storing it up

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The Chickadees have been busy in the remaining sunflowers. I put a couple large heads on the deck so we can watch the tough little birds do their business. They fly from the garden, to the deck, to the trees where they hide the seed for future consumption, presumably when the cold and snow hits and food is scarce.

A Downey Woodpecker has been watching them and I wonder if he will be the beneficiary of all their hard work.

Like all of nature these small birds seem to work extra hard just to survive. They hide ten times what they will need, because they know most of it will be gone when they need it.

A Turtle lays a hundred eggs and only a small number survive. A tree produces many cones, some fall and lay dormant, some are eaten by birds. Some sprout and are trampled and die or don’t get enough light. Sometimes it takes a lightening strike or fire to clear the brush and let them survive. Without going ‘above and beyond’ perhaps all would have died out by now.

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Then there is us. Humans are the cruelest animal, it is our nature to wreak havoc on animals, resources and the natural world, because we feel we are somehow above or separate from the trees and fish and even the coal in the ground. It’s because, like every other living thing, we guard our young. For them, we produce and consume much more than is required. In this moment of time we have gotten too good at being cruel. All of our seeds are still in the trees, we have ten times more than we need, but we’ve killed off all the woodpeckers.

The last 200 years, even the last 2000 years is such a small amount of time for nature. It is our hubris, maybe even our nature and our weakness, to think we are on top, or somehow in control.

tick toc

RCE_2868The morning sun shines a spotlight on a Tiger Lily.

There is an old joke I love. It goes like this: Did you here that Johnson and Johnson have developed a new product for the millennium? It’s call KY Y2K. It lets you put in 4 digits instead of two!

The joke is a play on the hysteria that accompanied the calendar switching from 1999 to the year 2000. The thought was that many computers would think it was the year 1900, as computers only recognized two digits in the calendar instead of four, thus confusing banking, shipping, airfare and anything and everything ran by a computer. 

It was reported on every news station and everyone held their breath at midnight 1999. Lisa and I even took out some cash from the bank to see us through until they sorted the mess out. Some people did a lot more. Of course it all turned out to be hype. The calendar switched and everything ran like the day before. 

A lot of tech companies made a ton of money from the impending doom. 

Fake news it would be called today.

***

Todays political and environmental landscape is much different. We are on the edge of environmental ruin as our world heats up due to CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels.

Canada contributes between 1 and 2% to the worlds CO2 emissions. Even if we were to shut down every form of industry that produces green house gasses we would still be doomed.

Still, it’s worth a try. I travel in a vehicle but most of my trips are longer than 2 miles but shorter than 10 miles. I don’t have boats, ATV’s, a second house nor do I plan on getting any, I grow most of our food but eat a steak every chance I get (I’m working on it). I realize I am lucky to do so. 

In this area the most fervent environmentalists are wealthy people. They spend their winters in warmer climes, or on trips where they ‘help out’, they wear layers of Northface, shop at Mountain Equipment Coop,  have several pairs of boots for every occasion, carry mirrorless cameras, get on jets every holiday, stay in second and third homes, and preach. . . they preach science. How we are doomed.

Science has become the new religion. I used to feel guilty about masterbating, now I feel guilty about eating steak and contributing to more cow farts in the atmosphere. Then again, it could be that masterbating doesn’t hold the same appeal as it once did.

***

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Still that doesn’t mean something isn’t going on. CO2 occurs naturally and in abundance to what humans have produced. It’s a balance we may well have fucked up.

The future could be as bleak as is reported, while we live in the most generous of times. Where more people than ever on earth have access to healthcare and food and water. Where we should be counting our lucky stars. Mostly because of science

 ***

Perhaps only science can save us. Is there a way to gobble up this, seemingly minute, compared to natures production, but devastating CO2, that has perched us on this precipice?

***

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I love my children and grandchildren. I try to show them the happiness in having less, or having more in less.

The stories of kindness and living simply are not meant to make them weak but strong in the future.

The bird calls, the first spuds from a well tended garden, the cones on top of trees framed in a blue sky. The river high and low and the difference between seasons.

***

Perhaps I am a fool, shy of two digits while the world’s clock ticks towards midnight.

after the rain

_LME3007A few thinnings.

So far it’s been a wet summer. That’s ok with me if it means no smokey skies.

_LME3020Spuds.

The garden is coming around like it always does in summer regardless of smoke, sun rain or mist. Even my negligence can’t keep it down.

_LME3026Lavender.

_LME3028.jpgBlack Crimson Tomato.

_LME3056.jpgWillow eats the last radish.

late may

CRW_0012smA wild turkey. Too late for Easter and too early for Thanksgiving! 

Got the garden in. Better late then never, yet I’ve been later. It all seems to work out, despite my foolish  worry and woe.

CRW_0017.smWild flower. Venus’s Lady’s Slipper Orchid.

may long

RCE_2652Riding in the back of the truck.

Was up early. Scarlett and I headed to the store. We were planning a big spaghetti dinner. Scarlett picked out ice cream treats. I let her have one for breakfast.

Good neighbour Larry sold plants, over the weekend, to tourists. Tomatoes and peppers mostly. They look good this year. Brandywine, Cherokee, Black Cherry and Thai Dragon.

The long weekend brings out the tourists in force. They race and honk their horns at each other. Sometimes they bump into each other in the parking lots and yell at each other. Still, I don’t blame them for wanting to be out here, away from Calgary and the malls, freeways, casinos, high-rises, pavement, neighbours that you live right beside but don’t know, shopping, shopping, fees and movie theatres.

We headed up the pass to look for orchids. We were only five minutes off the main road and we never saw another person. They were all fighting for coffee at Kicking Horse Café, thank God.

Last week there was still snow.

RCE_2631Turning wild.

Today, Scarlett and Cooper ran, climbed banks and contemplated the tops of trees. They found paths in the bush. They followed moose tracks until they were out of sight and we had to call them back. 

RCE_2651Mountain orchid.

The Calypso Orchids were out. Small, among the forest floor, almost invisible, sinking into the moss. 

RCE_2630Kelsie, Scarlett and Cooper, climbing towards the ridge.

I pointed out a snowy mountain and suggested we should run up there. Scarlett and Cooper took off in it’s direction. It had fresh snow. You can do much worse than run towards an unclimbed ridge.

The kids sat in the back of the truck for the ride off the mountain.

Garden

CRW_0009A robin who was singing into the sun turns his back for the camera and scratches it’s ass.

It was good to get out and catch up with the garden. Despite good intentions I am once again behind. Spring always seems to sneak up.

The garden needed digging. The garlic, planted in the fall is not yet up, it could be because it was trampled by the deer before the ground froze. It is hard to say if it will come up. The weeds got shaken and tossed to the side. Tomorrow I plan on running a rototiller through the garden and maybe get a few spuds in the ground. I’ve started a few plants inside, but they are not ready to be put out.

I think we should prepare for another dry one.

***

During the week Lisa and I headed behind the mountain along the creek. There is more yahoos in the bush then ever. We saw some people shooting down the road. We weren’t in their line, but somebody could have easily been. Before I could think, I was out of my truck and asking them what the hell they thought they were doing. They apologized, which I didn’t give a damn about.

Lisa calmly asked, once I got back in the truck, if my new thing is giving people carrying high powered rifles shit?

***

The sun felt good today. My head has been clogged with a cold. The first one I can remember in years. My arms are sunburnt and scratched from pulling out the old raspberry canes. Very fine day.