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…”

Let’s Talk Trash…

(or what goes around comes around)

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The end of the road on a January morning, 2017.

The past few days have been remarkably mild, considering it is still January. Snow drops are budding and daffodils are emerging from the recently thawed ground. Spring beckons.

We have been enjoying the gradually lengthening days; going for pleasant walks in the forest, starting on one or two outdoor projects. C. just finished building a new bridge over the creek. The last one disintegrated with old age and the ravages of the flooding stream last autumn.

Yesterday I took the garden fork up to the vegetable garden to dig up the last of the overwintered parsnips, filling a five 039gallon bucket with lovely, cream-coloured roots. We had some for supper last night, par-boiled and then roasted with a bit of butter, salt and pepper, in a tightly covered glass baking dish, alongside a brace of grilled black tail deer chops – truly delicious!

Lately I have been thinking a lot about cycles, seasonal, life-cycles and so on; the old making way for the new. All the trashy talk reverberating over the airwaves these past few months, has got me thinking about garbage and what to do about it. One thought leads to another and I find myself wanting to talk about the way we deal with our trash on the island. The main point being that here on the island there is no curbside pick-up. Here we must deal with our own waste from beginning to end. Continue reading “Let’s Talk Trash…”

When in Doubt…

…Eat Cake!

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Christmas is over but the tree is still standing as I attempt to retain some sparkle during the continuing dark days.

So far, this New Year is off to a rough start. The dear old dog died and I am still not over that. I catch glimmers of her dark form shuffling here and there in the shadowy corners at the edge of the back garden. My mind is playing tricks on me.001

The weather this winter has not helped to cheer me. Here, it has been hovering around freezing, or a few degrees below, for the past month or so. We have been burning through an extraordinary amount of firewood. I find it quite tiresome.

Already it is time to start working on the year-end taxes, again. Next week, that idiot to the south will step into the driver’s seat. Chaos seems to reign everywhere on earth. I find myself waking up in the darkest hours, fighting off the blasted mid-night terrors! Continue reading “When in Doubt…”

Old Friends…

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December 31, 2016

Less than half an hour until the next year begins to unfurl. C. reminded me today that we first bumped into one another at a different New Year’s Eve celebration with old friends on another island 34 long years ago. It is already nearly 25 years since I came to live on this island with C. What I want to know is, “Where does the time go?”

Continue reading “Old Friends…”

The Evolution of Light…

…on the island

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Today is the shortest day of the year. It is also the darkest day of the year; it is the winter solstice. As I write these words we have just turned the corner and from now on the days will gradually be growing longer as each one passes by. Continue reading “The Evolution of Light…”

Black and White…

…and snow all over

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Snow…

Winter has arrived. Snow covers the ground like a duck down duvet. Snow hangs from the boughs of the trees and snow is beginning to fall again. It is a winter wonderland out here on the islands.

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C.’s brother N. is visiting from the city. He came up to the island to help butcher the big mule deer that C. brought home from the last hunting trip of the season. Three days ago it began to snow and now N. is stuck here for the moment, trapped by the snow-obliterated road on the next island that leads to the outside world. This morning I called the fellow who maintains the roads there. He cheerfully told me that he had just got the grader repaired, and that he probably would not be able to get plowing out to the end of the road until Monday; too much snow to be dealt with first on the south end of that island. He had already been part way out by truck and had removed a fallen tree that was also blocking the route. Continue reading “Black and White…”

The Hunter…

….home from the hill

Yesterday afternoon I went down to the end of the road in the skiff to collect C. and his mountain of winter-camping gear. He was coming home from his annual hunting trip to the Interior of the province.

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Ever since I dropped C. off two weeks ago I have been holding the fort here at home. The weather has been wet and mild, until a couple of days ago, when the season turned the corner to reveal winter coming down the pipeline. As I write, an icy wind is beginning to stir, a storm is brewing.

C. has been going off on expeditions like this every November since I came to join him on this island nearly 25 years ago. He has spent the last two weeks camping in a canvas wall tent, complete with a wood-fired heater, along with his brother and adult son, quietly hiking around the hills of the Interior of the province, looking for mule deer that live in that region.

cams-hunting-2013-8 Continue reading “The Hunter…”