Happy Easter.

1 happy easterHappy Easter!

3 snowy aspens

2 snow and pussy willowsOn my way home from meeting Harry’s Rescuer (see previous post) I picked up the first volunteers of the season.  Johannes and Hannah are from Germany.  The most important job at the moment is burning brush.  There is only a narrow window between when it is dry enough to burn and when it becomes too dry.  The continuous dumps of snow are helping to extend the season.

Most of the Easter snow melted by the end of the day, but it is not very warm.  I plan on putting a yurt on this site.

4 HannahThese guys are exceptional workers.

5 Johannes

6 bothWe let the celebrations of Easter pass us by – but the Easter bunny came.  The dogs caught it and ate it.

7 easter bunnyThe ponds were all open further east and south, but there were surprisingly few birds on them.  Is it because the birds haven’t figured the early spring out yet, or is it because they’ve already passed by.  My pond and the local lakes are still frozen.  However, there is bird movement.

Crow:

8 crowFlicker trying to accommodate himself to the suet cage:

9 flickerEaster, of course, is timed to coincide with the full moon.  At last we had enough clear sky to make it work!

10 moon 1

11 moon 2

12 moon 3

 

 

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Where Harry Was Born

 

DR and dogsAlthough Harry has not been very diligent in writing his memoirs this winter, I wanted to meet his rescuer and see where he was born.  DR has rescued hundreds of animals both wild and tame.  All locals know that, if there is an animal in trouble, they should contact DR.  She lives in Spences Bridge. (The third dog belongs to my hosts.)

DR and dogs 2Needless to say, when I set off on my 7-hour journey, it was snowing again.  All the signs were plastered – one could only guess what they said!.The skin of slush and snow was very slick.  Deer kept leaping from the roadside.

1 snow to Ws LkTowards Williams Lake, I finally dropped out of it.

2 Bull CanyonSouth of Williams Lake, I soon entered the dry central interior of BC.  The snow was now only a small skiff high on the mountain tops.

4 rocks above townSpences Bridge used to be an important railway town.  Its straggling, funky buildings are jammed in a narrow line between Highway 1 and the railroad.  The railroad abuts the Fraser River, and on the far side is another railway line and another road, squeezed in before the dry mountains soar again.

3 spences bridgeIt is warm down there!

5 new leavesApricot blossoms

7 apricotsAnd everywhere, millions of saskatoons in flower.

6 saskatoon 1Harry, however, wasn’t rescued in Spences Bridge but in Lytton, 35 km further south.  We plunged into the canyon.

8 fraser river 1

9 fraser river 2I was thrilled to see the balsamroot daisies out!

10 balsam root daisiesI gave a slide show to a school on the reserve.  Then Harry’s rescuer took me to the place where he hung out after he was abandoned.  First we had to cross the river by a ferry that was tied to cables stretched across the river, and driven by the river’s current.

11 ferry 1

ferry timetableThe river is high right now, and if there are too many logs whirling down it, the ferry has to stop.  Here’s a river Ogopogo.

river ogopogoThe ferry takes 2 small cars or one larger vehicle.

ferry - 2 carsAcross the river was the place where Harry hung out. The light on the Saskatoons was lovely.

saskatoon 2 An RCMP officer told DR about Harry. She took him home, where she already had 9 other dogs and various other animals.

harry's homeHarry spent several months there before he was flown to me at Anahim Lake.  DR loved this place, but the landlord sold it to a composting company.  Vancouver’s difficult-to-compost food waste is dumped here.  It is very well managed, but the smell is not too great.  So DR now lives in Spences Bridge.  It was great to meet everyone and get all this background material.

On my way home, I got a new dog.

new dogDo you recognize him?  It is Badger – he’s been shaved!  I took both dogs to LA Doggy Shop in Williams Lake.  They advertise that no dog is too big or dirty.  They spent hours brushing Harry out.  He had to have his belly shaved but he looks beautiful.  It was easier to deal with Badger by shaving him all over.  I had it done now as I figured if they were too naked during bug season, they would be tormented.  This way the hair will grow back enough to protect them.  It was quite warm when I left, but of course, when I got home, it snowed again.

2 dogs

 

 

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The Snow, At Last, Is Going.

1 bare ground out of windowThe snow at last is going.  I loosed the chains of winter.

2 loosed chainsBut back it came.

3 FALLING SNOWThe geese are trying to get north.

4 GOOSE IN SNOWWhen it cleared, it turned to rain.

6 rainNext day was foggy.

5 Finger Peak peekingThe next day, the mountains could not be seen, but a gleam of sun enriched the wet trees.

7 rich colours

The temperature dropped, and in the shade the raindrops had turned to ice.

