Spring like weather this weekend. Lisa and I scouted Red Rock Road, running on the west side of the Columbia River between Radium and Brisco. We were looking for an open space to take night time photos. We found windows to the night sky but nothing with an open expanse from north to south.
Plenty of silvers and greys between seasons. The birds are gearing up when the sun comes out, singing, feeling the rise of spring I suspect. I feel it too, but it’s way down there, pushed aside by modern living and various substances ingested to cope with poor light, politicians, a 24 hour news cycle, destruction, pollution, racism, violence and bullshit flinging from every direction.
Being older makes you realize you don’t have much control over any of it, the batting average is starting to go down, if I were a boxer the losses are creeping up on a once perfect record. The world is taking it’s toll. That’s age for you.
Still the feel of spring. The smell of melting ice. The warmth when the sun decides to shine, the light on the mountain tops and clouds after the sun goes down, the time it takes before it turns dark, no wonder the birds wait for this time to go a courting.
Each winter takes a little from us, robbing me of confidence and bringing us closer to our destination.
If it doesn’t snow, it will be dirty snow piles, mud and dust. That’s my cue to start some seeds inside. The garden is only a few months away.
It’s still winter and I’m already missing winter. It’s light at 6 pm. The snow is melting. We might get a few more snowstorms or cold spells. March can pack in a lot of winter if it decides. Still we have turned the corner.
Soon I will have to justify my 8 o’clock bedtime. The revellers will be ten-fold. I won’t be able to walk barefoot and shirtless into a snowstorm to remind myself I’m only an animal and not a very good one. I won’t be able to piss outside under the cloak of darkness. My paws are soft and I have no fur. My teeth are either missing, dull or hurting.
My strength is cruelty. It’s what makes us try to tame nature all around.
Finally the low clouds have cleared leaving the skies blue during the day. The temperatures have dropped, as they do when it clears in January. A small price to pay for the kind of winter sunshine that warms body and soul.
Willow and I were up early without a plan nor agenda. We set off south. Everything we saw was both magnificent and plain as day, but in the middle of the night.
It was good to see the stars after a long absence. The Milky Way is still mostly down. I squinted to see it and aimed the camera at where it should be come February. No luck. This isn’t the year it decided to come up a month early. Still it was worth a look.
Willow found a log and dug for a few mice scared shitless from the snuffing above.
The stars look different every time I see them.
Very fine morning. We will be hitting the fart sack early tonight.
We had more kids trick or treating than we have had for years. We put the candy in a big bowl in our driveway and waved to as many as we could from our kitchen window. You never know what to expect.
Lisa and I kicked off November walking the east shore of Columbia Lake. Lot 48, for years scheduled for development, is now protected. It took millions of dollars to do so. We took the trail beside the lake and stopped often to admire the large fir trees with roots exposed from the banks eroding. I thought about being young and how I would have loved climbing these trees. I thought about now, could their large branches protect me in a storm. Where would I put my bed. Sure there was plenty of years dry branches to keep a fire going for days. We saw ruffed grouse along the trail. Willow put them in the trees. Chickadees got close, not deterred from our intrusion, going about their business hiding bugs and seeds for winter. Plenty of elk tracks coming and going, but not enough for a herd. One scraped the bank picking an awful spot to access the lake. Willow noticed as well and smelled the tracks almost falling herself. Although he could of, my father never hunted this area. It was their wintering ground and even if the animals came early coinciding with hunting season they were to be left alone. There was no regulation that said to do so. Now the area is protected and thank goodness. If not, the animals would be shot, the large fir snags would be cut for firewood or artisan lumber and four wheel drives, quads, side by sides and dirt bikes would tear it all apart without a thought.
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.
A good thunder storm hit in the evening. It felt good after the hot weather.
I left for work about 5:30 in the morning. Lisa always gets up to say goodbye. Because it’s been so hot she opens the front door to get a cross breeze with the open windows. This morning a bird flew in. It did a couple laps of the front room and went out the door, or so we thought.
