Tuesday, July 20, 2010
menaces tiny deer. Roger Corman directs.
Nature, red in bloom and berry, is yapping about my heels like a border collie, lately. The rhubarb has sprung up again, after a disappointing first season, and the Transparent tree has already begun to drop apples. I have a huge bowlful that I need to process and turn into crumble or pie soonest.
I've been trying to thin out the apples, but it doesn't seem to have much effect. The deer is helping, so to speak, but concentrates his efforts on the same areas I can already reach. That and he's eaten the tops off the broccoli and the tomatoes, yet we aren't allowed to shoot him within city limits.
The alba roses are pretty much done, the gallica are still blooming away, and the front yard roses are small but steady--the Dortmund continues as usual, promiscuously.
Last month we drove out to Le Coteau and other farms & nurseries on the south island, and came back with more blueberry bushes, a josta and another currant bush. The last two have been planted behind the workshop, where a stand of volunteer poppies is flourishing away already.
We also stopped at a couple of wineries, a ginnery (I'm sure that's not the word) with an amazing steampunkish distilling apparatus, Babe's Honey and Sun Wing Tomatoes.
The spearmint honey doesn't taste at all like spearmint. It's like a double buckwheat honey. Mmm.
This month I've been to the Stranded Mermaid Tourney, near Lund, and to July Coronation, sort of near Yakima. Clear hot weather for both, with a side of mosquitoes. I'm hoping that will be it for the next while, so that I can get back into the routine of writing.
Still, had a great drive back from Mermaid, the ferry from Powell River to Comox, then taking the Seaside scenic route whenever possible. Stopped in Qualicum, and Kellii and I went wading in the shallows, which were bathwater warm and clear enough to see all the tiny tiny crabs skittering across the sand. Near the Malahat, the wind picked up, and swirled clattering arbutus leaves and barks in a russet barrage against the van. Three times this happened, as if we were driving into a pocket of autumn. I hope it doesn't mean some sort of arbutus die-off.
Coronation was at Fulbright Park, near Yakima. It's big and flat, with a stream/river running along one side. It had been mown a few days before, but not baled, and I spent part of the first night making mental plans for what to do if the field caught fire. Given that most SCA members are unacquainted with camping except within the SCA, and seem to think of open flame as a sort of special effect or CGI, I think it must be entirely due to that god that looks after imbeciles that there's been no serious fire in the last dozen years. One encampment had low tiki torches to mark their entry, and had cleared the hay away to a big pile right next to the torches and almost exactly as tall.
I figured I could, with the right incentive, scramble through the wild rose and thistles on the bank of the river closest to us, and land in the water. Fortunately it didn't come to that.
However, while investigating the river bank, I discovered that the edge of the field was full of great big teazle plants, and cut about a dozen teazle heads for Elisa to make a teazle comb, for next year's Fort Rodd Hill. And, y'know, they're cool, as noxious weeds go.
Alicia and I set up under a big willow tree (YES!) with shade from afternoon on. We laid a thick layer of straw in the tent, and laid tarps and mats over that, then our beds. I wished like heck that I'd brought one of the tick bags from home, so that I could have stuffed a tick with unthreshed hay, and maybe snuck a bagfull home to try making a bee-skep with it, and see if it worked better than threshed & baled hay, which is annoyingly short.
Because I didn't have many commitments, I was able to reduce my TBR pile, just a little. Finished The Last Apprentice, by Joseph Delaney, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan, Darkborn, by Alison Sinclair, Monstrous Regiment, by Terry Pratchett, The Silver Ship and the Sea, by Brenda Cooper, and Precious Dragon, by Liz Williams.
Didn't get as much napping in as I'd hoped, even though I should have been tired enough. But I did sleep most of the way back from Yakima, shirking my duties as shotgun to keep the driver entertained.
I still haven't seen the actual deer, by the way. The photographic evidence is all Mark's work.