Thursday, July 27, 2017


"I ain't a man of constant sorrow
I ain't seen trouble all day long
We are only passengers on the last train to glory
That will soon be long, long gone

I want to hop on the last train in the station
Won't need to get yourself prepared
When you're on the last train to glory
You'll know you're reasonably there"

lyrics from Last Train 
as performed by Arlo Guthrie

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


"NOW when the time of fruit and grain is come,
When apples hang above the orchard wall,
And from the tangle by the roadside stream
A scent of wild grapes fills the racy air,
Comes Autumn with her sunburnt caravan,
Like a long gypsy train with trappings gay
And tattered colours of the Orient,"

from Autumn
by Bliss Carman

From 2014 trip home found on old memory card.


"What faint sweet song out of the turning years 
Is thine amid the myriad songs of earth? "

from The Hepatica
by Archibald Lampman

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Bull

"Up there far enough you might hear the world, not 
what people say."

from The Prof 
by William Stafford

Last week we saw  a young bear on the point that juts out into the slough to the left of the cabin, the second bear we have seen there this summer. I did not get a good photo. Last night my wife pointed out that there was a moose on the right side of the slough. The ability to see these animals for our porch is one of the glories of this location.








"Cocked in that land tactile as leaves
wild things wait crouched in those valleys
west of your city outside your lives"

from Midwest 
by William Stafford



Friday, July 21, 2017

"I go and lie down where the wood drake 
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. 
I come into the peace of wild things 
who do not tax their lives with forethought 
of grief. I come into the presence of still water."

from The Peace of Wild Thing
by Wendell Berry

(trouble with font spacing today sorry)

Yesterday having run out of paint for the farm, we are redoing the outbuildings red with white trim, and having heard we were getting a storm today, one inch so far and no end in sight, we went bird watching. We headed out toward two historically Ukrainian/Canadian towns, Krydor and Hafford. More on these towns in a later post. One advantage to heading in this direction is the A&M

Bistro Bakery in Hafford. I am in no way associated with this enterprise, okay
(while in town we did purchase a ceramic rooster from people who professed to be their relatives at a yard sale, and we did have their cinnamon buns for breakfast) but my endorsement is based solely on merit.

http://www.bakeryinhaffordsk.ca/about/


The other reason for heading in this direction is a series of sloughs, we were hoping to see shorebirds and we learned last year birds here leave early.


We only saw one, shore bird. 


We did see some interesting ducks.
A Mallard? mom and brood.



One slough had both Redheads and Canvasbacks
hanging out together.





And we saw Ring-necked ducks at several sloughs
thanks Helen for the quick ID.





So it was a wonderful trip, we have not seen much less
photographed most of these duck species recently, and 
we still have cinnamon buns for tomorrow.



"From troubles of the world I turn to ducks,
Beautiful comical things
Sleeping or curled
Their heads beneath white wings
By water cool,
Or finding curious things
To eat in various mucks
Beneath the pool,"

from Ducks
by Frank W. Harvey




Thursday, July 20, 2017


" We come into life with nothing and gradually we build 
up the vast, rich world of the self: language and knowledge 
and relationships and belongings and experience and 
memory and love. Above all, memory and love. "

from Words fail us: dementia and the arts
by Nicci Gerrard

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/jul/19/dementia-and-the-arts-fiction-films-drama-poetry-painting

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

After a trip to an art exhibit in Rosthern, 
we had a lovely lunch as well, (see the
b & w photos,). We crossed the mighty
North Saskatchewan River on the 
Wingard ferry which is free, holds up to 
six cars and is a trip of several minutes.











Viewing these photos I think of other
journeys.

"Imagine that you see the wretched 
strangers,
Their babies at their backs and their poor 
luggage,
Plodding to the ports and coasts for 
transportation,
And that you sit as kings in your desires . . .
What had you got? I’ll tell you: you had 
taught
How insolence and strong hand should 
prevail,
How order should be quelled; and by this 
pattern
Not one of you should live an aged man,
For other ruffians, as their fancies wrought,
With self same hand, self reasons, and self 
right,
Would shark on you, and men like 
ravenous fishes
Would feed on one another."

from the New Yorker, If you Prick Us, 
July 10 & 17, 2017
article by Stephen. Greenblatt, 

The quote's possible attribution, an
unpublished work by William Shakespeare 
from a play on Thomas More

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Hayfield


"The least little sound sets the coyotes walking,
walking the edge of our comfortable earth.
We look inward, but all of them
are looking toward us as they walk the earth."



