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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Friday, March 12, 2010

Song for Friday...For Kurt...The Happiest of all Wanderers....1929-2010

10 things Kurt loved:
------------------------
The accordion

His family

Food

The ocean

The mountains

Tools

Making things

The garden

Laughing

The cottage
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      " The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."
John Muir

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Recipe for one Frog Prince...

Take 2 generous cups of roving,
Mix with pipecleaners...

Add natural colour...

 Take 8 frog toes...

Mix until batter resembles 4 frog feet...

Fold in 2 large size frog eyes...

Gently stir in 8 or 9 warts...

He should feel soft to the touch when done...

Garnish with crown...

Kiss...

Ride off into the sunset with your Prince.

ready for the swallows...

Every year around the end of March/ beginning of April, we are graced with the presence of barn swallows. They come up from the warmer climate of California, build nests in the barn, lay their eggs, raise two broods of chicks, and leave in the fall.
They eat more than their fare share of bugs, especially mosquitoes so we love having them around. Plus they're pretty cute to look at and watching them swoop through the summer skies is such a blessing.
Unfortunately they like to nest over the light fixtures like this...
And although it is a spectacular thing to witness, they are REALLY messy!
Last year they took to nesting above our workshop area in the barn..
So this years project, before they come back, was to block off the area with chicken wire...
I also built new nest ledges for them in the same general area of the barn and wired off the light fixtures...
It was a really dirty job with cob webs and dust and required gloves and a mask especially when I took the old nests off the light fixtures.
Some years they would use an old nest and pile new moss and hay in it like this one...
Last year they built a new one...
What engineers they are to make something out of mud and hay!
And when I was taking down the last nest I found a little surprise in it...
An old unhatched egg from last year!
Imagine it sitting up there all winter and still in tact. Usually after the winter, old eggs become brittle and break to the touch but I reckon because it was nice and dry up there, it was better preserved...
Here's some pictures from last years clutch...first few days out of the nest...
I guess we'll wait and see if they like the new nest ledges...fingers crossed!

Monday, March 8, 2010

The color of the past...

My previous post was about the little town of Jordan River and how it's beginnings were attributed to the logging industry. Aside from playing on the seashore, we also went for a walk through the defunct log sort across the road from the beach.
This is what's called a dry land log sort. After the logging trucks are loaded up in the clearcut forests, the logs are brought down to a vast open area to be sorted, graded and sent off to where ever they are needed. Some go to lumber mills but a lot are exported as raw logs to other countries. 
As we walked around the old machinery I was enthralled by the rusted bits and pieces.
I love the color of old metal.
 There's something soothing about it.
smooth and rough at the same time.
 There's strength in these leftover workers.
 I wonder at their function and their history.
 How old?
 What was it for?
 Who's hands touched it?
How long will it sit here gathering layers of reds and browns?
What tragic tales have been the result of this heavy metal?
These hard working relics of an industry slowly dying...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Day trippin'

Welcome to Jordan River...
 
That's about all there is as far as a 'town' goes. Built on the backs of the logging industry of the early 1900's, it's now used mostly  for recreation.
So that's what we were doing there yesterday, on a gorgeous spring day, picnic in hand...
We were also celebrating the end of a long battle with locals pitted against big developement.
You see, Jordan River has long been a mecca for surfers. More so in the winter when the waves are bigger and winds charge up the surf. Mind you, all year, people have been coming here to camp and beachcomb and explore the area known for its amazing beaches and forests.
The area along the water was slated to be sold for BIG developement, including condominiums, high priced housing and lots of land clearing to do all of these projects. 
When it seemed like all hope was gone, the municipal government finally stepped in (with a huge amount of pressure from locals and people near and far) and agreed to purchase over 2300 hectares and preserve the land for parkland. YEY!
 
  
gooseneck barnicles
dried ostrich plume seaweed

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.
John Muir