Friday, July 31, 2009

Northern Comandra

I have added on the right column here beside these posts, at the bottom, my berry blog.
But i want to post this berry here first. I love the name and i like it that it's a member of the Sandalwood family.
It is a very common berry here and edible, but i wouldn't recommend it. But heck we all have a different palate, although i have never come across someone eating it.

It is called Geocaulon lividum.
Geocaulon probably meaning something like stem from the earth.
Makes sense, that's how they look, they are individual stems with leaves, tiny quite lovely flowers and now berries.
But lividum means lead color or pale. hmmm that might refer to the flowers, because as you see it here, it is far from pale. In the winter the berry stayes on the stem and is more red. I need many more photos of all its different looks.
But then everyone in the Yukon knows it anyway, right?

So much for the walk i went on; The weather still hot, but very windy. I walk on sandals and only wearing a little sun-dress. I tell you that hardly ever happens.
My legs a little scratched and after finding blueberries, the mosquitoes find me.(ah that's why i mostly dress different.)
Right by these Comandras are Blueberries and Crow berries. Which both are very good to eat! Not my favorite blueberry though, and the crow berry, i always say; tastes like apple.

This is at Moose-skull lake and i decide to go swim. Not my favorite swimming hole :) The water a pleasant temperature, but i don't care for the mud, the water being so shallow, you can imagine.

Looking at the photo, it might remind you of fall, well i tell you, because of the heat and dry weather, it definitely starts to change color here, The fire weed that never came to bloom turning the forest floor, bright yellow and some bright red.

Nevertheless I LOVE THE HEAT.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Polemonium acutiflorum (July 27 in a mountain meadow)
Just wishing i was there laying in the cool grass, beside the stream.

Yezzz! It is hot, the high today I think 34 C (90+ F) So hot i didn't make any pictures. I actually did do a lot of other things, but nothing to exciting.

When going for a swim in my regular spot on the Takhini river, i hear some splashing beside me. Another human being, wow! It is Bruno from Switzerland. Quite the adventurist. I got his web-site and it turns out he has a very different photo of the King's Throne, where i was swimming yesterday. Have a look if you want.

Well the linking doesn't work. But if you want to cool of a bit, go to his site and
go to white blood steps, 2nd photo.

Yeah, he was such a nice guy, having tried to climb one of my dream mountains, Arch mountain at the south end of Kusawa,(he didn't succeed, nobody yet did)
and the swimming and such. I didn't see him but he was swimming in Kusawa Lake when Tilly and i did, I'll try to link that. Not working, see June 2nd, more cooling off photos.

And following the link it doesn't show us swimming. I see why :)

And now i did put the web-site, i was talking about in the first place, at my 'delights', just click on Bruno.

Kathleen lake

Yesterday my birthday.(49)
And a day it was, a birthday my favorite way.
It was hot! 30 degrees C (almost 90 F) and i got to swim (Yukon plunge).
As you who know Kathleen Lake, right under the King's Throne, (you just see his seat, at the top edge of the photo.
(and i got 3 birthday cakes! and mail/email/phone calls, thanks!!!)

My lovely Virginia, takes me for a drive to Dalton Post, on the Haines road.
On the Alaska highway we drive towards the Kluane Range, who's mountains i saw yesterday from 90 km distance. Here in Haines Junction they tower right above the town.

The Haines road is lined all the way, with fields of Fireweed. And Dezadeash lake deep blue. The mountains gorgeous, higher and closer by. Somewhere we take a dirt road steep down into the valley.
To come out by the two rivers meeting. Virginia catches that fish that got away and i do lots of sketching.
And we enjoy the heat! on the way back we have to stop at Kathleen lake for a dip. The water close to the shore is relatively warm.

Thanks for another good one, blessed that i am now almost half way.:)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


It is always a treat to see moose. They are hunted here, and they know. So i am not saying where i saw these two :) What i will say; they are way up high, above the treeline, probably at 4500 feet. In between two mountain peaks, at the head waters of a fairly big, unnamed creek.

