August 1st

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Pea patch.

A good thunder storm hit in the evening. It felt good after the hot weather.

I left for work about 5:30 in the morning. Lisa always gets up to say goodbye. Because it’s been so hot she opens the front door to get a cross breeze with the open windows. This morning a bird flew in. It did a couple laps of the front room and went out the door, or so we thought.

This evening Lisa went to her sewing room, she spread the closed curtains to let air in through the open window. To her surprise a bat fell out onto her. The bird that flew in and out wasn’t a bird at all. The open door at that hour must have looked like an inviting open cave.

I looked for my fishing net and finally found it under the back seat of my truck. The bat was hidden, but finally flew. It and I worked together, he refused to hit me and I was as careful as I could. I set it free into the darkening evening sky. Lisa took a video and sent it to Scarlett and Cooper.

***

_LME6499Poppy seeds.

It’s a busy weekend. Broken glass at every intersection from tourists bumping into each other.

***

The nitrogen from the thunderstorm will do the garden good. The small amount of rain is like spitting on a campfire. It all makes a difference though.

***

_LME6495Some green.

The air is cooling, Lake Windermere is warm. If I was a little younger and knew a place along the shore not so busy I’d dive in.

Mid July

 

Not a lot of hot weather. Rain in-between sunshine. I’m okay with that. The world’s seemed to have gone strange. I hold onto what’s familiar. Not because it will save me, but because it’s the only thing I know.

The garden is teeming. We can’t grow enough to be self sufficient. Even if I started shooting all the deer around me, it would be a tough go. The new spuds ease the pain of reality, and there’s something cathartic about picking your own lettuce.

We trade with friends; pickles for rhubarb, weed for meat, firewood for jelly. . . it’s a trick we play to think we are beating the system.

If this is all we get I’ll be happy without the heat.

Proposal

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Damn good hike. I’m not used to hiking with so many people, but it was worth it. The dogs got along, that’s important. We headed where I left a coffee cup, used for booze, a few years before. It’s not like me to leave anything behind.

The hills are steep, they always will be.. The snow, hard from the slide, unforgiving, slippery if not careful.

Hunter had it planned. Bree’s Mom and Dad, sister and husband were along. Lisa and I played dumb. Not hard for me.

I was up the week before to check the trail. The snow was hanging on. I figured right, it would be mostly gone by Canada Day, I always think it wouldn’t take many years of chilly weather before the glaciers grew back. It’s too bad we measure everything in lifetimes.

When the time was right Hunter asked his soul mate to spend the rest of their lives together.

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Lisa said from the first time she met Bree she knew her and Hunter would be together forever.

To be able to share such a special day was wonderful.

eve

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Tater blossom.

The garden has taken off. The peas have outgrown the fences. I’m not sure if I should try to extend them or let the vines strangle themselves, thus slowing the vines. Since I am a lazy gardener I will let nature take it’s course.

The cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kohlrabi are taking over. We have some hot weather coming up and I hope they won’t bolt.  My experience with broccoli and cauliflower is limited, so will just have to wait and see.

The first spuds should be ready in a week and I’m looking forward to them.

It is the eve of Canada Day. The Valley is full of people wanting to celebrate, yet not sure what is acceptable or where to go. I noticed many people just wondering around town aimlessly today. Maybe we are turning into zombies with maple leaf tattoos!

Father’s Day

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Came across a mother Black Bear with two cubs. A couple barks and the cubs were up a tree followed by their mother in a flash. Amazing how fast they can climb. We left them alone as not to stress them. 

Lisa treated me to Father’s Day in the bush. We made a day of it heading a valley over to the Palliser. Going the extra mile was worth it. We never saw another vehicle after turning off the highway onto Settler’s Road.

We explored in the country we love. The creeks and rivers were raging. We picked up a few stones for Lisa’s rock garden, some firewood, hiked a cut block, let the hounds run and took a few pictures.

We even got around to stripping Willow of her winter coat. This can be quite a chore but wasn’t that bad as we did it after the hike and Willow was tired and did put up much of a fuss.

When we returned to cell reception my phone started buzzing with Father’s Day wishes from my children. When we arrived home I returned the calls to my kids and grandkids.

Very fine day.

(The photos were taken by Lisa)

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Cutting up a stick of firewood while Maynard looks on.

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The rain has the mushrooms popping. Not sure what this species is so it stayed on the forest floor instead of added to the soup pot.

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Heart Leaved Arnica. An edible plant, widely used by indigenous people before colonization.

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An odd puffball?

