Sunday, August 30, 2009


At Mendenhall landing there are 4 swans and several ducks. All there on there way South. As always i tried to sneak up on them, but they see me anyway. I am really not very sneaky :) They spread their great wings, at first that is quite a movement to make as you see here in the picture, but then they lift off very easily.
Don and i are at the landing to see if there are Shaggy Mane mushrooms, he found a meal elsewhere yesterday. And we love them. We had them for breakfast. For lunch we had Puff balls. Yesterday at the party we fried up the Meadow Mushrooms. (let me know when i start to grow moldy)

The Fireweed is in seed.

You can imagine when the wind will pick up, we are in a fireweed fluff cloud.
I will let you know how that is. One fluff will already be quite ticklish at my nose.

At the end of the day, when the light was turning gold, (now it is) I went High Bush Cranberry picking. These berries turn out to be abundant too this year, and hopefully i will pick again in a few days. The forest where i pick is magical, it is where elfin creek goes underground. Before i get there i smell the cranberries. The bushes bright pinkish red, or dark red, some still green. All the berries vermilion red, shiny like glass.
The forest; Spruce and the strong smelling, deliciously so, Balsam Poplars, which when i look up are turning gold.

By the way, i am all calm now, did do the things i wanted to, today (which didn't include housekeeping anyway)


Too much.
My days are just too short these days.
Or do i want to do too much?
Or don't i want to miss out on anything?
What ever it is, i better get this post done fast, because i really want to.... numerous things.

Last night after stopping at Virginia's, where i pick some meadow mushrooms and big puffballs, i hike into the Saltflats, and go to a partyYes, this is what i serve at the party, not bear-paw stew, but Red Samphire. It even looks more scary here as it does in the bowl. But everybody likes it and the bowl is empty fast.

I love this photo for the water, and again ask you which shorebird it is. A peeper, right Mary?

And this photo for the sky, because i meet two wonderful people at the Saltflats, Janet and Peter. Peter teaches me about sky photography, he has photos on Webshot (Internet), don't ask me more, i did find them, but don't know how.

And for the laughter. At the party, (Sylvie's farewell:(, we were so loud and had so much fun, it makes me wonder why i only go to parties 3 times a year, max. Too busy, i guess:)

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Every day now, there are migratory birds in my yard.
Bathing and drinking from little puddles in the boulders.
Eating from all the seed heads.
Picking in the gravel.
Last Tuesday there were, white crown sparrows and warblers.
Among them this one.
If anyone out there can identify it, i will be happy to know.

ps. Sept 15 2009. Thanks Mary. It is very possible an Orange-crowned Warbler!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

most amazing

I love all my hiking, but some days....
Yesterday's hike/bike was one of those, most amazing.

I do drive 20 km. to get to the spot were i start biking.
I have biked this trail before a few times. But always taken the same route. Today i plan to go straight North were i normally turn West.
The trail is good, and yes, thank goodness for trails. Only the first part i can bike, and after that i am pushing my bike up, it's a continues gradual incline.
And before i know it, i am at the start of the treeline, blueberries, dwarf birch, with scattered big wide Spruces. Soon the trail is littered with Harebells
the tiniest plant with one big bluebell as a flower.
Here i could still be ok without a trail, but then for a mile or so, I am in Willows up to my shoulders, here the path has Wormwood blooming. an inconspicuous flower, lovely never the less.
(i did put pictures on my wildflower blog and lots on flickr, see right hand column. My flickr account is called 'je zon')
This is a mountain on the East

I am going up the one on the West. I leave my bike somewhere on the trail against a big rock, next time i will continue the trail to see how far it actually continues. It seems to end on the moraine in between those two mountains.
I do have to bushwhack a little bit to the foot of the mountain. A beautiful stretch though, crumbly rock formations sticking out of the now only three foot high bushes, little dips here and there, some with a little flow of water in them.

The Mountain; first i have to climb a bit on fairly loose rock, but lots of vegetated spots in it for safe climbing. Several dwarf Spruce growing right out of the side.
Above the rocks its grassy slopes forever.
So many wildflowers were blooming here this summer! I will be back. Now they are mostly in seed. I do find some mountain Asters.
Soon it turns out my favorite kind of mountain. One side sloped and the three other sides more or less vertical.
(holy, now, when i am typing here, there is a real down pour going on outside and the sun is still shining!)
Anyway, a mountain i dream off and only a three hour walk(at the most, i didn't bring a watch) from the highway.
As i am at the East side, I follow the ridge to the highest point. And.., i think i am over the top :) I see some white rocks, not too far off (so much for my spotting skills) Suddenly one of the rocks moves!

