Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Compost Animal Hypothesis

... driving through the pass in the Autumn ...
Glen dropped by to say he had been doing the worst of the jobs around growing hops.

Because of the speed with which they grow, hops are fun to watch. 

Picking the hops is a joy for they are the magic ingredient in brewing beer.

But getting rid of the vines – that is the kicker in the fall. I asked if they were going to the burn pile but he looked at me in environmental horror. “No, I am composting them,” he said.

“We having been composting. A bear knocked over our barrel again,” I said.

“I saw a deer, a large one at the cabins yesterday,” he said. "I stopped and yell, 'Go deer.'  It looked right back at me and didn’t move. Do you think your bear might be a deer?”

And with that, I could see that I can get my composting going again. I don’t mind attracting deer. I just don’t want a bear strolling across my lower patio.

Bonnie and I walked in the fall leaves this morning. They are strewn across the road that goes past my house to the beach, so thick that no one would know a road is underneath. On the walk to the east we stopped to check out both of Wyona’s apple trees, since she told us that if we have any time, we could pick them for her and put them in her garage. Her apple tree to the west of the house is one that should be the prototype for The Garden of Eden story. Even Adam would have stolen an apple from that tree. But only about 10 of those apples are left and they are hanging on high branches. Her red delicious apple tree is laden with fruit, large, shiny, every apple too big to fit comfortably in one hand. Bonnie said that the fall crunch is in those apples now – fully ripened and still hanging on the tree, they have that delicious cracking sound that comes when the skin of the apple is broken with the first bite.

... close to the summit ...
The leaves from the trees on the Wood’s lawn have fallen straight down. No wind. An Alberta wind would have toss those leaves onto the lawn of the neighbours. But no. Here the leaves sit in a perfect circle around the trunk of the tree. The rest of the lawn is green, the morning dew on the tips of every blade of grass.

I think the CPR have marked some trees to be taken down, for there are splashes of black paint sprayed on the trunks of some of the birches that had now died. Bonnie went to look more closely at those dark marks. I hadn’t noticed them. But she has lived here longer, now alert to the quick movement of a squirrel off in the forest, or curious about the louder sound of the stream rushing under the road.

We can’t walk in the early mornings. I thought we could just go between here and the Pillings, but Bonnie Wyora showed me this morning that it is just too dark. No stars. No moon. Dark. So I turned my exercise into the daytime job of moving the rocks I have been collecting from one of the garden beds. I go deep with my pick axe and then try to separate out the rocks that can stay from those that have to go.

I would rather be walking, maybe even in the dark.



  1. i can practically feel the leaves under my feet!

  2. How about hearing the crack in the skin of new apples when you take the first bite. Last night Bonnie was eating one of the Red Delicious apples. The skin is more wine coloured than red. She looked at it and said, "I know the skin of this apple is not waxed, for I picked it right fro the tree. But it is hard to believe that there is nothing commercial about this apple, it is such a beauty."

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  4. Kerri, you had this lovely comment out here and then with the wrong click of a finger, I accidentally removed it as I went to reply. So though no one can read your comment, here is what I have to say when I made my one-click mistake that I couldn't bring back. Yes to what you had to say about the dew clinging to the blades of grass. You are a professional photographer. I am just a person with a cell phone, but I see the same thing as you -- that drop of dew on a blade of grass and I want to capture the image when I see it. Though I try with words, you do it better with your camera.

    I had some grapes that I had picked from a vine and I put them on a plate to photograph them. When I did, I didn't capture it just right and I went back to photograph it again and again. Finally I took one last look at the grapes and saw that the picture I had captured was the grapes in reality, and I was seeing something less than was there. I was trying to get rid of the sun glistening on the skin. But the camera caught it. Silly me, but I actually didn't see it until it was in a jpeg.

    Thanks for reading, Kerri. There is a part of the world that we see in the same way. Maybe many parts.