Hearing about all the snow today everywhere in the west, I'm happy to report that we didn't get any. We even got some rain, something that I am almost always thankful to receive. The peas that these guys planted on April 7th appear to be coming through and I have quite a lovely perennial border right now. The tulips are nearly all blooming, the bergenia is beautiful, candytuft is just opening and the daffs and heathers are really lovely. The rock garden plants have just started to bloom and it is truly a lovely time of year! Just picked a wee bit of swiss chard that overwintered so plan to try it tonight. Happy Spring!
Saturday, 27 April 2013
This is spring in Rossland a week ago and it was quite a bit better by the end of this week. In their mud suits, this is one time that our twins dress alike. I know that it's been a very late spring all across Canada but I do find that it takes forever for the greenhouses in our area to get any bedding plants. I've been ready to put my deck pots together for a couple of weeks - with expectations to have to cover them or move them inside once or twice - and I haven't been able to get any plants! I never would have thought about doing pots in SK prior to May, but here I think I could have safely put some pots together at the end of March this year. We've had frost since then, but not a bad frost and many things can handle it. Bring on the spring planting, growers!
Saturday, 20 April 2013
This is a really good way to know that your grandchildren have come to visit - for those of us with the under age 2 set. We finally had the grandchildren visit two weeks ago - if there isn't a bike or running race in Kaslo, it's way easier for us to go to Rossland. We do that pretty regularly. The past two Fridays we've been able to take the boys to visit the Thrift Store (best bargains in the Koots) and to storytime at the library. My favourite grandparent story is this one. Miro had his fingers caught in a door jam a few days ago - he's been warned hundreds of times. At Strong Start last week, Atley had his fingers in the door jam at the school and Miro raced across the room and pulled Atley's hands out! Mi nieto es mucho sympatico, verdad?
Tuesday, 16 April 2013
The Maryhill Museum - or the Maryhill Art Gallery as I think it should be called - is worth a visit if travelling in the Columbia Gorge. It's on the WA side of the river and has an interesting array of different objects. The museum itself has an interesting history because its founder, Samuel Hill, became a patron of the arts. He was supported by a couple of influential people in Europe who were friends and either art boosters, or artists themselves. If you're "cheap" and want a free visit, the sculpture garden isn't huge, but it's got some neat stuff. The views are tremendous and there are interpretive signs as well as a picnic area - all open to the general public. There's a big tribute to Rodin, examples of art from indigenous peoples, and some travelling exhibits. My favourite piece is Robert Douglas Hunter's, "Peter, the Little Leaguer". I enjoyed my visit and encourage others to take the time to see it.
Monday, 15 April 2013
No, this isn't Kaslo! I discovered a few balsam root and lupines in bloom in the Columbia Gorge in late March - it's such a great place to visit to warm up! We enjoyed a couple of days of biking and walking near Deschutes State Park and I love getting that early taste of spring. It was good to get home to several plants blooming in my own garden. Two weeks later it isn't nearly so colourful and my poor daffs are struggling to open while shivering in the breeze. It beats the prairies this year, however, so I won't complain.
Saturday, 13 April 2013
I had to visit Yamhill, Oregon while on our trip because this is where Beverley Cleary, the wonderful children's author, grew up. I love to pay homage to authors that I particularly like and Beverley Cleary makes the cut. We didn't have to go too far out of our way to go through this town. The "general store" here was very interesting in terms of old-fashioned stuff - main street of the town was pretty run down. There is absolutely nothing in town that recognizes her stature in the world of children's literature but the Portland Public Library (main branch) has named the Children's Department in her honour. If you are scrambling for thoughts about what she wrote: Ramona, Henry and Ribsy may ring a bell for you. Her autobiography is called The Girl From Yamhill.
Tuesday, 9 April 2013
We had a mid-morning "snack" at this place while we visited Oregon. It's just south of Newport, OR, a popular place to visit because of the Oregon aquarium. We stayed at the state park just south of here (South Bay State Park) and I wouldn't really recommend it - a bit too insane with people and I've seen nicer beaches. It does have a long sand beach, but there's too much growth along the shore around here. There are parts of Oregon that are way too built up. I wouldn't say the food was fantastic here - way too much of this "dipped and fried" variety, but the smell was heavenly. I don't tend to eat a lot of seafood because of the polluted environment we've given to all the animals who have to live there. I enjoy the bits that I do eat. When we ate, continuous Beatles were playing and that's never a bad thing.
Friday, 5 April 2013
We like the Oregon state parks and Cape Lookout is a favourite. It had a bad windstorm come through the area a few years ago and there are quite a few dead trees near the campground, but I like its brightness, its promixity to the beach, and the great trail nearby. We had a nice bike ride along the beach here, too. This is an easy place to catch the Oregon Coast Trail and there's a short hike (about 5 km) over to the hike out to Cape Lookout. The Oregon Coast Trail continues to another huge beach and how far one gets to walk on the beach I will probably never know. We found the park relatively quiet after Nehalam Bay State Park which was crawling with people. The spring break in Oregon schools begins the week PRIOR to Easter so the parks were busy. We had a "rest day" here and enjoyed some hiking and sitting around. Lots of trillium in bloom along the trail.
Monday, 1 April 2013
There are many times when I actually do like B.C. Ferries. We were fortunate enough to get a sunny, uncrowded, relaxed crossing on March 17th. I was only able to identify one leprachaun on the ferry. I love the ride through Active Pass and always enjoy looking at the fancy homes on the islands and seeing the "other" ferry passing in the opposite direction. Our brief time on the Island worked out well with a couple of days of sunshine and some good walks. I managed to run each day on The Galloping Goose Trail near Newton X Road to Island View Road and my dad and I did some nice walks in Elk Lake and Centennial Parks. It was good to get that head start on spring. Even though it rained heavily at night, the morning we left, the sun shone over Victoria harbour as we took the ferry to Port Angeles, WA. Victoria's harbour is a very pretty one when you get to see it.