Monday, 29 August 2011

Pulling Up Stakes

I emptied the garden of pea stakes this p.m. and it was with some regret. We had wonderful peas this year and they just kept on producing until about a week ago. However, I have to recognize that we put the stakes up about a day after the snow left the garden and I planted the peas on March 28th, the day before we left to catch our flight to Britain. Five months of support ain't bad! A weird thing that happened this year was that the sweet pea seed that I purchased (mixed variety) came up with only TWO colours - light and dark purple, so I just wasn't getting my usual fix with sweet peas. I do have another small trellis with sweet peas where I can get my daily sniff for the month of September. I always feel that the pea stakes are the beginning and the end of garden season, but we've still got a long way to go before there are ripe tomatoes. The squash are maturing and getting bigger. There are a few ripening tomatoes. Green pepper is doing well and I've tried leeks for the first time this year and it looks like a good year for leek and potato soup.

Summer Bears

I actually took this picture a month ago but haven't had time to blog much these days. The picture was taken around 7:45 a.m. - I'd come around the corner from doing my usual garden work and saw that we had a bear in the yard. He was right beside our fence (electric wire and all), but scooted up a tree as soon as he saw me. I know that he made his entry over the driveway gate; we have no electric wire there. I left for Kaslo for a couple of hours and when I came back the bear was still in the tree! He(She?) didn't leave until 11:30 when it finally decided to come down. I stood on the deck with my pots and pans to make sure it went down OUTSIDE the fence. He certainly took off quickly. Between my pots and pans and the guys who are house building across the road, I haven't seen much of him since. Because the snow took so long to leave the high alpine most of our valley bears have just stuck around all summer and are hanging about everyone's gardens. Now that the fruit is ripening I'm sure we'll see more of this guy.
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Saturday, 27 August 2011

Mission Accomplished in 2011

Last Sunday we decided to take a quick trip over to the east side of Earl Grey Pass and actually see the scenery that we missed last fall while doing the trail over 4 rainy days. Here is Mt. Hamill and its glacier, one of the spectacular sights that we missed! Our trip was planned very last minute and we didn't get to the trailhead until nearly 5 p.m. on Sunday. Two hours of rapid hiking brought up to our planned campsite. The next day we were on the trail by 7:30 a.m. and had a hot day with splendid weather for peak viewing. It took us nearly 4 hours to climb to the pass and by the time we got back to "teepee" camp we were pretty much totally wasted. It was well worth the effort, however, and I've now seen the beautiful mountains of the east and west Purcells along Earl Grey Pass.
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Saturday, 20 August 2011

Games Over!

Sue and I finished out of the medals in the C section of our competition, but did manage a 4th place (in C section) and ended up as the top finisher from our Zone, which was Zone 6, representing Trail/Nelson/Castlegar area. After the first two rounds we were doing well and held our own through the third session on Friday a.m. Friday p.m. was a very tough round and we dropped rapidly. This morning we had a very competetive game and played quite well. I wore my Queen and Jack of Spades earrings and with Sue staring at those she had great card luck. We bid and made one slam and had a couple of other great bids. It wasn't enough to place us in the medals. I was pleased that the day I got good cards and played as declarer 9 times we had a good score. In the end, we finished 10/29 so we were fairly pleased. It was a fun event and we didn't complain at all about being immersed in cards inside a school on these brilliant sunny days. Next time, I hope the venue is a lakeside open deck!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

All the Excitement!

I know that you're all waiting with bated breath to hear the results from the B.C. Seniors Games! We had our first day of bridge competition and had a rather ho-hum start in the a.m., coming in about 8th out of 13 teams sitting East/West. In the p.m. we managed to get a 2nd place so I think we're doing okay so far. We compete again tomorrow and than on Saturday a.m. Sue and I are enjoying playing teams from different parts of the province and we just LOVE playing this game!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Hiking 2011: Alps Alturas

This hike is one of my favourites in the Koots and we had perfect weather for it today. Ten hikers left Kaslo at 7:30 a.m. and we were "high" by 9:30. The hike only took us 2 hours; most of us declined to traverse the snow slopes which were on a pretty big incline and we didn't want to face the consequences of a fall. I had a few moments of panic, when one person in our party who did decide to go over the snow, lost his balance and did slide down a slope. Fortunately, he stopped before the rocks below! The alpine flowers were nice, although not spectacular - some lupine, paintbrush, arnica and valerian adorned the slopes to the south, but it is really just the start of the season. The west-facing slopes had plenty of aneome that was just finishing, decorated with buttercup and hellebore. It was perfect hiking weather in the high country and several of the party enjoyed a dip in Slocan Lake before returning home.
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Hiking 2011: Finally!!

We got out for our first "high" hike on Monday, August 1st. All the roads have been so filled with snow (as well as the trails) so it's been a very, very late season. Lots of places are still impassable. However, on provincial day, August 1st, the "Sunday Hikers" left for the small community of Procter, half way between Kaslo and Nelson, and then took a forest service road up to its end. We then hiked to a ridge where we still experienced pretty limited views. The picture here is looking towards Kokanne Glacier. I found the trail to be pretty steep, but manageable. It was a good trail considering it gets pretty limited use. There were over 60 deadfalls, however! Great to finally have hiking weather.
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