Summer Leavings

16 11 2015

Mtswanson_view_smallView across the North Okanagan from the Mt. Swanson Overlook

 

Now, when the first snow flies, the leavings of summer I find earlier in my field journal warms my skin and me reminds me of the linkage between the seasons.  Winter–summer: different positions on the same orbit.  It’s a thought hard to hold as the the wind blows hard against the house and big snowflakes fall.  I think so often of my field journal as the tool that allows me to explore the present.  Today I am reminded how it can also bring the past forward:  a week removed from normal time, surrounded by family, on the north end of Okanagan Lake.  This valley is terrain I shared with my sister and brother in our childhood and it feels right to be back here with my siblings and our extended families.  Over the course of a week we make time for beachside reading, bird walks along field margins, and a uphill climb through the wetter forest leading up to Mt. Rose and Mt. Swanson.  It’s a landscape I know better in memory than in current time, but the view from the Mt. Swanson has surprisingly pull–even now more than 35 years after I once called this valley home.

meadow_view_small

The fall of Short Creek, cascading down over steep rock is rivaled only by the incline of the wooden steps climbing its height.  What a surprise to find crossbills and pine siskins gleaning insects from the watery seeps lining the cliff face.  It’s not until I read my notes from our last climb that I remember how hot our visit here was with last summer’s record breaking heat.  In summer I wished for the chill of winter;  as winter descends, I long for hot August.  Is this what I do?  Wish away my ability to revel in the present?

short_creek waterfall_small

 

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3 responses to “Summer Leavings”

    16 11 2015
      Theresa (20:35:51) :     Reply

    This makes me yarn for a few days at Finery — it’s barn, the pines, the changing lake…

    16 11 2015
      Theresa (20:37:55) :     Reply

    And for some reason, my tablet added an unnecessary apostrophe. Where did it study grammar?????

    17 11 2015
      Lyn Baldwin (08:53:29) :     Reply

    Theresa;
    I imagine your tablet and my phone were in the same class together!
    The lure of Fintry’s delta reminds me again and again how important it is that we have parks and protected areas to enable public access.

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