Very soon they see me too, and wander off. Slowly i do try to get closer, which makes them run to the edge, where they wait a while. But do decide to go down towards the lake. Indeed down the vertical slope. I just watch them, they do cause some little rock slides, but it is amazing to see how they jump.
They don't go all the way down but circumvent the North slope and eventually end up underneath the moraine, where i loose sight of them. Two of them went East.
I explore the whole ridge. which is lovely. The views fantastic and to look straight down exhilarating. Fall colors appearing and only Harebells and Wormwood for flowers. Well and some always present, blooming Yarrow and Fireweed And some Heather. Then it starts to rain. I return to my bike. have an amazing ride down am totally wet and full of mud.
I better go clean that bike now (Alexander's Faith 2)

Monday, August 24, 2009


I'll write later...:)honestly.



my translation of a poem by Willem Overkleeft.

we are the leaves
whirling against the wind
curiously tasting
on unknown things
drifting out at sea

blowing soap bubbles
translucent, disappearing
on the air-current
to faraway forbidden places
bursting at the slightest nick

descending in the surf
washing over your skin
from which i lick
salt tainted
with the virus
that we call life

my own painting

On his website Willem has a a lot of new photos

Sunday, August 23, 2009


coyotes howling
in the cool misty air
grey clouds
above the mountains
white mist
in the valley
the moist air
caressing my skin
the path over grown
wet overhanging branches
brrr wet and cold
startling me
now with all this rain
i keep the fire going
really the house
gets way too warm
sleeping under only a sheet
as if it was still
this hot summer we had
stepping outside
everything is fresh
i like the look of
the big poplars
light grey
on the dry side
dark olive on the west
from which the wetness came
i want to draw
the forms it takes
coyotes howling
i shiver and
go back inside

(i wrote this yesterday morning.
Today, Sunday, was a warm sunny day,
just so you know:)

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Aug 20 2009
On this Saturday, making pictures of morning rain, i see this one that i made a few days ago. Mary took Sylvie and me for a walk in her backwoods around Hillcrest, and we came upon this beautiful Pine forest, with Alders. Just the way the light was and the green. Alders and Pine growing together, something i had never seen. Alders mostly in wet places and Pine in dry. Hmmmmm although looking at this picture the conifers look like White Spruce or are they Black? Sylvie laughs about my need to name it all. And Mary she knows so much more than me.
All i know, is i am blessed with such amazing friends.

Thanks again.

Friday, August 21, 2009


i am swimming
swimming under water
the way i plunged into the waves
i don't know if up is up
or down is down
the water feels so good
so cool upon my overheated skin
the blue
not blue at all
immerged in it
why does loving
feel so good?
i would swim forever
if i only could
but my lungs are urging me
they scream for air
why do you take my breath away?
and even if i could
i am scared to breath
scattering this moment
of eternity

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rainy Hollow

Blueberry picking in Rainy Hollow, with Virginia.
I pick the oval-leaved blueberry. When driving the summit through the mist, as soon as you dip into the forest all the way to customs, that's where they grow. And they are plumb and sweet this year!
They are harder and harder to get to though. Even as it has stopped raining for us to go picking, i wear full rain gear and still get wet, walking/climbing through the rain forest.
We sleep over in Haines, and enjoy the ocean
and the rain forest and beaches. I will post photos on flickr.
Hmmm i know i should elaborate, even if we are only got glimpses of the glaciers, it is very beautiful and like the wind we laugh, belly laughs.

more bears. now! here!

yearling cub

Monday, August 17, 2009

Grizzly Bear

Ain't he cute?
Don't let him fool you, but
dozens of people do watch him every night at the Chilkoot River in Haines Alaska.
I'll will write about my trip tomorrow. See you!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Takhini river

The river, at Mendenhall Landing. Seen from the Mendenhall river.

Pat just phoned and spoke last week, with the last speaker of the Tagish language. She spoke Tlingit better, but a different strain again. Pat was happy to learn that her word for King Salmon was Tak as in Takhini, where before the word known for King Salmon was Ta (i probably don't spell that correctly).
All pieces coming together, before those languages are disappearing.

I had to get water today. We haul most water from the well in the neighbourhood here. We have a water tank on an old truck, pump it in a big holding tank outside. And I just transfer it to the tank inside where it is hooked up to normal plumbing.
It works well. But we don't drink the water, because there are traces of Uranium in it.
So i go down with 6, 5 gallon water jerrycans, to get our drinking water. Normally we get it from Stony creek. Today i go to the Takhini river at Mendenhall Landing.
Before there the road dips through a slough. I park the car and walk through the tall green grass along several ponds. Lots of little shore birds, 2 families of Buffleheads, a large family of Northern Shovelers and some others.
Here are the young Buffleheads, and a mother Northern Shoveler with her ducklings.
Don't you like the screamer? i sympathies :)

fall time (haha)