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Lunch on the side of the road.

father

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The crows keep me posted each morning. I’ve noticed the three young ones are getting brave, wondering further apart. The mother is still in the highest trees looking out. I’m the first to arrive at work and she greets me with her caw, caw. My sister Deb told me to listen for the sound between the call, the silence, as it is part of their language. I skim the pool of ants and bugs, most still alive, getting the pool ready for the guests to enjoy pristine swimming. I put the bugs over the wall for the crows. They’ve come to expect it and the only reason they await my early arrival.

***

A touch of rain tonight, true enough to make the garden grow. The peas have already out grown the fences. The brassicas leaves cradle the rain, holding the precious lenses, magnifying purple veins. The broccoli is sky high, the kohlrabi is billiard ball size and the cabbage can’t be denied. 

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***

The weed is well on it’s way. Weird not to have to hide it, like I’ve done for the last 20 years. Not that I tried very hard. They will be turned quick and have the entire month of August to bloom.

***

Had a large Wolf Spider in the bed the other night. I saw it as I was getting in and swooped it onto the floor. Instincts kicked in and I squashed it. Deb puts spiders and bugs outside, she does it with a feather duster. I don’t have one. Usually I just leave them alone. I was afraid the spider would give me bad dreams, but it didn’t. Perhaps I’m too old to feel. I killed a snake once for no good reason when I was a youngster that haunts me still. It’s important to be careful about what you kill.

***

My father got me looking into the sky and the running creek. It’s been my downfall and my salvation. 

***

When you get older the apologies never given start to add up. I wouldn’t help with homework. I was distant. I was younger then, full of anger that I thought was virtue. Looking back, I’m not sure I could do anything different. Every injustice rippled through my body and reflected out. I tried to teach them through my indiscretions that they didn’t have to be like me.

That’s the best I could think to show.

***

The swallows swoop in the evening, I think of them as giants. Dinosaurs flying through the air from ancient times, mouths open, eating mosquitos, chewing through clouds, just in time to reveal the setting sun.

black & white

RCE_5949Roots from old logging set.

RCE_5981Making a getaway.

RCE_5938Ancient fire circle.

RCE_5937Pine Siskin.

we can only prey

CRW_0015smBald Eagle, photo by Lisa.

Lisa and I saw a Northern Hawk Owl yesterday. It was a fortunate sighting. Owls are an animal that seem to be able to look directly into your soul. Unfortunately it was very low light and I wasn’t able to get a clear photograph.

The owl even soared down and caught a mouse in the snow and long grass. As soon as it flew away a Raven trailed after it, hoping for it to drop the mouse I suspect.

Opportunists get a bad rap. Not born with the sharp beak and killer claws it must depend on it’s smarts and perseverance. It has to steal it’s meal.

This is often the same with people. It used to be the poor steeling from the rich. Now it’s the politicians and big business men stealing from the many poor. Just a little bit from each, it’s counterproductive to completely ruin the hand that feeds you.

Like the Raven they quickly adapt. Even manipulating folks into leaving treats and rewarding them with trinkets.

Still you have to hand it to the Ravens, Crows, Turkey Vultures and Magpies. It was unfair of me to compare them to crooks in suits.

Lisa and I went out this morning in better light to look for the owl. They are very territorial and are often seen time and again in the same spot.

It was no where to be found. We saw the Bald Eagle photographed above. Lisa took the photo not trusting me after my shaky focus with the owl. 🙂

winter colours

CRW_0007Follow the ridge. Telemark through the spruce.

There is a little extra daylight. Not much but noticeable. There is something to be said about the colours of winter, deep shades of grey, colours only seen at this time of year, hues of mauve and blue.

CRW_0004-PanoEvaluate the shadows in winter to plan a walk in summer.

To be without would be a shame. To see them a gift. The owl on a snag, eagles waiting for a fish or a duck to get separated. The mountain ridge fully defined. And the quiet that accompanies it.

CRW_0009Willow.

Late October

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Was behind the mountains where we used to catch fish in the streams. Where we sipped the cold water from the spring beside the trail. How we used to look forward to it on a hot day after exploring the back country, or hunting for deer and elk, sometimes we only came home with chicken. I remember thinking, if it wasn’t for all these damn trees I’d be able to see something to shoot at.

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Now the trees are large and I wonder sometime if they were always there. Every trip it’s like I’m seeing them for the first time. Same as the ridges, the way the light hits them. It’s cold in the creek bottom, dark and icy, but those ridges basked in the last light look mighty inviting.

I don’t go far, never have, there is still plenty of ridges, I haven’t walked, without ruck or crowd, right under my nose. Tamarack, old, hard, and twisted. Scree slopes, waterfalls, fish behind rocks, mountains that change depending on the light, enough for 10 lifetimes if you had four sets of eyes.

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It’s getting chilly. The snow is on the mountains. You could die if you break your ankle, freeze if you fall through the ice, get lost in the crooks and crags, too scared to move in the dark.

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Who needs a jet plane to explore? When you can count on the stars.