Tag Archives: nature

Vitamin N

And dead mice!

When I was little, outside play and dirt were the norms. Summers at the ocean were driven by my mom saying “get outside and play, don’t come back until lunch”  Wouldn’t happen today.


Our youngest grand was here this last week unexpectedly  because her sister was in the hospital. She is not used to being by herself. She is quite resourceful and loves to play outside, soaking up Vitamin N(ature). Dirty to her means the opportunity for a bath, (“can I have colours”) at bedtime.  Friends? Way too many friends here.


And dirt! Sand to be particular.  It goes in your Crocs and it comes out, too.


Oh,  and the dead mice. We have  a problem with mice in the barn, but the cats are on it. As for this little fellow, well, he lost his importance to real goats and chickens. Sometimes the Disney variety just doesn’t cut it. They get abandoned.


When the play is over, the only thing left to do is go in for lunch!


It Takes A Gaggle

To raise goslings.







Angels In Your Head

“You wouldn’t believe what once or twice I have seen.  I’ll just tell you this: only if there are angels in your head will you ever, possibly, see one.”  – Mary Oliver


I consider eagles a spirit animal and I wear an aboriginal carved silver bracelet with an eagle on it always. I am very lucky to have the company of 46 eagles on my hikes with the dogs in January and into February. Wilderness is not a luxury.



Snow Report

Sunday December 27th
New Snow 35+ cm
Conditions Excellent
Temperature a balmy -9 C to a high of  -5 C
Elevation 1500m

Everything is a snowman today, and I can shovel again tomorrow!


The Artist ~ Nature

“So far as seeing things is an art, it is the art of keeping your eyes and ears open. The art of nature is all in the direction of concealment. The birds, the animals, all the wild creatures, for the most part try to elude your observation. The art of the bird is to hide her nest; the art of the game you are in quest of is to make itself invisible,”

John Burroughs

IMG_2239[1]IMG_8793Black Cottonwood

A Mindful Moment

 This little guy resonates at the highest frequency for me. His boots, his sweater, his toque, his garden tool, his name “Scout”. What is not to love if you love kids, gardening, nature and mindfulness. I want him to come live in my garden, please?

Psst…you gotta come and see this!!!

Said the 4-year-old. It usually meant, “look what I am doing or have done or what the cats and dogs have done: but this time it was special. “Shh “she said as she motioned us to come quick and be quiet.

wild deerIt was a beautiful female deer, down by the creek at the back of our property. We had a perfect view of her from the deck. She was quietly munching on rose hips and false Solomon Seal berries. She might be the same doe from last summer, she looks similar. What a treat.

And……. what a treat for the 4-year-old. A year ago she was afraid of the tiniest bugs, creatures, and animals. A clear case of NDD (nature deficit disorder). Today she embraces all. The telling point was when she requested help saving a frog who was hopping through the grass just before a dog training class. We had to help him through the fence, in case he got stepped on, maybe his mom was looking for him. Empathy training doesn’t come any easier.


Nature vs Naturalist

blue bird in grasslands“May my heart always be open to little birds, who are the secrets of living.” ― e.e. cummings

I love nature but in no way would I consider myself a naturalist. I wouldn’t call myself an environmentalist either, but I do my best to preserve our environment. Being in nature is a practice for living….. (spiritual….mental….physical….emotional) for me. It gets me out of myself (less ego), makes me curious (want to know more), gets me hiking (good cardio), brings me joy (gratitude, awe).

blue bird in grasslands

On both hikes this weekend  bright flashes of blue and cheeky song entertained the dogs and I. The grasslands and even the river dike had a multitude of blue birds flashing, flitting and flirting with us. They were quick but easy to spot with their bright blue feathers. Precursors of what is to come!

blue bird in grasslands

I hadn’t realized that their abundance relied on a multitude of people. My enjoyment was the result of the  hard work of the naturalists in the region and that at some point we were at risk of losing this wonder.

It pulls on my heartstrings. I definitely have a black-belt in codependency with a desire to fix or join things. Just doing a little research had me inclined to join. My expertise in fundraising makes me a valuable member of all volunteer and non-profit organizations. I forget that no is a complete sentence.

Good thing I have my own little piece of nature to come home to and I could resist the temptation to save blue birds. I will just enjoy and try to keep safe the hoards of chickadees in my yard (including the one who insists on hanging upside down).

The Southern Interior Bluebird Trail Society (SIBTS) is a non-profit volunteer organization, formed to promote recovery of Mountain and Western Bluebirds.We are located in British Columbia and have members throughout the province. We establish nestbox trails, monitor them, compile statistics and educate others about this important cause.To date, SIBTS members have placed over 6,000 nestboxes. Since reaching an all-time low in the late 1970s, Mountain and Western Bluebird populations are increasing in numbers. The success of our program is a reflection of the dedication of our members.

 BC Nature mission; “Know Nature and to keep it Worth Knowing”.


Blowin’ In The Wind

The teacher comes when the student is ready…..

Someone wise once said this, I’m sure. Sometimes it is difficult to know who the teacher is. Lessons learned this week. Living with your 88 year old mother-in-law, who tells you she doesn’t understand the word “happy” in any language is a lesson. Unable to live alone because of health and age issues she pines for her former unhappy life. There, she was in control by locking the world away. She was asking for her beautiful curtains that were in her house that was sold. “Sold with the house” I said. I might as well have ripped out her  heart. “All my beautiful things, gone. Everything is blowing in the wind”

Everyday is the same conversation. Only her things will give her back her life. Her control.

I was miffed at the beginning of the week. A drive into town, only 26 km. away and this is the sign I saw.

street cleaning signNot fair! Why was it spring there and not on my street?IMG_1607


Everywhere on social media people are talking about spring. Yes, officially it was the first day of spring last week. Posts have shown beautiful pictures of flowers popping up: happiness everywhere. Spring is like that. We come out of hibernation, shake off the dust, the closeness of hibernating for the last 3 months. We are like the grumpy bears, woken up from our slumber. Ready for action with an insatiable appetite. I wanted spring!

It only took a bit of contemplation and another unhappy conversation with Oma for the whack from the cosmic baseball bat to realize spring was blowin’ in the wind.

I planted seeds, cleaned my greenhouse, bought more seeds.

I was so glad that the weather was still cold. I would have time to seed some more perennials outside in milk jugs.They would need some freezing nights to split the seeds and help them germinate, and be  transplanted to bloom in the spring and summer.






Outside they went. I still needed more winter time.

I needed to remember my favourite bible passage, and my favourite Pete Seeger song Turn Turn Turn

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;”

I also needed to remember another favourite quote and song.

“The answer , my friend is blowin’ in the wind, the answer is blowin’ in the wind.”


Bees, Butterflies & Bats

Dragonfly in delphinium

The garden is humming with all sorts of insects and creatures. I have planted to attract butterflies and bees and its working. All day you can see and hear them feeding and gathering.  They love the Delphinium, and I love to watch them go in and back out until they are loaded with pollen.

Bee in Delphinium

IMG_3426The pond attracts creatures as well especially since it has been so hot. We had 30 days of sunshine in July, and the temperature has reached 30 degrees C. most days.

It cools down considerably in the evening and our friends the bats come out in droves to feed on mosquitoes and other small bugs. We built houses for them last year, and we have quite a clan now.

Bat House

Imagine my surprise to wake up this morning to find one of our friends came for a sleepover. He was hanging from our bedroom door. I didn’t want to wake him after such a hard night’s work.