Monday, June 26, 2017


     Well, apologies to Hawaii for stealing a little of their song. Apologies to Webley Edwards for borrowing from his song. 

     But I just started thinking about "Blue Skies " as song titles or "blue skies" in the lyrics.

     Ella Fitzgerald did a super job on "Blue skies Smiling at Me" Many other people sang "blue skies smiling at me"

    Many other songs have a blue something or other in them such as "Blue suede Shoes", "Blue Moon in Kentucky"

    Well, today I'm not blue. I just happen to have got some photos of our blue skies. We are an oil producing area and our sky can get pretty grungy. Sometimes we get a big wind and there is a complete air change and we end up with blue skies. I happened to stop and get some blue skies on my camera.

     Now can you think of a song with "Blue Skies" in it.

Saturday, June 24, 2017


    Well, at least most North Americans like hot dogs!

    I had planned to have a wind up for my spring birdwatching group. The plan was hot dogs, squares and coffee. It wasn't to be. The windstorm we had closed the location I had chosen. Even plan B was not available because the area was closed.

   So I got thinking about hot dogs and school. When I was little in the one room country school we would have a wiener roast on the last afternoon of school. We were wound up as it was because it was the end of the year so hot dogs really hyped us up.

   These events were carefully planned. The teacher had some money from the trustees for this event. Plans were made well ahead of time. We were all asked how many hot dogs we wanted. I think three was the limit. Wieners were sold in bulk so the exact number could be purchased. We were also given a choice of the kind of pop we wanted. Oh ya, there were usually marsh mellows. On the appointed day, off we went (running) to a convenient bluff where we could get wood. Yes, these hot dogs were done over a campfire. None of these store bought forks for roasting. We looked around in the bush to find a suitable stick to use for roasting. We all had knives to cut the stick and sharpen an end to attach the hot dog. Much comparison of sticks took place before the fire was ready for roasting. some of the sticks were broken before they could be used. You get the drift. It was wild. How any of us came out of it with two eyes is a  wonder.

    Well it was a very exciting afternoon with kids full of food that spun them right out of control. Some wieners dropped off the young cook's sticks. Somebody always got bumped and lost a wiener. We usually fished the lost wiener out of the fire. Some kids like a lot of burn on the wiener. Each had their own preference.

   So while I was preparing a hot dog barbecue for my quiet birders, I thought back to the excitement we had as kids in school.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


     I had planned to do a post on summer solstice. I like special days and to me the summer solstice is a special day. I planned to get some photos to show our long day. I'm always impressed when the sun sets after 10 PM. Today the sun rose at 5:13 Am and sets at 10:00PM for a total of 16 hours and 47 minutes of sun.

    However my special post on summer solstice was not to be.

    Tuesday evening a vicious windstorm hit us again with gusts to 112 kph (70 mph) . Again there was damage done in my city. Many trees were blown down and this time buildings were damaged and about 5% of the city still does not have power. Windows were blown out in a few buildings and roof damage occurred . Some roofs were blown right off.

    Fortunately I did not have any damage. Across the street a large spruce came down and landed on a house. A large poplar branch 25 cm (10 in) diameter fell at the school and the same thing happened half a block away. Most schools were closed yesterday. 

   So this is the second major clean up this spring.

Monday, June 19, 2017


     For many, Father's Day has a tradition of a special breakfast, lunch or dinner. They are good times and traditional celebrations.  It's been interesting reading blogs and seeing what people did to celebrate Father's Day.

     Well, what did I do. I'm not big on going out to restaurants to celebrate. There are many more things I would rather do. Both my kids live very far away. I got a phone call from one and an email from the other. The phone call came just a few minutes before I was leaving.

    Yes, I was going out to one of the local parks that has natural habitat. I was actually going to one of the larger sanctuaries. Yes, this is what I would rather do. Surprise! Surprise! The Micro manager came with me. The Micro manager has not been feeling well at all so I as surprised she came.

   So in two hours I got my fix of flowers birds and critters. I didn't get a photo of a Richardson's ground squirrel (gopher) . It would have been easy but they entertained me and I forgot about a photo.


