ghosts

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There are ghosts everywhere. In the trees and clouds, between mountains, deep in the holler, along the coolies beside the creek, overgrown tangled in willow, littered with deadfalls: each and every overhead cliff, an ancient snag ready and able to hang the guilty.

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Not that I believe in them. Ghosts I mean.

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Most are wondering around. Possibly lost. They don’t say much. Nor me back to them. A courteous nod is about it. Most of the times they are surprised, as I, to have run into each other.

Long ago they’d nudge me awake. My mother used to want to know what they were wearing. I used to be afraid at first. I’d listen to the radio until I was asleep. She would ask, was he wearing an army uniform, a plaid shirt, a tam? Don’t be afraid she’d say. They’re not here to hurt you.

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They’re here to tell you something, she’d say.

I didn’t believe.

The ghosts kept appearing, in the creek bottoms. At night they were among the stars. I’d feel them go through me, in a rush, taking my breath into the sky above the crags.

We got used to each other. They don’t talk, but sometimes I will. I tell them I don’t believe. Then tell them the creek is low, the snow will be early, there is a moose in the upper basin that comes out in the morning to walk the slough, it better keep it’s head down until the end of hunting season.

Animals curve where they shouldn’t. Same as people. Ghosts blend in. Once you see them you will always see them. 

If you believe in that stuff.

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Late Fall

_LME8964BCresting the summit.

We have had a few beautiful days. It only seemed right to get into the mountains one more time before the snow started falling in earnest.

_LME8843BMorning light touches the mountain tops. Willow scans the trail ahead.

Willow, Maynard and I set out early and were on the trail before sun up. We climbed up quickly through the bush. I studied the places I was going to have difficulty with coming down. The snow was crisp, but it would be icy directly under the trees come afternoon. Some of the ice would be unavoidable. There was a day I would hop, skip and jump down the trail.

_LME8981BMaynard and Willow walk the ridge. 

Now I am more economical, to put it kindly. Not to many waisted steps. Some of those steps are damn slow. It reminds me that I have to stay in shape so I can show these places to Cooper and Scarlett.

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In some places the snow was hard and others I broke through. On the ridge the snow was windblown hard or blown off the rocks so the going was relative easy.

_LME8953B.jpgLooking back along the windy ridge.

Willow led the way. Maynard stayed right with me.

The sky and sun was brilliant. The next snowstorm will make the ridge inaccessible.

_LME8891BHypnotizing Maynard and Willow with a piece of cheese.

When we got back to the truck I had a cold coffee waiting for me. It hit the spot. The hounds slept the way home. Very fine day.

good christ

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was calling on you tonight
between the whiskey
and telling tales
shouting
beyond the skunk
dead on the road
the starving coyote
getting in garbage.

she looked me
in the eyes
said
fuck god
what s he
a fuckin’
humorist.

good question
but not an easy one
to answer
so i said
maybe he s just
a cruel
motherfucker.

would have been
in my interest
to stick to the story
but i laughed
for a second there
thought i might be saved
then she said no
he s a joker.

neither one of us
were on his side
so we could
both be
trusted.

my old man
before he died
said never quit using it
and don’t trust a man
with god on his side.

on occasion i’ve
slipped up
on both ends of
the advice
and have lived
to regret it.

she had some weed
which was bound
to make her horny
and me
incompetent.

after doing my best
we headed for the tavern
low and behold
there he was,
christ
dirty hand
wrapped
around a beer.

drunk
one elbow
on the bar
eyes fixed on
a young
waitresses
ass.

we looked at
each other
dumbfounded.

it was time
to settle
all bets
we drew
straws.

she asked
was he a
humourist
he made
her laugh
then they
were off
for the back seat
of whatever
christ drives
maybe a
ranchero.

me
i
still
figure
he’s a
cruel
mother
fucker.

Early October

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It started snowing yesterday morning and didn’t quit until after dark. I expected it to melt right away but it stayed and is still hanging around.

The carrots, beets and cabbage are buried. I don’t expect them to be damaged. It’s not that cold, only dipping below freezing at night. If anything the snow will insulate them.

RCE_1192It will take more than a little snow to damage the kale.

