Showing posts from August, 2018

Late Summer Musings

The rhythm of my years has been governed by the start and end of school for a very long time. My own schooling, followed by a few years off, then the schooling of our children, and my return to teaching have ingrained in me the thought of new beginnings come September.

However, before a beginning there must be an end, and so, to end the carefree days of summer, we took a short boating trip last weekend. After anchoring our boat in Annette Inlet on Friday evening, we ate a simple supper of soup and salad, read our books, and soaked in the peace and quiet. Later, I awoke in the darkness of early morning to hear the lovely soft sound of raindrops on the roof. Light rain fell for several hours and the clouds remained grey all day. 

After lunch, the rain eased up and we went exploring. I've long admired kingfishers and have despaired of capturing them with my camera. They are jittery birds who dart from perch to perch with a sharp chit-chit-chit to evade anyone coming close. I was thrill…

Towards the End of Summer

The weather has changed. In the morning, heavy dew beads the grass. Spider webs grow ever larger. I cling to summer, but she is slipping from my grasp, her face turned away as if no longer interested in me. 

The marine air moving in has cleared some of the forest fire smoke from the city. This photo was taken on Sunday, before the smoke thickened, stinging eyes and throats, and causing health officials to warn against outdoor exercise. 

Last night was particularly bad as the marine air pushed the smoke from further north down our way. Around bedtime it smelled as if the neighbourhood was on fire. I read a notice that fire officials asked people not to call unless flames were visible. 

This morning I can see faint bits of blue behind the haze, and I am thankful. I can breathe deeply without smoke catching in my throat. However, the situation has not changed with regards to the fires themselves. We desperately want rain. A few sprinkles are in the forecast for the weekend, but not the long…


Dahlias might not be blooming in my garden yet, but they are beautiful in Butchart Gardens. We visited there this weekend with my parents who came over from the mainland for the weekend. 

The fountain danced. Watching the water wave back and forth almost made me sway in unison. The sky was covered with high smoke that obscured direct sunlight and cooled the temperature dramatically. 

Zinnias are so cheerful. Rows of them stood, stalwart and colorful in a wide border. 

My parents. Saturday was my mother's 82nd birthday. We brought a picnic to the gardens, and enjoyed it at one of the tables provided, then wandered through the flower gardens before settling ourselves down on the sloping lawn for a view of the weekly summer fireworks show. Music, humour, a story here and there, and plenty of booms and sparkles marked the 30 minute spectacle. A fun way to celebrate a special day with my mom and dad. I am so thankful to God for my parents and for their presence and guidance in my life. 


August Break 13-17

August 13: last year

Not last year, technically, but in March of 2018, I gave Tim a gift card for Wild Birds Unlimited because we'd been talking about getting a feeder for our garden. Finally, this past Saturday, we went out and chose one. That's almost last year, isn't it? We've been watching House Finches and Sparrows flitting about the feeder and emptying it at a tremendous rate. There's plenty of other food around at this time of year, so we'll be cutting back on how often we fill it. They still come around on their foraging route and we'll give them more food come winter.

August 14: I love...

where we live, so close to the ocean. While walking with a friend this morning, we both commented on how lovely the sea smells, invigorating and fresh. 

August 15: cat

I don't have a cat, but there's a black one in the neighbourhood that sneaks through the hedge whenever I'm working in the garden. She has a bell to let birds know she's coming. So many b…

Summer Saturday

On Saturday morning, the two of us went for a walk along Victoria's Inner Harbour, a scenic place that was surprisingly busy. Dragon boat races kept to one half of the narrow entrance while float planes landed and were escorted by Harbour Authority boats. Pleasure craft large and small left in a single line after one race moved out of the way. The little harbour ferries (we call them jelly-bean boats) bobbed from stop to stop. 

The tide was extremely low. In the shallow bays the banquet table laid for a siege of herons, several squabbles of seagulls, and a herd of geese. The birds waded and watched, then with darting flashes of beaks into the water pulled up all sorts of delicacies and enjoyed them with gusto.

The temperatures were cool over the weekend and are supposed to rise again this week. The blue sky in the photo might be the last we see for a bit as smoke haze from the wildfires colours the light pinky-orange and obscures the blue. There are over 600 wildfires burning in our…

August Break 7-9

August 7: Five Facts About Me

Oh dear. Do I go deep or shallow? Perhaps a mixture, I think, for this is supposed to be a "break." Here goes:

1. I am learning to be content. I'm more contented now than I was even 5 years ago. 

2. Blue and white will always be my favourite colour combination. 

3. I often push through fear to do the things I do. I've discovered that the worry often precedes the event/activity/project, and once I attend/set off/begin, the fears evaporate.

4. Being bored never happens. 

5. Curiosity often motivates me.

August 8: sky

Endlessly changeable and fascinating. 

August 9: happiness is...

Another tough one to nail down. Different things make me happy at different times. I think this is true for all people. It can be elusive, and like the sky, highly changeable. 

My family brings me great happiness. When they are doing well, I am happy. The converse is also true. 

I'm happy in my garden, even while pulling weeds. 

Teaching makes me happy. Interacting with t…

August Break 2-6

August 2: ground

I don't drink coffee, but my husband does occasionally, mostly when there's company. Our children all drink it, so there's always some Fair Trade coffee here. Ground, not beans. 

August 3: skin

This took some thought until I realized that almost everything has skin, from people and animals to vegetables and fruit. I've been admiring the butternut squash in my garden, pale green with white stripes. They are growing larger almost visibly in the heat we're experiencing. 

Apple skin can be red, green, yellow and many shades between. One of our apple trees is loaded this year and the apples have begun falling. So...

I made the first batch of applesauce. Our grandchildren love it with oatmeal for their breakfast, and our son and his wife make batches of it to last the winter. They ran out this year and bought some from the store. The children hated it, saying it didn't taste like "real" applesauce. Nana came to the rescue and handed over some fr…

Coastal Inhabitants Then and Now.

The Broughton Archipelago is a maze of channels, islands, islets, narrow twisting passages and very few people. However, it is not completely uninhabited. During the first three-quarters of the 20th century, First Nations villages and European settlements were found in much greater numbers than currently. Most of the European settlements were on floats, not on cleared land, and I'll write about them in another post. For today, I thought I'd tell you about some of the First Nations peoples who have lived here for thousands of years.

We visited New Vancouver, also known as Tsatsisnukwomi, which means "Eel grass along the shore." The village is currently occupied by members of the Glendale family, whose grandfather wanted his family to live traditionally, and to not lose the old ways. There are 8 homes, a variety of outbuildings, a dock, and a Big House, seen in the bottom right photo above. A young woman gave us a tour of the village, and told us her family's story.…