An unnamed, unclimbed mountain – so happy the gore tex climbing hordes
are off shitting on the well known peaks miles from here.
Saw Winter Maker this morning, a waning sliver came up in dawn, later I faced the rising sun taking the cold from my bones; once again saved without having to confess or spend a minute in church. Sometimes you get lucky.
Soon it will be ice.
There are signs everywhere summer is on it’s way out. We have had frost at this time of year. It’s getting close, the other day was 3°c. The garden is flattening, except for the carrots, smoke and cabbage, who are revelling in the cool of night.
Willow casually smokes a cigar in her own private natural spa.
Was along the creek a range over. Willow swam the blue moving water fetching sticks. She learned quickly to use the current to her advantage. I threw sticks into an eddy, they would go around and around then finally spill out into the froth of the main channel. Willow did the same, fighting to get caught in the eddy, then using her thrusters to speed out of the eddy on just the right orbit, capturing the stick every time! It required perfect mathematical calculations on her part – the speed of the eddy, her weight, the speed of the main current, her mass and it’s effect on water resistance; all of that and the same calculations for the stick, just to be safe! Or. . . she just naturally knew what to do. Both are science, both are nature.
The sun went down and turned to twilight, as dramatic as it’s entrance.
Sometimes you really do get lucky.
Daisies and Yarrow
A busy Canada Day Weekend for Lisa and I. Our son Hunter and his wonderful girlfriend Bree were out from Calgary to take in the festivities with their friends. We put up a higher fence around the garden in and attempt to dissuade the deer from eating our vegetables.
Lisa stopping on a cutblock to admire the daisies.
Lisa busied herself further making wooden signs for our daughter Maddy’s quickly approaching wedding. Lisa is very handy with power tools and can whip together almost anything. This spring she made me a a potting bench, complete with a sink, from the old leftover cedar siding from our renovation a few years ago.
Driving Willow crazy.
This morning we escaped the ruck of the crowd in the valley bottom and got behind Swansea. We followed the creek a ways then turned mountain side. Crossed a few cutbacks covered in daises, kept up until the road ended in a spot we haven’t visited for awhile.
Always happy, even if sometimes one step behind.
Willow looked and dug for rodents. I took a few photos. Found a spring crisscrossed with moose tracks. Lisa harvested small new prickly pine cones. We picked a couple bouquets of wild flowers for home. Willow hunted until her tongue hung out of her mouth.
Very fine day.
Cresting 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.
Morning 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.
Maynard 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.
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.
Looking 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.
Hypnotizing 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.
Lisa and I had breakfast on the mountain. We stopped on an old logging landing. The view faced back into the valley bottom. Those guys tear the shit out of the place.
Logging used to employ a lot of men in the bush. Now it’s a few men in large machines that can clearcut an entire mountain in a few weeks.
It doesn’t take long and the mountain tries to hide the scar. New plants grow. It is similar after a forest fire. But the timber is slow to come back. Much slower than the 50 years the government says.
Young nodding onion.
Oregon grape blossoms.
Last year’s yarrow. The best and safest way to forage for edible plants is to look for last year’s plants.
Young pine, the government says will be ready to chop down again in 50 years.
Springtime in the Rockies. A Grizzly Bear enjoys some young fresh shoots.
Spent the weekend in the city visiting our children and grandchildren. They made a wonderful early Mother’s Day brunch for Lisa. We went to our niece Meagan’s 40th birthday party. She has a wonderful family. It is hard to believe she was only 7 years old at our wedding.
Willow gets sad when she has to be on the leash, but we didn’t want her rustling up a bear and leading it back to us.
I am always a little off balance in the city. After a great visit it is good to get back in the mountains. It has greened up over the days we were away. The seeds are starting to break through in the garden. My tender tomato seedlings also lived through my absence.
There’s a storm a brewing.
It was warm in the city. It is also warm in the valley bottom, but seems to cool off quicker when the sun goes down. Lisa and I watched a storm across the valley. Earlier we watched a Grizzly. You get a little bit of everything this time of year in the mountains.
The Milky Way through clouds and spruce. Two scratchy satellites can be seen on either side of the tree on the right.
The annual Lyrids Meteor Shower is on. Willow and I were up extra early to look for streaks. I have had good luck seeing them in the past. There was clouds, but also a few windows with stars peaking out.
Snow still lines the edge of the road. Most roads are still snowed in once you gain in elevation. Still it is good to be in the mountains. Even on a cloudy night the Milky Way shines through. The owls hoot and hunt. Willow keeps watch and wanders a tight perimeter.
The Lyrids were hard to come by. I saw one long streak directly above. It was dim but travelled the overhead sky in about 3 seconds. My camera was trained on the ridge, missing it.
Clouds catching the light of the valley bottom.
I took a few pictures hoping a star would fall into the frame. I caught a small bright meteor below and pointing back to Vega in the constellation Lyra.
A Lyrid glows green through the trees at the left edge of the picture.
Willow and I sauntered back into the valley bottom. The coffee shop was just opening. They offered a doughnut hole for Willow that she eagerly accepted and gobbled.
Perhaps we missed the peak. It may be worth going out again tomorrow morning.