Coots love the water so much that they only leave for the deep south (100 kilometres away) when things get too rough in January. Then they come up and literally hug the ice, as if it were a floating bed of reeds they could nest on. Soon they will follow the edge of the ice to the high country lakes and ponds where they will raise their young, but for now they float in armadas on the lake. Here they are, from 150 metres up the hill.
And cruising among the gulls.
And looking through the window their reflection makes of the light playing on the surface of the lake, into the depths.
Here, this is one human equivalent of that deep look.
And another. Welcome to your mind. Note the gull flying through it, just larger than a water drop.
It is a time for celebration. The lake is calling.
Ice freezes in flat sheets down on the old fjord lake. A few days later, it is broken up by the wind, in angular chunks, as the repeated rising and falling, linear energy of the waves is translated into long, linear pressure fractures.
Still waves, right? Then water rises through the angular cracks and contours them most beautifully.
And so the waves become rivers and islands. This is an estuary landscape! When it dissolves, as estuaries do, there will be open water again.
Isn’t it very fine. There are the saskatoons of winter, with bark in a palette of rose and plum.
Then there are the saskatoons of springtime. Look at their palette now! (This palette is laid down over the rose and plum palette of winter.)
Then summer comes!
And all together through the year? Look below. Those are the colours of saskatoon, or síya?.
The image below shows the continuous sequence of colour change from wood to fruit to leaf to wood, where the opening begins again, or rather, continues.
At one time of the year, the wood gives its colours to fruit. At another time of year, the leaves give their colours to wood. Put that another way: the fruit ripens out of winter’s wood, just as autumns wood ripens out of spring’s leaf and, when it is fully ripe and is again winter’s wood, it ripens into summer’s fruit. It is the story of the separate rising of the blue, then yellow and their stilling again. Half the year is yellow, half is red. Half holds the sun. Half holds the fruit that the sun will ripen. What an astonishing creature saskatoon is!
So, the chickadees come and eat the weed seeds. This is part of the ecology of the new grasslands. It’s like moving to Mars, except Mars comes to you. Still, tasty, and a mixed menu, too.
And something scares you, like Harold coming with his camera, let’s say, so you leap to the mustard, and, yeah, you might only weigh in at a few grams, but it’s enough to get that tall timber swaying like a ship in storm off of Cape Horn.
The stalk records your weight in the snow. Look at how the recording is about the size and shape of a chickadee. Judging by the irregular shape of the hole, I’d say that some chickadee friends played second fiddle on this one.
Maybe they should leave the north and go home. I feel so sorry for them. They have to endure this:
It must be very hard. I know, for my part, it would be hard, very hard, to endure a winter that was not at 20 Below Celsius, at least one night. And in this January moon we had a week. Oh, glory!
But, seriously, I have to listen to these complaints on the national broadcasting system of the country that I was born to and must pay allegiance to, to live here? Really? That’s shameful. Well, time to go for a walk and forgive.
I am, after all, on this earth, to learn humility. Sometimes it’s easy.