Sunday, 26 September 2021

Subdued Autumn Colors

    The yellows of our Robson Valley Autumn are slowly showing themselves, but the colorings are somewhat subdued due to our grey overcast skies.  Hopefully some sunny weather will show us a brilliant display before the leaves disappear.  So far our forecast looks like more clouds, showers, and rain.

Take a look at my paintings:


Saturday, 25 September 2021

Sticky Clay


    After our dry hot summer, I had to deal with hard rock-like clay while digging the potatoes or digging the hole beside the house to get to the waterline.  For weeks now we have been getting rain and showers and the clay is no longer hard, it’s soft, slimy, and sticky.  

    The other day I had to refill the useless hole I dug, because the plumber never came and colder weather is coming.   The slimy condition of the clay made it a difficult task.  It stuck to the shovel and wouldn’t come off unless I banged it against something, and with every step I took, my boots got heavier and heavier, while I became taller and taller, as, the clay stuck to the bottom of my boots.  

    Happily after a frustrating couple of hours I was finally able to get the hole filled.  I hope that when I dig the rest of the potatoes the garden will have dried off a bit.  If not there will be slimy clay on the surface of the spuds and I will have to scrub each one before I put them away for the winter.  

    Heavy clay is not my favorite soil type.

You can take a look at my paintings:

Friday, 24 September 2021

Wow, Look at this Mushroom

    Yesterday when I was out by the barn I came across several huge mushrooms.  I was really surprised at the size of them.  As you can see, this one is 11 inches (28cm) across.  I am no mushroom expert so I looked it up and I am pretty confident that it is “The Prince” (Agaricus augustus).  The size, color, appearance, and little skirt on the stem all match.   The Prince is edible and is considered a choice mushroom to eat, but I am not going to try it unless I get confirmation from someone who is a mushroom expert.

    I will always remember a professor in a botany class tell about poisonous mushrooms, particularly about one kind that people mistakenly eat.  They are perfectly fine for about four days, then they die, and nothing can prevent it.  That story has always made me pretty wary of what mushrooms I put in my mouth.  

    I have eaten local Morels and Shaggy Manes and would sort of like to try The Prince, but won’t until I get someone who knows, to confirm it’s identity.

You can take a look at my paintings:


Thursday, 23 September 2021


    This was the scene this morning when I took Kona out for a morning walk around the pond.  The effect when mountains take on the reddish color of the Sun on the horizon during a sunrise or sunset is called “Alpenglow”  from a German word meaning “Alps glow.” As you can see the trees are starting to take on a yellowish hue, but the color is fairly subdued in the photo because they are still in the shade of the mountains.  I am looking forward to a more brilliant display in the coming days.

Take look at my paintings:


Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Travel Surprises

    During the summer, our jam has been playing outside on the Train Station porch.  For the most part, the weather had been beautiful and it was quite enjoyable to watch the evening sunlight play across the town and mountains beyond.  One of the other joys of playing on the porch was the travelers who happen to discover us and either joined in on the music or just watched.  Many took videos which they sent away to friends saying, “Look what I found in McBride.”   Not that we are such a talented find, but I think the travelers really enjoyed the surprise of a small town concert.

    The experience made me think of a trip we took to Mexico in the 1980’s.  Among the various places we ventured to was the Pyramids of Teotihuacan.  This was an immense Meso-American city built by the natives around 100 BC.  We walked around exploring and climbing up to the top of the pyramids and when we got to the top of one of them, we found a crowd of people all gathered around listening to an impromptu concert by some Andean musicians who had lugged their instruments to the top and were performing.

    It was such a wonderful and memorable surprise; something that I will always associate with our trip to Mexico.  I hope that our Jam playing at the train station will be an enjoyable memory for some of the vacationers who happened upon our playing.

    Because of the weather is no longer very conducive to playing outside in McBride, our small group is now playing inside at the Legion Hall.  We are not welcoming visitors because of Covid restrictions.  It’s not as fun as what we experienced outside, but it is what it is and so far, we are still able to get together to play.

View my paintings at:


Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Common Snipe

    The other day I noticed this bird pecking around in the banks of my pond.  I didn’t know what it was and after some research discovered it was a “Common Snipe”  (I don’t know what an Uncommon Snipe looks like).   I didn’t know that Snipes were shore birds.  The only reference to Snipes I had ever come across in my life was a “Snipe Hunt”.  That is a trick you play on people.

    My cousin and I heard about Snipe hunts in a western, I think.  Some cowboys were going to play a trick on some dude that came into town.  They started talking to him about going on a Snipe Hunt and he became interested in going.  They told him he could be the one to hold the bag.  They took him way out in the middle of nowhere and told him to stay there, holding the bag close to the ground, while they spread out to herd the Snipes toward him.  

    Of course, what they did was all go home and leave the poor guy out there all night holding the bag like a fool.

    Upon learning all about a Snipe hunt, my cousin and I thought it was a good trick, so we sought out someone to “hold the bag”.  When one of my cousin’s relatives, a younger kid who seemed naive came for a visit, we organized a Snipe Hunt. 

    We told him we would let him take the prized position of holding the bag.  In the evening, we walked him out to the end of my grandfather’s pasture.  We gave him the bag, told him to stay there and we scrambled off to “herd the snipes”  toward him. 

    We left him there in the pasture as dusk creeped slowly into night.  He eventually found his way back to my grandparent’s house, crying.  My cousin and I got bawled out for leaving him there and I have always felt guilty for doing it.  

    I knew a Snipe was some kind of bird, but since I had first heard about a Snipe Hunt in the context of a western, I always assumed it was some kind of dry land fowl.  It was a surprise to me to find out it was a shore bird and to have one come visit my pond.

Take a gander at my paintings:


Sunday, 19 September 2021

Rain Squall

    It was hard to make ourselves go out for our afternoon walk yesterday, realizing that we were probably going to face heavy rain, but fortunately by the time we got to our  Horseshoe Lake Road destination, the storm had mostly moved on.  However in its wake it left a fairly dramatic sky, with towering gray storm clouds and a veil of rain on the distant mountains.

Take a look at my paintings: