Sometimes things happen in life that are out of our control. It can be painful, confusing, and difficult to understand. We may not be able to control the situation, but we can control how we respond to it.
Most animals have three choices to survive winter: migrate, hibernate, or cope with freezing temperatures. Many birds (and some humans) choose to migrate south to warmer places. Bears fatten up and sleep through winter in their dens. But aquatic animals have an extra challenge: freezing water. Few animals can withstand being frozen because the forming ice destroys cell membranes, so aquatic animals have “cool” adaptations.
I love the trees in the fall. Our beautiful Elk Valley has wonderful colours leaning towards the yellow of cottonwoods, aspens and poplar and the golden needles of the tamaracks.
October, for me, is a month of winding down. Daylight hours are dwindling - if we’re lucky we can follow nature’s cue and pare back our to-do lists. I love autumn in the garden: summer’s frenetic pace is replaced by a gentler tempo, and all that remains to do is tuck everything in for a long winter nap. With the theme of slowing down in mind, I try to strike a balance between relaxing and preparing for next year. I like to keep it simple and do just enough to set the garden up for success.
It’s fall and the Elk Valley is painted a shining golden hue. As cottonwood trees prepare for winter, they lose their green chlorophyll leaving only the yellow/orange “carotenoid” pigments behind. Just weeks ago, the dense canopy of these towering giants cast a deep shadow; a welcome respite from the summer heat.
September is the last month of summer and the first month of autumn. Those lingering warm days in the Northern Hemisphere provide a lovely time to travel, especially since the intense heat and summer rush has passed.
They’re wrong… it’s not… don’t listen… to whom? Those glass-half-full people who have gleefully been telling you since June 21 that ‘the days are getting shorter’ and now that September has arrived, ‘summer’s over.’
Last month I was sitting at Freshies with another Fix writer writing. Some friends joined us and expressed a worry that they were interrupting us. I laughed and said, “no if you were, I would just tell you directly,” and they responded with, “can that be your next article?” The need for saying how you feel and what you want directly with kindness. It sure can!
The Elk River watershed interlaces the valley, providing clean water for vegetation, wildlife, and humans. Healthy streams are vital for all life; but what makes a stream “healthy?” The Elk River Alliance has monitored Elk Valley waters for over a decade, and we’d like to explain.
As I write this with the sun blazing in through an open window, it’s hard to imagine that autumn is just around the corner. After the sweltering dog days of August, I’m looking forward to some cooler temperatures - that said, I’m not ready to let go of summer entirely. In the garden, my chard is going strong and the rows of kale that I seeded in August are still sizing up. I have hopes for some late season salad harvests and I would prefer that they not be dashed by the first hard frost.
One trip to the grocery store and we are bound to feel the impact of the seemingly endless rise in the cost of living our country is experiencing. In this valley we already had an inflated cost of living compared to cities and non-tourist small towns, so we feel the current financial crisis even more. We talk about it, budget, plan, or for some simply pretend it is not happening.
The dog days of summer are the hottest days of the year. Named during Roman times, this spanned from July 24 to August 24. In summer the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, rises and sets with the sun. Sirius translates directly as burning or scorching and is known as the dog star as it is the binary star of the Constellation Canis Major.
Here we are in August – after a few months of explosive growth fueled by long, sunny days, the garden is looking quite different. The spinach and radishes that flourished in the cooler temperatures of early summer have bolted. Most of my head lettuce has been harvested for salads, and one row of carrots has been pulled – mostly for crunchy, impromptu garden snack breaks. Suddenly there’s a surprising amount of free space – and while it’s admittedly difficult to find the time for planting in the height of summer, the savvy folks who make the time in August will benefit from a harvest that extends well into autumn.