remembrance

Tonight, the sun going down behind a ridge lining the valley.

Remembrance Day ceremonies were held at the cenotaphs around the country like usual, except without many people and very few spectators, due to Covid. In Invermere a scaled back ceremony was broadcast on Facebook for people to see.

It is a day that stirs up many thoughts and feelings. I had to work early in the morning for a few hours clearing the fresh snow at the resort. On the way home I passed the large illuminated digital sign on the highway that crosses the Shuswap Indian Band Reservation. The sign often displays phrases and words of their original language. Today they were displaying pictures of their people who served in the wars.

As I drove by Jack Stevens was displayed on the sign. He was a handsome man. My father and Mr. Stevens joined the services together while in their teens. They were Valley boys trying to do right, possibly, for different reasons. My father was following in his father’s footsteps. Jack could have been feeling free from racism that was so prevalent, hoping once the uniform was on the colour of skin would be forgotten.

Mr. Stevens and my father both came home to the Valley from the Second World War. I know now my father was changed and struggled for years, until he learned how to survive. My mother, his two daughters and my older brother helped with that.

Whenever, Ron and Jack met, usaully at the ball diamond or hockey rink, they spent time reminiscing, laughing about good times spent before the war.

snags

A bunch of coulees, bluffs, creek bottoms, waterfalls and draws, trees scattered like match sticks hither and yon. Fire lay it bare, exposing the mountains for what they are; slides, rock, coves, caves, ridge and a bunch of hiding spots – just ask the grizzlies and goats.

You don’t want to be lost in it. That’s for sure. It’s better to stay on top then be wondering in the dark, not a star in the sky, only the dim moon shining through falling snow, silver here and there where the water shows.

Even best instincts aren’t enough. Nothing coming good or bad. The fire and deep snow doesn’t care, nor does the burnt snag falling to the forest floor give a damn if it’s heard or not.

Early October

A small Mule Deer buck poses for Lisa and her camera.

It’s been good to feel the cool air again. There has been a touch of frost in the mornings but only a quick dip. It has been mild for this time of year. Without a hard frost the leaves are hanging on. It has been clear and sunny, kids are still swimming in the lake and diving the high cliffs up the pass. Smoke rolled in today and it feels like it will storm. Here is a few photos from the past few days.

A honey bee gathers pollen from broccoli gone to flower. Both Lisa and I have wondered what the honey would taste like. One thing for sure the bees love the broccoli flowers.
The time of year the buck’s start fighting for the right to engage the doe’s. Lisa was out early in the morning to take a few photos of the near full moon on the ridge and came across a large mule deer buck letting all the young bucks challenge him. He beat them all, however may have been too tired to seal the deal with the roaming doe’s.
‘Can’t everyone just get along.’ Being Hunting season it was a good thing for these guys Lisa just packs a Nikon instead of the old 30.30 Winchester rifle.
While watching the deer Lisa just about forgot about the moon. Luckily she caught it as it rolled along the ridge before dipping out of sight.
Backroads.
Lisa and Willow on this mornings walk.

Damn

I smoke marijuana every chance I get. – Allen Ginsberg

Part of being Canadian is listening to American politics. It dominates most of TV channels and internet news. It also headlines much of Canadian news sources. CBC News, for instance, often opens with what Donald Trump has been up to.  It has been said, Canadians know more about American politics than our own Canadian government and it’s goings on.

Our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has done his fair share of stupid things in recent years including being caught red handed in scandal; sexual, legal and political. He even dressed in blackface with a banana down his pants. However, he has skated through it all unscathed. Of course, it helps when the leader of the free world, Donald Trump, is stealing all the headlines with his own shenanigans. It’s like having a bad brother. Just when you think you are in trouble with Mom he has done something worse and let you off the hook.

If you follow American news you know Trump’s nemesis Nancy Pelosi was caught on security footage getting her hair done in a closed salon and. . . wait for it. . . the 80 year old Speaker of the House of Representatives, didn’t have a mask. Furthermore the owner of the Salon, not the person doing her hair, was outraged that she is closed while a politician, seemingly skipped protocol to have her hair styled.

Okay, I know what you are thinking, how can this be news!

***

But it gets better.

Pelosi released a statement saying, she was set up. Caught red-handed getting her hair done, using her influence to have her hair washed, cut and styled without a mask. I know, I know these are serious allegations.

A set up that must have had America’s greatest evil Republican Party minds working overtime, night and day to pull off.

Now here is the punch line ( if you didn’t think it could get any funnier).

Donald Trump, as he is known to do, tweeted:

“Nancy Pelosi says she got ‘set up’ by a beauty Parlour owner. Maybe the Beauty Parlour owner should be running the House of Representatives instead of Crazy Nancy?”

Okay, all I can say is Holy Fuckin’ Shit! The whole thing is beyond funny. All the writers from Saturday Night Live, Late Night With David Letterman and Conan O’Brien couldn’t come up with anything funnier!

And it’s all coming from old people, Trump, Pelosi, Biden, Schiff, Sanders. Cripes, it’s like the Golden Girls meet the Muppets. And not the good muppets like Kermit and Grover, but those old grumpy men in the balcony.

People should consider Trump isn’t serious about his position, he enjoys driving people crazy. When he ran he probably didn’t even want to get in. Now President he is making a joke of it, getting back at all the people that laughed at him over the years. After all he has been a joke his entire life.

