Hiking and Gardening

It went a bit like this: okay – relaxing morning. Nothing to do – nada. All I have to do all day is garden.

“F*&k that! Abby – let’s go on a morning adventure!”

And off we went to Evans Creek. Morning is best on this trail because it catches the early sun. And it was a sunny, glorious day and I was NOT going to waste one minute of it indoors. Besides, I needed a long walk. And so did Abby (although she might disagree).

It was lovely. We saw no one. We walked for about two hours – up and down and all along the shore.

By the time we got home, it was lunch and then attacking the garden. And you know how that goes: all the usual. Weeding! And watering. Watering has been going on for hours.

And I am loving – no, adoring – the garden. I love how lush it is and how well it is thriving. Oh sure, there are some glitches like slugs getting at the beans and lettuce, and the dill not as super as I want it to be. But that’s the nature of nature. You have to roll with it. I sowed more dill in a shady location and more lettuce in places where other plants are casting shade.

All that said, we have tons of lettuce and I picked another load of radishes. Our strawberries are delicious, and in a couple of days I am going to start potting up the runners.

These are the things I like best about gardneing – the seeding and breeding and creating.

Life, as they say, is good.

In so many ways.

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Quiet Sunday

Simon’s day off – so we did what we needed to do – a big shop at Evergreen for huge bags of flour and oats and other staples. And, while we were at it, organic apples, veggies and fruit.

We stopped at several other places – picked up peat and “stuff.” The best part of the day was early on when we took the dogs for a walk on the rail trail. The sun was shining for the first time in what seemed forever – it was lazy and lovely: wildflowers everywhere. Just one of those walks where you end up just strolling. Beautiful.

And then the shopping, which I find hugely enervating. I’m not good at it.

But we got it done and I even got some gardening done this afternoon.

And that’s it. Gad! I fear my life is sounding madly dull.

And it is dull. But at the same time it isn’t because I am exactly where I need to be, doing what I need to be doing. Everything is right, even when at times it doesn’t feel like like it quite fits.

It is still utterly right.

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Domestic Day

I realized something odd today – I think for the first time in my life I’m achieving some kind of equilibrium – something that feels good.

I love the hard physical work and the joy and satisfaction I get from a hard day’s hiking – the beauty and exhilaration of being in the alpine. But I also love the work of being at home – of working in the garden and making our home warm, comfortable, inviting and beautiful.

I like that I have work to do.

I love that I have someone in my life to love and care about.

I love the trappings of domesticity.

I cherish all of it – the wild and the homey.

And I am so blessed to have it all – even more blessed that I have someone to share it with.

I took the camera out this afternoon to capture a bit of the comfort of and abundance of home.

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Mount Jardine

Dana, Cecilia and I headed up Mount Jardine today. Whew! What a day. There were a couple of times, I thought we’d call it and go back. I’ve seen blowdown before but this was massive – a huge mess of pickup sticks.

We went over and under and around. We crawled and did the limbo and tested every inch of flexibility we possessed. Finally getting into the snow was a huge relief!

Of course, all the blowdown hugely slowed us down. It took more than 3 hours to even get to the Jardine bowl.

And then, at the top, the black clouds rolled in – and the wind.

So we layered up, found a nice high spot for lunch and beetled back down. Yes, we had a brief shower and then we had to negotiate all that blowdown all over again.

As Cecilia said at the end of the day – it sure was a great workout!

Oh yeah!

I can’t even begin to count the scratches and bruises on my legs.

Oh well!

At least I don’t have to do it again any time soon.

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Still Raining

This is a much cheerier pic than what I could possibly post from today.

It’s raining.


And again.

But that’s okay – I don’t have to water!

The only problem is that I’ve been saying that last sentence almost every day for well over a month.


Still, I managed to get out in the garden a bit because the weeds love the rain. But so do seeds – so I planted nasturtium seeds in my new iris bed. The tiny, voracious slugs also love this weather. They are growing rapidly because they are so well fed – beans and lettuce. Yum!

And I am about to go out and pick more grape leaves because tonight: dolmades again! Damn – they were so good last time. We MUST have more.

So – off I go to pick leaves and radishes and lettuce and then to get my pack ready for tomorrow (should be epic!) and then dinner…

There is never really nothing to do.

In other news – the politics of earth are more insane every day. Simon and I watched “The Need to Grow” last night. Lovely film that only reinforced our direction.

I focus more and more on the small stuff – on the life I live and what is directly in front of me. At the same time, I find myself giving less and less of a s&^t what other people think of me or of my opinions.

Life is way to short for BS.