This evening Lisa went to her sewing room, she spread the closed curtains to let air in through the open window. To her surprise a bat fell out onto her. The bird that flew in and out wasn’t a bird at all. The open door at that hour must have looked like an inviting open cave.
I looked for my fishing net and finally found it under the back seat of my truck. The bat was hidden, but finally flew. It and I worked together, he refused to hit me and I was as careful as I could. I set it free into the darkening evening sky. Lisa took a video and sent it to Scarlett and Cooper.
It’s a busy weekend. Broken glass at every intersection from tourists bumping into each other.
The nitrogen from the thunderstorm will do the garden good. The small amount of rain is like spitting on a campfire. It all makes a difference though.
The air is cooling, Lake Windermere is warm. If I was a little younger and knew a place along the shore not so busy I’d dive in.
Some nights don’t feel quite right. Was hotter than a three dollar pistol today. Not a cloud. Willow and I went out looking for comets and stars. The moon was waxing, close to going down. I remember these hot summer nights, but not fondly. The best was being in Lake Windermere, diving at night, not being able to see the bottom or sky.
The smell of water in the air as the earth cooled is unmistakably summer. Willow was startled by a toad. She barked. I got her away from it before she got over her fear and ate it. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have agreed with her and damn sure it wouldn’t have agreed with the toad. Sometimes you have to run interference.
The Milky Way is turning, sticking straight up and down. The backroads are calling, with their sides of long grass and dark trees. Hoots, loons, birds calling their final chirps, coyotes yip yiping, and stars moving like anything else matters.
My granddaughter, covered in raspberry scratches and mosquito bites, wondered the pea patch and brought her bounty to me to open for her. She could get into them if she had to, but she is kind.
The valley bottom and roads are absolutely crowded with tourists racing in every direction at once, all in a hurry to have fun and see as much as they can in the time they have away from the city. It sure keeps you on your toes while driving with folks doing the damndest things. The ambulances and STARS helicopter have been busy the last few weeks. That’s summer for you!
I made the mistake at stopping at a summer market. It is a touristy place and I rarely stop. The prices were beyond belief. Even the tourists were complaining at the till, $14 for a small basket of cherries, $7.50 for a few leaves of lettuce. At that rate, I have about $100,000 worth of lettuce in my garden I can’t give away! I also had people nudging and bumping into me. They obviously didn’t get the memo about the Covid pandemic and the importance of social distancing. I got the hell out of there. Lisa thought I was nuts to stop in the first place.
Lisa and I got off the main roads and turned behind the mountain and followed the creek. We stopped and walked a familiar trail, breathing easy away from the ruck of the maddening crowd.
The flowers are out in abundance due to our wet early summer. Willow enjoyed a swim.
It depends on how you see things. What’s funny and what’s not. For instance, our whole fucking predicament, could be considered funny. There is thousands of old folks that haven’t seen the light of day because of an invisible threat.
They are busting their doors down to get out.
We’ve gotten old without cause. Comfortable. Confused by what’s true, the news slinging varied truth. It’s a narrative now. The best writers in the world, people trained to tell the truth, help the downtrodden, have been tricked to further an agenda. Write and wrong has two sides, forgotten for now.
The truth is lying in the grass, between the buildings, high up in the high-rises.
Not a lot of hot weather. Rain in-between sunshine. I’m okay with that. The world’s seemed to have gone strange. I hold onto what’s familiar. Not because it will save me, but because it’s the only thing I know.
The garden is teeming. We can’t grow enough to be self sufficient. Even if I started shooting all the deer around me, it would be a tough go. The new spuds ease the pain of reality, and there’s something cathartic about picking your own lettuce.
We trade with friends; pickles for rhubarb, weed for meat, firewood for jelly. . . it’s a trick we play to think we are beating the system.
If this is all we get I’ll be happy without the heat.