Thursday 31 August 2017

The McBride Riviera

    I have noticed that more and more people are out enjoying the sand and water of the Fraser River than in previous years.  In the past you might see someone out walking their dog along the lonely sandbars, but recently groups of people are picnicking, sunbathing, and taking cold dips in the river during the remaining hot days of summer.
    This “beach” only appears late in the summer as the volume of water in the Fraser River diminishes, because of the lessening of glacier melt this time of year, high in the mountains.  

My paintings can be seen at:

Wednesday 30 August 2017

Smoke Moon

    The smoke from BC’s forest fires moved back into the Robson Valley again yesterday.  It has been a summer of smoke for us this year. The mountains are obscured by haze, the sunlight that beams down from the sky casts an orange hue over everything it touches, and in the first breath we take when we go outside, we can smell the smoke.  
    Last night when we were carrying our instruments back to our vehicles after our jam session, I glanced up at the sky and noticed that the smoke had colored the Moon making it appear a bright orange.  

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Tuesday 29 August 2017

That Should Be Enough Firewood

    Every Spring one of my main tasks is to cut and split enough firewood to get us through the next winter.  During last winter, which was a cold one, we went through an unexpected huge amount of firewood, so I thought I should get a bit extra for this winter.  Not only did I go out and cut up some of the blown down tree on some old logged out areas, but I also took advantage of the offer of a couple of people who had taken down trees and wanted to get rid of them.  
    Once I got my firewood split and stacked, I could see that I had plenty of wood (photo above), so I ticked that chore off of my list and forgot about it.  Then a couple of days ago our dog started barking and Joan told me someone had pulled into the driveway.  I went out to check and it was a neighbor, Gary Moore.
    Years ago I had given Gary my old beat up green 3/4 ton GMC truck that was sitting unused in the pasture.  He said he would bring me some firewood for the gift.  The promised firewood didn’t come for a couple of years, so I figured he had forgotten, which was no big deal because the truck was a gift anyway.  Then one day he appeared with a truckload of firewood and so I considered the bargain fulfilled.
    The other day when he appeared in the driveway, he had another truckload of wood in my old GMC, to give me.  It was a very generous and unexpected gesture.  He helped me unload it and drove off.  Beside splitting all this new wood, I had another problem--where was I going to put all this additional wood since all my normal firewood stacking places were already full.
    I split it and started stacking it along a fence by the paddock (photo below).  I really should have enough firewood now!

My paintings can be seen at:

Monday 28 August 2017

Flipped-Over Island

    Years ago I made some “islands” for my pond so that the waterfowl had somewhere to sit.  I made wooden forms and underneath I put in foam packing material for buoyancy.   Over time grass grew on top of the islands, then a few brushes, and finally some small trees started growing on them.  These trees began to grow taller and unbalanced the center of gravity.   About three weeks ago the wind flipped over one of the islands. (photo above)
    Since the weather has been coolish, I put off cleaning up the mess until yesterday.  I waded out into the jungle-like waters of the pond to the flipped-over island and sawed off the trees.  I assumed that without the trees the island would right itself back to is right-side-up position, but without all the foam which had come out, the island wouldn’t stay upright, and as I tugged on the island the wood frame started falling apart. 
    I pulled the broken island to shore and picked up all of the pieces and will now the pond will just have to be satisfied with one less island.

