long shadows

It is amazing what can be determined with math. Distances covered, to the top of the mountains, to the sun and the furthest galaxies. I don’t understand, but I understand shadows and how they correspond to distance. You learn looking at avalanche chutes and climbing routes when the sun is about to set. It can’t be mastered without turning it into numbers. Still you can get by just looking into the shadows.

Early 2022

A couple pictures from 2022.

Happy New Year! A very fine day. First footed Deb this morning. Lot’s of laughs and some special coffee, made extra sweet to ward off the chill. Willow and Maynard enjoyed a few treats. Kurt and I talked about our diminished cocks. . . it’s tough to know when to replace an old rooster.

The geese and their business.

Lunch at Kelsie and Tom’s. I lost a basement soccer game against Cooper 8-10. I was tripped at one point and rolled around trying to draw a yellow card. He just laughed and punted the ball in the net.

Hunter and I headed out into the bush, in the afternoon, to give the hounds a run.

Even the snow under our feet gets interesting. It is the consolation prize for getting on.

Willow and Pedley are still getting used to each other. Willow is not fond of puppies. Pedley is trying hard to get Willow to like her. Willow is not much for playing, however they seemed to enjoy the snow and a few sticks thrown for their amusement. Hunter commented that he hopes Pedley doesn’t pick up any of Willow’s bad habits. I secretly hoped Hunter doesn’t pick up any of mine.

Willow catching snowflakes.

If you are reading this, all the best in 2022.

Boxing Day

A wonderful Christmas with most of our children around. We missed Maddy and Chad.

Lot’s of food, of course, and presents.

Cooper and Scarlett couldn’t believe their luck and must have figured they’d been good for the entire year. Food and presents kept coming.

We missed out last year. Considering everything that went on with the pandemic, we were determined not to be apart again.

If there is a lesson to be had, it’s how to stay together in a world that we are told is crumbling.

Everything that comes over our table has truth and some fabrication. I still stick my nose out at night to test the temperature and see if the snow is falling.

It’s cold and I like it. Frozen boots with warm socks. Ice hanging off the river’s edge. Eyelashes thick with frost. Breath freezing into shapes like a Genie coming out of a lamp. Snow, swift, kickable under step. The wood splitting easy at 20°.

dark skies

The clouds part for a glimpse of morning stars.

Been out a few times looking for Comet Leonard. So far no luck seeing it. The clouds and snow have made it difficult.

The bright stars of Orion can be seen, through the clouds, in the east before work.

Here and there the stars shine through. With luck we will get a crisp cold spell and the accompanying clear skies that go along with it.

Mid December

Lake Windermere, it’s never been much for me to imagine a glacier running ridge to ridge.

A few cold nights coming on. I am building a rink for Cooper and Scarlett.

I have never built a backyard rink. No need because we live so close to the lake.

However, kids are not allowed to wander like they used to, plus it might be nice to watch the kids skate while I get supper ready.

The problem is the land isn’t level. There is going to be 10″ of ice on one side and an inch on the other.

Copper and Scarlett have a lot of energy. This will do them well.

Willow helps dragging the Christmas tree to Lisa’s delight.

Remembrance Day

Spent the day working at the resort. With it being an extended long weekend the valley is busy with tourists.

I can remember when Remembrance Day was not a statutory holiday. Some of the veterans would march in the parade and then go back to work. Fitting for that generation.

My Father and Grandfather would march on this day. I never saw it having come along later. By then my father had quit marching, although he still went to the Remembrance Day Service. My brother, sisters and I stood through many with him.

Did my Father quit marching because his Father couldn’t and then passed away? Was it his way of keeping his Father happy. They both were committed to service. They both experienced pain, physical and mental. None of it was talked about.

It’s a complicated world, if this day reminds us of anything, it should be that war is wrong. Not that it will stop us from getting into it. We have been on the winning side, and lately, on the losing side. Our fight for freedom, against domination and genicide in WWII was successful. Our fight for control over the Middle East was not.

My Father is gone now going on twenty years, I feel closer to him than ever as I reach the age that I really got to know him. We do things for people, because it means more to them than not doing it will to us.

Last year I didn’t renew my Legion membership after 30 years a member. It was through the encouragement of my Father that I joined. I shovelled sidewalks at the Branch and organized games for the members. I drank on Fridays and won my share of meat draws.

At that time the Legion was full of Veterans and it was good to talk to them. I learned plenty.

A picture of my Grandfather Dapper, a founding member of Branch #71 still hangs on the way to the pissers.

