Tag Archives: bull-headed valerian

Gearing Up For Spring

While I was occupied with my own forest fire, the world was gearing up for spring.Aspen catkins waved in the wind.The bears got out of bed.  (This grizzly looked very sleepy as he ambled along the road. Peter, one of the neighbours who came to help with my fire, has his chicken-for-sale sign by the fence.  Mr bear would be a happy customer.)A pair of beavers have set up housekeeping on the pond.  I’m not expecting them to stay – there are almost no aspens.  I wish they would stay and block the outlet (which leaks from underneath) and retain water through the summer.Then, of course, it snowed.It was at that point that the flush of spring birds arrived.  Gold crowned sparrow.Junco. Ruby-crowned kinglet Female redwing blackbird Purple finchCkark’s Nutcracker.Hannah and I put in the garden.  The tents cover the turnips and the kale, all of which get savaged by bugs.  The flat cloths are on the ground over the other seeds to modify the temperature, keep moisture from the drip hoses in the ground, and discourage the dogs from sitting on the seedlings, or, worse, digging them out to make a comfy bed in the cool, moist soil.The birds are migrating – and so are the tourists.  Joren is from Belgium and he cycled up the Bella Coola Hill (in falling snow).  He is heading for Mexico.  But he was kind enough to stay for a few days and help with heavy work.  Here he is making bread to sustain him on his journey.Dandelions popped up.  They bloom the minute their heads stick out of the ground.The “golden willow” flowered.  Much showier than the earlier pussy willows.The aspen leaves opened, jewels when backlit by the sun.The clouds turned thundery (although we got no storms at first, and no rain.)The early purple violets bloomed.And the ball-headed valerianA cinnamon black bear emerged, poking around on a fireguard made in 2017.And a song sparrow sang his little green heart out. Green is now what it’s all about.The view toward the mountains has changed.The greens in the Kleena Kleene burn are more subtle.  What a lovely tapestry of colours.  The full moon came.And went.  And then it rained.  It poured for a couple of days.  We measured over 2 cm altogether.  Very welcome in this dry, dry land.  We also got quite a noisy thunderstorm.  The next morning was thick murk. Surely we couldn’t have a fire after all that rain.  Turned out the nearest fires of any size are in north Alberta, thousands of kilometres away.  But the slow northeast winds bring the smoke anyway.  And now it sits. It makes for an interesting colour scheme in the morning light.  But I’d rather have the sun.