I was standing on one peak, and as soon as mom spotted me, she moved towards the other mountain, higher yet. I think i am getting better at spotting them too, I think. Because i don't know how many i passed without seeing them. These two, as you see from the photo, quite far away from me. I saw them as spots, that didn't seem quite right, as being an attached part of the landscape, only with binoculars i see what they are.

Ahhhh, finally i spend a day up there again. On my own, which i do love, i can go exactly on my own speed, wander a little bit here or there, stop where ever i feel like it, etc.

I did see some other animals, a porcupine, that really i almost stepped on. It froze, i suppose doing so in order for me not to see it. It's house, high up the mountain in a kind of rock cave. The top of the mountain is an endless expanse of easy walking terrain, scraped smoothly by the glacier, covered with little plants. All of them in seed now. But then there is these holes of scrambled rock here and there. part of 'veins' that come down the mountain, water flowing often deep down, towards, a place like where the moose where. Sometimes the water backs up a little and creates a lovely green meadow. And that's where there are still flowers blooming. Purple larkspur, monkshood, tall jacobsladder, yellows of potentillas and buttercups, and some tiny saxifragas. And lots of wormwood, and here and there a snack for me; sorels, with beautiful red scapes.

The landscape is also scattered with big boulders. Also part of the work of the glacier., riding on top of the ice and left there when it all melted, loooong time ago.

It's a big world out there, very wide, for six hours i hiked around on top. It's not everybody's place, in a way it is very desolate. The views incredible, i saw several big lakes in the distance. And the edge of the St. Elias range, at least 120 km away.

It took me 3 hours to get up there and three hours to get back, with lots more good stories. For one the blueberries! Right at the treeline. The humongous spruce trees a little lower, with here and there pockets of flowers, the yellow arnicas for example. Happy to have some openings with big slaps of bedrock. And....then i descended yet again in the alders.(Mary what do call it again?) On the way up i had skipped them somehow.

The way i walk, i try to look for a line, and follow that, today looking at the sun (it was hot!) But i never quite know what i encounter. On the way back i ended up in tangled forest for at least 3 quarters of an hour. (a good lesson for life in general, because i don't despair, go slow and steady, and really it is beautiful, and quite varied.) After thinking (third time actually) that i should now come out by the meadow i aimed for, suddenly i see a big! familier Pine. Ahhh, good to see this old friend. And knowing that indeed i did stay right on course. Soon there's the meadow, another hour and i am at my bicycle!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

June Shewan

IN LOVING MEMORY OFBorn June 16 1971 Whitehorse Yukon
Died July 10 2009 Winnipeg Manitoba

Hi there

go with the flow

If i don't have enough to do....
I am going to use my flickr account again.
The reason being i want to be more organized in this computer life of mine.

When i am out there, in the wilderness, i tell you there is never such issue.
All is what is is, Beautifully.

Even the rest of my life is OK, there is always more to do, but i feel i did the essentials and when i didn't do them yet, i will be doing them shortly.
It is only this computer life, where i feel it's beyond me. My storage space recently always flashing up as too full. Alexander says i need a real computer and high-speed Internet, but to me that is not the answer. Somehow i have to.....
hmmm do i start sounding like a control-freak?
I tell you, in the wilderness that is neither an issue. Maybe out there all i have to do is look after myself, really.
Anyway....i will put less photos here, put them instead on a flickr account i have.
I don't know if it makes sense to you, but it does to me.
To find my account: click on 'je zon' under 'delights' on the right hand side of this page.
For today i'll make a link here. je zon

Friday, July 24, 2009


I did get wet to take this picture. But i was so happy to see it. last year i discovered it in shallow water close to the 911 pond. I try to stay dry getting as close to the water as i can, placing my feet on the polls/hummocks? of marsh grass.
soon i see bright yellow among the marsh vegetation in a small pool of water.
As i do get a satisfactory photo, i feel the water going over the edge of my boots. Now i might as well keep going, i roll up my pants, to move in for a close. There you go. And i have to admit, i did something i rarely do, i pulled out the plant.
Last year i could not identify it exactly from the photo.
It is a Utricularia vulgaris ssp macrohiza. The underwater parts of the plant full of little air bladders.

