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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, July 9, 2010

Song for Friday...it's a good thing!

 Yes the world is in trouble.
Yes there is evilness all around.
People are starving.
People are dying.
But.....
I look at that glass which is half full.
I don't ignore these things or belittle those facts of strife.
What happens for me is that I keep the faith.
I see the light.
I KNOW there are like minded people such as myself.
And I believe this to be a beautiful life.
Perhaps, if we all make that little bit of beauty in a small way, it will shine above the darkness.

Ladies and Gentlemen...
A perfect rose...
And Macy Gray...


The queen has left the building....

This morning I noticed some odd behaviour around the bee hives...
A lot more action than usual and the buzzing was akin to the noise at a World Cup soccer game.
There's a big cherry tree close to the hives and as I took a closer look, I noticed this...
A swarm about 5 feet long.
This is what happens when the hive gets too crowded, so they breed a new queen and the old one leaves with the first batch of her kingdom.
Swarms of honey bees are NOT aggressive and are only concerned with staying where the queen is.
Unfortunately if the apiarist is not able to come straight away, the swarm may be gone. 
That was the case today.
After about an hour I noticed the same activity above the hives and went to have a look at the front of the bee yard...this is what I saw...
The hives are definitely prolific and getting crowded so Bob will come in the morning to add more boxes.
The good news is that there will be LOTS of honey this year!
Anybody for a bee beard?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Recipe for a perfect summer day...

Take one dusty, country, dirt road...
One pinch of scarecrow...
Add generous amounts of blue sky...
Toss in two happy nieces...
Spread out evenly through the fields...
Check closely to see if they're ready...
And there you have it....
Strawberry season!!

Strawberries in the salad
Strawberry smoothies
Strawberries and cinnamon whipped cream.
Don't you love summer?!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Found: One summer day.

I was dreaming about summer...blue skies, flip flops, cold cider on the porch, warm sun on pale skin...
And then, as if it hadn't missed a beat...
My dream came true!
After 2 months of rain, coolness and generally grey days, we are forecast for at least a week of very warm weather. As it should be this time of year.
In honor of such a perfect day, I took Griff to the seashore..
...the water calm, the pebbles shining...
Gorgeous dried seaweed everywhere...
...glistening fresh seaweed as well...
...tumbled into big knots of giants noodles.
When I was a kid, we used to find the odd, rare, glass, Japanese fish floats.
Today I found this one...plastic...guess they don't make them like they used to...
A surf shack at the edge of the high tide...
As well as some old fence posts and barbed wire at the back of the old John Muir estate...
On the way back, I kept finding these little jelly fish washed up on shore...
Alien bubbles, so strange and beautiful...
Of course there is no possible way to keep Griffin out of the water...
Perhaps he's part jelly fish?
So happy to have found my summer day...time for that cider on the porch now!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Old roads...

(Note: I have spared you the disgusting 'before' pictures and leave you with images of the present day site.)

B.C is littered with roads of the past...old logging roads are everywhere thanks to our history in the lumber industry. 
Some are accessible by vehicle and others are not much more than a wide footpath. These are my favorite, which the woods are slowly taking back, with alder, salal and salmon berry.
 Once logging has been completed, some roads are decomissioned  by placing obstacles such as gates, tree trunks or large burms which cuts off access to vehicles.
The roads that aren't blocked quite often fall victim to the garbage dumper. This is a mentality that I CANNOT wrap my head around.
This mound used to be high with bags full of garbage, old tires, lots of plastic, and general refuse scattered about.
I try to pick up the bits of garbage that I can but usually don't have a very big bag.
Picture this....someone fills up the back of their pickup truck with an old couch, a broken t.v, old roof shingles, large plastic bags of household garbage and drives out to an old logging road.
It could be in the dark or in the light of day.
They dump all their shit out into the bush and drive away. 
I guess for them its 'out of sight, out of mind'.
 One such place was King Creek, a tributary which flows into Kemp Lake, directly up the road from me.
  Some people just don't think that there are other living things around besides themselves...
About a year ago a local organization, called The Juan De Fuca Trail Society, decided enough was enough and cleaned the place up.
 I think they took away 5 large dump truck loads of garbage and built a few burms to keep traffic out.
 It is now a lovely place to walk with the sound of birds...
 ...and  glimpses of bear and deer once in a while. I found this bit of bear fur on the trail today...
 I thank these people for their random act of conservation and I now try to pick up any trace of garbage left by the side of the road here so as to dicourage others.
These woods are being respected and reclaimed.
The society has posted signs and encourages others to get to know this lovely spot...
Of course Rosie and Griffin love to go for a ramble any day...



One way or another we can all do something small which adds up to something big.

Book review...


I have just finished this story of the last remaining Beothuk woman.
I had never heard of this group of indigenus people from Newfoundland-Labrador.
It is historical fiction based on an actual person who died in 1829.
Her name was Shanawdithit and looked like this...
The story is a sort of mystery told through the voices of three people in three different eras.
The first, a deserter from the army hiding out in a hidden tunnel under a church.
In his despair, over an accidental crime, while in the tunnel, he hears the voice of Shanawdithit who was buried there 170 years before.
She tells the story of her people and how they were driven to extinction by the colonists who came to Canada in the 1800's. 
The third voice is of an archeologist who has gone home to England after her husband is killed while they are investigating the genocide in Rwanda. An unusual discovery takes her on a journey which links the three lives together.
It was difficult to read some parts of the Beothuk woman's story. Sad and brutal. Hard to believe that an entire race of people were destroyed in such a short time.
A read well worth the history and mystery.
Beothuk territory Newfoundland, Canada