thank dog

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It’s the country. The bush in April. When you can get stuck tighter than a fiddler’s fart in mud or snow. The sky turning bruised in evening. The Columbia running before and after. Turning over in winter. There is not much you can have faith in, but the sky and river and creek behind Swansea, the Swans heading north and the Meadowlarks arriving. They continue to keep their promises.

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The truck was hip hopping. He had escaped the ruck. It was all mud, dog barks and volume on the radio. He had pushed off.

He grabbed a long leggy one from the floor boards. Cracked the tab and took a long swig.

He held on above Horsethief, heading towards snags. Catching a break, here and there, getting a glimpse of an Eagle holding steady.

It was muddy and he tried to keep it out of the ruts. The leggy ones kept coming and he didn’t see a soul. He made the burn, watched the river, saw what the wind had done.

It fell dark. He ran blind towards the river trying to get closer to the melting ice and rushing water. Through bush and snow. Over deadfalls.

In the morning, shaking like a cat shitting razor-blades, the pups led him back. He hoped for one more forgotten long leggy one. The way back was always worse than the going. He had pushed off, but not hard enough.

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Early April

RCE_4940A Western Meadowlark, the first of the season, cheers on spring.

Fresh snow the last couple mornings. It is sure to green things up as it melts in the afternoon. Plenty of snow in the mountains keeping us along the lower reaches. It will feel good to get in the high country where the rocks reach the sky, ’till then we will take it one step at a time.

RCE_4934Willow keeps an ear and eye out for rodents busy under the snow. 

Yet to see a woodtick, yet they are sure to be around. Lisa checks Willow over after every outing.

RCE_4951The buds will soon overtake the ice.

The garden is starting to call. The frost is still about eight inches down. It will need digging when the pitch fork goes tine deep. Since we have extra time these days there will be no excuse to get lettuce, beets, carrots and peas in early.

RCE_4909Composted manure waiting to be spread on the garden.

The cannabis and tomatoes have been started inside. There are plenty of extras as they may come in handy as currency during these strange days. One Durban Poison plant equals ten pounds of asparagus. It all depends on what people have extra.

_LME4906Spent part of the day in the studio cutting paper for Lisa to print.

The birds were active in the fresh snow, calling to one another, showing off, getting ready to pair off and nest. It was good to see them. Sometimes you get lucky.

 

pussywillows

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The pussywillows showed up on time. . . early. This has been more of a traditional winter. Snow and low cloud obscuring the stars.

CRW_0008A few peaks are shedding the clouds.

CRW_0006One eye on the predator and one on the prey.

ever-present mountains

CRW_0009Wilmer

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!

signs of spring

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Planted peas, lettuce, beets, radish and carrots today. Tomorrow, time permitting, I’ll get the onions and spuds in. The challenge is leaving room for the warm weather vegetables like tomatoes, beans and squash.

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An article on CBC said Canada gives $65 million in aid to war torn Yemen, while we sell $284 million in military goods, weapons, bombs, etc to countries using them against Yeman. The article said, it’s kind of like partially paying for the crutches after you break someones legs. 

The garden looks good. Tons of worms in every fork full. The fall garlic is up. I noticed a spot where one did not come up. I dug around. Sure enough I had planted it bottom side up. It was growing downward. I flipped it. I think it will be fine.

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We like to be smug in Canada about our civility and place in the world.

Willow and I got higher on the mountain than we’ve been since the end of November. It rained while the sun shone. Plenty of snow higher yet.

I talked to a man who was battling cancer. He said he stopped paying taxes. He did some work for me. Said, the government spends money at every turn, including paying themselves first, while he scrambles just to feed himself. The government froze his bank accounts. I paid him in cash. I noticed he charged me GST. I considered it a tip.

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It’s all alive now. Not that it wasn’t before. The trees are budding. The creeks are flowing high, muddy, moving rocks and wood. The birds are noisy, flying into each other. They have a courtship I can’t understand but envy none the less.

We walked the road less taken of the three. Looking for dead fir. Marvelled at the easy going. Saw a pile of bear scat. Willow stayed close. Walked until the snow made our feet wet. Walked until we could hear the melt under foot and in the distance.

RCE_9639The Moon, power lines and Jupiter

There are spirits in the trees. I can’t see or hear them, but I know they’re there. There’s squirrels and grouse, bears and elk. Perhaps it’s the roots buried only inches under my feet. Spruce, pine and fir as deep as they are high.

They may as well be stars.

Lyrids

_LME7294-Pano_smThe 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. 

_LME7272-Pano_smPeaking through.

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.

_LME7263.jpgClouds 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. 

_LME7287A 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. 

a piece of April

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The Robins that were late returning seem to be everywhere now. They have been poking around the manure and compost in the garden. A fork full of dirt reveals worms working the soil. It’s time to put my back into it and get ‘er dug. I haven’t looked yet to see if the Robins are cleaning and refurbishing last years nest. I will give them privacy until the foliage returns and they can hide behind the drapery.