Pretty good days. The lake has frozen hard and clear. Without snow it is a skater’s dream. We headed out after work on Friday, tossing the puck around, stopping once and awhile to admire the fine day. We stayed until the stars started to appear.
This morning low cloud blanketed the valley. It always seems cold to me when this happens. This evening Willow and I headed for the mountains with hopes to push through the clouds into the stars.
We followed the creek we are used to. It took less climbing than I initially figured before the stars appeared in the treetops. The sky was warm, twisting in my mind, while long lost spirits flowed through me stealing my breath.
A little rain to keep us sane after a stretch of high 30°’s.
Lisa and I were in the bush a few days ago. We picked 8 freezer bags of Huckleberries. It’s nice to find them plump and plentiful. Scarlett and Cooper are coming to visit and they love them.
The garden is booming, we have too much broccoli. It is being given away and frozen, but still threatens to bolt. I made broccoli and cheddar soup the other day and it was a big hit.
The peas are just about finished. The second planting of lettuce is coming along nicely. It will bolt quickly in this heat. I am considering another planting to come due in fall, perhaps some radishes and beet greens as well.
Yesterday I wrote an email to the managers where I work asking for a raise. In the email I justified the reasons I felt deserving. I didn’t send the email, I figured I would have Lisa read it over tonight before sending.
This morning I was called into my managers office. He closed the door and gave me a raise, the exact and generous amount I asked for in the email that was never sent.
I fucking near fell on the floor, for the raise but also that I had written the email the night before.
Lisa called it manifesting or co creating your world through the energy you put out. I said it sounded like a bunch of bullshit to me. More of a coincidence I figure.
This could be our hot spell, the grass is dying, turning yellow along with some of the trees. It doesn’t take long.
Despite everything affecting us humans the natural world seems to be getting along fine. It has enjoyed a respite, although slight, from our usual rape and pillage, jets flying tourists pretending to be explorers to the four corners, mining and burning. The sky is bluer to have those jokers grounded. With luck they will notice what’s around their own corner and start to love it.
The lesson is the world will absorb us if we let our hubris get the better of us.
The world is changing and there is plenty I don’t understand or know how to navigate.
Last week I had my first Zoom meeting with four other people. It was a business meeting. I found it awkward. I didn’t realize how much I rely on body language and looking into peoples eyes to understand what they are saying. From my perspective I was half blind.
I believe they were also at a disadvantage, however they were more experienced with the Zoom experience than I. They were also all younger than I. Perhaps the only disadvantage was my age. Like I said the world is changing, social cues are also changing, for instance I’ve never felt bullied by something someone wrote on Facebook.
Two of the people in the meeting, were obviously not interested in being there. Although they were the ones who requested the meeting they were disengaged. Maybe it was the hour (early).
Everyone was in a makeshift office, kitchen, bedroom or home office made to look impersonal, or professional as they have been taught, no personal pictures at your desk etc. A bright spot was when a dog barked, I made light of it, but it fell on deaf ears, they were gone to shut up the dog.
To be distant in such an environment is easy, to be engaged is difficult.
I failed at this first meeting. I am getting old. There are new ways I don’t understand. It’s unlikely, at my age, I will ever get it. That’s okay with me. I prefer my meeting face to face, even if it’s six feet apart.
And that’s coming from someone who doesn’t even really like the company of people.
Lisa thought it was a good idea to take a trip behind the mountain and look for Yellow Orchids. I thought it was too early.
We walked to a spring where we have found them before. It was tricky as we had to find a crossing to the creek that was running quick. Sure enough, Lisa was right (should I have doubted?) and the Yellow Orchids had just started to bloom.
Oregon Grape, blossoms promising a good year of ‘grapes’.
We also noticed plenty of young cones on the pine and spruce. Oregon Grape is covered with blossoms, possibly suggesting a good crop of the sour pitted fruit.
Young Pine cones covered in pollen. Pine pollen is used medicinally for many ailments. I told Lisa it is also said to boost testosterone, she said, ‘we should take some home’. I chewed on a few cones on the way home. Very sweet. Sure enough, I was harder than algebra when we pulled into the driveway. Unfortunately, Willow wouldn’t let me get close to Lisa. What nature gives, nature also takes away.
It has been a damp year so far. The plants and trees seem to be enjoying it.
More rain in the valley bottom, snow in the mountains. We took an extra special trip behind Swansea, beside the swollen creek running pure mud, under a canopy of black spruce. My kind of day Lisa remarked.
It would be nice to have a rainy year for a change. It does the bush good. I expect the bush to be extra busy this year with people from out of province camping in every nook and cranny due to campsites being closed to out of province visitors. The rational for this decision is to keep people close to home during the pandemic. Both Alberta and British Columbia have implemented this rule.
In our neck of the woods I have already seen Albertans camped in the damndest places with, motorbikes, ATV’s, trailers on jacked up trucks, booze and loud music, sky high bonfires and not a drop of water in a five mile radius. It’s a recipe for disaster. At least if the recreational and commercial campsites were available to them they would be kept in check with plenty of water available and threat of a scolding if they get out of hand.
It started to pour, we were back down too soon for my liking.
It makes me feel like I should be in the bush, slipping and sliding, looking for spruce to take shelter, the bears like it, snapping off flower buds, so why shouldn’t I take a bite of those big yellow dandelions, more fluorescent as fall sunflowers, both on the verge of kissing colour behind.
Work wise things are back to where they were before. It’s almost like the virus never happened. Maybe it was a drill. Plenty of vehicles holidaying from Alberta. There is even vehicles from the United States. Odd, as I thought the borders were closed to non-essential travel. Perhaps vacationing is essential, I know it is for the well off.
Still plenty of people not going back to work as they make more on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). It doesn’t matter to me, I am not eligible. People who think these programs and health care for all is available to everyone in Canada is mistaken. I don’t want these benefits from our government. I am happy making slightly more than minimum wage. Somebody recently said to me, it’s because I refuse to accept the terms or ‘play the game’. Maybe so or I could just be fucking stupid..
I believe you don’t ask (or fight) for something that should be given, especially if promised. That’s a rule decent people adhere by. It’s the way it used to be. Dropping a deer off to people who need it. It’s not charity, nor do you need thanks, it’s what you hope would be offered if the shoe were on the other foot. Someday my health will go, I won’t be expecting help from our health care system (even though I’ve paid premiums my whole life), I won’t have the energy to fight for it, I’llbe better served by the end of a loaded gun. I jest, but you need a mountainful of hope to get by in this day and age.
Wildflower by Lisa.
I planted a portion of the garden yesterday, peas, carrots, beets, lettuce a few things will have to wait until things warm up. Today I am waiting for the rain to stop to plant a couple rows of spuds.
Yesterday, was also the first day without long underwear. It seems I keep it on longer each year. Truth is a feel a little naked without it.
Fresh Juniper Berries. A powerful source of medicine.
It has been work and straight home these past few weeks. The snow is melting and the roads will be opening into the mountains. Fuel prices are going back up, not that they went down very much here. They should be back up to about $1.50 a litre by May long.