Wednesday, June 30, 2021


        Usually I'm posting about snow! Well , not in July! I think this is my first post on hot weather.

       We've had record breaking temperatures in this region. In the 50 years I've lived here I don't remember temperatures above 30 C. Now I know temperatures have been above 30 but not often and I don't remember it. 

        So we are on our third day with a high of 35 C. Now I know some will laugh at this temperature as I know temperatures go much higher than 35. However, 35 C is an extreme for me. 

      Plants suffer from the heat but when  we get cooler temperatures and a little rain , the plants will bounce back. 

     As I've said many times our annual average amount of precipitation is 12 in. (That's counting snow. ) 10 in of snow equals one inch of water. 

    So how do we produce huge crops? There's usually about a 1000 ft of clay below us. Very little of our precipitation will run off. Many other  places have little top soil and so water runs off. 

    So there you have it. An explanation, although it's too brief, about soil moisture. 

    Now if it would only cool off! We have two more days of hot weather. 

Saturday, June 26, 2021


     I inadvertently set something up in my last post. My purpose in writing the post was to describe more of Heritage Ranch. I put in a small paragraph about my daughter riding at Heritage Ranch. That one little paragraph got more interest than the whole post. 

     My kids were raised in the 1970's which was the day of free range kids. The kids were sometimes gone all afternoon and we didn't really know where they were. Yes, we had a good idea of where they might be and the kids knew where  they could go and where they could not go. 

    Heritage Ranch was about 2 1/2 miles from my house. I think my daughter rode her bike out with a friend to ride horses. I'm not sure which parent gave permission to go. 

    She told me that the horses to rent were very  gentle but not that smart. Some of the riders weren't that smart either. She remembers the ride and still talks about it. The horse was not a smooth ride and it really didn't go that fast. 

    She did survive without accident and went on to ride many more horses. At 49 she's still interested in riding some more. 

    She made comments on the last post as unknown. I hope she comments on this post and corrects my memory. 

     These photos of horses at Heritage Ranch were taken long after her time at Heritage Ranch. 

Thursday, June 24, 2021


       The three hundred acres I rambled through the other day is known as Heritage Ranch.

      In the early 1980's a very progressive government set up a plan to make large park areas in our cities. Trails and many facilities were developed. Cross country ski trails, picnic areas and playgrounds were established. 

     When I came here in 1969 the Heritage ranch area was farmed and much of it was taken  for gravel. 20 km of trails were developed. Some of the gravel pits were made into ponds and stocked with fish.

     But the main part of Heritage Ranch was to be set up for horses and at that time the emphasis was on equestrian training. Excellent corals and stables had been built. The equestrian training didn't pan out so they tried just horse riding. That didn't work well either. 

     When my daughter was about ten she was intensely interested in horse riding. She went to a 6 day equestrian camp. You could rent horses to ride at Heritage ranch so one day she took some allowance money and rented a horse to ride. I happened to be riding bike through the area when I saw a horse wildly galloping through gravel pits and around trees. There was a little kid on the horse hanging on to a half out of control horse and the little kid was my daughter. 

    Today the operator runs sleigh rides in the winter and an assortment of wagon rides in the summer.

    So as I was getting back from my ramble I could overlook the horse facilities. 

Monday, June 21, 2021


      I spent a few hours of my father's day rambling over 300 or so acres of park known as Heritage Ranch. I've spent many hours in this area cycling, cross country skiing and leading my bird watching group through the are. I have spent much time in the area and know it well.

     Yesterday , I wanted to check on a patch of tiger lily  (western wood lily) or (Lilium philidelphicum) and brown eyed susan  (wild gaillardia) or (Gaillardia aristata).

     I was a few days too early as I only found one tiger lily in full bloom 

     However thee were other plants in bloom such as the wild rose. 

     It was a windy day so some of the smaller plants I photographed and not in focus but worth a look.

Saturday, June 19, 2021


      A few days ago I had my annual yellow lady slipper (Cyptipedium calceonus) fix. Yellow lady slippers are one of my favorite wild flowers. Yellow lady slippers are quite common and can grow on some very poor soils.

