Saturday, July 28, 2007

Long Days of Summer

Each morning when I look outside my window, the sun is bright and the sky is blue. As the sun moves higher in the sky, the day gets very hot. When I go out to get my lunch, I walk on the south side of the street in the shade. Today, I followed my mother's example, instilled in me many years ago when there was no air conditioning, and it was stinking hot. I woke up early, opened all the doors and windows to let in the cool air while there was still some, and then did the laundry. And then as soon as the sun came around the corner of the house, I closed windows and doors and closed the curtains, and ceased any heat-producing activities.

And went for a ride in my air conditioned car. (I can remember telling the car salesman, "no, I don't need air conditioning.")

Everything here is dry. The grass is preserving its energy and has stopped growing. Before I cut the lawn a couple of weeks ago, what was growing in my back yard was chicory; it sprouted up about one to two feet high. The lawn looked like a bad haircut. But now, even the chicory has slowed down.

Life here is intense. And certainly in our forests. Starting yesterday, our view of the Kokanee Glacier was obscured:

The shopkeeper at the market heard that the fire was at Six Mile. The cashiers and tellers are the greatest sources of news - often more precise and available than radio or TV. Besides, we often get the nitty gritty because we are one degree of separation from knowing someone involved. I have spoken now to two people who were on the ferry last week when the explosion happened (the ferry we missed). And one who lived real close and woke up from the blast. Yes, life in a small community is very connected.

We are all anxiously watching the sky. The valley hums with helicopters bringing the crews and water up the mountain. I am grateful for those people who dedicate their summers to putting out those fires; they work hard. The irony is that the forest's misfortune becomes the fortune for the firefighters.

The summer is perhaps at its biggest intensity in the gardens. And Nelson gardeners are good at what they do.:

My garden, not pictured here, was planted late. I am looking forward to some serious salads in the fall.

I suspect most people are hanging out very close to the beach. This year, I have found a new one, at the opposite side of the park:

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Beauty in Spokane

At the risk of sounding like I was hired by Tourism Spokane, this post is a tribute to the beauty of Spokane. I am not sure how many people think of Spokane if they are imagining beautiful places to visit on the planet. It's all about where you look.

At the T-Rex exhibit, there was a captivating display on one of the walls:

This display is entirely done with railway spikes!

After we saw the dinosaur display, we went to Manitou Park. We first of all had a picnic and then watched people feed the catfish extraordinary amounts of white bread. I am imagining them swimming around later, and one saying, "I don't know about you, Fred, but I've got that bloated feeling again."

At the park is a Japanese garden:

With some beautiful (and big!!) goldfish:

And a rose garden....

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Spokane Firsts

I spent my Canada Day weekend in the US. I have excellent adventures (thanks for the organizing, Al).

And lots of firsts, for me.

Saturday morning we went to the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture and saw:

Sue, the Tyrannosaurus Rex that was found in South Dakota, the most complete and preserved t-rex fossil yet discovered.

Saturday evening, we stopped in at Flamin' Joes, because I had read an ad in the paper, that they served:

Yep, it is deep fried pickles. Trivia feature: This was one of Elvis' favourite foods.

Sunday, after a leisurely morning and having my green smoothie (ask me about it sometime - better still ask me to make it for you), and then we were off to Cat Tales, where I met Ali....

Ali is a Bengal Tiger, and yes, I did get to feed her.

Remember the line about doing one thing a day that scares you? Eating deep fried pickles would be it.