We took our friends to see The Devil's Punchbowl on Sunday. This is an incredible basin that has been carved out by a stream on the top of the Niagara Escarpment, and is quite incredible from the bottom looking up.
It looks so innocent down there, beside the Inukshuk. On June 8th a 25 year old from Toronto hopped the barrier above to take photos, and fell 60 feet to his death, perhaps the Inukshuk marks the spot.
After we hiked out of the basin [all the way] to the top of the ridge, it was astounding to see many, many people, young and old, hopping over the barriers to take photos.
Why do people feel that the rules do not apply to them?
I'm sure this accident will result in higher fences. Our natural places becoming more and more 'safe' and anemic because some people cannot fathom the bigger picture.
It was a beautiful walk through the forest on Sunday, but I couldn't help but think that I was trespassing on the soul of this young man.
I think we'll go back, soon, and I'll take some flowers from my garden to scatter at the foot of the cliff. It has been so dry, that the water was not falling. All we could hear were the echoes of our voices bouncing off the ancient stones.
This morning I read that one of our most precious, gentle, lovely gardeners at our Community Garden passed away. Allan was older, from Montreal. He was legally blind, and his wife - Ginger - would bring him to the garden, unlock the gate and leave him to play in the life. He was so full of plant knowledge - and kind - and wry - and just made you feel wonderful.
So Allan has died. And I have his zinnia seeds - these heritage zinnias that he gave me last year, were so beautiful - and I harvested some seeds, which I planted this spring. I have my little zinnias all over my garden this year, they are growing well.
Next I received a text from my daughter-in-law :
We heard the baby's heartbeat this morning. 150bpm ... the midwife said it sounds like a boy.
I find it so difficult to write about the baby, remembering the baby they lost back in January. The pain and sadness. The inability to help, to kiss it better. This baby will be born next January.
Sad & happy.
I have this thing for foraging, but am a little hesitant to pick wild stuff [yet] on my own, so every once and awhile I will register for a foraging day over at Puck's Plenty, in Stratford. Peter takes groups out every weekend from April til November and he is still finding things in the forest that he has never seen before. He is still learning.
We foraged for Nettles this time around, to make Nettle Beer. Wearing stout gloves we waded through the thick ferns - some as tall as me! - and picked the wide leaf nettles and the narrow. The wide leaf nettles sting through denim, but luckily I was wearing these mico-fibre pants that repelled nettles.
Narrow Leaf Nettle
photo from : http://lusaorganics.typepad.com/clean/wonderfully-wild/
Wide Leaf Nettle
photo from : http://www.gentle-stress-relief.com/nettle-infusion.html
After collecting over a kilo of nettle tops, we went to the next stop which was to gather Wild Garlic, which was just peeking up from the forest floor. I did dig up a clump, to plant in my secret garden beside our house. I have a mini forest of cedars and I think the wild garlic will be happy there...
Wild Garlic - it was not up through the earth as much as this.
photo from : https://scottishforestgarden.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/growing-and-eating-wild-garlic/
Mushrooms were being very elusive. We found a few Pheasant Back Mushrooms, and each us managed to go home with at least one. I want to go back in July to focus on mushrooms. My problem is that when I am in the forest I get all glassy-eyed and whimsical, and forget to look for what it is I am there for. Husband is a crazy intense forager, and always finds more than I do.
Husband is Super-Forager
The last thing we foraged for on Sunday was Day Lily buds. The buds were small, and delish fresh from the plant. We ended up treating the small buds with 6 inches of top stalk like asparagus, roasting with a little butter on the bbq. We also took a few lower ends, and treated them much like you do leeks.
photo from : http://honest-food.net/2010/06/29/dining-on-daylilies/lily-pieces/
We had a lovely day in the forest and in the woods. The Avon Trail in Stratford is magical, and I am honoured to live in a province with so many wild places to traipse.
I learn over and over - that the only thing in life I can control is my own self. In the tumultuous week I have just endured, it's all about letting go, letting go, letting go of control. The need for control.
Don't even want to write about work, but will say : Husband is staying, excellent offer to stay, but I felt betrayed - and as though the carpet was pulled out from under my feet.
Today is better.
All is better today.
Aside from all this SHIT - I discovered a blogger I used to follow committed suicide over a year ago - death by train.
This floored me. And I am so sad that she is dead. She created beautiful things. Why are we so fragile?
To help with my sadness - I registered for an art course - Pottery for the Soul.
I think I need to play in the mud.
Husband and I went for some good walks this week. I gathered stones from the nearby shore of Lake Ontario - and have been enjoying the sensation of touching these smooth stones.
Friday in a quiet office on a hot day. One more hour and I will make my escape, into the heat, onto a bus, to a messy house.
There are so many tasks to be completed outside right now that my interior has gone to crap. My kitchen floor, always annoying because it is white, looks very needful of a wash. My Luna cat has been shedding black fur all over the place and it all just looks a little neglected.
Last Saturday Luna had an abscess erupt and what a panic that was. Husband up a ladder, and 3rd son and I trying to mop up the mess, contain and assess the wound and a very upset 4 year old cat with talons. Poor thing, I didn't even know she had a swelling let alone space inside it for so much stuff.
I called a co-worker who has a partner who works as a vet assistant and she talked me down off panic level. Luna was isolated in the basement bathroom with towels, a small litter box, water and food. She was not at all interested in keeping on her cone while her wound drained though.
By Sunday morning, it looked good, and she graduated to my bed with a towel. On Monday morning she was really full of energy and keeping her inside was a challenge. We just had to make it through the long weekend without needing to visit the emergency vet - which would be a token $2000 - and on Tuesday we took her to our vet who was very pleased with the area. They gave her a shot of antibiotic and she has been healing by leaps and bounds all week.
I am tired, though. Change is good, but all the same I'm more than a little burnt out.
Daughter has had such a hard time battling bed-bugs in her apartment. A rolling cycle that has been exhausting and discouraging for her and her roommates. Other aspects of her life is good though, her relationship with the red-bearded Joey is strong, and she is happy.
I've been suffering from insomnia lately. I am pretty sure it is stress related, as Husband is preparing to give notice to his present employer tomorrow, and will begin a new [old] job at the beginning of June. This is incredible news for him, as we have been seeing erratic behaviour swings from present boss for the last few months that was causing us great concern. The Gods pulled through as he was contacted by an old employer, and a good job offer was made and accepted.
Myself - I will stay for the aftermath, which will NOT be pretty, and wait until they let me go. I believe they will. So some sleepless nights are ahead, but all for good. Moving into the light again, this period of darkness - craziness - hopefully soon a thing of the past.
Last year it was moving away from the neighbour madman, this year it is severing employment from the mad king. The things I have witnessed in the last 5 years - incredible. Soon, Husband will be free.
Spring is moving so slowly this year which is both a blessing and frustration. The Victoria Day long weekend looming, the traditional weekend for planting. We will probably do some planting, especially the baby asparagus.