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Sunday 27 August 2017

Testimony by Robbie Robertson

       Testimony is the autobiography of a Robbie Robertson, the Canadian who became famous as the lead guitarist of The Band.  Robbie grew up in Toronto and on the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario. Dolly, as his mother was called, was a First Nations woman and his other parent was a man named Jim Roberson. Their marriage fell apart when Robbie was about eight, due to Jim's increased drinking and domestic violence. 
      Robbie then lived with his mother and was shocked when she told him that Jim really wasn't his actual father, his real father had been a personable Jewish man, with a bit of a shady side, who was now dead.  Robbie met and loved his newly found Jewish uncles and soon discovered they were involved in organized crime. 
      Robbie got his first guitar at the age of ten and with a lot of practice became good at playing it. He was in some local bands and when they opened for Ronnie Hawkins, an early famous rock and roller from Arkansas, his talent was recognized and Robbie was offered a job in "The Hawks", Ronnie Hawkin's band. So at the age of just 16, Robbie boarded a train in Toronto and made the trip south to Arkansas.
      Playing in "The Hawks," Robertson's musical talents were nurtured to maturity.  Rock and roll was still in its infancy, but was growing fast.  Robbie's best friend in the band was Levon Helm a southern boy just a year or two older, who was the drummer. Bit by bit, the other original members of The Hawks quit and were replaced with Canadian musicians closer to Robbie's age.
       The Hawks toured with Ronnie Hawkins throughout the southern US and Ontario, and the band began to gel. Things began to fall apart between the band and Hawkins and they parted.  New opportunities opened for The Hawks when Bob Dylan abandoned folk music for Rock and Roll and asked the Hawks to be his backup band when he toured the US and Europe.  
        This was a test of fire because most of Dylan's fans hated his change to Rock and Roll, and the entire tour was met with insults, booing, and bad press.  Dylan persisted and the Hawks stuck with him.  Eventually Dylan and his band won over the fans and things turned around. 
      During the slack time when Dylan was recovering from a motorcycle accident, Robbie and the band ended up in Woodstock, New York.  They stayed in  a big ugly pink house where they lived and set up a practice area in the basement, there they played, wrote songs, and experimented with music. A unique sound evolved in the band. 
       They released the album "Music From Big Pink" which made a huge impact on the music industry.  Having an album forced them to have a name, and since everyone in the neighborhood always just referred to them as "the band" that is the name they chose for themselves.  That was also the name of their second album that was released in 1969 that elevated them to super star status. 
      The book gives an unparalleled view of the usually unseen evolution of the music industry during the rise of rock from the mid-1950's to the late 1970's when The Band disbanded with their famous goodbye performance with all their famous musical friends called "The Last Waltz". The book not only tells a lot of very interesting stories of “life on the road” and the interactions between Robertson and the musical stars of the time, but also Robertson’s struggles to keep his fellow band members focused when wealth and fame hit them. 
    This book will be of special interest to those who grew up with, loved, and followed the music of the 1960’s and 70’s.  After I finished reading, I listened to The Last Waltz album again, remembering all of the details from the book about the songs and the performance.
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Saturday 26 August 2017

Tomato Season, Finally!

    To my mind, nothing tastes better than a juicy ripe homegrown tomato.  Ever since March, when I put the tiny tomato seeds into the soil, I have been wait for the time when they finally started putting out their fruit.  Finally the time has arrived.
    Slowly now, the green spheres on the tomato plants in my greenhouse are beginning to turn red and we now have six of the ripened tomatoes sitting on our kitchen counter ready to become a part of sandwiches, salads, or salsa.  Let the eating begin!

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Friday 25 August 2017

Wow, A Nancy Marchant Original !

    Nancy Marchant is my sister.  She has become a knitting guru, developing and expanding a whole genre of double-sided knitting called Brioche (She is now referred to as “The Queen of Brioche”).  She has had articles published in most of the top-notch knitting magazines, she has written several books on knitting, and travels the world giving workshops.  In short she has become a star in the rarified world of knitting.
    Recently someone poking around in a Goodwill Store in Indiana found the sweater you see above.  It has a label in it saying it was made by Nancy Marchant.  The finder was so thrilled, she took the photo and wrote about her “find” on the internet which caused a flurry of excitement:
    I hadn’t remembered the sweater until I saw the photo.  Nancy made it for our Aunt Dorothy way back in the 1980’s, after my aunt returned from a big vacation to Europe and Alaska.  You can read the names of the places she visited on the sweater.  (Carter, is a small community in Montana, where our grandmother homesteaded and built a small cabin.)  Dorothy is now 101 years old and living in a home, so I imagine she now longer needed the sweater and donated it to the Goodwill.  
    It is exciting for me to see that my sister is now so well known that something she made so long ago is now considered a collector’s item.  Way to go Nancy.