If he was a Canadian politician, Trump would have ran as a Rhinoceros Party candidate, promising to tear down the Rocky Mountains so Albertans could enjoy the West Coast sunsets.

I can’t imagine Trump getting back in for a second term, even going up against ‘Sleepy Slow Biden’, (Trump’s nickname for Mr. Biden not mine).

Once Trump is out I hope he writes a book saying he was never serious, it was all a joke and America had to be reminded to laugh at themselves.

This may seem flippant, but I don’t mean it that way. America under Trump has killed fewer poor people overseas in the name of justice, oil or weapons of mass destruction (opps sorry about that. . . bad intel.) than his predecessors. 

In a perfect world, perhaps, history will look back on Trump as a comic satirist in the same vein as Sacha Baron Cohen or Mark Twain.

All I know is I can’t take it all too seriously, and when it shows up on CBC it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s news.

Like Allen Ginsberg asked a long time ago:

America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.   
America is this correct? 

Mid July

 

Not a lot of hot weather. Rain in-between sunshine. I’m okay with that. The world’s seemed to have gone strange. I hold onto what’s familiar. Not because it will save me, but because it’s the only thing I know.

The garden is teeming. We can’t grow enough to be self sufficient. Even if I started shooting all the deer around me, it would be a tough go. The new spuds ease the pain of reality, and there’s something cathartic about picking your own lettuce.

We trade with friends; pickles for rhubarb, weed for meat, firewood for jelly. . . it’s a trick we play to think we are beating the system.

If this is all we get I’ll be happy without the heat.

eve

RCE_6107

Tater blossom.

The garden has taken off. The peas have outgrown the fences. I’m not sure if I should try to extend them or let the vines strangle themselves, thus slowing the vines. Since I am a lazy gardener I will let nature take it’s course.

The cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kohlrabi are taking over. We have some hot weather coming up and I hope they won’t bolt.  My experience with broccoli and cauliflower is limited, so will just have to wait and see.

The first spuds should be ready in a week and I’m looking forward to them.

It is the eve of Canada Day. The Valley is full of people wanting to celebrate, yet not sure what is acceptable or where to go. I noticed many people just wondering around town aimlessly today. Maybe we are turning into zombies with maple leaf tattoos!

thunder

_LME5376Willow smells for meat to go with the spuds and cabbage.

Off for a couple days after a shitty week. Took off for the creek last night to clear my mind. Plenty of snow up top still to come down. It’s got the second home owners scared on the edge of the lake. I don’t like this global warming trend. It would only take a couple of years of winters with lots of snow paired with some chilly summers and those glaciers would grow. Then when it warmed up it would wash those second homes, along with the rest of the pollution down the Columbia.

RCE_5970 A new bear.

Was worried about one of the young crows. It was stubborn to take up flying, it found itself along a fence line with mother in a tree offering encouragement, swooping at anything she thought a threat.

She must of done her job because the young one was out of the corner, hopping around with the other two. It must have paid off looking at them everyday because they let me get close.

You know you’re getting old when all you want to do is spend time in the garden and woodpile on your day off.

_LME5361Bad Cabbage.

Bears and Flowers

_LME5234The first of the mountain orchids begin to bloom.

It seems orchids and bears start to appear at the same time in the bush. The trick is not to be too focused on one or the other. For instance, if you are just on the lookout for bears you might step on the delicate Venus’s Lady’s Slipper.

RCE_5388.smA Black Bear says, ‘What are you doing here?’

Conversely, if you are laying on your belly in the moss, intent on focusing your camera on these lovely orchids, you could pop up your head and have a surprise. Awareness is always the best policy.

_LME5230

Early May

RCE_5093Don’t make such a rhubarb about the current goings on!

Covid19 precautions are starting to ease in Canada. We are seeing more tourists. Shops are starting to reopen. About two thirds of the vehicles on the highway and around town, on the weekend, are from neighbouring province Alberta, ignoring warnings not to travel outside of your home province.

The ambulance has been out several times today, a sure sign the roads are getting busier with tourists.

It should be reminded, we are as susceptible to this disease now as we were two months ago.  The only thing changed is we have learned to social distance and bought time to possibly better ready our health care system. Numbers show most are still vulnerable to contract the sickness. This will remain so until a vaccine is developed. It will be interesting how we go forward.

RCE_5096A handsome Flicker.

Five years from now, we will know better how we managed this illness, did we overreact, was there things we could have done better? Right now we move forward with the information we have.

Strange times. One good thing in our small community; it’s amazing to see people forgetting about money and tourists, choosing instead to support each other.

mid April

RCE_5047Had to bribe Willow for this picture. She was amply rewarded with a generous piece of breakfast sausage.

It’s never too early to get a truck full of wood. The backroads are still snow covered. Got lucky finding a down pine and fir before heavy snow. Both dry but thawing out. I cut and Lisa loaded. Willow kept the perimeter.

We saw Whitetail Deer, the rivers are clear and I could have brought home fish if the season wasn’t closed. It’s hard to know when we won’t give a shit. For now everything is fine.

Lisa and I talked about the anxiety we have been feeling, especially when the virus first hit, and how we are feeling now. We both can do with a lot less. Still, having a shitload of money stockpiled, including pensions, would be the best defence. Neither, we have, but neither did all our descendants before us.

The grass is greening. I’m looking for garlic to come up.