Squirreling Things Away…


From the breakfast table I spy the young oak turning yellow.  Its acorns are pretty well cleaned off now by the squirrels and jays. P1180708 The squirrel has done his business furtively, quietly, scampering back and forth from stash to tree, day after day.

The jays, on the other hand, have squabbled and fought over their share,

leaving a mess of caps on the front walk…P1180779P1180720

Meanwhile I have done my own bit of squirreling things away– gathering pine needles for winter-time basket making.  Presumably one day these foot-long needles will stop falling and winter will have come.  I’ll be armed for long evenings…P1180721

IMG_20150916_204904808I’m collecting dainty scotch pine cones too.  Who knows, they might be just the thing for Christmas décor…

The air is cold this morning, the sun still warm. Plums and pears that will not keep I’ve turned to butter—brown and spicy…P1180724P1180728P1180731

And then there are those roadside apples I spy every time we cycle by.  We headed out to pick them today after our ride.  Yay! We beat the bears to this tree.P1180792 P1180795And we shall have pie (I’m actually gobbling it as I post this), and sauce, and apples to munch as we watch the days shorten and whisper that winter is coming…

P1180733There’s a hint of melancholy in this turning of the seasons. 

Thank God for flowers boldly blooming still!


While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. Gen.8:22



To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Eccl.3:1

Not a Mountain Goat!

No Way!  I can’t do that.

YIKES! YIKES! and W-A-A-A-A………

As part of our summer’s end camping experience we chose a local hike for just the two of us—a trail up Old Goat Mountain to see a glacier up close.  Now honestly,  I don’t care much for glaciers.  They rather resemble old snow to me, dirty old snow, and I fail to feel the ‘Wow’ in them.  But I do like a good hike and going with Jim is a bit of a rarity so YES count me in!  And off we went.

The wending way through a quiet wood following a wee babbling brook was deceptively easy. 

Tripping on roots was the biggest hazard.  No problem. P1180526

Then strangely the wooded path gave way to great tumbles of rough rock as though a giant dump truck had upended there.  Hmm…P1180528

But the reality of where we were headed did not strike till we emerged from the quiet little poplar wood and found ourselves at the base of a rock-strewn mountain. P1180530 The only indication of the trail was the small band of brightly colored hikers descending from afar.P1180533P1180534

No Way!  Is that our trail?!  YIKES!

My mate kept his reservations to himself and encouraged us on. “It won’t be as bad as it looks.”  And we began the ascent as the wind picked up to remind us of the vast stretches of air at our backs, with nothing ahead but loose rock and steep terrain. 

I have never professed to be or desired to be a mountain climber.  I don’t much like heights.  Turning around to look where you’ve been makes you almost lose your balance.  Knees turn to jelly.  Elevation leaves you winded.  There’s no place to go but up and all the while you quail at the thought of having to go D-O-W-N this slithery, scrabbly way.  Quite terrifying to a non-mountain goat.  I very nearly chose to sit it out and let Jim go on without me to find that elusive glacier.P1180545P1180552P1180553

It suddenly made sense why the few hikers we met descending were doing so with hiking poles.  This idea had seemed funny when we’d seen them in the woods…  It was of some encouragement when we met a little family with a toddler on his daddy’s back and a little fellow at his side.  If he can do it… As we passed I realized this young ‘un was belted round with a stout leather strap the end of which was in his father’s strong hand. Ah.  Now that would be nice reassurance to have!  What happens if you fall up here and can’t walk anymore?!

But after a stop to breath (and stop hyperventilating), and with the encouraging remarks of descending hikers who declared the view well worth it, I decided to keep moving with Jim.  After all, he was the one with the bear spray and the treats!P1180554P1180556

Pictures do little to tell this tale.  They don’t look nearly as precipitous or skittery as the climb felt.  But perhaps my smile tells all? 

What a  relief when the trail leveled off and finally the glacier came into view in the distance.   P1180557P1180588P1180591

I was content to sit and munch a chocolate/peppermint energy bar and apply a couple band-aids for blister prevention while Jim went on to investigate the dirty snow more closely.  He took my camera along, leaving the bear spray just ‘case.  P1180562As I watched his red shirt recede into the distance along the gray rocky ridge an awesome and eerie silence descended.  The only noise, the distant muted clatter of the occasional rock tumbling down the great wall facing me….


So we did it, we climbed Old Goat. P1180572

All that remained was to descend in one piece and return to camp footsore and glad to have lived to tell the story…It was a slow and steady creep, carefully, carefully stepping to avoid loose rocks and find stable footholds. P1180592

It was scary but not as dread-full as I’d imagined it to be. (Hmm… there’s a recurring life lesson here for me.)   But one thing’s for sure, I am no mountain goat!




Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Is.40:12 ESV

Meanwhile, back home in my comfort zone, I sit at the window quietly fashioning little pine needle baskets…

Basket #2 underwayBasket #2Basket #2 with lid

Gone Campin’

Spray Lake panorama

We snatched the end of the summer season to do something we’ve never done before—go camping with the grandkids!  And it was grand ( :

There’s something really sweet about seeing your own offspring take up the camping tradition and carry it on in their own ways. The kids loved it!  The parents worked hard to make it a real treat.  And we were the beneficiaries ( :

There were moments of doubt as we had not been here before.  And when the road to the campsites turned to gravel and then just kept going, and going, for 15 miles….well, oh me of little faith.  I was ready to turn back and find something less remote.  Of course we didn’t and what a spectacular spot was in store for us!  This is Alberta camping at its best…

If you didn’t get out camping this year,  please enjoy a few virtual moments here…








It was splendid!


Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O LORD, You preserve man and beast. Ps.36:6