forest

surfacing

It has again been ages.

Spring rushed by and summer has been upon us already.

Or so it seems. I'm not used to sandals in April.

Some things that have brightened my week: a fish jumping / a seal surfacing / the morning sun bright on the water / the breakfast sandwich at dak / coffee (always) / three herons - flying, standing, stealthing

Saturday: good family and good food, brunch and gelato in the sun, time together. A walk around Durrance Lake: lizards / columbine / wild geranium / people fishing / shining water / green trees / apple blossoms / shade under the trees / moss and lichen / black and white moth / blue butterflies / huckleberry / ferns unfurling fiddleheads / rock ferns / trilliums in flower / vanilla leaf or deerfoot / blue sky overhead / praying for rain

Sunday up-island at the farm: good friends and good food, picnic in the sun-shade grass, deviled eggs, exploring expeditions in creekbeds and over fields, skirting nettle. wisps of cloud in plumes - feathers - mares' tails in hot blue sky / tall trees - bare dry limbs / chickens / salmonberry / currant / elder / green grass and ladybugs / red-breasted sapsucker / reddish snails in the dry creek bed / giant old trees - ancient fir - rough cork bark peeling

(when short on time, lists.) ps. there are saffron clusters of ladybug eggs spangling the white bark of our birch tree - I discovered them yesterday

 

away

I work downtown. We live in a quiet neighborhood not far from town. This is all very well for walking to work along the seawall and having easy access to excellent bookstores and chocolateries, but I have spent most of my life falling asleep to the sounds of treefrogs and owls, rain and wind. The city traffic and sirens and busyness can be overwhelming. Sometimes I need to get away. Anywhere with forest or open water and quiet will do. On one such day recently, we headed out for a hike in the highlands. I wore gumboots and brought an apple and a lump of cheese, and couldn't resist looking for hedgehog mushrooms even though I know it's still too early for them there.

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nettles

I feel like I've been away for ages; so much has happened in the past week. I went to Salt Spring Island and spent a relaxing day with my mum, and fell asleep listening to tree frogs singing to each other in the arbutus forest, a wash of pinprick stars in the skylight above me. Yesterday, we went up to the farm and Jer dug us some rhubarb while I picked nettle in a clearing. I picked slowly and selectively, soaking up the peaceful energy of the forest, and still got two full bags. The tender tops, picked before the leaves droop past three o'clock, are lovely fried or sautéed, in soups or spanekopita, or dried for tea. My favorite tea blend consists of generous pinches of nettle, peppermint and raspberry.

Easter came at the bakery in a frenzy of hot cross buns. There was also chocolate bread, and kugelhopf, and lulls in the lineups.

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sound in the forest

One of my favorite things about my days off is having real breakfasts. I like to soak 1/3 cup steel cut oats in 1/3 cup water and a spoonful of yogurt overnight then cook it in 1/3 cup water the next morning. And I like to make coffee. Very much. Lately before work I've just been making toast to bring with me and most of it ends up quite cold and chewy before I get to it. Waking up even earlier, even for something as glorious as breakfast is so not happening though. Good thing I've been applying for work hither and thither these past few days. Hopefully something better will come up soon. I've been thinking about things I could do that would actually be fulfilling, and while I haven't seen them in the job postings yet I still have hope. Illustrating children's books would be delightful. Reading books and finding every typo and spelling mistake and forming opinions would be right up my alley as well. Something creative, please... I went for a walk near MacKenzie Bight in the highlands with my brother this afternoon. It rained on the way there, but under the canopy the trees were only dripping. I sometimes miss the chilly, crystalline magic of the forests in the Kootenays under their winter snow. There, silence reigns except the occasional clumps of snow falling. The sun comes in sideways and catches the rough snow crystals, the whole forest peaceful and glittering. Here, the thought of winter seems far. The forest is full of sounds. First, the pitter-pat of rain on leaves, then gurgling and rushing as we neared a small rivulet. The gurgles faded down the path behind us and a few steps later new burbles announced the next stream. In one spot, various streams had converged and taken over the paths. This is where we turned around. The roar of the waterfall almost masked the sound of soft raindrops on the small pool at the top of the falls. Over it all, but woven into the louder stream sounds and only evident where the raindrops, the breeze and the leaves were the only backdrop, the clomping of our wet boots. Modern humans are so inelegant in the forest.

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