To dry my boots and socks a little bit i lay in the grass, and look up to the flowers. Haha, no i did not. Well i did take of my boots and socks, but took the photo of flowers in the grass, later. Uhmm it's ray flowers white, it looks like a kind of flea-bane, Erigeron, Yes? Eri meaning spring and geron - old man. I could make up all sort of stories.

And to continue: as i lay there looking at a spry old man, suddenly a duck emerges.

No, it was later again, in another pool of water, attracting me by making great splashes. I wonder if this is a young Northern Pintail. I am just guessing.


fringed gentian

blue-eyed grass


hmmm so much to see.
I biked over to the Swans today, no swans in sight.
So i bike through the endless expanse of grass around the ponds. The grass is rippling. a green sea.
Not many water birds at first sight, but when i sit still, i do spot at least 6 families. After a wet adventure, which i will describe in the next post, i return the same way as i came, through the grass. Now not so focused on birds, i find all sorts of treasures in the grass.
The Bluets having sex, it's the male that is on top, in case you are interested.
On a little trail in the forest that connects one meadow to the other, i spot one of my favorite flowers (sorry i have so many) but this one special,first for it's color, and when i look for it, i will never find it. And it doesn't bloom very long. Gentianopsis detonsa ssp yukonensis.
The blue-eyed grass, i didn't even look for it. I haven't seen it for years and never around here. Sisyrinchium montanum.
In that green grass also the blue of flax and slender beard-tongue and the purplish/blue of a sweet smelling astragalus.
These were the blue gifts of the green sea. As the color of the mountains in the background. This one (top picture) the west side of the highest one around, i have not been on there yet, so i thought i post it, maybe i get there some day.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

up hill

You maybe know i love to be above the tree line.
Well i am almost getting there. Yesterday, i climbed the mountain in the back here, which comes close to the treeline but not quite.These photos here are not in the right order, well i actually don't know a right order, so let's just leave it.
It's that Gentianella again, It's what's blooming now abundantly with Yarrow and goldenrod. And all the other flowers already in seed. I took the picture today, looking down on them for at least an hour.

I went biking with Alexander! what a treat.(hmmm being a teenager, i don't get to spend much time with him) We pushed the bikes up the Stony creek trail. Well as you push a bike up 45 degree trails, you look at the ground a lot.

No this is not the trail we rode, today the trail clay, sandy, gravelly and plate size boulders (imagine the downhill part)
But this is the ribs of Annie Ned granite Batholite on my mountain yesterday, great for walking on, the gradient as steep as can be for walking, instead of climbing.

Ah, and yesterday i went to pick raspberries
again. With Janet! Who i met on blog :). Wonderful!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Sanguisorba canadesis ssp latifolia.
She grows in my garden, i transplanted her there from the wild.

She is blooming now, maybe she tells me something about my self? She does smell very sweet:)
her name; Burnet - brunette
sanguis - blood
orbere - to absorb
hmmmm, this Canadian one looks blond to me.
I know i am a brunette, maybe this time of my life i am just, absorbing all that blood being spilled and behaving like a blond.....
For the ones among you who are interested in botany; this burnet just a blond one among her brunette sisters.
For the ones interested in my life besides 'keeper of wild places'. At the moment i just don't seem to get out so much, other priorities somehow. Well calling them priorities is maybe too much. I just do as i please, true my life becomes rather beautiful, but with the ups and downs like all of us. And because of my life style choices never much money.

i am painting a little
for healing?
now all the blood is being

ps, latifolia means broad leaves

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sonja Anderson

Sonja singing and playing

on her little kalimba
a samsula delightful instrument sounding like a clear babbling brook washing over me

Last night i went to bed rather early, and when i was just sleeping, there was a knock on my window and a sweet voice waking me, like a dream. It is Sonja.
Her voice, i wouldn't call it sweet; it can reach notes, i cannot even dream of, and you can only imagine the power, it scares the bears. And so beautiful, it has you sit on the tip of your chair and all you know, is her voice filling the theater.

Hey i am no music critic, but she is a very good soprano!

