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Friday, 16 November 2018

Here lies...garlic

My husband and I enjoy growing food in our small garden plot. We still have some of the grape tomatoes we grew this year and blanched kale in the deep freeze. 

This week, I finished the bed for garlic I’ve worked on this fall. My friend Lucy gave me some of her home grown garlic this past year and I am determined to grow some myself. Store bought garlic has no resemblance to the flavour of the garlic Lucy grows.

I cleared out a shrub and some irises from the designated spot and expanded it. Then I added soil, composted sheep manure and seaweed to the bed. Next came the three varieties of garlic cloves which I had from Lucy, including Music, my favourite. I covered the bed with seaweed and a thin layer of soil to prevent the seaweed

from blowing away with the high winds.

I hope this effort produces garlic next summer. Thus far however, it looks like I buried a body in the back yard.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Golden in the red

The golden grand-dog, Georgie, continues to accompany us on hikes and with all the rain this last month, it is a challenge to keep her out of the water. However we decided to let her run anyway, since she enjoys it so much. We would deal with wet dog later.

Georgie had a great time, running as she usually does and through every puddle she could find. The deep red muddy water was her favourite of course. 

Drying her enough to sit in the car involved both my husband and I and two old towels which we bring with us any time Georgie accompanies us. 

After she dried, we brushed fine red dust out of her fur. 

A run, dirt, water and mud, any dog’s dream. Well this one anyway.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Who are we?

One of our neighbours, a senior, lives with her daughter, who experienced a brain injury as a child. The injury left the younger woman, I’ll call Janet, with serious deficits. Janet runs in her fenced back yard every day, with her therapy dog. Periodically though, she finds her way out of the yard. This happened this past weekend, when the high winds blew down a section of the fence. 

Janet loves running, so when she can has an opportunity to run in a larger area, she does. My husband and I saw her running down our street which she doesn’t normally do. We phoned her mother, who hadn’t seen Janet leave the yard. We offered to look for her and help her back to her house.

By the time we donned winter gear, there was no sign of Janet. We headed down the street, one on either side. The wind was too high for our voices to be heard calling her name. The cold was numbing!

Then we spotted her, on a neighbour’s door step, knocking on the door. There were three cars in the driveway and we could see someone inside through the door. We both went to the doorstep and spoke to Janet, who knows us and offered to take her home, just a few houses away. 

Janet was cold which was why she was knocking on the door. She does not recognize the area though it is close to her house. I gave her my mitts and linked into her. She wanted to continue her run so she did but fell down. Luckily, Janet was wearing a helmet for protection. 

We walked her home and my husband and I patched the fence so Janet could enjoy the yard safely again. Then we headed out to our daughter’s house but as we drove out of our sub-division, the local police were headed in there, to look for Janet we suspected. This always happens if she runs on the road.

This incident greatly saddened my husband and I for two reasons. How can we live in this small area and not know our neighbours well enough to know Janet and her situation a few meters away? I guess this is what happens when we live in a society where people drive into their garages and never take the time to speak to the people next door or a few doors away.

Secondly, nobody came to the door of that house for Janet when she knocked nor for my husband and I as we stood there helping her. They saw us. The door stayed close. What is wrong with people? Were we considered a threat? Did they not want to get involved?

If they had opened the door and spoken to her, Janet would not have been able to tell them much but they could have kept her warm while they called the police. I cannot believe one’s first instinct is to call police and not try to help. 

We don’t live in a big city. Guns are not an issue here and anyone who sees Janet would never think that anyway. Yet on a bitterly cold day, people would let her freeze rather than take a chance. It was forty-five minutes before the police came to the area. Where would Janet have been by that time and in what condition?

There was a time when neighours looked out for each other, helped each other, knew each other, were friends. This is not the case in this neighbourhood. However, you don’t have to be someone’s friend to help her on a cold day, or help a vulnerable person. This is a sad comment on our neighbourhood and I can only hope it doesn’t reflect our community in general.

On another note:  For several days now I have been unable to comment on the blogs I follow. Neither am I able to respond to your comments on my blog. I miss these features!

Friday, 9 November 2018

Au naturel

The last few years, having paused to observe trees, I am in awe of their lives through the seasons. This time of year, when the deciduous variety find themselves naked against the impending cold and snow, trunks, exposed branches and twigs have their time in the sun. Trees stand against everything nature offers over the next six months, frost, wind, ice and snow. The elements may change their appearance but not their essence.

I often notice the trunks of birch trees, their white exteriors stand out in the forest. This one, on the side of Hackeney Road looks like it’s endured hard times. The trunk is gnarled in spite of its youth.

In Tyne Valley, three trees of the same species are devoid of leaves but still show a hint of red. The twigs form a filamentous wall in front of the house.

Walking between the raindrops one day last week, my husband and I ventured to the boardwalk in the late afternoon. It was a gray day and the moody sky and the late afternoon light accentuated the finest, most delicate twigs. 

We stopped to admire the layers of gray from sea to sky, with the band of light breaking through. How different the same scene will look with a blue sky. Regardless of the background, the tree draws attention.

Finally, a sunset along the boardwalk highlights young trees against the dimming light.

While their clothing is gone now, trees have much for us to enjoy during late fall and winter.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Bideford at Tyne Valley

The dam on the Bideford River at Tyne Valley was overflowing, a watery veil with a thunderous sound. It invited exploration.

This is one of the many rivers on Prince Edward Island with a fish ladder, allowing various species of fish to move to and from the sea. 

Above the dam, the air was still, the water without a ripple, reflecting the trees and the gray sky. The only sound was the waterfall.

Along the shore by the dam, a maple tree with its autumn-yellow leaves, showed every vein. 

A nearby tree, naked except for its red fruit, stood nearby, waiting for the birds. 

Such a wonderful combination of construction and natural beauty!

Monday, 5 November 2018

Oysters anyone?

We’ve seen Trout River, Prince Edward Island, full of oyster fishers. Such is not the case on this cold, 7 C or 45 degrees F, last day of October. There are only two oyster fishers today, one on either side of the bridge.

The season is open in these public waters until the end of November despite the cold. The Malpeque oyster variety is at its biggest and plumpest this time of year. They grow in the summer and plump-up during the autumn, ready to sleep for the winter months.

The two fishers were busy with the tongs/rakes, leaning over the side with the long tool which they lowered into the water. The open tongs were closed over the bottom and pulled up to the bow where the catch was inspected.

Undersize oysters were dropped into the water and each attempt yielded a few oysters.

Looking at the two fishers, all I can say is, “Respect.”

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Last resort

The walking track at Credit Union Place, CUP, in Summerside has become a familiar place these last few weeks as the weather has made our usual walks and hikes impossible. The track, which circles the stands of the largest of two ice surfaces in the complex, is a good place to walk.

While it is a world class facility, it cannot compete with the great outdoors, the boardwalk, heritage roads, beaches and trails we love so much.

For me, it is better than the treadmill which bores me to death. Every minute on that thing feels like an eternity and I am not a person who bores easily. 

While today is a beautiful sunny day, the wind is gusting up to 100 kilometers an hour. This is not a day to go for a walk. Trees are coming down around the island and the treadmill is calling! Wish me luck.