Clearing

_LME8804-sm.jpgThe 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.

_LME8818-Pano.jpgIt 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.

_LME8794-smA 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.

_LME8820-smAlong 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.

_LME8799-smOrion rises, in pursuit of Taurus and Pleiades. The trees limbs point to Orion’s Belt.

Very fine night.

 

 

harvest moon

RCE_1129This one is lucky I traded my rifle for a camera.

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.

_LME8594Reaching 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.

_LME8589A 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.

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postcard

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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.

mid august

RCE_0886sm
Dean

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.

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.

road

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They ran back into the valley bottom towards smoke and light after being hidden on the mountain side. The stars went from many to few. It got hotter. They smelled the warm lake. He started to sweat. She felt the heat. Both windows were open. There wasn’t much to do that they hadn’t already done. She lit a joint. He drank the wine. They rolled. Flowing forward regardless.

early august

RCE_0855Walking logs to escape the ruck.

A storm hit tonight. Wind, far off thunder, a few flashes of lightning and very few raindrops. Exactly what we don’t need.

We have a few fires burning around us now. Still the smoke is no where near as bad as last year. . . yet.

A fire is burning in Kootenay National Park. The highway is closed due to smoke. Kelsie, Tom and the kids are coming out this weekend. They will have to take one of two other routes. Either will ad at least a couple hours to the trip.

The province may close the bush down. They do it in increments, first they ban campfires, then ATV’s which they have done. Then they will close access to all the backroads. It drives me crazy but it is necessary.

RCE_0818The sun going down in smoke.

Is it worse now than when I was younger? Is it hotter? It is hard to say. My father always talked about the drought years during the thirties and the importance of keeping a trickle going in the irrigation ditches.

There is so many more people recreating in the mountains. They bring along their own hazards.

RCE_0830Daisies and the sunset in the creek.

Fifty years ago the Forest Service stopped fires promptly, whenever possible, that made matters worse by letting fuel build up.

Studies and explorer David Thompson’s written accounts show the valley bottom as a different place two-hundred years ago. Back then the valley bottom burned.

RCE_0827Smoke filled sky.

The fires started as they do now, by lightening, on the benches or low mountains, and burn towards the creeks and rivers.

The terrain it leaves behind, natural grasslands, is perfect habitat for deer and elk. Also perfect for hunting for the first people who roamed the area and called it home.

Have things changed that much? Damn right they have! But has the wind got hotter, is the sun closer, does lightening strike more often?

Being an environmentalist is like being a priest a hundred years ago. It is somebody with the answers. They know who to blame. Instead of a cross they wear hemp and beads. They know the sinners. David Suzuki has his own channel,  Just like before, they blame everybody but themselves. And just like before there is a lot of followers that regularly sin and go to church on the weekend.

RCE_0851Willow getting her swim.

I am getting too old to hunt in the valley bottom. Willow and I crossed some shaky logs and bad swamp to  get to the water hole. If nature was true I’d be dead by now. Somehow I’m still kicking and grateful.