Category Archives: Maple

The Holly and the Maple

No, it’s not “The Holly and the Ivy,” but close enough. I noticed that the maple’s leaves got hung up on the holly tree below it, and the muse tickled the keyboard once again.

The maple sheds a coat that weaves

And floats towards the ground,

Hanging up on prickly leaves

Of holly all around.


The holly says, “I thank you, dear,

I’m shivering with cold.

When winter nights are chill and clear

Your leaves my warmth will hold.


And decorated, too, am I

Just like a Christmas tree.

My berries red will catch the eye

And all will look at me.


But you, dear maple, what of you?

Your scrawny arms are chill.

There’s nothing more that you can do.

So pray for you, I will.


Be steadfast through the winter gale,

Be tough as you can be,

Till new green leaves your arms regale

With pride and majesty.”






“Yikes!” This guy was caught red-handed – well, maybe more like red-headed – vandalizing the maple tree. Just look at the holes he’s put into the bark! I guess they make great toeholds for him.

Who would think there is something inside that bark that makes it so enticing for him?

“Hold on,” he says. “I think I can hear something wiggling around in there.”

“Mmyeahhhh … worth having a poke around.”

“There he is! I can feel him in there. Tasty little morsel … if I can only get him out of there. I’ll follow it up with a slurp of syrup from the sap.”

“Yum! That was good, but what a lot of work for a snack. Gotta take a breather for a sec.”

“What’s that you say?” He’s shocked that I’ve questioned him. “Holes in the bark? So what? There’s tons of them. What’s one more?”

“But don’t you see that if you keep going around in a circle you’ll soon ring the tree?”


“Well, the sap has to go up and down the tree to keep it alive.”

“But I’m a sapsucker. Duh! It’s what I do!”

“I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I held so still for her when I saw she had her camera.  But enough is enough.”

“I’ll pose for this one last picture and then I’m off. I can always come back later, when her arm gets tired, or her eyes hurt from squinting against the sun, or – hee hee – when her battery dies. All that zooming really eats batteries. 

Now. Where was I? Oh yes, continuing on this line of holes my buddies and I were working on last week.”

Seize the Moment, Seize the Camera


I was lying in bed awake, thinking, “Five o’clock. Too early to get up. Still dark!”

But my mind was nagging me to make some changes to the manuscript of my latest novel (work in progress), so I sneaked over to my laptop and worked on those changes. I was so engrossed in the writing, I barely noticed that daylight had crept in. As I looked out the window, I saw what you see here below.  If I had hesitated I would have missed it.

My first thought when I saw this sudden light on the trees, was “Wham!” and then, “Morning has broken.”


Luckily the camera was handy and I seized the moment. Seconds later, the fir went back to its dark green colour and that’s how it stayed all day.

It got me thinking about how close I came to missing that photo, missing the sight completely. What if I’d stayed in bed like millions of normal people were doing? I would have missed this splendid light show.

Life is full of gems like this, that we might miss out on if we don’t seize the moment.

Spring Has Sprung

I’ve been impatiently awaiting signs of spring this year. I don’t have many daffodils in the yard, but this bunch always comes up in the same spot at the side of the driveway. Daffodils make me think of my mother because many years ago, as a new Canadian, she could never get the name right and always called them daffy-dolls. It still makes me smile today.


I find the narcissus prettier, but I don’t have many of these either. Just this one precious bunch.


The sun was out for a change, so I rushed around taking a few quick pictures. The azalea shrub I bought for $5 at Buckerfield’s Feed Store over twenty years ago is still going strong. Buckerfield’s, sadly, is not. They went out of business a long time ago.


The primroses are a gift from a friend who was getting rid of extras. They seem happy here. Thank you, friend.


I was about to put the camera away when I noticed that “the nice light” had come out. So I have to include a couple more photos with the evening sun shining on the trees. The maple is just getting its first leaves. This winter was cool, damp, and dark, and the moss on its bark grew rampantly.


The firs that strike terror into my chicken-heart when they sway and roar during storms look beautiful today with the warm setting sun on them.


I was about to come back into the house when I saw that I’d been watched – for quite some time, judging by the steamy glass pane on the screen door.

“What are you doing out there?” she asks. “Can anybody play?”


We Must Tell the King

The other day I was picking up hazelnuts that had fallen on the ground. My dogs have taken a liking to them and Ruby has taught Emma to crack them in her teeth. Not a good thing to do unless you want cracked teeth, too. So I’m trying to keep a step ahead by gathering the nuts as they fall. It’s a bit disheartening when, after I’ve shaken the trees to make the nuts fall, and cleaned the whole area under the trees, a breeze comes along and more nuts fall. Impossible to keep up with it all.