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Robins and Irises

For a while there we were worried.

This morning we looked up and there was a young robin perched uncertainly on our upper deck railing. The expression on his face was clear: “What? Me fly all the way over there? No way!”

He stayed there for a long time while his parents encouraged him to join his brother/sister who was already sitting on a nearby branch. He finally did. But then Simon checked the nest and there was still a little guy in there – quite a bit smaller than the other two. Uh-oh. A runt!

Were his parents going to abandon him? We formulated plans to dig up worms and feed him. But then – whew! Daddy was there, stuffing the little guy with grubs and worms.

We figure he may have been the last in line for food but now he’s getting plenty. And if the robins do what they did last year, they’ll raise a second brood as soon as these three are off on their own.

In other news, I got more straw today and dug up the massive irises that were tucked into the wilderness, growing wild for a decade at least. They now have a home in a new iris garden just below the roses and plum tree. I swear I never in my life aspired to have an iris garden, but you take what you get, and now we have a couple of dozen of them.

I have to admit, I love the way this garden is evolving organically. Simon has his “pet” shade garden as you come up the drive and it seems I now have a pet project as well – all the terraces rising up from the lower garden to the old cabin. I love how it’s taking shape.

We ate the first strawberries from our garden for breakfast this morning – beyond yummy!

Huge salad for dinner tonight: lettuce, radishes, and herbs from the garden – fresh sourdough bread from our oven.

And in further other news, I am of two minds about Canada Day, knowing that what we are celebrating is the colonization of a land that belonged (and still belongs) to others. As colonized nations go, this is a good one – but we must be aware and we have to make it right, if that is even possible. The First Nations have nothing to celebrate today. We stole all this from them. We impoverished them and subjugated them. We have a lot to make up for.

And maybe we could start with clean drinking water. And then, maybe we could do more than saying our ritual, “I acknowledge that we are holding this meeting on the unceded territory of (insert nation name).

Saying those pretty words is not enough.

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Garden Expansion

What to do on the day after hiking? Well, make your already rather large garden even bigger. After all, I don’t have enough weeding to do. May as well do more.

The irises that have somehow survived years, if not decades of neglect, will soon be moved into a new place where they won’t have to complete for root room (not much anyway) and where they are going to thrive like never before.

Honestly: I moved 5 bucketfulls of roots (comfrey!) out of the new bed. Now all I have to do is move the plants and get some more straw to put down on another new path.

So thrilled with how everything is doing. Oh yes – we are going to have the first strawberries of the season for breakfast tomorrow! Yes! From our garden!

Very soon, everything we eat will be from the garden!

It’s a wonderful antidote to politics – I get mildly annoyed (or a lot annoyed) and all I have to do is go into the garden and get to work and – peace.

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Lyle Lakes

Yes – this is going to be another one of those photo blogs – because it was a perfect day to head up to Lyle Lakes (and a bit beyond with some interesting scrambling involved): the sun was shining. It was warm. The bowl of the lakes was beautiful. The mountains all around were breathtaking – or, as Krista and I said at one point – words are not enough to express this beauty and bliss.

So – photos will have to do the talking.

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Between the raindrops

Thanks to Peter for this photo on Berkey Ridge (my name for it). It might be called Texas Ridge or Texas Bump – at any rate, the important thing is that it’s a gorgeous spot and it’s where we had lunch two days ago.

Tomorrow we are heading up to Lyle Lakes.

So far this summer feels like the one four years ago, get outside while you can – dodge the rain, the showers and the downpours. This summer, timing may well be everything.

Or, as I say to Simon almost every day, “Hey! We don’t have to water the garden!”

We spend some hours out there today. We are infatuated with our garden. Flowers are blooming everywhere – food is growing and our space continues to expand. It’s a beautiful thing.

And tomorrow – hiking!

Life is very good indeed.

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This is what I am doing today – among other things.

We have a grapevine – Simon’s pride and joy. I’m not much on grapes but then, it hit us: grapevine leaves! Dolmades!

Yes, we both love dolmades. I said I would make some. Simon insists that I said I would make them today.

So – thunder and rain coming down in buckets, and I mention to Simon that I think I will make dolmades tomorrow. He looks at me with utter disbelief: you said you would make them today!

No I didn’t.

Yes you did!


And you can guess where that went.

So Simon went out in the hugely pouring rain and cut leaves. Then he went to the store to get the few ingredients I didn’t have (allspice, mint, parsley…)

And I have just blanched the leaves.

I think we are having dolmades for dinner.

Lovely morning – Cathy and Nancy are in town and we had a super walk and garden visit!

Good day!

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