There's an article on Deep Ecology in this book that I wrote many years ago and wanted to share now. Click on the link (the underlined "this book") and click on "Preview this book" and then scroll down to page 19 where it says "A lovely new year."
People have started pruning; branches are beginning to appear curbside awaiting later pick-up by the city. I don't know what bush or tree the black branches came from. They have been catching my eye for a few days now. My curiosity - and their sedate beauty - made me stop and snap off five stems. Traffic was swishing by and the cracking sound of branch bent to breaking punctuated the more subdued noise of the cars.
The ragged ends got secateur'ed back home and the branches added to stems I collected yesterday from another pile in another neighbourhood. I think they are forsythia. Will be interesting to see what leaves or flowers appear.
In warmer months this hole in rock has leaves and spider webs in it. A week or so ago it had this bracelet.
Today it was empty again.
This is the back door to the 'cave'. Not sure what kind of spider lives there.
The rose bush has last season't leaves, rose hips, new leaves, new buds.
This is a lovely natural area and a barred owl sits in the branches of the fir tree.
This morning I could not see it but there was evidence of its recent presence on the ground.
This is a larger owl than previously. The other one would sit and stare down at me. The new one will watch me for a moment but then slide away to another branch and 'disappear'. So it might have been there.
There was very little movement from this earthworm on the pavement; it seemed more damage than simply the cold. But I dug a bit of a hollow in nearby soil and put it there.
Yesterday the conditions for dining on the outdoor patio at Bon Sushi on Hampshire were perfect: sunshine in a blue sky, only wisps of occasional wind, temperature likely around 5 degrees.
First time this year!
I was suitably dressed with a later 'parkette and crow experience' in mind. The crows saw me on the patio and dropped by. Man showed up with his daily offering of dry cat food for them.
Wonderful music added to the ambience. A man was sitting on the south-facing bench on Oak Bay Avenue by the Pharmacy playing an accordion. "Playing an accordion" is a great understatement. I have never heard an accordion played like this before. I felt gifted by the music, complementing the pleasure of eating outside in the midst of nature, human and otherwise.
This got me thinking about how, when I was checking out Victoria more than twenty years ago, a major factor in leaving my beloved Ontario for here was - in November - seeing the number of people sitting outdoors: reading, eating, simply sitting, chatting . Joining them. Enhanced sheltered areas. Dressed for the weather.
In Toronto we had put down warmth-retaining flagstones in a south-west facing area of the garden, backed it with a protective grape stake cedar fence, created a suncatcher where we could sit and eat and read and chat - weather permitting with our inducements. But this was a unique situation. In Victoria it was the norm.
As I sat on the patio yesterday I thought about the other places where I could sit outdoors thusly. I counted eleven along the two blocks of the Village itself - cafes, delis, coffee shops, restaurants. Oh, just remembered three more.
It's an attitude, I guess, fostered by a more temperate climate. It extends to people's gardens, balconies, park benches.
When I was finished my lunch I strolled up to the Avenue and sat on the bench surround near the musician; watched and listened. Many others paused or stopped. Some spoke with him.
Finally my journalist background got me moving to perch beside him on the bench. He continued playing as I learned that he is from Calgary, a regular visitor to Victoria, used to be in a band, now plays for his own and others enjoyment.
I made these mitts a number of years ago and they have served me well.
But now I want to see how fleece material translates into hand warmers.
There wasn't enough of the fleece left with which I had made a hat the other day. Darn.
This cashmere scarf was the colour I wanted so decided to use it. It's from a time, quite awhile ago, when cashmere sweaters and scarves were plentiful at church sales.
I traced my hand, cut out the pattern, planned to wear the mitts on my errand jaunt to the Village. Dum de dum dum.
Nope. Nope, nope, nope.
The cashmere does not stretch like fleece material does. Once I had sewn first mitten, even before turning it right-side out, I could see that the wrist opening would not fit over my hand. Which is sort of essential to putting on a mitten. It would go on when I cut off the wrist part. But felt too snug. Humph!
I may be able to redeem this pair somehow but for the moment am deciding simply to start over again with fleece material - the leftover from the hat used as one side of each mitten; some other colour fleece used for the back. But not now. Village awaits.
Streetcombing - coming across the flotsam and jetsam of the tides of humanity that wash up on the shores of city streets overnight - was particularly interesting this morning.
A cigarette. Broken. By the curb. Made me wonder if it was a symbol of a New Years resolution.
The eye tends to take the mind on a texture jaunt at sight of this sculpture on the grounds of the Art Gallery of Victoria .....
... this is its history .....
.... but this commanded immediate interest: it is not likely to be there tomorrow. In its own way, an objet d'art, if only in the intent of whoever put it there. And anyone who cared to see it as such.
A New Years tradition is to go to the ocean in early light. This year I chose the beach at the foot of the Dallas Road cliffs; those houses in the distance are lining the road and the people are walking along the top of the cliffs, many with their dogs. (Click on the photo to enlarge it, then click again on the background and 'mouse' around to see the details more closely)
This ramp leads down to the beach. Stroll, slowly, with me, and discover what I discovered.
I was focusing on the beach ahead and wondering if it was accessible from this ramp .... but ... I caught a glimpse .....
I stopped and stared.
I wonder who carved the face. And when. And how long it took. And if an audience gathered or if the artist worked in solitude.
I did not continue further along to the beach. There was no need.