Good morning all:

Weekly Wisdom, from deep in the Boreal Forest (la moisson boréale):

“Have you seen the weather tower at Skibo? It’s not too far off the Voyageur Route. If not, drive on over and have a look, fer sure. It has a large boulder hanging from it. If the boulder is warm then it’s a hot day, damp and it’s been raining, white, there is snow, can’t see it and it’s foggy, see its shadow and the sun’ll be shinin’, tongue freezes to it and you best be ice fishing, swinging and it’s breezy, and if its gone it’s a tornado.” — our local everyman we’ll name Claire discussing the 5 seasons of the Boreal Forest

My goodness, but the weather certainly has had its quirks this week—actually for the past two weeks. Labor Day proved to be wonderful. Tuesday I woke up to a thunderclap which lasted 45 seconds—and it wasn’t Marcia. Yesterday was spectacular. All this crazy weather is all blamed on low pressure. Better build up some pressure then, but first my morning coffee. The coffee pause will allow reflection on last night’s ‘retro’ dinner – a 1970s style cheese fondue event. A brisk evening, a campfire used to bake a “dough-boy” on a stick, and a setting sun; all capped with a dram of Scotch and a cigar. Wonderful!

Clip-Clop – Tuesday, a cold day, some rain, some sun, and 35 mph wind gusts got Marcia and I on a shopping trip to town. Since nothing, weather wise, seemed to change we just kept on driving. Eventually we arrived in the small village of Desberats and their Amish farmers market.

While we were shopping we could hear a horse drawn cart pull up with a new load of corn-straight from the field and onto the shelf. This level of freshness got Marcia and I to buy Broccoli, Cauliflower, Onion, Leeks, Potatoes, Green Beans, and a Tomato. At the end of our run a smiling young gal announced; “eight dollars please.” Back in the truck, Marcia counted and recounted her purchases to make certain that “eight” was the correct amount. She was amazed!

A fifteen Amish family grower co-op runs this outlet; resulting in a nice variety of great greens. An additional bonus was the enjoyable country drive we took as a “short-cut” back to the Trans Canada highway. Passing one pin-neat farm my head spun around looking at their clothes line contraption. Coming from the farm house (about 200 feet away) ran a clothes line. By the road stood a huge tree, and the inventive farmer had fastened a bicycle wheel to this tree. This allowed for clothes to be easily hung from the front porch. If only it had been laundry day, 200 feet of blue shirts flapping in the wind would certainly be an impressive sight—especially in a 35 mph wind.

Salmon – Our trip also got us to stop in the small village of Little Rapids. Signs mentioned that the salmon run had started. While Marcia got into a conversation with the village eccentric I walked downstream a bit to watch the early run of salmon. The Chinook will start running in about two weeks, these were the smaller “pink” salmon which start their run a little earlier.

I joined Marcia with her conversation. It was one of those all over the place events. However, Mr. Eccentric, for the past thirty plus years, has been making guns, knives, swords, walking sticks, and canes and the process for each needed to be described. Amazing work – he just can’t seem to sell a one – but the work is stunning. One piece of advise to any Canadian government civil servant such as a “long gun” registration or census taker; do not bother stopping by his house, you will be less than welcome. Anyway, chances are he’s around and about on one of his daily ten-mile-plus walks in the bush and won’t be in.

Last of the Summer Wine – It’s started, the beginning of the end of the season has begun. Trees have begun to change, not yet a wholesale sea of red and yellow, but splotches here and there.

Our island neighbor put his one ATV back on the island where it’s of more use. Marcia has pulled our one large bin and begun to place an item here and there into it for the journey home. Yesterday Paul and I pulled the pontoon and the dock from the water. Later today I’ll play Noah and start building the “snow tent” over the pontoon as protection to the winter weather.

We used the winch on Paul’s Polaris to pull the dock sections. When we discussed starting that process Marcia came running; it was only a simple error of communication. She thought we said “wench” rather than “winch”, and so went back and continued stripping and bagging the excess bedding. Yes, it’s begun.

In the meantime there are still moments of peace, quiet, and beauty.

One early evening the water on the cove was like glass. Marcia suggested I take the kayak into the cove prior to dinner (possibly to get me out of her hair for a bit—but probably not). So off I went. It was the best paddle in the cove all summer. I got to within forty feet of a Great Blue Heron. Went to all three Beaver huts. It is awesome moment to come right up to the rodent-built nest jutting a good six feet out of the water.

Two days later I challenged myself and paddled a mile to the island and back—in 30 KPH winds. It took an hour and a few minutes and I was glad I wore my rain gear. Not because it was raining, just because of spray. No matter what, it’s good to keep challenging yourself.

Animal Planet – It’s happened. The hummingbirds have left for the winter—September 10th. That same day we’ve started seeing formations of Canadian Geese heading south to their winter haunts. And so we’re watching the continuation of the cycle of life.

Yesterday three of us were standing around talking when a very large Pileated Woodpecker flew over. Mike mentioned that a few years ago one landed on the side of one of his cabins. Visible through the window was a mirror. Visible in the window was the woodpecker. Being just a wee-bit territorial it pecked away on the window frame trying to get to the “other” bird. It took this duck-sized bird mere minutes to get close to demolishing that window frame.

Closing – Heartiest best wishes and love to my Oom Joop who turned 95 this week. As my father’s youngest brother he is the family’s link to the previous generation. His health must be due to the fact that he lives in the fresh sea air and winds of Holland’s delta area.

Make it a great week everyone.



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