Anyway, running around naked, i say, do come in.
(haha, as i write this my husband calls, he will be home in an hour, he was gone for 4 days, i'll do and say the same thing)
This morning Sonja and i were going to go berry picking, but we didn't get to the patch till 4 pm. In the morning she brought out her kalimba, and she, with a little input of me, started making new songs. It was wonderful.
And finally at 4, we got to the berry patch, the strawberries bigger than ever,
And.... THE RASPBERRIES are ripe. The first ones.
They are worth picking, please come and pick with me, as i find it hard to pick alone, but i do like to end up with at least a half dozen jars of jam. A dozen litres frozen raspberries and then all the desserts from now on till the end of the summer.

Friday, July 17, 2009


flowers blooming everywherea gentian

I will post them again on my flower blog.
So that's what i do these days
walk around
listening to the birds
running after butterflies
squirrels and the likes
scurry away
when i get too close
and i am
looking at the flowers
taking pictures
The skies are still magnificent
puffy white clouds
in blue skies
and sunshine
I sit on a rock
with a friend
lots of talking
oh and yesterday
i swam again
in the Yukon river
the weather is
like the weather
should be
summer heat
i'll soak it in

black mirror

This picture taken last Sunday, and the following event i will write about, even older.
Which says something of where i am at; not in the moment.
And at the same time i am, knowing that at the moment, i am somehow..... whatever:)

Black mirror
when i came upon this pool in the forest, it's surface deep black.
You've all seen it, but as i step in closer, the sky reflects.
Hmmmm, it relates to the following experience i had a while ago.
I am just checking; to be exact July 3 2009, see the post about furrows.

Upon a rock, on a hillside, i did a meditation, laying on my bare skin on my belly, on the warm stone. (i am such a lush:)
What came to me that moment, was that i have NO TRUST. Which felt very sincere, but surprised me greatly, as i think of myself as this positive person, full of Love, Laughter and all sorts of good things. And i do have a infinite amount of trust, on one side of the mirror, that is.
But i accepted what came to me. (i am very gullible:)
Willing to ponder on it.

These days, i picked up painting again, as in art. And that evening i went to look for my old watercolors paints.
The first box, i pick up...
No, it's not the paint (i haven't found those yet, but i trust....:)
It is a box that contains among other things, jewelery boxes.
And there i find some long forgotten things, but also
A necklace i think regularly about, even just that day.
A heirloom from my grandma, given to me when i was 18.
I had given up on that necklace totally,
in ever finding it ever again
It had been missing for over 10 years, probably since when we moved here, which is 13 years ago.

Hmmmmm, what do you think?
Is there hope for us all, even if....

The sun is shining, and for now, i just dwell in that.
Maybe i put the necklace on a rock, and take a picture just for you. (i am the best of fuddles:)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


A few days ago i got this photo of two butterflies. They are Sulphers (Colias).
They fly pretty fast as it is on there own, always going ahead of me.
But with the two of them, they flutter fast, ahhh i wish i could say that more....
Only by just aiming the camara (in sports mode) in the general direction, i got this picture.

Soon i will do a proper post, but this morning i was reading Sue's Blog:
Glad Tortoise
And really wanted to make a link. Not knowing how to all tie it in. :) i am babbling, just go there, if you wish and check it out!

Friday, July 10, 2009


"There is one more angel in heaven."
It's a song i am listening too, I don't know by whom, i don't know anything really.When i step outside, the air is heavy with the scent of Northern Bedstraw. I couldn't describe this scent, it's different, but i love it more than anything.
My yard is lined, overflowingly, with magenta. I don't know this color, all i know it's the color of fireweed. All i need, is right here.
Thank you Aria and thank you Strawberry girl, from Utah, your words on your blog's header inspired me. And thank you all who read my blog.
I don't know what's up with me, threatening my self to give up this writing. But somehow it's very soothing to just sit here and let the words come anyway, not worrying about making any sense. And don't you worry about me now, I am very much OK, very blessed :) to live in this sweet scented world of colors, birds tjirping, insects buzzing. When a deer would step out in the open right now, i would think i was in paradise.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


