel much like going out to take photos.

About 3 am I had a change of heart and Willow and I packed up the camera and headed for the dark part of Lake Windermere.

The Milky Way arches across the sky. The light of Invermere, BC can be seen to the left of the frame.

The auroras had died down yet were still visible in the northeast as a stream of solar wind hit Earth’s magnetic field.

Geese, ducks, coyotes and hooting owls provided a fitting soundtrack to the clear moonless morning. It felt good to be out looking up. Very fine start to the day.