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Thursday 24 August 2017

Spraying Sunlight

    The Robson Valley still has enough forest fire smoke in the air to emphasize the light streaking down through the broken clouds.  This is how the sky looked yesterday while we were walking the dog.

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Wednesday 23 August 2017

Keyless Driving

    Our car doesn’t use a key.  Instead is uses the fob you see above, and  I don’t like this system very much.  For me it seems to create more problems than it solves.  I was alway have my car keys in my pocket, so I attached the fob to the keyring with the house and mail keys.  I started running into problems the second night after we had bought the car.
    We were at a New Year’s Eve party at a friends house.  I had parked the car outside in the snow in front of their house and I had the key in pocket.  When I sat down at their bay window, I glanced outside at our new car, and watched as the back hatch opened--(when I sat down the pressure on the fob in my pocket was enough to press one of the buttons that caused the hatch to open.)
    That proved to be a continual problem.  It seemed every time I sat down with the fob in my pocket, to put on my shoes or boots inside the house by the carport door, some button would get pushed and the car would start honking, the doors would lock, or the back hatch would open.  I hated it.   I just couldn’t keep the thing in my pocket without causing problems.
   To solve the problem, I tried attaching the fob to a carabiner which I attached to the belt loops on my jeans, but I always was in fear that a belt loop would break and I would loose the fog.  Then I happened upon another solution--I fixed the fob onto a string which I wore around my neck. 
    I have been using this method for a few weeks now, but it too has problems:  I always forget to put the “necklace” on.  I get dressed, put on my shoes and jacket, lock the house, then walk out to the car. I get in, press the button to start the car, and get the message on the dashboard that I have no key.  It is then that I realize I don’t have the fob, and have to go back into the house to get it.
    Sometimes that doesn’t matter because Joan also has a fob and when she is in the passenger seat, the presence of her fob will allow me to drive the car without mine.
    Yesterday I found out that this too created problems.
    We drove up to Prince George for a shopping trip.  Because Joan had her fob, I didn’t realize that I didn’t have mine.  
    “Oh well,” I thought, “as long as she has her’s there should be no problems.”   So we continued on and got up to PG.
    As usual we did a lot of shopping at Costco.  While I waited to be served at the checkout counter, Joan wanted to do some shopping in a nearby store, so she left and walked over there, while I got checked out.  
    That done, I wheeled my full cart of purchases out through the busy Costco parking lot to the car,  When I got there I realized the car was locked and I couldn’t open it because I didn’t have my fob, and Joan was away in the other store.  
    Then I thought, “I can call her with my seldom used cell phone,” unfortunately, I had left in the locked car, so that couldn’t happen.  
    What to do?  I didn’t want to leave my full cart of purchased items alone in the parking lot while I walked over to the other store.  I couldn’t wheel my cart over to the other store and take it inside while I searched for Joan.  I was stymied. 
    Then I noticed a woman sitting in the passenger seat in a nearby car.  I asked her if she was going to be there for a while.  She said yes, and I then explained my problem and asked her if she would watch over my cart of items while I ran over to the nearby store and got my wife.  She said she would and I sprinted across the big parking lot to get Joan.
    I thought I could just get the fob from Joan and race right back to put the stuff in the car, but there was another problem.  
    When Joan had walked into the store, an unidentified insect bit her in the neck, and it was getting all red and swollen.  Joan has allergies and so this was getting scary for her.  I found her and held the item she was going to buy while she got an antihistamine from her purse.  She took it and sat on a nearby bench inside the door while I had to wait in a long line to buy the item Joan had found. 
    I was getting anxious to get back to the car, because I didn’t know how long the woman watching my cart would wait.  Finally I got through the cash register counter, and Joan seemed to be okay, so got the fob and raced back across the parking lot to the car.
    Luckily, the woman was still sitting there, and so was my cart.  I unlocked the car, loaded the things from the cart into the back of the car and by that time, Joan had walked back to join me.   So in the end everything worked out, but I still wish I could come up with some solution with this fob that would work better for me.