But as the nuts are falling, so are the apples. I’d picked up the ones on the ground and had gone back to raking up the area under the hazelnut trees, when a strong gust of wind knocked a beautiful, big apple out of the tree next to me. Thonk! It whacked me on the head and thudded to the ground.


How brainwashed we are! In that split second, I was six years old again, listening to stories on Uncle Leroy’s radio show, “Kiddies’ Corner,” on a Saturday morning at 9 o’clock. Uncle Leroy played the recorded stories,  and as clearly as if it had been only yesterday, I heard Chicken Little say, “Bockbockbock! The SKY is falling! And WE must tell the KING! BaBOCKbock!”

I shook off the memory and chuckled at how these stories, like  Pepsodent and Brylcreem jingles are imprinted into our brains by the media.

Then I glanced up from my nitpicking and nut picking, and looked towards the neighbours’ house. Our back driveway is only sometimes used, but for a day or two it wouldn’t be used at all. In the previous night’s huge windstorm that caused havoc all across southwestern British Columbia, a part of the huge maple tree that stands beside the driveway had broken off and landed across it.


Now if you’ll excuse me, BaBOCKbock! I really MUST go tell the king! (And ask him to bring his chain saw.)

The Nice Light

I know “nice” is a tired word and I try not to use it, but in this case, I have to. When the sun dips low in the sky, for a few minutes the rays pass through the lower atmosphere where, I presume it’s the dust particles that enhance its golden colour. Any objects this late evening sunshine rests on, are turned to gold. Where does “nice” come in? Whenever I see the trunks of the fir trees turn gold, I always say, “Oh look! There’s that nice light again.”

In this post I don’t have much of a story, but I wanted to share “the nice light” with you.

The big maple and the firs soak it up.??????????

The tall firs reach up to catch “the nice light.”??????????

Through the gaps in the trees, the trunks of the neighbour’s trees are dabbed with light.??????????

The green leaves in the foreground (left) are part of the same maple tree as the golden lime-coloured ones. The trees to the right are hollies.

??????????The show is nearly over as the sun sinks lower yet. Now it’s mostly the clouds that are touched by colour. The same cloud that spat twenty drops of rain on our parched grass, is painted pink by the sun as it says, “See you tomorrow.”


Sandy Island – Tree Island

It isn’t windy. That’s the important deciding factor. I’m a wuss when it comes to being seasick, so it doesn’t matter that the skies are overcast, as long as the sea is calm. The fishboat will go out on a day trip. A picnic on a nearby island will double as a test to see if the boat is running well after a winter of maintenance work. Before the commercial fishing season starts, the boat needs to be in good condition to lessen the chance of a breakdown and a loss of production in the middle of the season.

Aboard the Eden Lake, Ruby and I join Captain Gary for a mini-adventure to the island the locals call Tree Island and the non-locals call Sandy Island. Here we are looking back at Comox. The town looks very dreary in this muggy atmosphere, but it really is a very nice town.??????????

The aluminium skiff is tied onto the overhead boom. It will take us to shore on the island while Eden Lake stays anchored in deeper water.


Captain Gary adjusts the navigation program so he can watch out for the sandbar between Comox and the island.


The water is flat calm and my stomach is in heaven. No ups and downs. No nausea today! While we travel to the island, I put some potatoes in the oven. They’ll be perfect when we arrive. Sour cream and butter, salt and pepper on them, they’ll make a fine, hot lunch before we go ashore.

The photo below is actually a picture of a sea lion who dove before I could focus on it. I only captured a tiny ripple instead.036

We arrive at the island and anchor the fishboat. After lunch, the fun part comes when we try to get the skiff down from the boom. I’m sure two men could have the skiff in the water in no time but when I’m expected to reach, lift, and push the end of the skiff out over the water so it can then be lowered, I find that it would all be so much easier if I were just an inch taller. That way I could reach the bottom of the skiff rather than swipe at the air around it. But the captain does the work of two, and launches the skiff.

The shore looks a bit gooey but it’s not as bad as it looks. It’s just wet sand with a bit of sea lettuce, and as we hike up to higher ground the beach is lovely and sandy.  066

The island is a marine park and the whole blooming place is full of flowers. As you can see, Alberta’s provincial flower, the wild rose, looks great in British Columbia too.


This maple has been around for many years. Someone thought the trunk offered a good place to build a platform with driftwood to read a book or sleep on.


What can be more beautiful than nature’s own garden?


A walk around the island gives you a chance to fill up with pure sea air as you admire the many species of grasses and flowers. Looks like the tide is out. Hope Eden Lake hasn’t run aground!



Ruby is ready to go home, all tired out from investigating so many new smells.


My carriage awaits me, and home we go.