Sunday, July 31, 2022

Afterthoughts

My last post, about the Amelia Earhart Festival, left out one element of the festival that's always been important to me -- the traditional Saturday night display of fireworks. 

There've been many times I've sat beside my friend Louise (whom everyone else called Lou), oohing and ahhing as the pyrotechnical show entertained us, lighting up the sky above the Missouri River to the sounds of the 1812 Overture

This year, there was no Louise. After a long life she left us, but her absence wasn't the only thing that had changed for me about the fireworks. 

Ukraine, and specifically Odesa (which I've at least learned to spell the non-Russian way), where a man I've met -- in Atchison, no less -- still lives, in an apartment with his aged parents. Every time I hear about Odesa in the news, I can't help but worry about him and his family. His emails have reported the shriek of missiles flying overhead, on their way to some hideous destination, not long ago, a mall where he'd often shopped. 

Last night we were invited to a friend's place to get a strategically great view of the local (White Rock) fireworks display. And again, I admit to a few inward shudders when I heard their boom-booming noises. I know the fireworks we watched were strictly on display for entertainment, but because I've probably watched too much news coverage of this hideously destructive war on Ukraine, hearing those crackling sounds and deep booms has lost some of its appeal. I can't help but think they sound just a little too much like the sounds of machine guns and exploding bombs. 



Sunday, July 24, 2022

A very BIG birthday

If Amelia Earhart were still alive (please know that I am not one who holds a belief that she might still be hanging around), today she'd be turning 125. Even the futurists with their predictions of life spans of 150 years aren't there yet -- not much more than 100 is about tops for anyone. 

The house in the photo above is the building where she was born. Once the home of her grandparents, it's now the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum

The people milling about in front have been partaking in this year's Amelia Earhart Festival, a long-standing annual celebration in the town of Atchison, Kansas -- a celebration that was only resurrected this year, after two years when it was cancelled (on account of that pesky virus whose name I don't even want to use). And yes, I was lucky enough to be there again this year, along with my book based on Amelia, Flightpaths

One of the reasons I love Amelia is that she wrote poetry. Sadly, much of it was lost when Amelia and her husband George lost many of their belongings due to a house fire in the home they shared in Rye, New York. 

Her accomplishments went well beyond poetry and even flying. Feminist, promoter of peace, mentor to many, heroine. 

Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Bear with me...

It's been too long since I've posted anything here. And really, I have no excuse. Stuff just sometimes happens, I guess. 

But I suppose I was reminded that I'd said something to the effect that I'd write about the bears we saw when we went up the coast last month

And now bears seem to be everywhere in the news! There was one in Alberta that must have freaked out a couple of tourists from Thailand. Another report cites how many black bears are being killed here in BC. But the crummiest of these has to be the killing of a bear that wandered onto a golf course in a park in the city of Burnaby. I really don't understand why it wasn't tranquilized and relocated. 

When I raised this question with my husband, he figured it had everything to do with costs. And yes, I reckon it's a lot cheaper to shoot and kill a bear than to hire the transport to take it someplace safe. 

If every decision in our contemporary world is based on money, well, I give up and we're all screwed. 

But to take your mind off such negative thoughts, here's a video I took when we were on our northern tour. Yep, those are mighty big claws, but all they're doing is digging for clams or other tasty bits along the shore. As for the shakiness, that wasn't fear. It's simply the fact that I was standing on a boat and small waves were rocking us a bit. 



Friday, June 24, 2022

Dark days indeed

I remember a book cover that looked a lot like this photo. It may well have been an old edition of Darkness at Noon, a grim tale by Arthur Koestler, one that may be worth looking at again, with Putin now in place of the Stalinesque character, Number One, in that book. 

Besides the horrors going on in Ukraine, North America has had its own share of dark days, with mass shootings spanning the US from Buffalo to California and Texas. 

Today comes yet another body-blow, though no guns were used. 

This time the weapon at hand was the mind-blowing decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn the longstanding Roe v. Wade, which granted women the right to make decisions about our bodies. 

I can only share the concerns of many others when I ask, What's next? The cancellation of same-sex marriage (would all those couples find their marriages have been annulled?)? 

It will be interesting to see what happens in this autumn's coming elections, whether people will stand up for these important human rights. Although who knows, the next move might be to again take the right to vote away from women. 

Looking for light...


Saturday, June 18, 2022

They're baaack!

And so are we. After a lovely, not-too-adventurous adventure of sorts -- a trip that took me farther north in British Columbia than I'd been before -- we're back home again. 

Main part of the trip saw us combining ferry rides and driving our car so we could get to Prince Rupert. Our province is huge, so even though the main ferry ride was almost 18 hours in duration, our destination was only about halfway up the coast. 

As far as pandemic restrictions went, most people seemed to have become good at distancing, though we were encouraged to wear masks when indoors. I liked the placement of the caution sign, between photos of the beautiful traditional masks.

We were lucky enough to have booked a cabin, so we spent much of our time there, looking out the window, napping, or watching a movie on the tv in our room. I'd certainly encourage anyone taking this trip to spend this little bit extra for the comfort and privacy (two beds, even a private bathroom, complete with shower and fluffy towels). 

One thing that surprised me on our "Northern Expedition" was the number of berries already out -- everything from the salmonberries (above) to thimbleberries (still in bloom, forming berries) and even wild strawberries. Even though these strawberries are barely the size of my pinkie nail -- nothing like the gigantic GMO ones often for sale in the supermarket -- they pack a powerfully sweet punch of flavour, and we did a bit of sampling. Mm-mmm. 

Besides seeing water, water, water, there must have been a couple of million trees on view. We also saw quite a few species of birds, from eagles to the odd turkey vulture, and even managed a glimpse of a humpback whale, showing off, flicking his tail in our direction. 

One of the major highlights of the trip was seeing grizzly bears in their undisturbed habitat. Next post will be some of those images. For now, I'm still putting away the last of the items we took along, and dreaming about where we might go next. 




Tuesday, June 07, 2022

Tide's out!

A beach is always interesting, and always in its own way. 

This is a beach south of Vancouver, those long tides always a sign of coming-soon Solstice. Two weeks today. 

First quarter of the June moon this morning. When it's full on the 14th, it's supposed to mean the first strawberries will be sweet

Sun shining again today, but still, that gusty breeze has something almost autumny about it. Towels didn't seem to mind though, flapping on the line, and oh, I so love the scent they bring into the house! 

With written records indicating celebratory observances from as long ago as the 13th century, a lot of people seem to think the world looks a little brighter as they mull the thought sumer is icumen in.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Hard at work


What a job! But hey, someone's gotta do it. 

And really, it would be hard to find a prettier place to work than in the heart of a full-blown rhododendron blossom. 

Luckily, some of the bee's pals have been poking their way into blossoms on our fruit trees, as there are now a few eensy plums and peaches, as well as heaps of quince -- the promise of autumn bounty.