Showing posts from August, 2017

Waning August

I went into Michael's today for a couple of things for school and was appalled to see not only fall decor items (I'm still in summer mode), but Christmas items, too! Waaaay too early.

The hydrangeas are fading, but continue to produce a few new mopheads of intense colour. They have been most reliable during this summer of intense heat and no rain.

We visited Hatley Castle Gardens over the weekend. I love the Italian Garden with the clipped boxwood hedges, the cool pergola, and the wide flower beds. 

Purple heliotrope smells like vanilla and babies to me. I think it looks wonderful here with the light grey artemisia. 

We're experiencing another intense heat wave these days and gardens everywhere are suffering. Lawns are crispy and brown unless heavily watered. 

I picked a bouquet of this and that from our garden - vibrant colours that stand up to the sun's heat. Dahlias, rudbeckias, blue salvia and oregano in flower. 

Our Akane (also known as Tokyo Rose) apples are ready for …

Paying Attention

Mary Oliver begins her poem "The Summer Day" with 
"Who made the world? 
Who made the swan, and the black bear? 
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean..." 

Notice how her focus changes from broad to narrow? On our boating trip to Princess Louisa (see previous post), I was, at first, a little put out about the smoke that hampered our views of this magnificent place. I could have groused and grouched about it. 

I gave myself a mental shake and decided to focus, as Oliver did, on the specifics. All of these photos were taken within view of the top photo, a wider view of Chatterbox Falls.

How delicate are the white blossoms, less than 1/2 inch long, that bloomed in the grass. I don't know their name, and they don't care about that. 

The curving symmetry of an unfurling fan. I stared at it for some time, and now, when I study the photo, I remember crouching down on the soft moss at the edge of a clearing, listening to the silence.

Green fans and white stars …

Princess Louisa Inlet

"It has been said by people who have travelled the world and viewed all its beauty spots that two places stand out as the greatest mountain scenery in the world. One is Princess Louisa and the other is Milford Sound in New Zealand." Ray Phillips, The Royal Fjord

The distance from the boat launch at French Creek to Chatterbox Falls at the head of Princess Louisa Inlet is 70 nautical miles. Our boat chugs at about 7 knots. You can figure out how long it took us to get there. We broke the trip into two days, and it didn't seem overly long.

Unfortunately, smoke from the BC wildfires drifted westward and obscured the view. At times it felt like we were drifting on an unknown sea, not certain that there was anything beyond the next point of land.  

The inlet is narrow and tall vertical peaks rise sharply from the water, so high that we had to tip our heads far back to see the peaks (or their outline, as the case was). 

Chatterbox Falls lies at the head of the inlet, a torrent of f…

Home and Garden

I awoke early this morning and quietly dressed and slipped outside to potter in the garden for a few minutes before breakfast. I pulled up the sweet peas that were so pretty and fragrant for so long, but are now a tangled mass of brown vines. Later in the day, I took my camera out and watched a pair of white butterflies flit among the lavender.

A friend gave us a pot of Balloon Flowers (platycodon) that put out bloom after bloom. I'm hoping to do some moving of plants in a week or two and am thinking about where I will place this one. 

Dahlia bloom in perfect symmetry. My dahlias didn't survive our cold and prolonged winter (I didn't lift the tubers), but there was a bag of free tubers in the staff room at school one day, so I took a few, not knowing what would result. These make me very happy. I'm glad they aren't orange!

And another luck-of-the-draw dahlia. They are tall, with spindly stems, but seem strong and aren't drooping at all.

Cosmos growing alongside bri…

A Weekend on Wallace Island

Our little hippie boat takes us to some wonderful places. Wallace Island, not too far away, is one. This was another of someone's dreams - the Conovers wanted to establish a resort on the island. They did, but events conspired to make it a short-lived dream, and the island is now a park. 

Our youngest and her husband came along. They pitched a tent on shore and came aboard for meals. We walked the length of the island, chatting all the while. A good way to spend time together. 

The rusted pick up truck makes a picturesque, if uncomfortable (no seats, just springs) photo booth. 

A heron in Princess Cove had good luck fishing while we watched. 

The contrast between the reddish thin skin of a peeling arbutus tree and the smooth, pale green trunk underneath fascinates me.

Starfish disappeared from our coasts several years ago. They are making a slow, but steady comeback. We look for them along the tide lines, curled together just under water or sprawled on barnacled rocks. This particular …

Beginning of August

What is it about music that so draws us in and can take us back over the years? Any genre will instantly evoke memory: the 1970s song "California Dreaming" takes me back to high school, hymns such as "Great is Thy Faithfulness" take me back to being a child sitting on a hard pew, Spanish hymns remind me of Ecuador days, "Moonlight Sonata" has me subconsciously measuring the tempo as I once did when learning to play it on the piano, and so on. 

Last Saturday Tim and I drove up to Chemainus Theatre for "Rock Legends" featuring the music from 1955 to 1975. I was surprised that I knew, if not all the words, certainly the tunes to all but one of the songs. Oh, it was fun!

One of the songs was from the group Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Randy Bachman currently lives on Saltspring Island, not far from us. Tim leaned over during the song and said to me, "Randy Bachman uses the same hearing aid clinic I do." And we giggled like teenagers.

In the gard…