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.
They yip yip from someplace they’ve found at night to stay hidden during day. It gives Willow consternation. It’s toads they find, mice caught in the headlights, moths even, flapping sideways, awkward, born to be eaten, but they keep on keeping on, Willow does it all, but only as a hobby, these guys are serious about their vocation. That’s why you have to watch out. Still is there anything like the sound of coyotes rejoicing late summer?
The garden always grows after a thunder storm. The rain that falls beside lightning is special. Full of nitrogen science says. I figure it comes from the sky in a hellacious crash and that’s got to be good.
The shed provided shelter until the rain stopped. Luckily I’d hid a couple beer in there for a rainy day. They were just as I like them; aged to perfection, woodshed warm and dying to be drank.
The sky couldn’t give a damn about me and I appreciate that. I read three weather reports in the evening. They all say something different and they’re usually all wrong. I wake up in the morning and sometimes I have to plow snow and sometimes I don’t. There ain’t no telling how it’s going to turn out. I doubt I’ll ever figure it out.
Woke up and all the puddles were froze. Some as nice as skating rinks. It reminded me of when the girls skated the puddles and the joy of finding such a surface.
Willow and I took to the creek behind the mountains. It was easy going after leaving the ice behind. The snow crunched under foot. Willow rode on top of the surface. The pussy willows were replaced with ice crystals.
Several flocks of Buntings flew and blended into the flat sky. I knew they would never land for a picture. The minus 13 wind was cold after yesterdays plus 8.
The Milky Way dips below the horizon, leaving the night to the brilliant winter stars.
Willow and I took for the benches, beyond the ruck, into the burn. We arrived early. The Moon wasn’t down and Orion wasn’t up. We neither had a cup of coffee or a beer to expedite the wait. Willow occupied herself looking for mice. I thought about hunting. How I could have filled the freezer by now, instead I’m foolishly after stars.
It was an exceptional fall day. No clouds, cool but with sunshine. Today cannnabis is legal for recreational use in Canada. It is the step in the right direction to give people the right to do what they have been doing all along. Growing, packaging, advertising, pricing distribution and tax collecting will now be handled and approved by government and friends.
A meteor streaks beside Mars before it follows the moon over the eastern ridge.
It is odd to see folks so long in favour of prohibition now on the other side, espousing and controlling the market they see as lucrative.
Along the fence line, into the darkness, chasing the night.
Wouldn’t it be funny if everybody just grew their own.
More small gardens would be a good thing.
It took the moon to go down before the sky was dark enough to make out The Milky Way.
Orion rises, in pursuit of Taurus and Pleiades. The trees limbs point to Orion’s Belt.
There is a time you realize everything you thought was big isn’t really.
The bush around our house was thick. It was built between town, the train tracks and the lake. The bush was overgrown. I thought it could hide just about anything. Indians would get their liquor and walk over the bank. They would fuck and fight. Laugh and cry. Freeze to death, at times just die. Sometimes they would smash our forts. Young guys mostly, before pure sorrow took over their souls and made them drunks.
Reaching the creek bottom.
In the trees, we drank their stashed wine and thumbed through Penthouse magazines, found behind the bookstore. At night if there was a fight in the house I’d escape into those trees. I’d break branches off fir and bury myself under moss. No need for a fire, every branch accounted for and smoke gives your position away.
Even now, while in the bush, it becomes my whole world. It’s a downfall really, when the Royal Group is as far away as France. When the distance across the Kootenay is equivalent to the span of the Atlantic.
A cathedral, the only thing missing is a preacher, thank God!
Walking the mountains is awarding, regardless of illusion, the colours at this time of year are vibrant. A trout on the line renders the chill forgotten.
It’s not the biggest world, but I can still get lost in it.
We always saved something for cold harvest. We chipped carrots out of frozen ground. Chewed on seeds come winter. He thought the dill ones could hide whiskey breath from his mother. This on account the birds wouldn’t eat them. He tried to explain it one day, I didn’t get it. He was wrong; about dill masking the smell of whiskey though. We saw his mother chase him out of the house after he’d eaten a bushel of them. He was mostly wrong most of the time. But sometimes he could be dead on. Thats why we liked him, I guess.
The turn is underway from summer to fall. The moon grows, still red, sitting close to mars. It’s been a bloodbath up there this season.
It’s hard to figure what effects us more, the news or stars above. I’ve been taught not to believe what I hear. Would those red stars inspire me in a different day? Does the good news quiet our basest instincts, make us insignificant to each other and the environment?
The mornings are cool finally. That I know and can report with confidence.