We’re going in search of birds this weekend. I have been hearing Meadowlarks. It looks like it could rain. I’ve stopped looking at the forecast. It could be good, or bad. Like most things it can go either way regardless. With luck we will see some Meadowlarks.
I looked at one of my old check stubs from the School District. A hundred bucks each cheque went to CUPE 440 – the union. It went to pay and advance apathy, discontent, laziness and sleepy carelessness intent on killing inventive, heartening, truthful labour.
There are many wonderful people stuck in the union. They toil and deliver regardless of being surrounded by the worst workers in Canada who have landed, finally, a job, after many, they could finally be their thoughtless selves. Nowadays, that’s a union’s purpose.
There is no gold plated pension waiting for Lisa and I. Hopefully the body holds up to keep working. I met a fellow today recently retired. He said he spent the winter sick. I told him that’s what retirement will do for you. He laughed, but neither of us were joking.
Lisa bought some oil for Willow that is supposed to keep ticks away. It smells like oregano, so much so, I’ve thought about calling Willow ‘Spaghetti’, which would be a good name for a Long Haired Dachshund. The oil must work, because after a day in the bush, there was nary a tick on her while I picked one off my neck. Now I’m wearing the oil and we both smell like pasta sauce.
It’s tough to say goodbye to winter. It’s a season you can hide and hang out in. The silence, the early dark, where every star shines bright, Orion and his dog Sirius chasing the sisters Pleiades and Hyades across the frozen sky. To be on earth, watching, is both awful and the most amazing gift given.
Woke up and all the puddles were froze. Some as nice as skating rinks. It reminded me of when the girls skated the puddles and the joy of finding such a surface.
Willow and I took to the creek behind the mountains. It was easy going after leaving the ice behind. The snow crunched under foot. Willow rode on top of the surface. The pussy willows were replaced with ice crystals.
Several flocks of Buntings flew and blended into the flat sky. I knew they would never land for a picture. The minus 13 wind was cold after yesterdays plus 8.
The garden gate.
Here it is the start of February and the temperature is 8°c., in a month it can go as low as -40!
A warm wind rolled in yesterday. The snow has mostly melted in the valley bottom, leaving puddles on the frozen ground.
Willow with a full coat of hair, looking worried, while winter seems to be coming to a premature end. “Did I grow this hair for nothing?” she was heard to say.
I had three people mention gardening to me today. It seems too early to consider. Still I looked at seeds online. Willow and I even strolled out to the garden. The deer have really trampled my garlic rows. Hopefully the plants won’t be effected. There is deer shit from asshole to tea kettle (asshole to tea kettle, was a saying my father regularly used. It means a lot and afar).
The forecast is calling for cold temps.
It was a good day to hang out in the wood pile.
Cooper’s and Papa’s axes.
Cooper burying the potatoes I just dug.
Frost behind the mountain, along the creek, as soon as sight is lost of the valley bottom. The leaves are changing. The potatoes are in. Most of the tomatoes ripened on the vine. The onions are pulled and dried.
Lisa and I were deep in the bush Monday morning with our grandkids. It was chilly when we walked the cut block and the road in and out. They took turns calling Willow.
Dog tries to steal babies tomato. Scarlett, says, ‘fuck you Willow’. . . not really.
Cooper threw rocks over the bank, liking the way it sounds hitting the snags and boulders on the way down. Scarlett walked the whole way in her moccasins.
Hiding out in the carrot patch.
Lisa and I get to show them something they don’t see everyday. Their hands get cold and sometimes hurt grabbing the wrong prickled branch pulling themselves up. They get to see trees living and some old stumps. They already know roots make the best walking sticks, berries with crowns are good and everything light green smells fresh when you crush it between your finger tips.
I just want them to love being here.
Crazy light when the smoke is thick. It’s like living in a greenhouse, hotter than hell, but no direct sunlight and no shadows.
Willow is hot yet game. She found a mouse under a boulder today. She couldn’t get at it so stripped all the vegetation around the rock. By the time we left, she was panting and the rock looked, out of place, like an astroid that fell from the sky. Luckily the mouse escaped unharmed, it probably has a major case of PTSD.
The garden is dry but chugging along. The spuds are good this year. The tomatoes are small but plentiful. They are coming ripe daily. The kale is still sweet and tender. The cabbage has formed nice heads and will do most of the growing in the fall.
My good friend Dave texted me from Radium. He said a storm was blowing through. At the time, we had a light, steady, hot breeze coming from the south. Radium is ten miles north so I didn’t give it another thought.
Thirty minutes later the direction changed and a helluva wind was blowing from the north. Willow sat out side, on guard, like nothing was happening. Branches snapped off and shingles went flying by.
Instead of calling her in I sat with her. It was a helluva storm for the valley bottom. Once the wind slowed a rumble of thunder started, got louder and lightening went straight down finding the ground.
It was all accompanied by a few raindrops. Not good for the dry conditions. If somebody asked me if the weather has changed from when I was a youngster, I’d say, we get more wind. It sure dries the land out.
Once passed, Willow and I walked around picking up branches, beer tins, and plastic garbage bags. The sunflowers were sideways but standing. The squash leaves were heading south, revealing a couple big ones I didn’t even know I had.
The night is smoked over. The wind only made it worse. There will be no Perseids for us.
Sage, lavender and thyme sticks in Lisa’s pine needle basket.