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Tuesday 22 August 2017

The Robson Valley Eclipse A No-Show

    We usually get better weather than is forecast, but that was not the case yesterday--the day of the big eclipse.  It was supposed to be sun and cloud with a thirty percent chance of showers.  We got the cloud and showers, but not the sun.  Joan and I were hopeful until the end though.  We drove out to the middle of the valley where we hoped the clouds would part and show us the sight, but they didn’t.
    The solid cloud cover made it impossible to even see where the sun was.  In desperation, Joan got out her smart phone and used an app to locate the sun.   She also had an app that showed what the eclipse was doing at that moment.  That was as close as we came to experiencing the big event.    
    As we stood there on the country road, it did seem to get a bit darker, and a cool wind came up.  It seemed really quiet and there were a lot of birds sitting on the telephone line instead of flying around.
As we walked back to the care disappointed, Joan heard a rooster at a nearby farmhouse crow.  Maybe they recognized something was going on, but had I not known about the eclipse, I would have never suspected it was happening.   It didn’t seem to get all that dark.
    While yesterday’s eclipse was a bust in the Robson Valley, don’t despair-- another one is on it’s way.  Yes, on August 23, 2044 the Robson Valley will experience another solar eclipse, and hopefully it is be a sunny day.

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Monday 21 August 2017

The Honking of Geese

    Hearing the honking of geese overhead is always a sobering sound for us in the Fall.  The hummingbirds have disappeared from the Robson Valley, and now other birds are gathering in preparation for their migration south.  It means that winter is somewhere over the horizon.  We heard and saw this small flock yesterday.
    Today is the big day for the solar eclipse.  In a perfect world we would see a bit more than 70% of the Sun covered, but the clouds look thick (somewhat like the photo) and there is still a lot of smoke obscuring the mountains, so at this point, with a couple of hours to go, I have my doubts that we will be able to see much of the big event.

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Sunday 20 August 2017

Edible Salvage

    Way back on March 26th, 2013 I wrote a blog about salvaging items from wrecks along the highway. Well it has happened again, and instead of re-plowing over ground I have already covered, I am just going to cut and paste some of what I blogged then:

    I have sometimes read of isolated communities along dangerous rocky shorelines, that benefit from the ships that occasionally crash into those rocks.  Word quickly scatters through the community, and the residents rush to the shore to salvage the items from the ship that are washed to the shore by the waves.  I have often thought that McBride is similar to those sea coast communities.
    The Robson Valley offers no  dangerous seacoast, but McBride does sometimes benefit from the dangerous highway that winds through the mountainous terrain.  During the time I have lived here, I have often heard of wrecked transport trucks, or freight trains that have lost their loads, and those loads were often salvaged by local people.
    Living, as we do, away from town, and the quick communication network of local gossip, we rarely benefit from these accidents.  Things happen fast.  I do still have a couple pieces of thick watercolor-like paper that was given to me, that had been in some overturned truck, but it was so long ago, I have forgotten the details.  I have had it for decades now, and still haven’t figured out what I could do with it.
    When I was building my house, I was very regretful, about failing to hear sooner about an overturned truck carrying building lumber.  I don’t remember if that was a legitimate “salvage” or not; quite often the spills end up scattered, down mountain slopes, and are not really worth the effort of insurance companies to collect, so they are left for local people to pick up.

