Arriving home from three weeks of BC travel from the blue Pacific to the peaks
of Jasper and Banff we find the garden a mad tangle of fruiting blueberries, dried
pods of peas hanging on dead strings of foliage, beans, potatoes, cucumbers,
tomatoes ready for harvest. The pink fireworks of nerine blooms light up the
greenery; most of the other flowers, but for the heavily laden hollyhocks, are done.
Once again the many visitors that made it to our door were most welcome and
brought with them ideas and news of great interest from the world at large. Guests
from Germany and other far flung places, art retreat guests and art buyers, friends,
family and Wwoof helpers all made our summer a true pleasure. And camping for
two nights with our granddaughter gave me that most heart-wrenching of experiences,
waking up in the tent to see her warm brown eyes smiling at me, a kiss on the cheek
and “I love you, Grandma" ~ a new experience for me.
As usual the local critters play a key role in our lives. Earlier this year an emaciated
young cougar, too desperate to keep its distance, was spotted right up against the
glass doors at Salmon Coast Research Station, stalking another neighbour's dog on
Billy’s foreshore, next seen on the boats and camp vessels at Scott Cove, finally met
its demise when found lurking under a house at Echo Bay. The very next day Al
was half way up our dock ramp when he noticed a big healthy golden cougar right
on the rocks at the top of the ramp. He did (!) run right at it and yell, the cat backed
off a little way and when Al returned with his gun it had crossed the ramp and
disappeared into the foliage on the other side. The next week he spent brush cutting
all around the property. A woman on Flores Island was targeted and attacked by a
determined cougar, whose husband fought it with a spear, something to invest in perhaps.
The balance has shifted and there are far too many human/cougar interactions all over
Vancouver Island and the smaller islands of the BC coast for anyone to feel relaxed and at
ease in the woodsy BC wilderness.
A surly bear that is far too comfortable around the houses jumped on Billy’s dog last week,
some yelling and throwing of various items convinced it to amble off, quite unintimidated.
Every trip to Queen Charlotte Strait we have observed Humpback whales of all sizes,
blowing, breaching and cavorting on the unusually calm blue seas of the open water between
Gilford Island and Port McNeill. Other whale sightings of note this summer include Minke, Fin
and a Right whale off Haida Gwai’I, an extraordinary event.
My book “Drawn to Sea” seems to be well
enjoyed by the many readers who have written me. Thank you all for your kind
words. I was thrilled when the steward on the BC Ferries Gift Shop announced
over the loudspeaker that a BC author was on board when I asked if she would
like me to sign the copies of my book on the shelf. Copies are available at your
local bookstore, on BC Ferries, autographed copies from me or e-book copies
The earth turns and the days shorten and go gray and softly wet, we know Christmas
is just around the corner and the woodshed needs filling. My studio is waiting for me
to enliven it with my projects and ideas once again. I am eager to cocoon myself there.
Like mushrooms, the spores of ideas await the fertile conditions to manifest from
consciousness. One project I am getting organized for is in support of CETUS SOCIETY’s
conservation of marine mammals programs. I am, along with many other artists, donating 40%
of the purchase price on selected paintings, including the image, “Whale Tail”,
shown here. Placemats and art cards with the Whale Tail image will also be
available. E-mail me to order, firstname.lastname@example.org or discuss another painting.
Wheel-thrown, hand-painted with a whale motif,
porcelain bowls, in three sizes, can be ordered as well, through the month of
October. Contact me if you are interested in purchasing any of
these items in support of Cetus’s cetacean conservation programs.
Bowls, Dinner ~ 45.00 Serving ~ 75.00 Fruit or Salad ~ 125.00