I have been remiss in writing a blog these past six weeks. It seems that every time I sit to write about something which has happened in the world, and to which we should pay attention, something else happens! The Canadian election campaign has provided all sorts of food for thought, from racist theatrical make-up to institutionalized racism, from scripted soundbites to the white noise of a people talking over each other and calling it a debate, from smart one-liners to personal putdowns. About the only things missing are discussions of policy or passionate descriptions of what a brave new world might look like. A brave new Canadian world, that is, contextualized as it must be by the outrageous actions of the President to the south of us, and the consequences of those actions in Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere; contextualized by Brexit, which rips apart not only the UK and Europe but the British and French history of Canada, not to mention the major trade partnership between Canada and the EU; contextualized by the harsh realities of climate change, and the carbon debate which threatens the oil producing parts of Canada with economic chaos and rest of us with the growing understanding that life in a harsh northern climate becomes increasingly untenable without light, heat, and sump pumps. It is now Thanksgiving, and so I think that I will ignore all that doom and gloom until next time. Instead, I’ll ponder on the wilder side of life.
The wild wet weather of an Atlantic fall (autumn) has rapidly made us all forget those long dry days of summer. The rain of Tropical Storm Erin was followed by the rain and wind of what was officially described as a Post-Tropical Storm with Hurricane Force Winds; we just called it Dorian. Except for the good people of Halifax, who insisted that it should be renamed, or at least have the letters rearranged, to represent the famous fast-food delicacy which was invented in that city. To them, this storm was known as Hurricane Donair.
Really! See https://www.kingofdonair.ca/
Whatever the name, the storm battered the Island, bringing down trees, flooding roads and homes, toppling power lines, and generally causing mayhem.
That said, even those whose trees fell, who lost power for 7 or 8 days, who couldn’t get into work because of a broken culvert, all were grateful that it hadn’t been worse. Like many around the world, we had spent the previous two weeks watching the devastation that Hurricane Dorian had brought to the Bahamas. The images of an apocalyptic landscape were seared in our minds and as we looked around the Island, we were grateful that we had been spared that experience. Although a local annoyance, in the greater scheme of things, a few toppled dry bean stands really didn’t count for much.
The storm surge brought all sorts of interesting debris to the beaches, including a rare blue lobster which caught Kula’s attention.
Once we added some mussels and razor clams, a crab and some scallops, we had a veritable post-storm buffet.
We could have added elvers, washed up in the eel grass that littered the dunes, but we decided to stay with shellfish.
We’ve had two more major storms since then, and there has been another special weather statement issued for later this week. The ground is saturated, and there is a fear that more strong winds could bring down more trees. These are still in full leaf, which look beautiful as they turn to autumnal golds and reds, but act as sails when the wind blows. Until then, they will continue to provide shade and shelter for the beehives which line the fields, hired out to a farmer to pollinate a blueberry field.
The leaves will also act as catchment areas should it snow. I was out in Calgary at the end of September and had a rude reminder that winter is on its way.
Until that cruel day arrives, I continue to plant the bulbs which hopefully will bring bright spring colour to the end-of-winter drabness. The garlic bulbs are planted, following my grandmother’s rule that they should go in after the autumnal equinox and before the new moon of October. And there was a first in my garden – somehow a frog found the pond and surprised me with its presence.
To misquote Rick in Casablanca: “Here’s lookin’ at y’all.” Happy Thanksgiving!