Friday, March 28, 2008

Wild island treasure -- and what I wore

I suppose the scene above looks rather scrubby, but it's exemplary of what I've loved about our island since before we bought a place here: the ungroomed roadsides, with grasses that grow knee-to-hip-high in the summer between the wild shrubs, interspersed with all manner of wildflowers -- Queen Anne's Lace, giant thistles, and, admittedly, dandelions as perhaps the most common, but also wild ajuga, honeysuckle, tiger lilies, and such exotic beauties as the native camas lily. By fall, leaves and petals have dropped to reveal the plants' sculptural beauties -- the wonderful seedhead parasols of Queen Anne's lace, especially -- and their rich range of stem colour from tawny golds to chestnut browns to deep burgundies. And in the spring, well! watching these scrubby patches come alive again bit by bit -- what a marvellous show, and it's all free! For example, a closer examination of the scrubby bit above reveals
the wonderful pink-to-raspberry colours of the salmonberry blossom.
Feeding hummingbirds from your feeder is all very well, but let's not forget that nature was doing that job long before us, and let's leave as many patches of the hummers' treasured spring treats as we can.

Below we have some wild irises growing roadside at the edge of a swampy property. Luckily, much of this wetland is in a park, but more development may eventually result in drainage, and what a shame that would be, given how much wildlife, flora and fauna both, requires this kind of habitat.

Also roadside is this gorgeous moss-covered boulder. Cleaning this area of its native trees and shrubs to put in nursery trees for landscaping, with bark mulch and/or lawn around, will mean less and less of the conditions that allow this native moss to thrive. Meanwhile, we turn to our gardening magazines to find out how to whiz up moss and buttermilk in an old blender to paint our placed boulders with in the hopes that they will one day replicate this beauty that Nature produced.
We're having a community meeting this weekend in the hopes of finding ways to protect what we most value about our island home. We're fortunate to have a very wise and skillful facilitator ensuring that the process is respectful to all and that we emphasize the positive.

I suspect this will be a challenge though. Besides the damage I showed you the other day, I have since learned that several neighbours had their telephone service cut for two days (!!) to expedite this move (lines had to be taken down so the house wouldn't hit them as it was moved through). Since one of the neighbours involved is our volunteer fire department's chief, this constituted a safety hazard and not just an inconvenience, and it suggests that just a bit too much accommodation of this kind of development is happening at a bureaucratic level. Whatever, folks are definitely riled.

And because blog-readers cannot live on island news alone, here's a nod to the style-o-centric crowd. When I finally bought a pair of skinny jeans a few weeks ago, I posted that I hoped to try them out with a favourite white cotton shirt-tunic. I did, and I think they work well together. Not so sure about the shoes, though. I'm really looking forward to weather that will make a pedicure worthwhile, and then I'll wear the jeans with some colourful heeled sandals. I love that they work equally well with heels or flats. I have to say, though, that while I liked the price on these Wilfred jeans ($130) from Aritzia, the denim does lose its shape/bag out more quickly than with my more expensive jeans. I'm not sure how many days' wear I could get from them, for example, traveling in Europe, where I'm not going to spend time in a laundromat.


  1. I'm so envious of all the open space and wildlife seemingly right out your door. Beautiful!

    And I like the jeans and white shirt; it's a nice look on you. I've been looking for some skinny jeans in a short (but not too short) length, and they seem to be as rare as hen's teeth!

  2. Pseu: I have to get all my pants hemmed (I'm under 5'4"), but right now, I'm cheating with these skinny jeans and just rolling them under!


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