This morning
i gathered my bones again
found them
in a sunnier meadow
i waking up
to a crisp morning
the silence
the softness
i will go slower now
they're happy too
to be back in place

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's raining!

my bones feel funny
are they loose?
are they even there?
my god,
i see them
they're rattling happily,
walking away from me.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cranberry Creek

I am so happy, i got to go camping! I might think that my house is just an oversized tent in a most beautiful camping spot. But not so, to lay there in my tent.., to wake up in that special light, insects buzzing, etc. In my house i do hear the birds, but really camping, well you know; one hears everything!
OK i was a little scared too. I did camp on my own, the only comfort to feel safe; my bear spray (haha) and the car close by.
So for the camping; A little grassy opening in the forest, by the cabins (unoccupied) beside Taye Lake. Breakfast on a rock in the middle of Mendenhall river, Which comes out of Taye lake. As i walked up to the river, i startled a family of 9 ducks. Who i did hear from my camp, and i wish i had walked up more quietly, so i could have spied on them for a bit.

Hiking: I am exploring a route to get to 'dream' mountain. One i am eying for a long time, in the Sifton Range.
I use the topo map and a satellite photo from google earth. And i should have done the exact measurements on my compass. We so close to the North pole are some 30 degrees off, i never know exactly and which way:) (Do laugh at me, i am pathetically inept to be a wilderness woman)
Anyway i do find the Mendenhall river easily. (at a point where it brings me closest to Cranberry creek, which at this spot is visible as a white line on the satellite image.
What you see on that image is the gravel;

Which you can not really see in the photo, it is quite extensive in width.
Ah happy to find it! And this is where i should have been more accurate, it does take me a while to find it. I do keep a straight line hiking, but the line probably not straight to it. And i do encounter some heavy bush. For a bit i follow a path of dead willows, well deteriorated, so not to hard to crash through it, and somehow eerily magical. Ehhh, it took me an hour to get to cranberry creek. As the crow flies; 1 km. I am not a crow obviously.
I play a bit, and climb up the high bank on the east. At the end tip of this bank is a lot of Bison dung and along the bank going North a wonderful game trail. Which takes me fast now, the views taken in while walking, it only stops me when i end up in a blueberry patch, mmmmm.
Before i know it, i am what i think is at the spot where Harrison creek flows into Cranberry creek.
Ahhhh, is this Harrison?

Let me know if it is. I am almost sure, but heck it could be just a channel of cranberry that had wandered off a bit, and came crashing back in the main channel.

No, it's Harrison creek, it's narrow, but lots of water crashing through it. It's heavily forested too, Not a creek easily to follow along the banks. And when there is a trail to Harrison Lake, i haven't found it yet.
I am very happy though to find this creek! i look, listen, wander, drink and bath in it (i did have to cross it, to continue) Where as Cranberry Creek and the Mendenhall river were fairly warm to cross, This one invigorating cold!

I can imagine a trail to 'dream' mountain, which doesn't exist yet.
Dream mountain, the one that is not in this picture. Haha.

This is probably the highest peak of the Sifton Range, which is beyond my dreams.
But hey, you out there, who has been there (without the use of a helicopter, placing you at its feet.) Let me know! I have room for more dreams.

Two hours it took me to get to the Harrison landing in Cranberry creek, which is hopeful to do get me to my dream for now, This hike going at the rate of 2 hours per 4 km, should get me there in 8 hours!

Taye Lake

Last night i drove Jane Vincent and a friend to Taye Lake. They will canoe to the end of the lake, portage to Hutshi Lake, canoe, and then come out on the other side of the world somehow.:)
Here you see them canoeing through the reeds, those reeds only developed in the last few years at the East end of the lake.
I camped out, and did some hiking there today, next post i will write about that adventure.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

the mother lode

We had that one day of rain here and guess what happened to the raspberries?

Jane and i planned to go on a big hike today, for smoke and reasons we did not.
But did we ever had a wonderful day.
First we go to Stony to pick berries, as we are commenting how good the berries are after the rain, we hit the mother lode. we pick, pick , pick.
My(ice-cream)bucket is soon full. We leave hesitantly and i had to drag Jane away from those berries.

