Sunlight flits across the water, framed by a curving branch. Arbutus trees were unknown to me until I moved to this area 12 years ago. They grow in a narrow band along rocky shorelines, usually within 8 kilometres of the ocean. I guess they like the sea air. So do I.
Arbutus branches twist and turn every which way resulting in wild contortions. Native to the northwest, they adorn rocky bluffs and dry meadows. Not too much moisture, please.
Throughout the year their bark peels in thin sheets of curling red revealing hard, smooth green wood that is a delight to stroke. The First Nations peoples used the bark and other parts of the tree for medicinal purposes, and hold the tree in high regard, for in their story of the Great Flood, the arbutus provided an anchor holding their canoe safe.
I love the glow of light through the thin peeling bark and the striking coloration of this tree. Leaves turn golden and dry throughout the summer as new ones emerge. Last week I stood alone and listened as a few leaves let go and rustled down, down through the forest canopy to fleck the ground with gold. I am reminded that summer is short and soon leaves of all sorts will fall.
Let's not think of autumn yet. Today is golden. I worked in the garden, pulling up weeds that grew while we were gone. The first tomatoes ripened. Zucchini went wild. Potato plants turned yellow and the garlic stalks brown. Dig. Pull. Prune. Pick. Enjoy.
Do you like our new ride? On Wallace Island an old pickup truck rusts in the meadow. We clambered in and Tim's sister snapped a few shots. Summer lingers on.
How is August in your corner?