Friday, September 28, 2007

Going, going, gone.......

James caught this little fellow contemplating his breakfast. He (or she) is a Merlin, quite a small hawk but a bit bigger than a kestrel. "Breakfast" is a native sparrow of some sort, as opposed to an English sparrow which isn't.
Fall is truly upon us now. Last week was warm and on the first official day of autumn it turned cold enough we've been having fires in the wood stove in the morning. Driving home today flocks of little birds wheeled overhead on the wind like the scattering leaves. It's amazing how many leaves can be blowing with the trees still full. The dazzling colours aren't here quite yet but they are coming.
The hornets were so plentiful and aggressive this summer that these cooler days are welcome. Many afternoons we spent on the deck enjoying the shade but armed with two of those electric tennis racket zappers. This was not an easy summer.
Tonight the deck is wet and black with rain. After such a hot dry summer rain is welcome. I'd love a good dousing and then a nice "Indian Summer."
James has been painting sunflowers and pumpkins in honour of the season and on Monday we drove to Sirdar on Duck Lake and, with a couple other local artists, scrambled down the little goat trail of a path to the shore where they painted the row boats tied up at the water's edge.
Duck Lake is part of the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area, a wildlife refuge and jewel of our valley. It is home to many species of nesting birds, water fowl in particular, and a great Bass fishing lake to boot.
This week James has also been starting wine. All summer he got up early to pick the blackberries before the hornets could turn them to mush and before the deer picked them. He picked them a couple cups at a time and stowed them away in the freezer. Now he has a batch of blackberry wine and one of blackcurrant wine on the go. We know more than at his first attempt over 30 years ago. We will be patient.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Time sure flies when you're having fun, or otherwise.....

Oh my, somehow the summer has escaped us!
When last I wrote the ArtWalk was just beginning and now this year's is over and the planning begins.
James' class went very well and he is sure it is something he'd like to repeat in the future. He had a small group, 3 women, but they were keen.
We had my 40 year high school reunion and it is a happy blur. Tomorrow I will mail out the remaining class photos and memory books. We've decided 10 years is too long to wait for the next one and will plan to meet again in 5 years.
I had yet another hand surgery just a week before the reunion so I got out of moving tables and the like! It will be at least another month before I can get back in the shop but there are still things to occupy my time!
We have emptied the living area of my mother's mobile home so we could rent it out to a little family. That was quite the job for James and I and the sorting isn't done yet.
I am hoping to get some sewing done. It is the reward I give myself for finishing things and so little gets finished these days.
The picture is of a fellow artist painting at our mutual friends' garden. In that James was taking the pictures he failed to get one of himself.
Fall is coming. We've had cedar bugs for a while now and the hornets are relentless. I think our little hill is the brownest in all the valley. The leaves on the Ocean Spray turn a wonderful burnt sienna late in summer and their blossoms become panicles of brown tiny star shaped seeds. I understand the native peoples ground them for flour.