8 frozen raindropsUp onto the north bluffs I went.

9 bluffs 1The naked sand is patterned by the wind and rain.

10 sand patternsWhat a change to walk on quiet, soft ground.  Here is a recent moose track.

11 moose trackAnd a much rarer sight – a caribou track.

12 cariboo trackThis burned stump yielded an unexpected lichen garden.

13 lichen garden 1

14 lichen garden 2Time to go home and beat the next bit of weather.

15 dunes 2

 

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Windowsill Salads: Growing Sprouts and Microgreens

READY TO GRAZEWhen you live, like I do, with the ground frozen for half the year, and a many-hour drive to the nearest supermarket, windowsill salads, growing sprouts and microgreens, are life-savers.  Apart from the delectable taste of organic fresh greens, the plant, at its sprouting stage, is jam-packed with nutrients at a far greater density than at any other  time of its life.

This 25-page book is lavishly illustrated.

radish etc soaking

full jar

To purchase as an instant download, go to the headings at the top of this page: Shop  —–  E-books  ——-  Windowsill Salads, Growing Sprouts and Microgreens.  It is set up for you to pay with Paypal upon which you would receive the book instantly!

Or you can purchase with this link.

If you don’t want to be bothered with Paypal, email me via the contact form.  You will have to either direct deposit into my bank, or send me a cheque!

 

 

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Equinox

2 junco snowingTypical of the Equinox – the weather doesn’t know what it wants to do.  A lot of the time, the ground is pretty much bare around the house, but it keeps snowing.  We’ve had several skiffs, and two bigger falls.  When the ground is open, the birds mostly seek food elsewhere.  When it snows, they flock to the feeder.  Juncos have very long feet.

3 junco printsBut the stars of the performance are the redwing blackbirds.

5 blackbird fruit jpgThere are now about 30 (still all male), and their testosterone level is climbing, so they fight!

6 blackbird fight 1

7 blackbird fight 1a

8 blackbird fight 2

9 blackbird fight 3I must have a sadistic streak, because I enjoy this!  Other birds are tumbling in on the warmer days. Flicker, savannah sparrow, crows (only ravens around in the winter) and hawks.  Robins and varied thrushes appeared a few days before they started to sing.

49b robinAnd in the trees was a ruffed grouse.  In winter sometimes I see spruce grouse, but the ruffed grouse arrive with the spring.

9a ruffed grouseA few days ago, I thought I’d better check when the time change was going to be.  I found out that it had happened nearly two weeks before!  The battery in the watch I keep around, without really looking at it much, had died.  If I want to know the time, I have to switch on the computer.

The mountains play peek-a-boo with the clouds,

12a bit of middle mtDespite this somewhat cooler weather, the snow is going.

10 goat barnThaw patterns are happening.

11 thaw patternThe river is filling and turning brown.

12 riverOn cloudy, moonless mornings, the bare ground around my house makes the world seem very dark.  Only the frozen pond and the slab of snow under the spruces across the wetland gleam faintly, like the Cheshire cat’s grin.

However, spring is definitely on its way.  On the sunniest banks, new leaves are poking through the winter debris. (This is jacob’s ladder.)

12b jacobs ladderAnd the biggest prize of all, on the very warmest spot – Dandelions!

12c dandelionsMy very first wild salad!

Then, one morning, it was sparkling clear.  This has been a rarity for weeks.

14 sunriseIf I wanted to walk easily, I would have to leave early while the frost made the snow hard.

The creek flowing into the pond was full.

15 blue creekSpring open water always looks so beautiful against the ice.

16 open creek

One group of willows always turns marvelously red.

16b red willows

The forest still has quite a bit of snow in it, and in places it is still a foot deep.

18 deep snow in bushI want to put a trail through here, and thought I’d better flag it while I could still find my snowshoe tracks.  Along the route, there is a viewpoint.

18a my house through treesI don’t know if you can see it, but my house is in the middle distance, almost completely hidden by pines.  If you look at the second aspen from the left, you will see 3 short, parallel branches near the bottom on its right hand side.  My house is half way between the third branch and the fourth.

The trail comes onto my neighbour’s road.  The ploughed areas are drying up pretty well.

19 road

Then I turn up onto the south bluffs.

19 river and mtsA little further on, I can look down onto my other neighbours’ house.  (In the middle distance, close to the river.)  It is also for sale.

20 neighbours' houseBut that was the end of the really good weather.  Cloud built up by the end of the day, and this morning, it was raining.

13 rainbow

 

 

 

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