      Some people think that the yellow lady slipper is scarce. Yellow lady slippers are doing well. People, including me, have transplanted yellow lady slippers and spread them around. All those I've transplanted have done well. Some kinds of lady slippers are not abundant. 

     So I visited my favorite spot for yellow lady slippers and here's what I saw. Enlarge these photos for a better view. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021


      One of my favorite trees came to an accidental end this week. 

      This tree was a gigantic poplar . It was probably 70 ft high and had a trunk of over 2 ft . Lower branches were about 1 ft thick and I'm not sure what the branch coverage would be. And yes , this was a good looking tree...nicely shaped. This tree showed up in many of my photos but I couldn't find many of the photos. 

     So for this area the tree is exceptionally large. 

     A freak wind went through a few nights ago and the wind probably went between two trees and the giant was not strong enough to remain standing. About half of the trunk was rotten so the tree , while looking great, was probably not going to last too much longer. 

    This tree was  favorite of the bohemian waxwings so I just have the top of the tree in the photo.

      When I asked Karen to have my picture taken, I wanted to be up on the trunk above my head. She just said with great emphasis, "You're not going up there! " It's a good thing somebody  takes care of the fools!

Friday, June 11, 2021


      Okay, I'll get right to my problem. I am severely challenged to log into and sign into websites that one must sign into! I'm not sure that I know the difference between sign in and log in. 

      Here's my experience from yesterday.

      I've had a miserable Aeroplan account. There's only one business in town that gives Aeroplan points. Needless to say I don't build up many points. 

     So I decided to spend my miserable  few points and ditch the account. 

     I know that I have an account with Aeroplan so I thought I'd find out what I could buy and buy it. 

    Well, I tried to sign in. I had the email I used and the pass word I had used. So when it doesn't work, try again , and again and again. Then try to change your password again, and again and again. Then it says you've been on here too long so it's time out for 30 min. 

    Well. after deciding to use my number and a few more pass words I got into my account. Then I found out that we could put our miserable points together. Then to add insult to injury I found out that all we could get was a $25.00 gift certificate. 

    So , I'll order the gift certificate. The miserable website isn't finished with me yet. I ordered three times and nothing happened. Then I spy something that doesn't look like I should click on it . I clicked on it! Presto. I was told that I had just bought a $25,00 gift certificate to Boston Pizza! 

    Is it just me or does this happen to others. I can't seem to just easily sign into these websites . I just don't seem to be able to read the procedure and follow through.

    There,  that's my gripe. 

Sunday, June 6, 2021


      I have been rather careless in the last couple of posts and got a head of myself. 

      In my last post I used an example of a death that happened in the settlement that I worked in as a local administrator, teacher and principal. 

     I thought that I had written about this death. When I looked for the post I couldn't find anything. Today I found the post I was looking for. It was written in 2012. So for those  who asked more, here is a post with more info.

Saturday, June 5, 2021


      This morning I heard a radio interview that connected a few dots for me. 

      With the finding of about 215 bodies of children at a residential school there have been many questions. Many times parents did not find out what happened to their children. Parents were somewhat nomadic and wandered to where the hunting and trapping was best. If we go back further many parents didn't have much of an idea where their children went. There was not a legal apprehension just an apprehension. There wasn't much in the way of legal responsibility. There was no such thing as "ward". 

     Many parents did find out about their children's death. A few parents requested that their children's bodies be sent back home. The government refused to pay to send the body back to parents. This is extremely sad. 

     Now I had an experience with a death when I was in Wakeham Bay. A toddler was murdered by the mother. In the matter of investigation the child's body was taken south to Montreal. 

     A year later one of the elders asked me about the baby and where the body was. I didn't have an answer. I didn't know what happened to the body. I can't remember what I told him but it would have been of little value. I was in my mid 20's and the Quebec administrator was also in his mid 20's We were not at an age where we were mature enough to think about the significance of bodies. We were not trained to look after a murder. 

     I have thought of this incident many times and asked myself why I didn't take some action. I  could have written a letter. The powers that be played fast and loose with some of these issues.

    The interview this morning explained just how bad things were when the government refused to send a body back home. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021


     Check out the Furry Gnome for more information on the aboriginal tragedy found lately at Kamloops B.C. 

     Furry Gnome comes from an academic background and has done his research on this issue. 

      Check him out