Thursday, June 3, 2021

Cabin June 3 2021


Last year we did not stay at the cabin. Instead we spent two weeks at the farm and the rest of the time in Calgary. We have been here a week and I have some observations. It is incredibly dry. We have noticed green popular leaves falling from the trees and blowing in the wind. I have only seen one Franklin’s Ground Squirrel in front of the cabin. Whether the colony has been reduced or whether some are  still denning I cannot say. We have not seen the Snowshoe Hare so far. For many years we only saw one. Two years ago we had a pair who produced several litters. Typically they take longer to habituate to the presence of us, dogs included. (one just showed up and was soundly barked at)  I have not seen a Red Squirrel but we can hear them. I have seen a couple of Least Chipmunks.


Red Necked Grebes have nested in the slough in front of the cabin every year we have been here. This year the only visible nest seems low in the water  and I have only seen one bird so I wonder if something has happened. There seem to be more species of ducks at least visiting the slough including Scaups, Canvasbacks, Buffleheads, Goldeneye, Mallards, Blue Winged Teal, and a pair of Ring Necked Ducks which is a new species for us. We have seen the Bald Eagle, Turkey Vultures and Franklin’s Gulls flying overhead. The first morning we were here I photographed a female Oriole on the porch and one or more pairs has been around most days. We also have had Hummingbirds, Goldfinches, Chickadees, and a female Rose-breasted Grosbeck at the feeders. There are Phoebes and a Robin nesting on the cabin. Again there do not seem to be any Barn Swallows. We have had three pairs nesting on the cabin in one year in the past. There appear to be Tree Swallows by the hayfield, as well as Kildeer, Song, Vesper and White-throated sparrows, a Catbird and a Great Blue Heron. The beavers are omnipresent the number of trees continue to decline. 

I initially came to western Canada to participate in an archaeological field school excavating at Fort George, a Northwest Company post. Every year at the cabin I try to read some history books to expend my knowledge of the subject. Primarily these books focus the fur trade in western Canada and the culture and history of the indigenous people of Western Canada including the events of the North-West Rebellion. Sadly the discovery in Kamloops did not come as a great surprise to me. I would recommend the book Loyal till Death Indians and the North-West Rebellion by Blair Stonechild and Bill Waiser if you want to get a sense of the attitudes leading up to the situation we find ourselves today. I am currently reading Waiser’s A World We have Lost  Saskatchewan Before 1905. 

Saturday, May 22, 2021

We are heading to the cabin soon. And Helen is busy with other plans as well so after a long fairly quiet period. we may be busy.


By this time next week we should be settled in a the cabin. 
Hopefully I will be updating my blog more regularly then as well.

"Life is a long walk forward through the crowded cars 
of a passenger train, the bright world racing past beyond 
the windows, people on either side of the aisle, strangers 
whose stories we never learn, dear friends whose names 
we long remember and passing acquaintances whose
names and faces we take in like a breath and soon
breathe away."

from Local Wonders
Ted Kooser

Friday, April 23, 2021

Old photos new quote

 Paula Gunn Allen

"We are the land… that is the fundamental idea embedded in Native American life… the Earth is the mind of the people as we are the mind of the earth. The land is not really the place (separate from ourselves) where we act out the drama of our isolate destinies… It is rather a part of our being, dynamic, significant, real. It is our self… It is not a matter of being 'close to nature'… The Earth is, in a very real sense, the same as our self (or selves)

Saturday, April 3, 2021

"Nothing There: The Late Poetry of John Koethe" by Robert Hahn

 "And that is why artists keep trying—to speak to something beyond the confines of the page, to move the stars to pity."

from "Nothing There: The Late Poetry of John Koethe" by Robert Hahn

 I am thinking about poetry and that can only be a good thing.

Friday, April 2, 2021

“Whatever peace I know rests in the natural world, in feeling myself a part of it, even in a small way.” ― May Sarton


This summer we will return to the cabin. 
Hopefully the beavers will have left us a tree or two.

“For any writer who wants to keep a journal, 
be alive to everything, not just to what you're feeling, 
but also to your pets, to flowers, to what you're reading.” 

May Sarton

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Whateley and the snow cone

 "The snow came down last night like moths
Burned on the moon; it fell till dawn,
Covered the town with simple cloths."

from First Snow in Alsace
Richard Wilbur

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

It looks like we can spend some time at the cabin this summer.

"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