As i am writing tonight, there is a thunderstorm outside.
Thunder here in the Yukon, starts a lot of forest fires.
Last night the sun turned all orange from the smoke in the air
We could smell the smoke, which they think was from a fire North-West from here, hundreds of kilometers away.
This morning the air had cleared again. And we had a beautiful sunny day.
It was hot, but i worked most of the day.
I meet with Sylvie in town, at the lovely Robert Service Campground (downtown).
We walk the millennium trail (down town)
and go for a swim in the Yukon river, still down town.
Ahhhh, i call it down town, but really it is all very much in Nature.The campground right by the river. The trail crossing and along the Yukon river. Beside birds you get to watch the kayakers playing in the white water. And looking right into town, Sylvie found a slow flowing channel to swim. And definitely warmer than the Takhini.

On the way home, the smoke builds up again, and makes for lovely views. At least two more mountain ranges visible with the naked eye. Normally our sky is clear, the mountains look two-dimensional. On a day like this we get to see some depth

And now... it's raining, lovely.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The actual hike

That's Mary
We hiked up Kusawa ridge on this warm day. The air slightly smoky, from far away forest fires.

As often, quite an adventure to get to 5000 feet. But there we are.
That's where we love it most.

melting water, submerging the wildflowers.


Tonight I will post some of all the flowers we have seen on my wildflower blog.
Sorry for this, way, too short post, and the pictures don't really show it either.
We did see sooooo much, so much beauty. You know how it is.

American Emerald

Yet another flyer.
This the Cordulia shurtlefii.
Who was so kind to sit on Mary's hand, where the photo clearly shows her green eyes.
Yes she is a female, see her slender body(top photo), abdomen(the tail as i see it). At the tip, note the 2 appendages, the also tell me she is a female and! that she is most definitely an
American Emerald


First things first.
Alexander my son is still practicing his flying skills too.
As i don't pay as much attention anymore. Luckily other people do.
click on this link to see him.

I myself 'flew' up the mountain. (as in a long sweaty hike) and took a picture standing on the top. Basically the same view as i had in my last 'header' but now being there.

Then... this bird that just came out of the nest and can't quite fly yet.
I was hiking with Mary (i"ll do a next post about it)
so this information is all hers;
This is a Savannah Sparrow. It is a fledgling, see short tail and yellow stripe under it's beak.

And this one i recognized, as we saw it at basically at the same place and time last year.
American Golden Plover. And he/she did fly all the way from the States to nest here. A long-distant migrant. Today it flew just to keep us away from the nest.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


A tiny pool in the forest, where the cotton-grass grows.
I would love to sit here with you, bringing back childhood memories, that have turned cotton-candy.

That was not was not what i was going to say. And neither about my ability to recall the names of all the flowers, which is not very good.

Seeing my favorite orchid this morning,

i was wondering; how does a tiny flower like that, gone and what's left underground, frozen for the most part of the year. How does it come back basically the same as last year? How does it remember; where to put it's purple spots, its tackiness attracting me, does it stick out its tongue at me?
Its memory perfect unlike mine.

That made me think of the whole cycle in nature. Its not one winter it remembers. In Holland i saw a luscious yellow border along a canal. Nobody planted it there. apparently it all came up because the dirt was disturbed or pulled out from the canal bottom. Next year other plants will take over. But there where the seeds, having waited for many years for being exposed

Her we have the fire weed that is first to come up after a fire, willows then poplar
many years later it is a spruce forest. and i am no biologist, but the old forest might turn into a bog.
Where... the orchid remembers to grow.

Thinking this all (nothing wrong with my brain conjuring up things)
I figured i need a picture of fireweed

The fire weed patch (in a recently burned area) full of bees and butterflies

I have been wishing (nothing wrong with my ability to fantasize) for a picture like that. Don't ask me its exact name. It is a Blue.
(thank goodness for people having named it, and recorded it, so i can find out (again:)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day

rubies, sapphires and pearls
the water emerald
impatient to find the words
let me fall into
the bed of pink roses
Instead i dive into
the crystal clear
i swim hard to ignore the cold
squatting on the shore
my arms around my knees
skin tingling

all i wish to do is plunge
and be total stillness
to receive it all
gemstones everywhere every single day