Monday, September 3, 2018

SUMMER SERIES: END OF SUMMER VACATION ?

Labour Day has become known as the unofficial end of summer vacation as it is the time schools reopen, but most people do not consider the roots or meaning of the day. It is a "national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well being of our country." (Wikipedia) 
It has been 10 years since I retired from working outside of the home and so a holiday does not always seem different from any other day, but as I began my usual Monday laundry routine I checked myself and decided to take most of the day off. Feeling energized I suggested a hike along a different section of the Mission Creek trail east of our usual neighbourhood walk, which took us along a winding path through a cedar forest, along the rippling creek, past a swampy trout pond, over several bridges and then up 115 stairs to grasslands at which point I had already hiked more than I have in a long time and it was time to turn back. 
















A Juniper tree




Happy to have felt healthy enough to challenge my body.


Fun to spot a new flower, the Himalayan Balsam


A little hint of the season we are entering.

Summer vacation may be over for our grandkids 
but we will keep enjoying more warm sunny days and maybe more hikes
 until summer is officially over. 
























Friday, August 31, 2018

SUMMER SERIES: CAMPING

How the open sky dictates our days, filled with fluffy clouds, blue notes of promise or shades of gray when storm clouds gather or smoke from fires obliterate the majestic views we yearn to see.
This summer was an irrational season when our province experienced the worst, widespread wildfires in history. Our camping season was cut short but what we did revisit, explore and marvel at always reminded me of the greatness of God and how he draws my attention to detail and in the end I was grateful to come home to a house still standing.

CAMPING IN MAY
Shuswap Lake at Herald Provincial Park

Across the lake is the CP Rail line - train cars to count all day.

Bundle of Birches
Reinecker Creek gives this park a bubbling sparkle.

A tree that had a mind of its own.
Cedar Seeds
It's all about perspective.

Counting the years
Natures surprise

























CAMPING IN JUNE
Fresh air and blue skies at Kettle River Provincial Park



Cousins freezing their feet in June
A disappointing CLOSED sign at Beaverdell Ice Cream.
Gramma to the rescue with treats in the trailer 




CAMPING IN AUGUST



Shelley camping with the bears ( I mean girlies)  Missing Levi who was home sick in bed.

Hours of refreshing fun.

Explorers
Beauties in the charred forest.

DO NOT DISTURB!









Travelling east to Champion Lakes and the sky turned brown.






A sneak peak at what would have been a great place to kayak. Another year.


Forest tears

 Morning after one night at Champion Lakes. The smoke was thick and acrid.
Packed up and headed home -sigh.

Ten days of camping cancelled because of fires. Sad because we planned to explore five new provincial parks.
Held hostage by acrid smoke and a resolute driver heading home.



Surprise -
the air cleared a lot at Rock Creek so we camped three more days back at Kettle River.


Karl, Simon and Luke join us and we had hours of fun swimming and watching these two grandsons jump off the trestle bridge. My special moment was Simon jumping and diving for this heart rock. Thanks Simon.




Barb and Garry visit us on their travels home to Grandforks.
Always a good time with these two. 



Mr BBQ  takes a moment for a hug.




The morning before we left Champion Lakes I read Psalm 104 about God's amazing creation, but as we drove through hours of heavy smoke there was little to see of that beauty. At Kettle River the Fireweed seeds were blowing through our campsite and God showed me his intentional creativity and attention to detail. Each Fireweed plant can produce 80 000 seed which will blow in the wind to germinate in open areas especially after a fire. And next year when we camp at Kettle River as we always do we will see more of this beautiful flower or to some an invasive weed.



Earth's crammed with heaven
And every common bush afire with God
But only he who sees takes his shoes off,
the rest sit around and pick blackberries. 

Elizabeth Barrett Browning






Wednesday, August 29, 2018

SUMMER SERIES: MY GARDEN AND BEYOND

As the daylight hours of summer slip away, the nights cool down, and vacations sadly over, I find myself musing over the few photos I took, and using a rainy day to post some random thoughts.



As small a plot I have to plant in I take delight in poking in and about my 'potty' garden

 The Bobo Hydrangea did not disappoint.


The Lace Cap Hydrangea vine is shown off with the brilliant Impatiens. Such an odd name for a flower that gets shoved in the dirt as a seedling and with hardly a worry or need for 'patience' as it blooms prolifically.

 The Rainbow Sherbet rose will bloom three times during this summer series.

Happy Dahlias attract busy bees.  

This Mourning Dove entertained us as she diligently gathered twigs to make a nest in the large Hawthorn tree behind our fence. Here she seems a little puzzled by the lack of response from the resident stone rabbit. 

Have loved my shade garden which has needed little attention but the joy of seeing it flourish. 

A specimen rock indeed, which grandson Mark found in Mission creek and gifted to me.

 A hanging basket of Snapdragons brought back memories of childhood fun as we would squeeze the blossoms to create a talking face. This one is upside down. Of more interest was watching the bees collect pollen as they would pull the face open and with their feet scrape the pollen into a little abdominal sac.  They should watch their backs!!

 How many times have I seen these endangered Painted Turtles at Gardom Lake and not see the unique designs on their bellies?


A blue Heron marches confidently along Mission creek.


A heart rock treasure planted in my flowerbed at the end of summer.
While camping at Kettle River Provincial I stood on the trestle bridge waiting for grandson Simon to jump into the river. Looking down I spied this rock and so Simon jumped and swam over under where I stood, dove down and swam to shore with this 5 pound weight. It will be treasured along with other heart rocks that my grandchildren occasionally find and know just who they want to give it to.  Thanks.