Collecting Color

We’ve had 5 inches of rain already this month, and as the weather gets grayer  there is an urge to savor the color that remains. 

So that’s what I’ve been up to–(and so glad I did it yesterday; today’s all rain and wind!)



This sedum relative is aptly named for the time it breaks into bloom–"Autumn Joy"!

Every year I grow some squash/pumpkin/gourd crosses just for the fun of what they will produce, and just for decoration since one never quite knows if they’re more gourd or more squash. 


This is the first of the harvest. 



And this little guy wins the smallest pumpkin award!!



Echinacea is easier to grow than to spell, and what a curious bristly head!  Heather is her backdrop and a radiant blushing oregano  her companion…oregano crop

And of course every proper vegetable garden has color besides.  Tonight we shall have our own homegrown salad…


There’s not a plant of flower below,

But makes Thy glories known;

And clouds arise, and tempests blow

By order from Thy throne;

While all that borrows life from Thee

Is ever in Thy care,

And everywhere that man can be,

Thou, God, art present there.



In Honor of Autumn

The sun visited today, perhaps in honor of the first day of autumn…

I struck out for a little hike with some reluctance in my bones. (I’ve gotten ‘creaky’ ever since the return of the rains—Jim says I may make a great barometer yet! Am I that old?!) Today, I drove over to the trailhead to save both Louie and I a few paces. (He’s getting old too.)


For old times’ sake we took the trail to Little Sliammon Lake. I was thinking as I trudged—it’s been 7 years since I discovered this trail. Back then it was a dark and eerie walk through old forest that blotted out the sun, inciting jumpiness—“What was that?!”.


Since the latest clear-cutting the trail seems brighter and shorter. It’s been re-routed to skirt the clear-cut so you walk along just inside the edge of the forest overlooking a hillside of giant matchsticks in jumbled piles strewn over a stark wasteland.

fireweed seed

Not too picturesque, but brighter! The bears will love it come spring when the sun spawns new growth of bush and berry. In the meantime this lull between summer’s blooms and autumn’s blazing displays is pretty drab. Even a thistle is welcome color…

thistle cropped

Ahhhh…today we have the lake all to ourselves


—rippled water dappled with cloud reflections and long silences broken only by raven call, the tremulous cry of a loon, and the whoosh of strong wings passing overhead. A dragonfly zips by on silent surveillance.

louie on dock

Restless with the stillness, Louie scrambles off to chase a squirrel. Its shrill alarm pierces the quiet. And so I sit on this rustic little dock a spell with no agenda (the camera battery has died with the lily pad shot)—listening to the silence and so commemorating the first day of fall.



Others have waxed poetic about this interim season. I’ll leave you to enjoy one of my favorites. Enjoy! –LS

“Storing September”

You ask me what I did today.
I could pretend and say,
“I don’t remember.”
But, no, I’ll tell you what I did today—
I stored September.
Sat in the sun and let the sun sink in,
Let all the warmth of it caress my skin.
When winter comes, my skin will still remember
The day I stored September.
And then my eyes—
I filled them with the deepest, bluest skies
And all the traceries of wasps and butterflies.
When winter comes, my eyes will still remember
The day they stored September.
And there was cricket song to fill my ears!
And the taste of grapes
And the deep purple of them!
And asters, like small clumps of sky…
You know how much I love them.
That’s what I did today
And I know why.
Just simply for the love of it,
I stored September.

–Elizabeth B. Rooney
Sample others by this author at:

Uncharted Days

Summer 2010

Now that we’re settling into September and summer is fast fading from view with the advent of rain and coolness, it is prime time to sit back and remember some snatches of it—the wonderful uncharted days of summer.


Any given day might begin in the garden smelling sweet peas or in an adirondack chair just cultivating quietness but there’s no telling where that same day might end once Jim appeared with a suggestion. Being a homebody at heart I’ve had to expand my tastes and allow myself to be gladly carried by the wind to wherever my skipper pleases… IMG_6081

–whether it be to survey a tiny rocky island named Vivienne, inhabited only by snoozing seals and tiny cactus beds…

–or a pebbly beach to sit with washed up drift and sand fleas waiting for riders to ride and runners to run so pipers can pipe (that’s Jim’s part) at the closing celebration of the Savary Island Triathon…

IMG_5626 IMG_5621

–or a get-away on our favorite islands—the Raggeds– where we sunned like seals on slabs of hot rock, napped on ocean bluffs, and barbecued steaks on deck…

The epic trip this summer was a three-nighter sailing to Nelson and Hardy Islands, where we heard the raven call our name across the unpeopled reaches of Quarry Lake just as we’d stopped to listen to the silence…

–and we star-gazed all bundled up on deck the night of the meteor showers…


–had a crab pedicure on Musket Island—tiniest marine park we’ve seen yet

IMG_6154 tiny island(not THIS tiny!)

and I played cowgirl with a giant kelp at an abandoned homestead by the sea…





Had an altogether other sort of adventure flying to Alaska with my favorite sister mid-summer to visit my harried mother and absent-minded father who also are having uncharted days, but of another sort. Never know what a day with Alzheimer’s may hold…


We pedaled crazy old bikes down the Alaska Pipeline and traipsed off down a random side trail into wilderness to see what we could see…No moose, no grizzlies, no coyotes or wolves but we finally got too spooked to continue after finding four different kinds of unidentified droppings along our way—


All good things (this side of Heaven) must come to an end and so did our summer, but not before one last trip—this time cycling with church friends over to the big island (Vancouver Island) and down to two little islands reached via ferries, first to Denman then to Hornby.


Little islands, little ferries, lots of pedaling, lots of pit stops, and beaches and hikes…


and eats out and memories made! Spent two sleeps at a B & B and pedaled home again…logging almost 90 miles, to greet summer’s end.



Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun. (Eccl.11:7)

Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. (Eccl.5: 18)