Sweet Scent of Spring…

Spring is the busiest time of year on the island. All winter long nothing much seems to happen. When spring arrives, suddenly, an overwhelming number of activities vie for our attention. The garden needs planting. The grass needs cutting. People come to visit. C. gets busy preparing his boat  for the salmon fishing season. Continue reading “Sweet Scent of Spring…”

Oh, Rubarb….

…cool crop for cool weather.

Although spring is officially here, the weather continues to be cold and wet. The vegetables are getting planted, both seeds and starts, in dribs and drabs, slowly but surely. The heat-loving tomatoes, peppers, squash and basil are still indoors, under the fluorescent lights, getting bigger and bigger, just waiting for warmer temperatures outdoors, so they can get into their permanent locations under the cloches in the vegetable garden.

The fruit trees in our orchard have been slow to bloom but about a week ago I noticed that the pears were finally flowering. While I worked in the garden nearby during the sunny afternoon, the plum tree’s blossom also began to open, inviting the hungry bees to come and feast. This morning the apple blossom has begun to burst from sweet pink buds.

Continue reading “Oh, Rubarb….”

To Bee or Not to Bee….

In case you were wondering, I have been away for a while which is why you haven’t heard from me during the last month or so. Having survived the long, drawn out winter here on the island, I decided I needed a break; no cooking or housekeeping, no near or distant relatives, no pets, no rain or snow; just a pleasant climate with sunshine, pretty views, a nice sandy beach with swimmable sea water lapping at the edge of that beach, and a good book. Time away to recharge my personal battery.

I packed a small bag and travelled to a little village in Mexico, on the west coast, where I have spent quite a lot of time in the past. There, in familiar surroundings, I had the companionship of several like-minded friends who spend the winter months in that quiet and pleasant seaside community. I thoroughly enjoyed my holiday and was a little sorry to have to return to the reality of a late, chilly spring in the Pacific Northwest. Continue reading “To Bee or Not to Bee….”

Saving Seed….

…for a hopeful future.

Last Friday morning it was snowing again as I set off for town. I was on my way to the annual Words on the Water writer’s festival. Every March for the past sixteen years I have attended this local cultural event. When I returned late Monday afternoon I felt rejuvenated. Some seeds of inspiration had been sown at the W.O.W. festival!

While I was away the robins returned to our garden, pecking and peering about on the ground for excited worms. It seems they  have brought spring  with them. Although it is still chilly, the sun is shining and buds on the flowering shrubs are  plump. The grass has begun to grow again and the first daffodil  is about to burst open. Continue reading “Saving Seed….”

Whales for Breakfast….

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Just when I thought winter was over, I looked up this morning and saw it was snowing a full blown blizzard again!

It has been a long, cold winter and we have been burning through an awful lot of firewood. These days we keep warm cutting, splitting and stacking fresh firewood, filling in the large gaps in the woodshed, replenishing the stash for the coming year.

Despite the on-going snowy conditions, I know winter is almost behind us. Spring is pretty much here, stretching out ahead with too much to be done! I have just one more apple tree to finish pruning in the orchard. C. has pruned the raspberries but I still need to trim the blueberries and the currant bushes.

There are some perennials to be divided; rhubarb and daylilies. The vegetable and flower seeds need to be sorted, some need to be started. A young blueberry bush and a dwarf cherry tree, both in pots, wait to be set out somewhere in the garden. All of a sudden it is the busiest time of the year!

I was feeling overwhelmed by it all, not really knowing where to begin, when last Saturday morning something really special happened. Continue reading “Whales for Breakfast….”

Marmalade…

…a jarful of sunshine.

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The last blast of winter seems to have taken place and the crocuses are blooming. Snowdrops drift across the pet graveyard under the black walnut tree like snowy remnants left behind after the last thaw.

Last week C. and I made a trip to town for supplies. The road to town was finally clear of snow. We were out of milk, coffee, oats and other essentials. It was past time to stock up on groceries. I was eager to find one particular item that had been on my list for the past couple of months: the elusive Seville orange. Continue reading “Marmalade…”

Storm-Watching…

…while waiting for spring.

Two weeks ago I was strolling around the garden in a tee-shirt admiring the budding snow drops and the emergent daffodils; boasting about the warm temperatures and the fact that spring was just around the corner.

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Since then the weather has taken a drastic turn for the worse; winter is still very much upon us. We do not often experience such extreme winter weather on this part of the west coast and it comes as a bit of a shock! It makes me wonder why on earth I choose to live here, on this remote island in the middle of nowhere. Why do we insist on spending the winter months anchored here, stuck on this rock like frigid limpets, when we could be somewhere much farther south sunning ourselves like iguanas in the sand? Continue reading “Storm-Watching…”