Father’s Day

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Came across a mother Black Bear with two cubs. A couple barks and the cubs were up a tree followed by their mother in a flash. Amazing how fast they can climb. We left them alone as not to stress them. 

Lisa treated me to Father’s Day in the bush. We made a day of it heading a valley over to the Palliser. Going the extra mile was worth it. We never saw another vehicle after turning off the highway onto Settler’s Road.

We explored in the country we love. The creeks and rivers were raging. We picked up a few stones for Lisa’s rock garden, some firewood, hiked a cut block, let the hounds run and took a few pictures.

We even got around to stripping Willow of her winter coat. This can be quite a chore but wasn’t that bad as we did it after the hike and Willow was tired and did put up much of a fuss.

When we returned to cell reception my phone started buzzing with Father’s Day wishes from my children. When we arrived home I returned the calls to my kids and grandkids.

Very fine day.

(The photos were taken by Lisa)

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Cutting up a stick of firewood while Maynard looks on.

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The rain has the mushrooms popping. Not sure what this species is so it stayed on the forest floor instead of added to the soup pot.

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Heart Leaved Arnica. An edible plant, widely used by indigenous people before colonization.

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An odd puffball?

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Lunch on the side of the road.

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The crows keep me posted each morning. I’ve noticed the three young ones are getting brave, wondering further apart. The mother is still in the highest trees looking out. I’m the first to arrive at work and she greets me with her caw, caw. My sister Deb told me to listen for the sound between the call, the silence, as it is part of their language. I skim the pool of ants and bugs, most still alive, getting the pool ready for the guests to enjoy pristine swimming. I put the bugs over the wall for the crows. They’ve come to expect it and the only reason they await my early arrival.

***

A touch of rain tonight, true enough to make the garden grow. The peas have already out grown the fences. The brassicas leaves cradle the rain, holding the precious lenses, magnifying purple veins. The broccoli is sky high, the kohlrabi is billiard ball size and the cabbage can’t be denied. 

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The weed is well on it’s way. Weird not to have to hide it, like I’ve done for the last 20 years. Not that I tried very hard. They will be turned quick and have the entire month of August to bloom.

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Had a large Wolf Spider in the bed the other night. I saw it as I was getting in and swooped it onto the floor. Instincts kicked in and I squashed it. Deb puts spiders and bugs outside, she does it with a feather duster. I don’t have one. Usually I just leave them alone. I was afraid the spider would give me bad dreams, but it didn’t. Perhaps I’m too old to feel. I killed a snake once for no good reason when I was a youngster that haunts me still. It’s important to be careful about what you kill.

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My father got me looking into the sky and the running creek. It’s been my downfall and my salvation. 

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When you get older the apologies never given start to add up. I wouldn’t help with homework. I was distant. I was younger then, full of anger that I thought was virtue. Looking back, I’m not sure I could do anything different. Every injustice rippled through my body and reflected out. I tried to teach them through my indiscretions that they didn’t have to be like me.

That’s the best I could think to show.

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The swallows swoop in the evening, I think of them as giants. Dinosaurs flying through the air from ancient times, mouths open, eating mosquitos, chewing through clouds, just in time to reveal the setting sun.

mid June

mobot31753002839139_0377Yarrow illustration by German Botanist Walther Otto Muller from the 1800’s. He illustrated many important botanical books of the time.

Was up in the mountains today while the valley bottom was at it’s busiest. The yarrow plant is starting to bloom in the bush. I picked a bunch and also juniper berries for my good friend Dave. He makes the best jellies and hot sauces. The yarrow and junipers will be made into an exclusive hot sauce for a local bar and restaurant.

Lisa says she is going to make me a foraging pouch that will hook on my belt. I told her to make it big enough to hold a mickey and a couple quarts of huckleberries.

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Got the spuds hilled this evening between showers. Every time I tried waiting it out it kept up, and when I came in it instantly stopped. That’s June.

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Plenty of thunder last night. It’s good to see it accompanied by rain. That will stop soon.

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It’s Father’s Day tomorrow. I still miss mine. I told Hunter, when I talked to him on the telephone today, I will be expecting some dry macaroni glued to a sheet of paper.

I wasn’t the best father or the worst. I was serious back in those days and worked a lot. I also did things that didn’t make it easy for us. That was part of being serious. I could have got along better with people that could have made life easier for all of us, but I was too proud or quick to criticize, so we all suffered. It’s not noble looking back. Still my children love me, regardless. That’s luck.

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It’s said the weather is about to turn hot. Lisa says I need a haircut. It’s about time to stop wearing long sleeved shirts, even if they are worn rolled up. There is a slow leak on the rear passenger side tire that needs taken care of.  The carrots need weeding same as the garlic. Other than that I don’t think I have any problems. But I’ve been wrong before.