But somewhere for me it changed. The old guard died off, replaced by members with racist beliefs, and folks in it for themselves, siphoning funds for their own benefit.

It just didn’t seem something to continue worth supporting or being a member of.

Maybe it’s the same reason my Father quit marching and started singing Pete Seeger songs in the car.

The best war is antiwar any day of the week.

Little Birds

I don’t see any weakness when I look at birds. They drop seeds for others and stash them for later. Sometimes the woodpeckers and starlings show up, sure there can be a ruckus. It’s just seeds however, at this time of year. They will fight to death in spring over nests housing young ones, but not over seeds in fall.

Been listening and reading a lot of stuff, done by smart people, that is supposed to explain things, why we have ended up the way we are. I’m not sure if I understand it or buy into it. I’ve always had fear about people with all the answers. I’ve even listened to folks with supposedly the same problems as me, and I can’t relate. I just find it dull. Don’t get me wrong I’m dull too.

I found my grandparents graves today. I looked all over. I remember when they were laid to rest. I thought it was more in the middle of the Cemetery. Goes to show memory can play some tricks, then again it was the early 70’s and from what I was told I was distraught. This is the first time I’ve looked since.

Those birds though on a brilliant day, without sentimentality, testing the trellis branches, not a worry of winter, knowing cold is on the way, they’ve got it figured out.

Thanksgiving

The creek behind Swansea.

The backside of Swansea was wet this morning with snow falling at higher elevations.

It was a good weekend with our kids. Maddy, Hunter and Bree came in from Calgary. With Kelsie, Tom, Cooper and Scarlett, now living here, it made for a lively house. Hunter and Maddy even argued about which beds they were to sleep in.

Thanksgiving has always meant a lot to Lisa and I. Now even more so. It is a wonderful time of year and with the garden coming in there is always plenty to go around.

The road we can’t seem to tire of.

When I was younger we would hunt and fish on this weekend. My Dad and brother Ron would fish below Wilder’s Old Camp. They were good fishermen while I seemed to always be untangling some birds nest.

It has been a difficult time this past week, but with everyone around it has made it better.

We are having a turkey at Tom and Kelsie’s tonight. Our contribution will be a bottle of Chardonnay from Sonoma. . . and the carrots, potatoes, beets and turnip, but I don’t think Lisa and I can solely claim those as a donation, because Cooper and Scarlett helped me dig them.

Maddy and I. Photo by Kelsie.

Sunday Morning

Lisa and I decided to have coffee on the backside of Swansea. It was up an old steep road we haven’t travelled in some time. Before long we were on our perch, Willow chasing her nose, the clouds lifting and descending, depending on the direction.

Fall is here, colours are deep from the rain. We walked the ridge. Without rain we could have seen Baldy Mountain.

The mushrooms have popped up and gone inky. Solomons Seal has turned rouge in the cooling air.

Both Lisa and I commented that it is such a relief the fall season is upon us. We are both looking forward to the slowness and quiet that accompanies winter.

July Hail storm

The peas torn from their fences.

A few more photos of the garden taken about an hour and a half after the hail storm. Fortunately, it sounds like the hail storm cut a narrow path through the valley. Communities to the south and north of Invermere were not hit as hard.

Talked to a few gardeners and it sounds like everybody pretty much is in the same boat with smashed plants. I was lucky because I don’t spend much money on plants nor rely on it for a living and sell produce like some.

Plenty of videos on Facebook of a river running down main street. My neighbours experienced some flooding. Our basement started to flood due to the outside stairwell filling with hail, fortunately I saw it early and was able to shovel out the stairwell before it melted.

I won’t replant anything, I’m interested to see what will make a recovery and what won’t. There will also be plants that may live but be too far behind to produce, I suspect the tomatoes will be in this category.

Tomato plant stripped of it’s leaves. A cannabis plant to the right that didn’t fair much better.

This is definitely an unusual event for this area. We do regularly get hail, but not that big and the storms don’t usually last that long. Luckily the damage seems minimal, although heartbreaking for people who love their gardens, and not wide spread. What can you do?

Beans that were doing so well before the storm. I doubt if they will make a comeback. They do have lots of time however.
Lettuce that has been delicious. I am hopeful a few more salads will be harvested before the end of summer.
Carrots.
Sunflower broken off. They may form new shoots with heads.
I don’t know what the big rhubarb is all about!
Broccoli and cabbage were just not meant to withstand hail stones, still I’m hopeful they will make a recovery.