Photo taken in the hayfield last Aug. early Sept, 2016.

"Coyotes are circling around our truth."

from Outside
by William Stafford

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Green

"I REMEMBER long veils of green rain
Feathered like the shawl of my grandmother-
Green from the half-green of the spring trees
Waving in the valley"

from Green Rain
by Dorothy Livesay


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Fires - Heat

" The sun is axeman among dry 
Slashings: he would clear 
Kindling from the rocky hills " 

Blue Jay in Haliburton 
D.G. Jones 

Still really hot here.

Last night after a lovely meal and visit with the in-laws we
were heading home, okay a couple of quarters down the road, 
when we noticed the most beautiful sunset. This is probably
the result  of enormous forest fires in BC, a couple of provinces
over. In 2015 fires some 500 miles north of us in La Rounge
Sask. meant the first few weeks of our first extended stay
at the cabin were quite smoky. Last year we saw some smoke
 from BC fires on the way back to Alberta, and of course there
was the huge fire in Fort McMurray in May before we came out. 
We have not smelt smoke this year but last night's sunset was
spectacular.




"I summon up the roller-coasting south, 
Cry birth day to the lion sun."

from Genii
by Dorthy Livesay

Friday, July 7, 2017

Franklins amid the moths


"I lean at rest, and drain the heat;
Nay more, I think some bless├Ęd power
Hath brought me wandering idly here:
In the full furnace of this hour
My thoughts grow keen and clear."

from Heat
by Archibald Lampman

Very hot here today.

              Wednesday evening we noticed a small flock of Franklin Gulls
swooping through the meadow and skimming over the tops of
the poplars. You can see the trees on the left are green and 
heathy, these were the trees the gulls were attending. The distant
trees on the right were stripped early in the spring by Tent Caterpillers.
They are just starting to green up now. However using binoculars my
wife could see that a large concentration of the moths had appeared
above the green trees nearby and these were the targets of the gulls.
This behaviour continued for about 30 minutes.










All things are plotting to make us whole 
All things conspire to make us one.

Gwendolyn MacEwen

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Blue Explosion


"This land like a mirror turns you inward

And you become a forest in a furtive lake;
The dark pines of your mind reach downward,
You dream in the green of your time,
Your memory is a row of sinking pines."


from Dark Pines Under Water

by Gwendolyn MacEwen





"Then morning showed
Infinity's proportions,
The proper height of sky.

Becoming small,  
We were grown up again."

from Growing Up
by Dorothy Livesay


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Good morning starshine The earth says hello


"And up on the hills against the sky,
A fir tree rocking its lullaby,
Swings, swings,
Its emerald wings,
Swelling the song that my paddle sings."

from The Song My Paddle Sings
by Emily Pauline Johnson

Today we paddled across the Banana Slough and dragged
the canoe a short distance to the much larger slough next to it.
This will be the first of several posts as it was a productive
trip. We have canoed for hours in the larger slough several 
times but this was the first time we have seen moose. We first
encountered a female then a male both reclining in the water
probably to escape bugs. Both my wife and I initially thought 
the females ears were the wings of some bird trapped in 
the branches, odd but we both first interpreted the movement 
as wings.

The female stayed in place regarding us for some time, the
male we encountered later, moved off before I could get a
good photo. We were very pleased to have been so close to 
female. And seeing two moose was a real treat.






"Nor dares complete the sweet embrace.
Into the hollow hearts of brakes,

Yet warm from sides of does and stags,

Pass'd to the crisp dark river flags;
Sinuous, red as copper snakes,
Sharp-headed serpents, made of light,
Glided and hid themselves in night."


from Said the Canoe
by Isabella Valancy Crawford 

The Drink

"What I believe is
All animals have one soul.

Over the land they love
They crisscross forever.

from Climbing along the River
by William Stafford