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.
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….”
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….”
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!
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…”
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.
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…”
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 gallon 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…”