Saturday, October 2, 2021

Snow geese on the way home

 We returned to Calgary in mid Sept to vote. The last day we also had our first really chilly night after a summer of drought and heat. We had hoped to see the huge flocks of snow geese sweeping south but that is always a tossup between when they appear and when we have to leave. We were really pleased to see some on the drive home. 

"Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, 
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting - 
over and over announcing your place 
in the family of things."

from "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver

Monday, September 6, 2021

Beaver Hateman (An Uncle reference sorry)

 Helen and I have not walked around the property much this year. We take the dogs down the lane thru the trees and across the hay field, left fallow this year, which given the drought, was a great decision by Ralph, to the grid road. Otherwise we have stayed by the cabin. The other day we went along the edge of the Banana slough, named for it’s shape, although I think it looks more like a fencing staple, but that is not as poetic. We wanted to see the fall colour which is just starting. We also saw how the water level has fallen. We followed paths created by  the beavers who continue to make great inroads into our trees. The spit of land with the spruce trees was entirely covered by poplar when we bought the land from Ralph about 12 years ago. Also you could not see the slough by the lease which is now clearly visible to the right. This extends the view but also cut down on the trees available to thee birds, makes it hard to move around and hurts the security of the cabin a bit since it is much more visible. It will be interesting to see what the drought does to the beaver population which has risen steadily since the last drought ended. Otters have also moved into this general area and they will prey on the beavers kits. However I am not sure the farm has any habitat that would attract them. 

And rather that a quote a link to information about the Uncle books.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

It's been an odd summer


It has been an odd summer. Broken up by trips back to Calgary, heat domes, the drought, wasps and some personal matters I will not go into, we did not do many of the things we had planned. We did not make paths around the back slough, hook up the water system and install the grey water tank. We never got the canoe to the slough though whether the water level was high enough anyway is questionable. We did manage a lovely week in Grasslands Park which is another post or two.

It seems when we leave in a few weeks we will have again cancelled our travel plans but that is fine. More time to fuss with dogs and books and craft projects I really mean to start this time.

It is fall now, a couple days of rain mean the water tanks are full for the first time this year. All but one or two of the Franklin's Ground Squirrels have turned in. But we also had our first Thirteen-lined ground squirrel under the feeder. The White Throated Sparrows that have been lurking in the grass all summer are now jostling there with the chipmunks. Chickadees now seem to outnumber everything else but the drought has also meant we have shorebirds skirting the edge of the slough. This morning I started a fire to take the chill off before the family was up, caught the sunlight thru the smoke and startled a heron eying the ducklings. 

"one side so far from the other
it is impossible
to see across
without stepping out
                              onto a slick, tight rope,"

from (Re)conciliation by Cindy Clarke
Within These Lines

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Grasslands Park Last week and I will start updating again.


"do u understand what heaven is it is the surround of the living" 

James Merrill

The Changing Light at Sandover

Saturday, July 24, 2021

I can snap them for the porch. Mocking me, while the family hauls away my trees one twig at a time.


"Cocked in that land tactile as leaves
wild things wait crouched in those valleys
west of your city outside your lives
in the ultimate wind, the whole land's wave. 
Come west and see; touch these leaves." 

from Midwest
by William Stafford

Sunday, July 18, 2021

If you took an Uber in Washington, D.C., a couple of years ago, there was a chance your driver was one of the greatest living Uyghur poets.


Let there be a man who lived through the winter
Let him fill his inner pocket with rain
and find a farmer
sowing his fields with wind seeds
and let him say to the farmer: “Here I am.”

Three Poems by Tahir Hamut Izgil

Atlantic article.