As the smoke is clearing, mountains are appearing
the sun an orange dot, now burning hot.
(i didn't mean to rhyme:)
We set of to find the end of Stony creek. The mouth of the creek, where it flows into the Takhini river. Jane paddles that river a fair bit, and never quite knows where Stony creek flows into it.
Well here it is:

The hike towards it. is surprisingly beautiful and surprisingly easy.
We started off on the west bank, and on the way back we find out that there actually is a trail coming right out at the highway (in the spruce trees on the high bank).
We follow the bank and as we come to a big dip, as in another fold of the land towards the creek, we take an elk trail going down into the creek valley, which is rather wide here. It has lots of bush, but also tin little grass openings and fields of Grass of Parnassus, lovely white flowers.
The elk trail goes up the bank again, and we leave a marker for ourselves to find the trail on the way back. We cut a bit through this Takhini Burn landscape, small poplars and lots of dead fall (60 years old).
Soon we come out by a wide open bank, with rustic old fallen down fences.
And we see the Takhini river bank and.. water.
We look at the map, to see where it shows the creek coming out. And walk to the west side of it, where the bank we are on comes close to the river.
And in the river close to the shore....
a big rock, just for us.
Forget about the hermit thing, we are mermaids.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bumble bee

The whole summer, we have had lots of bees in the garden. An hour or so ago, the whole garden started buzzing. The mosquitoes came out again. They had been mostly absent today, for one reason or another. And these nice small bees with orange.
Then on this Lavas flower (a domestic herb) two big bees where feeding. I had not seen them around here and don't know what they exactly are. If you are an expert feel free, because this photo shows the wings nicely, which is an indication of which species it is.
This morning all is very quiet, no buzzing, no wind, just some birds. Dew on everything, after yesterday's well appreciated rain. We don't get dew very often. And the air smoky! It is all very very peaceful, almost eery with the smoke.
The raspberries that Don and i finally picked right here in the garden yesterday, swelled up again after the rain and there is more to pick.
It stays quiet all day and would be hot if it wasn't for the sun obscured by the smoke. (from forest fires somewhere in the Yukon.)
I scrounged the woods today, looking for pieces of bark from the bottoms of dead poplar trees. I use the chunks to paint on. I will post one of those paintings if i feel pleased enough about the result. I didn't have to leave the property as we have many big polars(aspen). We have 20 acres and i haven't seen every inch of it, so i always see something new and interesting; An unknown to me beautiful singing bird, and as i was looking at trees on the ground, a old dead tree full of little white, shelf mushrooms.
Well i did wander of on the neighbours land, nobody lives there. As a matter of fact, the one neighbour we had close by, and were very happy with, moved away last week.
The closest neighbour now at least a kilometer away. With Don and Alexander working long days, i might turn in to a hermit :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Southern Tutchone

Nalat(photo taken, a year ago)

Southern Tutchone the language, of this area.
A mountain i see South West of here, is called, khi dhal(dots on the a), in Southern Touchone.
Meaning, game mountain. The village of Champagne beside it; Sha dhal(dots on the a of dahl). I hope i write it correctly.

The story, as i heard it from Pat Moore, who heard it from the elders:
Shakauta founded the mountain, which was abundant with game(animals for providing food etc.) One day he was killed by Akh Jiyish. Only the wife of Akh Jiyish knows. She is the sister of Shakauta. Years go by, but then she speaks out. It's decided that Shakauta has to be killed. They are in the mountains, feeling sorry for the now very old man, instead they kill his slave. All is even again.

Pat Moore is up here this week from UBC in Vancouver. He honored me with an all day visit. The reason i probably felt the way i did yesterday, maybe has to do with the fact that i share with Pat, that we always like to do so much, I am still working on a drum, the Native way. He knows how to build them. We did baskets together way back, according to him I have perfect wood for snowshoes in m backyard, etc, etc. These woods here provide everything, too much.

Today we started off, picking raspberries. Pat is one of the best berry pickers i know, competing up there with my husband. Where he beats my husband is in preserving the berries for later use. With my husband that task is always left to me(i am not complaining. (all we picked and what and how we preserved it, i will post that today on my berry blog.)

In the berry patch Pat told me the story. On the way to the patch we also see 'Nalat', meaning; standing out. It's a mountain that stands alone in the middle of the Takhini river valley.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


so much
i could be doing now
there was a time
i wonder if it ever was
or do i just imagine
i'm sure...
i'm not
that i felt
always infinitely
being right there
where i wanted to be
now in my head
an endless list
I like to paint, pick, ponder
And that's just the p
As i sit here doodling
(make note, a d!)
yet another idea emerges
in my head
again equally exciting
maybe i am blessed
never having to be bored
for years to come
things i like to do
typing here
blessed i'm not in bonds
not stuck behind a desk
the irony
i sit here now
in bonds
behind my desk
i wouldn't call it bored
you might
really yes
how do i turn that p into a b?
just be...
i don't know
really i do know
i do know
what i really want
its you
you to be with me
all else
feels like doing time
for now
that's just fine
so there you go
i feel a flow
in this endless sea
i flow
till i really get
where i really want to be
but maybe i'm not flowing after all
just floating
it's my choice
to keep my head above the water
or just sink
let myself sink deep
either way
this poem goes on
how long
will it go on?
when will it come
to a satisfactory end?
i look in the wrong place
listen to the wrong voice
i could go on and on
it's not up to me

in the meantime
i did do dishes
the p already did turn into d