Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Carving Time

I have a thing for owls in trees. There's this experience I had one evening a while back in the woods...a memory.

The pumpkins were gathered up today. There were fourteen of them in the garden. I think there are four left out there (not the ones in the picture; those were grabbed).

Here's me bringing in the kill:

With the pumpkin slicked from the rain and from washing it down with the hose it looks like I just gave birth to it. And the labour was so intense it caused my hairline to rapidly recede.

The membrane, the actual meat of these Rouge Vif d'Etampes pumpkins, is so incredibly thick and sweet smelling. You really have to put some effort into carving these ones.

Here's a couple more shots:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Desert Fathers


VII. At one time the abbot John was climbing up from Scete with other brethren: and he who was by way of guiding them mistook the way: for it was night. And the brethren said to the abbot John, "What shall we do, Father, for the brother has missed the way, and we may lose ourselves and die?" And the old man said, "If we say aught to him, he will be cast down. But I shall make a show of being worn out and say that I cannot walk, but must lie here till morning." And he did so. And the others said, "Neither shall we go on, but shall sit down beside thee." And they sat down until morning, so as not to discountenance their brother.


The importing/exporting, shipping and packaging of produce mystifies me.

These cranberries are a "product of USA".

This can mean one of two things. Either the berries were grown here in Canada,

and then shipped to the U.S. to be packaged and then sent back to us (Canada), or it can mean simply that the berries were grown in the U.S. and shipped to be packaged in Canada, Nova Scotia.

I know the former is what happens to a lot of the cranberries grown here in British Columbia. They are grown here and then sent to the Ocean Spray company in the U.S. and then shipped back to us as a "U.S. product".

I'm sure there's a name for this, but don't know what it is. Boomerang exports?

It's strange, but at least not as bad as having the wherewithal to grow some of the finest, tastiest garlic in your own province, and instead importing the blandest, most pathetic garlic from China. (I'm sure China is capable of growing good garlic but shipping that distance requires produce that can endure the travelling. The more like styrofoam the better.)

There's a name for that and I know it. It's called profit margin.

By the way, tomorrow, October 12th., is Thanksgiving Day in Canada.

I'm grateful for a lot of things; things that, once I start counting, shed all their relation to numbers, for I see the things expanding out to eternity, and gaining a value that I cannot comprehend.

Damien of Molokai canonized today

Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me; I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.

I preferred her to scepters and thrones, and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.

Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem, because all gold is but a little sand in her sight, and silver will be accounted as clay before her.

I loved her more than health and beauty, and I chose to have her rather than light, because her radiance never ceases.

All good things came to me along with her, and in her hands uncounted wealth. --Wisdom 7: 7 - 11

And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.

You know the commandments: `Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'"

And he said to him, "Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth."

And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."

At that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.

And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!"

And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, "Then who can be saved?"

Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God."

Peter began to say to him, "Lo, we have left everything and followed you."

Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel,

who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. --Mark 10: 17 - 30

Saint Damien of Molokai,

Pray for us!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Kurosawa's Dreams

If you find Akira Kurosawa's Dreams (1990) at the rental store give it a try. I watched it several years ago and remember the evocative power of these 'dreams'. The film consists of eight different segments, each one a dream; Kurosawa's own dreams. Whether dreams he dreamed in his sleep or dreamed while awake we don't know.

The following one, 'Crows', is probably the film's weakest segment (the part where the aspiring painter walks through the painting stills looking for Van Gogh is cringe worthy, and are those commercially pre-stretched canvases that Van Gogh is carrying?), but interesting nonetheless. George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic provided the visual effects.

And Scorcese as Vincent Van Gogh...bleh. Bleh. Bleh. No thanks.

Dreams - Van Gogh from Thiago Barbosa on Vimeo.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Ink Drawing - Cloth and Potatoes

Garden Sprawl Friday

In this post from August I wrote about two projects for the front and back. The back still remains the same, but the front (planned as a B.C. native garden),

I have been working on:

It's a start. There's much more to be done. Salvaged stone and brick will be used, and the garden will be extending further both ways - actually three ways, as the front part, curving along the path-to-be, will be coming further out and more bushes planted.

Those wood and foliage chippings,

were all used up.

I'll re-seed that grass.

I mixed sand into the chippings, as well as some of the native soil that I originally dug out. And where I put the plants in (the ones that I have put in so far), I did a mix of the same but with peat and saw dust as well.

Here's some of the plants:

Lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea).

I hope to have the lingonberries as the main planting.

Here is Bearberry (Arctostaphylos), or Kinnikinnick:

And this one I am looking forward to:

It is an evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum - var.‘Thunderbird’) found in Tofino on Vancouver Island.

Here's an interesting one I found at the nursery:

It is Gaulnettya wisleyensis (Wisley Pearl). It is a cross between gaultheria (Salal) and pernettya.

And my favourite of all, the red huckleberry - Vaccinium parvifolium - (not a true huckleberry):

You have to go into the woods for them. As I said before, there's a reason why you do not see them in cultivation. They only grow on the decomposition of evergreens, mostly douglas fir. I need to find rotting material and some douglas fir stumps/logs. These two specimens I took from Redwood Park. I made sure to take some of the deep red, long advanced wood-rot of the fallen tree they were growing on.

Taking bareroot specimens of red huckleberry is difficult. It is impossible if you try and take one that is a big bush, or even a medium bush, as the roots go out far and you cannot dig up the entire root system to support that large a plant. So you find the smallest ones, and dig up as much root as possible; then when you plant it you clip off some of the stem and leaves. The ones pictured above have their native soil beneath the peat moss that I put on top.

I took them from the woods about three weeks ago, or more. They seem to be doing alright.

News Headline: Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

I needed a good laugh this morning.

It was one of those explosion laughs, where your cheeks inflate before the wanton burst comes out.

But then it quickly fizzled, with nothing to bite on. There was A Big Nothing there that escaped the heretofore human equilibrium of give-and-take, whereby things are handled and inspected and criticized - escaped it altogether. It is the fuel that Obama is running on.

And I'm not sure those arrested at Notre Dame are laughing.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Desert Fathers

CLXVII. The abbot Agathonicus, head of the monastery of our holy father Saba, used to tell, "I went down one day into Ruba, to make my way to the abbot Poemen the solitary. And when I had found him and had told him my thoughts, he sent me when it came to evening into a cave: it was winter, and that night was bitter chill, and I was stiff with the fierceness of the cold. The old man came to me in the morning, and said to me, 'What ails thee, my son?' I said to him, 'Forgive me, Father, but I passed a bitter night with the cold.' He said to me, 'For my part, my son, I felt no cold.' I was mightily astonished to hear it, for indeed he was naked. And I said to him, 'Of thy charity, tell me how it came that thou didst not feel so fierce a frost?' And he said to me, 'There came a lion, and went to sleep beside me, and he kept me warm.' "

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Once by the Pacific
By Robert Frost

The shattered water made a misty din.
Great waves looked over others coming in,
And thought of doing something to the shore
That water never did to land before.
The clouds were low and hairy in the skies,
Like locks blown forward in the gleam of eyes.
You could not tell, and yet it looked as if
The shore was lucky in being backed by cliff,
The cliff in being backed by continent;
It looked as if a night of dark intent
Was coming, and not only a night, an age.
Someone had better be prepared for rage.
There would be more than ocean-water broken
Before God's last Put out the Light was spoken.

Life Chain this Sunday, Oct. 4