A single-file dirt path ribbons into my favourite kind of garden; not wild, exactly, not tame or manicured either. A riot of knee-high, waist-high, chest-high plants jostle, shove and elbow their neighbours for a good space in the sun. A single leafy tree—maybe a linden—pushes skyward, rising above the Joseph’s coat of blossoms. I recognize yellow iris and those little white flowers might be mock orange, but I have no clue what to call the purple bottle brushes lining the path or the lurid fuchsia shrubs nestled here and there among the jungle of greenery that will blossom in its own turn throughout the summer. (more…)
Twice a week, Jim, a spry outdoorsman known by many as the Octogenarian Mountain Goat (OMG—now that’s ironic!) sends out an email. It informs a steadily expanding group of Westside hikers where he’s heading for his next Wednesday or Saturday outing. Anybody is welcome to join, snowshoes in winter, hiking boots the rest of the year. Along with location, he outlines highlights including distance and difficulty, and reminds people to bring water, a snack, and if they want to hone their mapping skills, a GPS. Jim isn’t a guide, he’s just a hiker who likes company. (more…)
Sweet dumpling squash, you say? I had to ask the guy at the roadside stand about the cream-coloured, green-striped veggies—some round, some oblong—heaped in a bin with the pumpkins and spaghetti squash. It was my first encounter and I was uncertain, but he assured me that you cook them just like any other squash. I loaded a couple into my bag.
That’s a great thing about prowling Okanagan fruit and veggie stands; you never know what you’re going to find and every once in a while there’s a personal discovery. (more…)