Still it’s a pretty good snowfall for this time of year. Plenty of broken branches and trees down, as many of the deciduous trees had yet to shed their leaves, and the weight of the snow proved too much.

RCE_1197Mountain road.

The wet sloppy snow and lack of sun does pack a chill. So much so, I put my long johns back on. Once they are on, they are on for the season. It seems early, but there is snow on the ground.

smoke show

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We had a touch of rain on Monday morning. The smoke has cleared enough to be able to see the mountains.

BC Premier, John Horgan toured some of the places hit by wildfire, shrugged his shoulders in front of the cameras, and said this could be our new normal.

You hear it a lot – this is our new normal.

It’s been two bad fire years in a row.

***

The garden seems to be wilting early. The tops of the spuds are dying off same as the onions. There is a couple of big holes in the garden where the peas and garlic were. The red cabbage has formed good heads and will do plenty of growing once it cools. The carrots are getting large the same as the Detroit Dark Red Beets. Every meal contains both prepared in some form or fashion, from grated raw to boiled to roasted or barbecued.

***

Perhaps it’s the heat or the orange haze that blankets everything. The mountains obscured, the traffic, the gentrification of downtown, yoga, soaps and massage, just another place of haves and have nots, the lake, misted, picturesque if not for the hundreds of motorboats running hither and yon across it’s surface, seemingly oblivious to sky, mountain, shore or water. It’s still summertime after all, but I can’t help feeling sad.

***

The mosquitoes are out in force. If you’ve read this far, you know I find them the least of summer irritants. The nights are getting longer. The moon is waxing gibbous, half full, not blood red. The constellations can be easily seen. The temperature will drop to 5° just before dawn. It feels good.

Everything’s fine I tell myself until it will be again.

it’s story time again

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he blurted it out.

we were talking
about mines
fishing or
forest fires
shit i can’t
remember
exactly
and then
he pipes up
out of nowhere.

celery
makes you
shoot
a bigger
load.

he s about
twenty five
the youngest
in the crew
coming
off a
bad break up
with
a seventeen
year old.

celery
i said
yup he says
it’s what the
porn stars use.

fishing
mining and
stripping logs
were
forgotten.

ole’ denny
weighed in
can it increase
your distance
he was laughing
bits of
sandwich
taking
flight
of his lips.

doctor says my
prostate is
smooth and about
the right
size for
a man my age
but when i wank
it s like stepping
on the end of a
toothpaste tube.

the youngster
was digging in
his lunch kit
for an energy bar.

don’t know about that
he said
just know
eat a bunch of
celery
the night before.

ole’ denny
had sausage
gouda on
buttered bread
and a tin of
beans.

me
a turkey leg
some dressing
and coffee.

next day
ole’ denny was
using a
celery stick
for a spoon
in his beans.

he said
it s not
something
that comes
natural
you have to
work
up to it.

Perseids 2018

hoodoos_crop_smAndromeda and a Perseid share the sky above the ribs of earth.

Lisa and I spent the night and early morning chasing shooting stars.

The smoke in the valley bottom was poor so we headed for the mountains. It was still smokey but we could see stars.

_LME8309.smLisa captures a stunning meteor emanating from the heart of Perseus.

We spent a few hours at higher elevation. The Perseids flew. Lisa and I agreed trying to get photos of meteors is like fishing. It is so enjoyable, to cast or press the shutter, and see one jump or streak beyond our line. It is a beautiful thing to watch and experience. Just like fishing she caught the big one getting the picture above.

RCE_1010-Pano.smBackroads. A Perseid Meteor flys (left) over the haze and below the stars.

The meteors were continuous but not as plentiful as other years. It could be we missed the peak. It could also be the sky was obscured with smoke, letting us only see the brightest. The ones we saw were long and often left smoke trails.

RCE_1025-Pano_smOn the benches, coming home. Mars shining through the smoke (low, left of the Milky Way). The tip of a bright meteor at the top of the frame.

On the way home the smoke thickened. We stopped here and there to document the night.

We arrived home at 5. We agreed it’s tough to stay up all night, but well worth it.

hoodoos.satalite.smUn-cropped merged panorama. A satellite points back towards star clusters, Chi Persei and H Persei.