Friday, April 24, 2009

Some Spring time Pictures and The Common Cold, Disguised.

It seems that you can turn any corner, unawares, and be floored by the Common Cold, disguised as a slight headache and a scratchy throat. Once it has you in its throes it diabolically expands into a full blown sinus event, with all the symptoms....headache, sore throat, achy ears - and then everyone whispers at you to make life even more miserable.

This has been a busy week during which I held the cold at bay, but when we came home last night and I relaxed it moved in for the kill....

We have been traveling, - once to the south-east over the Richter Pass to Osoyoos, to have a delightful lunch with our friend, who turned 101 at the end of December.

And yesterday we took a different route into the Okanagan Valley, over the Yellow Lake Pass to Penticton to attend the funeral of a dear friend, and later to have a glass of wine with other old friends from Charles' school days.

Let me share with you some of the pictures we took on Tuesday from the moving car as we went whizzing through the countryside, late leaving and hurrying like the White Rabbit.

As we passed through the Valley far off in the west the peaks of the Cathedral mountains poked their head inquisitively over the shoulders of the Similkameen Hills.

And Chapaka, off to the south and still topped with snow, straddled the border with the U.S.A.

We skirted the river, around the cliffs high above it, and then turned to the east, up the winding Richter Pass road.

The road cuts through the Elkink Ranch, - green grass dotted with hundreds of contented cows and calves. They have built ingenious corrals from old tires, - sturdy and ecologically friendly.

The Ranch lies in a lovely narrow valley, and within the circle of slightly lower land if the water level is high, some years there is a small pond.

The road gets steeper as we continue up, and I am delighted to see on the hillsides great swathes of black eyed susans....lovely to look at, but a danger to pick in the spring because of the ticks who find them delicious too.

We come to a small benchland, and off to the right is Spotted Lake, long valued by First Nations for its healing qualities. Its colours vary, - sometimes it is shimmering and rainbow hued, but today the circles are quite a lovely shade of green and grey.

Here are the two sweet gentlemen I lunched with.

And on the way home we confined our picture taking to capturing the hillsides of Olalla (Saskatoon) bushes, more interesting snaps of Chapaka (where the snow makes slightly menacing primitive faces) and a nice country view of the farms closer to home.


From yesterday I can only offer a picture of the gorgeous blue of Skaha Lake, lying to the south of Penticton.

Well, I am off now to steam my poor head, have some hot water, honey and lemon, and perhaps a dash of rum........
SkyWatch Friday

Late afternoon clouds over the Cawston hills.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

ABC Wednesday

N is for Nosegay

My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
- Song of Solomon 2:10

Edouard Manet A Bouquet of Violets

A bouquet, a nosegay, a tussie-mussie - by any name a posey of violets is probably one of the sweetest things about spring.

Later in the season the roses and carnations and the lilies and other fragrant flowers call to be gathered and made into beautiful small bouquets for brides or as gifts that will fit into a tea cup and send messages of love and friendship.

But in the spring, the violets and the lily of the valley waft their fragrance and beguile the garden visitor into picking a few small stems to tuck into a sleeve or a neckline, - somewhere where the scent will delight as they go about their business.

Indeed, having existed since medieval times, 'they were once carried or worn around the head or bodice to mask the unpleasant smells of the times' (from Wikipedia).

And in Victorian times no lady would go out into the streets without carrying a small tussie-mussie to keep the sensitive nose content, (or gay). The more elegant bouquets would be carried in a silver holder, the better to keep the stems moist and the blooms fresh.

What a wonderfully romantic way to convey the language of love. A red rose for 'I love you' - a yellow rose for 'friendship' the lily of the valley for 'sweetness' and the violet for 'faithfulness'. And always the fern for magic and fascination.

Can you picture in your mind's eye a dashing gentleman, stopping on the street to buy violets from this small girl; tucking them into his own lapel and whistling on his way, off to see his love.....

I will bring you the lily that laughs,
I will twine with soft narcissus
the myrtle, sweet crocus, white violet
the purple hyacinth, and last,
the rose, loved of love.
Hilda Dolittle 1886-1961

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us.

Organist Jelani Eddington and pianist David Harris play Louis Moreau Gottschalk's "Grand Tarantelle" live in concert at Grace Baptist Church, Sarasota, Florida

What grand entertainment!