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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Pure blue sky on a day off. It doesn’t get much better. Willow and I had grand plans to head to the backside of Swansea, follow the coolie and walk out to the front of Pinto. I knew there would be snow, but was surprised how much was still on the side looking east. And here I thought wood ticks would be the biggest concern.
We still found time to stop and walk admiring the mountains and sky. Back down in the valley bottom I rolled the windows down and heard the first Meadowlarks of the year.
A beautiful day that I didn’t take full advantage of. This evening Willow and I went to the garden. Each fork full revealed a few worms. The frost is out of the ground. Time to get serious and start gardening!
Many years ago I purchased a terrible load of manure from a wealthy local farmer. He charged me double so I thought it was going to be twice as good. It was loaded with rocks from the side of Swansea.
Every year while digging the garden I pull more of those small rocks out and pitch them to the pile near the rhubarb patch.
Tonight, in Willow’s excitement to be back in the garden, she fetched every rock I tossed, brought it back and buried it back in the garden. I didn’t mind because she was helping with the digging.
Sometimes the evening makes up for the day.
Lisa has encouraged me to look back at some of the photos taken in the past. I rarely do this, content with looking at what was taken most recently. She said sometimes I might miss a good one. These two were taken on a wonderful trip along Palliser Pass last summer.
The colours of early spring have started to take over from winter. The sky and ice are deep greys and blues. Every season displays it’s own unique colours. During the winter, clouds lose their shape and blanket the sky in solid colour. In spring the clouds form shapes, defined in varying shades of livid. The seasons in the Rockies are truly remarkable. I can’t imagine ever travelling away from here for an extended period for fear I’d miss the precious once a year performances.
Lisa and I walked to the start of Lake Windermere. Everyone calls it the ‘end’ of the lake because there is nothing down there. When people say nothing, they mean settlement. There is plenty there, cattails, geese, coyotes, cougars shallow water, clay banks, animal prints, moose, elk, snags, eagles and more.
It’s a walk we usually do this time of year. I scouted places to take pictures of the dark sky. It is on foot and would require a full night and a tent. I know Willow would enjoy it.
It would seem odd setting camp down there because I’m usually in the mountains. Still, I think there could be some good pictures to be had. The Milky Way would rise over the lake and mountains at this time of year. There is also some soft level places to pitch a tent.
Willow and Maynard snuffed up the thawing smells oblivious to yesterday or tomorrow. And we consider ourselves the smart ones.