Saturday, June 17, 2017


     I live in a small city of 100000 people. Like any other modern city the downtown is much different than it used to be. there are very few stand alone stores. There are the banks, a few restaurants and offices. After hours the downtown is vacant and disreputable character take over the streets. I would not go there.

    Now I'm not an urban person. I could stay away from cities forever. I like the wind , clouds, smells, birds, trees, animals and quiet. I'm attuned to these things. 

    Now I have to go downtown often enough so that I know what's going on. Our main library is downtown. So is city hall and the court house.

    This spring I noticed a jack rabbit in the middle of the busy street in front of the library. Other people had noticed this critter and had seen it many times. They thought there were two of them. The large City Hall Park and court house grounds gave them some good habitat. However, I'd seen this rabbit going down paved city alleys. What a lonely pathetic sight for such an interesting animal. The rabbit I'm talking about is much bigger than any cat.

    Many of the wild critters seem to be able to navigate city traffic. I've seen deer waiting on the road side for a chance to cross.

    Yesterday as I was going down the main thoroughfare I noticed my poor jack rabbit lying dead on the road. Yes, it's dangerous downtown.

Friday, June 16, 2017


     I am enjoying computer problems! When I took the tower out I discovered it was manufactured on 2006. Could that be the problem? It doesn't want to start up when I put it on sleep. Getting it started seems to take a long reboot.
     I'm reading some blogs but I'm not getting at comments. I'm busy with a few things as well as computer shopping.

    So I won't be around too much.

    I hope to get things back to normal quickly, but that might not happen.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


        I follow Mr Pudding on Yorkshire Pudding. Lately Mr Pudding has been reflecting on how much repetition is on his blog. He said that there's a link at the top left hand side of the page and you could easily find old blogs .

        Well, I just had to try it. I put in schools since I was a teacher for 37 years and had written about schools. bingo. I found all the posts on schools. First, too many of them started out with"I was a teacher for 37 years" 

       One post caught my eye. It contained a poem I had written and I'd forgotten all about it. It was a poem meant to go along with the placing of a marker for the school building that had been closed long ago.

       Now, I went to the school for nine years and this blog takes it's name from the school. 

       So here's the poem I'd forgotten about. The names are of the people who lived in the area 


Quiet earth lay covered by prairie grass and buckbrush ,
Meadowlarks,crows and hunting coyotes occasionally passed by,
Briefly visited by many spring blooms ,
And ancient quiet people who scanned the willows for big brown bulks ,
Of many life sustaining energies.

Dustyhorn, Bitternose, Whitefeather, Asqpace...

Suddenly, settlers appear to till the land
And put down roots of settlement
Which spawned wire fences , trails ,roads
And dwellings to house their families
And patient beasts of burden.
King, Clark, Minnings, Paul...

Then their children required an education
So a school house was  patiently planned
By careful applications to the powers of the land
Who controlled the many details of
Official school district formation.
Hawes, Weurfel, Winks, Rathwell...

So with patient effort acceptance was gained
To build a school with gifted labor
Borrowed money and volunteers who
Undertook the time consuming supervision
Which produced a shining building for the children.
Ingelton, Bushell, Taylor, Wildeman...

Years of care to run the school
Find and pay a teacher
Repair the roof and walls
Fill out the required forms and reports
For the privilege of keeping kids in school.
Barber, Johnson, Langille, Stevenson...

Quiet Christians gathered there
In the name of the Lord to sing
And pray and study God's word
Which supported their souls
And daily trials and tribulations.
Mehaffey, Ronald , Kline, Muir...

Years ground by with depression
Drought ,war and changes slowly
Came to settlers and their way of life
As some moved on to other grounds
To find an easier success.
Manke, Brust, Kabernick, Leggott...

The silent end quickly appeared
When only six lonely scholars filled the desks
And sad decisions were made
To close the Hiawatha learning center
Which had faithfully served quiet locals
Epp, Kreiger, Enns, Freisen...

Now, the ground sleeps deeply once again
Visited by passing hawks and goldfinch
Covered by annual snows
While the joyous shouts of children
And devoted settlers are no longer heard .
Red tailed hawks, ground squirrels, butterflies...