Saturday, September 29, 2018

Packing Up

The snow I photographed Monday Sept 17th finished our summer at the cabin. It had become increasingly cold (about 10-15 degrees celsius below the seasonal average), and despite the fact that the fall colour was just beginning and the migration of birds was still beautifully evident, we packed up and were on the road by Tuesday.

"The music seemed to him oddly unartificial. It made him think of trees swept by the wind, of night breezes singing among wires and chimney-stacks, or in the rigging of invisible ships; or — and the simile leaped up in his thoughts with a sudden sharpness of suggestion — a chorus of animals, of wild creatures, somewhere in desolate places of the world, crying and singing as animals will, to the moon. He could fancy he heard the wailing, half-human cries of cats upon the tiles at night, rising and falling with weird intervals of sound, and this music, muffled by distance and the trees, made him think of a queer company of these creatures on some roof far away in the sky, uttering their solemn music to one another and the moon in chorus."

from Ancient Sorceries (John Silence)
by Algernon Blackwood

While picking up the canoe we encountered a flock of Eastern Bluebirds and while the photo is not great I thought I  would share it.

Monday, September 17, 2018

And it's a very wild wood today

Scenic, but snow when trees are still leafed out will do some damage.
And we will be packing up today rather than Wed.

"One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,"

from The Snow Man
by Wallace Stevens

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Evening Flight

"Where the names float like birds, and all desire dies,
And the life we longed for finds us at the end."

from A Substitute for Time
by John Koethe

Friday, September 14, 2018

"These were the lonely hours, when at last she could let down from the work of the day, when she could stand there and feel the wind touch her hair, when she could look at the bright, silent stars, and hear a coyote’s plaintive cry come from far out on the plain."

from Conagher: 
by Louis L'Amour

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Spirit Coyote, or my camera did not focus

‘Hindsight can be brilliantly incisive, and never misses the banana skins of existence.

from Brass Man 
by Neil Asher

Monday, September 10, 2018

Evening Drive

"For the texture of this life is like a field of stars 
In which the past is hidden in a tracery 
Looming high above our lives, a tangle of bright moments"

from A Substitute for Time
by John Koethe

Sunday, September 9, 2018

A view from the porch

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

James Merrill

Saturday, September 8, 2018

View of the chute the beavers use to harvest tree branches; with figure

"A figure in a landscape: strip the artifacts away 
And leave a habitat composed of water,
trees, and glaciated soil."

from The Interior of the Future
by John Koethe

Well maybe not trees. The beavers, in the 5-6 years the cabin has been completed, a period coinciding with higher water levels, have taken down thousands of trees. There are three beaver lodges nearby and so the attack has come from every direction. While they are fun to watch and their efforts have opened some unexpected vista's, moving thru the felled trees is a challenge. The bird habitat is reduced and the more highly visible cabin a bit of a security risk. My brother-in-law an expert in everything beaver tells me that they will eventually take all the nearby trees and move on. He also refers to them as nature's little wonders. However by that point we will be a moonscape with tripping hazards. I placed wire around some trees, an expensive solution and we have also brought in spruce seedlings, since beaver are less likely to eat them. But to some extent we have to try to imagine a different landscape than the beautiful poplar grove we started with. The sloughs are often surrounded by drowned trees from rising water levels as well. As they obtain their water via groundwater, rain and snow melt the beavers do not build dams here and probably do not influence the levels much. Some 15 years ago the sloughs began to dry up, some completely and the populations of beavers and species of ducks like Blue Winged Teals crashed. The beavers have come back with a vengeance pushing into new areas in a competition for space and harvesting wider areas around the sloughs.

I have mentioned the rather pivotable role beavers have played in my life in an earlier post here.

But I wish they were a bit neater. 

And attempts at negotiation are going no better than those with the tent caterpillars earlier in the summer.


Image from ISFDB website. 

Illustration Future Future Fiction, Number One, Nov. 1939 

Friday, September 7, 2018

Today, Friday, Sept 7th, Sandhill Cranes

"In a world which is its own motto: 
The bright colors of the trees 
And the mild brilliance of the mind 
In autumn, and the yearlong helplessness. 
Each thing speaks for itself 
But with so much room around every word"

from Objects in Autumn
by John Koethe

Thursday, September 6, 2018

'There may be various ways to organize 
one’s story, structuring it 
By place-names or by people or 
by poems, instead of incidents 
And years, yet all of them seem equal in 
the end.'

from La Duree
by Koethe, John. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

" A life's partitions are internal to it,
and of no significance beyond its course."

from La Duree
by John Koethe

Monday, September 3, 2018

This is a Wild Wood indeed.

The Crooked TreesCrooked BushTwisted Trees or the Crooked Trees of Alticane are a grove of deformed trembling aspen trees of type Populus tremuloides Michx. found in SaskatchewanCanada. They are found approximately twenty kilometers north-north-west of the town of Hafford, Saskatchewan and just over five kilometers south-west of Alticane.
The trees, prominent in Saskatchewan folklore, are dramatically different from the un-twisted aspens just across the road. Explanations have been offered which include various paranormal factors. However, cuttings from these trees, propagated in Manitoba, exhibit the same pattern of twisted growth, suggesting that the cause is rooted in genetics, possibly the result of a mutation.[1][2]

"Whenever one drifted petal leaves the tree- 
Though white of bloom as it had been before 
And proudly waitful of fecundity- 
One little loveliness can be no more; 
And so must Beauty bow her imperfect head 
Because a dream has joined the wistful dead! "

from A Dream Lies Dead
by Dorothy Parker

And if you visit, stop at the A&M Bistro and Bakery in Hafford
for soup and a sandwich, at the best lunch spot on the prairies
 And take home some baking.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

While we have stayed here in late August before this is the first year we have heard geese calling loudly from the far slough. This year we did not see many swallows around the cabin, some of their nests occupied by phoebes instead. There were also very few snakes in the hay field and none by the cabin. Each year is different, but some creatures are so entrenched within oure sense of place that their absence is like notes missing from a favourite tune. A discord season.

"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