Spring is in full bloom here on the island, and nowhere is it more noticeable than one of my favourite
The property was next owned by the mill, and then sold a few years ago to Ducks Unlimited, who kindly permit others to enjoy the land when gundog training and trials are not taking place. (Editorial comment: It always perplexes me that an organization with the name "Ducks Unlimited" - committed to the preservation of waterfowl habitats - is preserving the habitat precisely so hunters can kill waterfowl for sport.)
My friend Pat and I took the dogs out there this week.
The fruit trees provided a canopy of white, blossoms which will later become plums and apples and pears.
On the moss-covered boulders and rocky outcrops around the old homestead (where grapes will later flourish), bright blue flowers covered the ground. I think they may be young camus lilies, but I'm not sure as the camus is typically much taller. These were more of a ground cover like periwinkle, but with six petals rather than five, and with a different leaf.
And along the path at the foot of the boulders were daffodils in full bloom, daffodils with deeply complex heads unlike the simpler version available in most grocery stores right now.
The last of the crocuses were still around, in many colours from white to deep purple to stripes.
When we reached the river, we saw another sign of spring - an otter busily checking out the bank, perhaps looking to prepare or repair a home for new kits. He (or she) took off as we drew near, swimming along the muddy bank to a more secluded spot.
Pat's two young poms, Lexi and Cosmo, also had spring fever - playing "catch me if you can" over a piece of wood that Cosmo thought might make a tasty snack, wrapping themselves in long strips of bark peeling off the arbutus trees, and wrapping their leashes around Pat's legs.
|C'mon, brother, give ME the stick!|
|Hmmmm.... this looks interesting.|
Soft tree stuff to play with!
|And THAT's how it's done!|
|WHOA! Those pups make my head spin!|
On the estuary, the pups immediately plunged into the water for a swim in the safe little sandy and gravel-bottomed pools that provided enough depth for some dogpaddle practice but not enough current to be of danger. Eddie was not impressed with swimming practice.
|I can swim! I can swim!|
They go in the water VOLUNTARILY???
|Aw c'mon Mr. Eddie!|
|What do they see in it?|
|Nyah. Not my thing.|
|And by the way, pup, did you know yer butt|
looks like an ostrich when it's wet?
|Cosmo, you look like a|
with that straw in your mouth!
You're funny, Auntie Jean!
|Is there a treat in this for me, Auntie Pat?|
|Lexi: I am the BEST poser!|
|Mom, Cosmo is buggin' me!|
|There's (at least) one in every crowd.|
We were all pretty tired by the time we got back to the cars two hours later, but a good sleep and some nourishment, and we'll be ready to hike again. We live in such a beautiful place.