    This latest bit of salvage from a truck that was wrecked are the foot-long buns you can see in the photo.  When Joan came home from the farmer’s market on Friday, she had three packages of the buns and said they were the result of a highway accident and there was a table at the market giving away a huge amount of them.  You could take as many as you wanted.
    Its alway hard to pass up free stuff, and I am sure it was hard for Joan to limit herself to just three bags of the buns, but we don’t have much available freezer space at this time.

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Saturday 19 August 2017

A Breath of Fresh Air

    Yesterday evening we got a break from all of the smoky air we have been breathing for a month.  A heavy rain fell during the day, then in the evening a cold front moved in, flushed out the smoke, and cleared the skies.  With all the moisture from the rain, the cold air caused clouds of fog drifting off of the pond.
    It was refreshing to breathe the clear air for a change.

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Friday 18 August 2017

A Croquet Tournament

    It seems a lot of families in the Robson Valley have been having reunions lately.  Our friends Jim and Abbie, were having one and invited Joan and I over for the afternoon.  Some of their relatives we had met before, but we were introduced to some new ones.  We visited, ate wonderful tacos, played with the kids, and had a really enjoyable time.  What was unexpected was the croquet tournament.
    Jim had manicured the playing surface on the lawn and had all the posts and wickets laid out.  The tournament consisted of two games, with the top three winners of each, meeting for a third contest which would decide the grand champion.  It had all of the set up of a serious undertaking, complete with trophies (photo below)
     In my youth we sometimes played croquet at with friends and relatives, but I very rarely played the game much over the intervening decades.   Last year on one of our visits to Jim and Abbie’s, Joan and I were coerced  into a croquet match and I did pretty well, despite my lack of playing the game for  so many years.  I trusted that this year I would be able to maintain some un-embarrassing status during this tournament.  Unfortunately that assessment did not stand up when my ball just wouldn’t go where I wanted to hit it.  I came in dead last.  
    Despite the trophies and mock-seriousness of the game, my lack of croquet prowess did not detour me from all the other enjoyable activities of the afternoon.  Luckily, I hadn’t spent much time considering where I would put the big trophy if I had won.

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Thursday 17 August 2017


    I break into a sweat every time I go to a website I haven’t been to for a while, and they ask for my id and password.  My poor brain just can’t maintain all that gibberish after so long a time.

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Wednesday 16 August 2017

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

 The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
                   I had read novels by the other Bronte sisters, but never Anne, and I liked this one a lot.  It is written in the first person through the eyes of a young man who runs the family farm in England in 1827. The narrative is set up as a series of letters written to a friend, explaining his life and the mysterious young widow and child that have taken up residence in a nearby small mansion that has fallen on hard times. 
      Most of the gossipy local women look on the newly arrived widow with suspicion and negativity, because she is not open with information about where she came from and her life. Gilbert, the young farmer is attracted to her and her son although he to is often rebuffed when he tries to find out more about her.  Despite her usual indifference to him, she sometimes lets down her guard and treats him like a friend. 
      Gilbert falls more and more in love with a Helen, the widow. Although she hardens at his advances, you can tell it's hard for her to do because she cares a great deal for Gilbert.  Finally, because Gilbert is so insistent and confused about her behavior, she gives him a diary so he might understand her situation.
       Here the novel begins another first person narrative, this time through Helen. We discover she is not a widow, but a women who is trying to protect her son by escaping an abusive marriage to a drunken, partying, and womanizing man. She had tried desperately to change his behavior, but he and his friends just spiral deeper into the alcoholic morass until she had to make her escape and disappear to protect her son.
        Realizing her situation doesn't change Gilbert's love for her, but her pleading and knowing she is married, makes Gilbert promise to keep his distance.  He does this then is thrown into turmoil when he learns from gossiping neighbors that she has left Wildfell Hall and returned to her rotten husband. 
        That's all I am going tell you about the story.
        Like her sisters, Anne had to first publish the book under a man's name (Acton Bell). Even so the society of the 1600's found the story about the drunken husband shocking, and when rumors flew that it was really written by a woman, many critics didn't believe it.  It caused a huge stir also because it was the first time a novel told of a woman leaving her husband, and justifying it.  Anne's sisters, Charlotte and Emily got quite mad at Anne for the novel because they thought the drunken husband character was based on their brother, and many suspect the novel fell into its obscurity because the sisters tried to suppress it after Anne’s early death.

