The world will chisel you down to nothing if you let it. First you think it’s making a masterpiece. Then you can see some mistakes, powerless, with the thought it knows what it’s doing, some people call it destiny, it goes on.
Before long all the chips are on the ground.
Ground down, under the wheel.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. As long as there is a glimmer.
I saw two Trumpeter Swans fly over today. Giants of the sky. They stay off because they are vulnerable on land and water. My father tried killing one once. Thinking how much meat there must be on the bone. All he got was a whipping for being home late.
I guy told me today,
‘That’s the vehicle for you.’
It had just gone by.
Driven by a guy with a long manicured greying beard. A hot disinterested young women riding shotgun.
‘It’s a Mercedes, it goes 160,’ he said.
It was an SUV and looked like a breadbox.
‘Miles an hour’, I said.
‘It costs $160,000.’ he said like he was talking to a dummy.
She went in to inquire about timeshare, we watched her every step.
The guy with the long manicured beard asked the salesman where he could smoke and went to the designated area.
And that’s where he lost our respect.
There is a few bashes we take along the way. Better than not taking any at all.
Woke up to the sound of Willow throwing-up the stick she ate the day before. She does that sometimes. It was 2:30am. I put her out and cleaned up the mess. I tried to go back to sleep with no success. Since it was clear, we (Willow and I) decided to go for a walk and look at stars. Willow was happy, it took me awhile to get into it. We opted to stay in the valley bottom. The ice is almost entirely off the lake. The Milky Way stretched the length of the lake and was visible regardless of the artificial light. By 7am it was off to work. The days only guarantee would be an early bedtime.
Which way to go?
This is spring. Lisa and I had snow during breakfast in the mountains this morning. We huddled while Willow hunted. The thawing winter smells must be wonderful for her. The clouds shine every shade of grey. Birds sing from thick once and awhile they let us see them. Every now and again the sun shines through, warming us up. Still it was chilly enough to put a small fire on to warm the house.
Western Meadowlark letting it’s voice be heard.
A White-Winged Crossbill makes a landing.
Willow and I were up into the mountains once work was complete.
The day with bright sunshine reached 10°c. The snow, in the valley bottom, is melting with nowhere to go. Big puddles reflect the blue sky. Soon the frost will come out of the ground and the water will be absorbed where it can do some good.
Sun halo. Caused by ice crystals in the air.
Willow and I walked a frozen snowmobile path into the mountains. The birds, numerous, chirped in unison, but most refused to be seen. It’s hard to consider yourself a smart animal in their company, under the spruce, rock and snow while they rule from above, laughing at our plight nature inflicted.
A Pine Siskin, responsible for the trees going ‘zzzweeeet’!
Once off the path I sunk up to my knee. I remembered being young, setting off in the morning in the cold, before the sun cleared the mountains, walking easy on top of the snow, only to find the same snow soft once the afternoon took over, and having to slog back slowly home, taking twice the time for the same distance.
Colour among the buds.
I kept the windows open on the ride home listening for song.
A couple of Crossbills commission last years’ copious cone crop.
Very fine morning.
The March winds are starting to blow. It won’t be long the ice and snow will break up, turning every patch of standing earth wet and muddy.
The birds have been singing and I even saw a few young Bighorn rams clacking heads. It’s good to practice the the fight and fuck so when they get older they’ll be good at it. It’s the same for humans whether we think so or not!
There mornings are brilliant but a chilly -28°. The afternoons warm to about -3. These are fantastic days when spring is trying to bust through.
This male Northern Flicker knows the score. He is banging on the top of the pole getting the metal parts singing with vibration. He is a real show off, securing the first of the sunshine, trying to attract a mate.
When I was a kid we used to have a Flicker that rapped on our metal chimney cap. It made a heck of a racket throughout the house.
To all of our delight my father used to sing:
The woodpecker pecked
on the school house door.
He pecked and he pecked
till his pecker was sore.
A meteor pierces Orion.
Willow and I set out to try and spot zodiacal light. False dusk as it is sometimes referred to. We sat on an eastern ridge. Unfortunately, the light from the valley bottom interfered. We did the only logical thing, headed higher and around, trying to put a range of mountains between us and the light of town. It can be tricky in the snow. Willow was happy with our new perch looking towards Orion. She caught a whiff or sound earlier that made her uneasy, started her barking and tighten the perimeter. In a world that shifts it is lucky to have such a trustworthy companion. Perhaps she was only barking at Orion’s dog Sirius, warning, ‘You are not so big.’
Female Red Crossbill
Earlier in the day I took some lovely pictures of a Hairy Woodpecker beating on a rotten birch. It was pounding the bark off and getting at the frozen bugs hiding in the punky wood. I would have posted a picture or two here if I hadn’t forgot to put a memory card in the camera.
Winter Starlings ducking the chill
The last week we have had snow, cold temperatures and also brilliant days that stay cold but feel warm from the sun higher in the sky. It feels good to be getting some shovelling and plowing in. I took a selfie of myself (strange indeed) with my cell phone. From sweating and breathing deep my hair and beard was covered in frost and my nose had a perfect icicle hanging off it. I thought it was hilarious! Lisa and my daughters said it was gross. Still it seemed only proper that I share it, so I sent it to my grandson Cooper via his mom’s phone. He thought it was very funny and asks his Mom regularly to see the photo over and over again.
March brings spring. The other day I saw my first spider of the year and it was a dandy! I got home from work after a long shift of shovelling and sweating and headed for the shower. I shed my toque, glasses, boots and clothes. Before I stepped into the soothing shower, there on the bathroom floor was a spider at least an inch across. Luckily it wasn’t moving fast, probably from having just woken up, but it was moving, each leg stretching, it was only a matter of time before it regained it’s strength and ran down the drain or up my leg! Naked, and feeling it, I grabbed my glasses and a boot to protect myself. Once my glasses were on and I could see clearly I realized the spider was only a ball of black lint, it’s movement caused from a draft under the door. I felt doubly foolish coming to the realization the lint that looked like a giant spider had fallen from my belly button while undressing.
It seems like the entire winter was packed into February. March brings spring.
Fir, Spruce, Tamarack, Cancer and the Beehive