      I wondered why I had never seen it as a drama because the story was quite good and seemed to be on a par with all of those other period English novels that have been turned into film many times. I really enjoyed reading the book. 

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Tuesday 15 August 2017

Eating Sand

    If I remember my biology correctly, birds don’t really have a stomachs like ours that churn up their food.  To get that job done and to get their food ground up, they have to eat small rock particles to do the job.  I spotted these birds out on the driveway swallowing sand to aid their digestion.    
    Birds have a real problem in the winter up here in Canada because of all the snow and ice that covers up the available sources of sand.  As a result many birds gather on the icy highways where sand has been spread to help vehicle traction.  Of course hanging out on highways is very risky behavior and many thousands of birds are hit and killed each winter.

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Monday 14 August 2017

More Smog Photos

    Yesterday I blogged about the terrible smoggy air conditions we are experiencing.  After I posted the blog we took a walk around the pond.  Here are a couple of photos I took during our walk.  Above is a view of our house (actually, you can’t even see it).  Below is a photo of Joan with her yellow umbrella as we got closer to the house.

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Sunday 13 August 2017

Finally Showers, But...

    For days I have been anxiously awaiting Saturday night, when the weather forecast promised showers.  We have endured a long spell of very hot, very dry weather and I looked forward to some much needed precipitation.  I mentioned yesterday how the smoke from faraway forest fires moved into our valley again, and I assumed that the promised showers would clean our air--I was wrong.
    I was relieved last night as I lay in the bed and heard the patter of rain on our roof, but was dismayed this morning when I got up.  Normally at that hour, light is coming through the window, but the smoke was so thick I could see only a dark grey hue.  It was the worst looking morning I have ever seen around here.  The smoke had caused the showers to turn to smog, very thick smog.  We couldn’t even see our pond, let alone the mountains.  Joan said it looked “apocalyptic.” 
    We had left our windows open overnight and now the inside of our house even smells like smoke.  We’ve got the air purifier going in the living room.  For weeks now on the news we have been hearing about how bad the air quality caused by the smoke is.  On a range of 1 to 10, Kamloops was 49!   It would be interesting to hear what our air quality is this morning, but since the Village of McBride is such a small unimportant place, we will never know.

My paintings can be seen at:

Saturday 12 August 2017

The Smoke Returns

    After about a week of clear skies, the smoke from all those continuing BC forest fires returned to the Robson Valley.  During that break for us, the winds had changed direction and blew all that smoke south to Vancouver and even into Washington state. 
    Yesterday around noon we watched as the haze from the smoke slowly worked its way over the Cariboo Mountains, and by evening those mountains were entirely obscured by the smoke.

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Friday 11 August 2017

Dried Peas

    I have picked and frozen a lot of peas so far this year, but eventually the plants in the garden start drying out, so I end up with a lot of unpicked dried-out pods on my vines.  These I just let stay on the vine.  At the end of the gardening season, when I start to rip out the garden, I pick off all of these dried out pea pods from the vines.
    I de-pod these dried out peas and save the best looking ones for seed for next year’s garden.  All of the other dried peas I put in a jar or plastic bag and use when I make soup, much like what I do with dried beans.  They have a taste similar to chickpeas in the soup.

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Thursday 10 August 2017

My Shade-Loving Plant Revisited

   Way back on July 18, 2013, I wrote a blog about this Astilbe that I had bought that had come in a package of “Shade Loving Plants” that I bought at Costco.  I had never heard of the plant before that was described as having a beautiful bloom.  Here is what I said in that old blog:

    Our yard is very shady, so when we look for plants we have to find ones that can tolerate a lot of shade.  Early last spring, Costco had various packages of plant roots for sale.  One package was full of “shade-loving” plants.  It had 5 ferns, 5 hostas, and another plant that had an unusual name, that was supposed to have a flower on it.  (My cousin later identified the plant as an Astilbe)
    I love ferns and hostas, so I would have bought the package anyway, but I was very intrigued by the flowering plant, which I didn’t know anything about.  There was no photo on the package, so I imagined big vibrant blooms giving colorful accent to the shady areas beside our house.
    I bought the package, and planted the roots in pots in the green house.  They all grew and when it was warm enough outside, I transplanted the plants into some of the shady garden spots next to the house.  Time passed.
    Well, the shade-loving flowering plant has finally presented to the world it’s bloom, and what a disappointment.  I must admit it is a whole lot less than I expected.  It is that washed out pinkish spot in the photo (above)  I guess anyone who has done any gardening knows the feeling when reality finally replaces imagination.

    In the photo below you can see what the bloom looks like this summer.  Although the Astilbe still is a wimpy looking plant, it has managed to stay alive for 4 years and I must confess, that at least this year it produced a bloom that is at least noticeable, when one walked passed the small shade garden in the corner of our house.

    I am still in hopes that it will continue to survive and strengthen, and perhaps eventually become a more dominant feature in the shade garden.

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Wednesday 9 August 2017

On Watch

    Here is a hawk perched on a hay bale overlooking the shorn field looking for his supper.  Once the hay is cut, the mice and other rodents that were living in the high grass are suddenly left without shelter and become easy picking for hungry predators.

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Tuesday 8 August 2017

Red Lucifer

    Here is a photo of our cat Lucifer.  The other evening when Joan and I were sitting on the lanai enjoying the breeze and the warm sunlight, Lucifer came over, jumped up on a lawn chair and joined us.  I liked all the red when I looked over at her so took the picture.

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Monday 7 August 2017

Topping Up Before the Journey

    Our hummingbirds are beginning to disappear, one by one, as they travel south for their winter stay in warmer climes.  Some of the hummers that live in the Robson Valley during the summer months spend their winters in Texas.  There are still a few around, but the nectar in the hummingbird feeder is not disappearing as quickly as it did weeks ago, when we had our full component of hummers.   I took this photo of one hummer topping up at the feeder yesterday.

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Sunday 6 August 2017

Sun, Sun, Sun

    The screen-shot you see above is McBride’s forecast for the coming the next seven days.  For most of my life, I would have thought this was a perfectly desirable forecast, but since my years working with the BC Forest Service and the horrifically destructive forest fires BC going on south of us, this forecast gives me a nagging feeling of unease.
    The current fire danger classification for the Robson Valley is still fortunately “High” instead of “Extreme”, but all this sunny hot  weather could change that.
    For all my US readers 32C is equivalent to 90F, which probably seems common to you, but it is hot for us.  As you can see at the bottom of the page, our normal temperature for this time of year is 21C (70F) cooling off to 7C (45F) at night.
    I heard an unusual story on the news this morning.  A man whose house was destroyed in the furious forest fire that destroyed the town of Fort McMurry, Alberta last year, just lost his home to one of the many forest fires burning in BC.  

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Saturday 5 August 2017

Hanging Garlic

    I pretty much take my camera with me everywhere I go.  Last night was such a beautiful evening (all the smoke and mosquitoes were absent) and so we decided to spend some time sitting on our lanai (carport). 
    As I sat there enjoying the perfect temperature (22C, 71F), I noticed the sun hitting the garlic that I had hung up for drying.  I grabbed my camera and took these shots.
    We harvested 100 bulbs of garlic, some of the cloves will have to go back into the ground for next year’s crop, but we will have plenty of this essential cooking ingredient left over to get us through the winter ahead.

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