Sunday, July 5, 2015

Fires, Flowers and Flutterbys

I awoke to cloudy skies this morning - which was strange, as the forecast was for hot, hot, and more hot. Then I stepped outside and realized it was not cloud but smoke covering the sky.  With a state of emergency up island, as well as several wildfires of note on the west side of the mainland, we even have ash falling here as well as the strong smell of smoke in the air.  The sun, trying to shine through the thick, thick haze, looks more like a harvest moon:

The sun through smoky skies

Though there is no fire threatening our community, we are at Stage Four drought levels in North Cowichan (fishing is now banned in rivers and streams as the survival of the fish is at risk with water so low),  and we have had weeks of scorching hot days.  All it takes is one cigarette, as is the case in so many of the fires around BC, or even just a spark from a farm vehicle hitting a rock during haying - as was the case in a wildfire 30 minutes from here a couple of days ago.   We are in for a scary summer, and it is only just beginning.

But still there is beauty around us.  Early morning attempts at weeding the garden are thwarted by the many butterflies (which my daughter used to call 'flutterbyes' when she was very small - an apt name which still sticks in my head when I see them) that feed on my butterfly bush.  Yesterday, I counted sixteen at one time, though trying to get more than one in a picture was a challenge.

One flutterby

Two flutterbys

Three flutterbys (almost)

Back to one

Fragile wings shredded at lower tips

Other flowers continue to bloom and grow, especially those that are well established perennials or at least able to withstand the hot days and very limited watering. I am partial to bright colours, especially yellows and  oranges and reds, and they never fail to bring me joy when I look at them.

Day lily


Ummmm....I forget what these beauties are called!

Geraniums and "I forgets" in the planter boxes on my side patio

Not red or yellow or orange, but still beautiful!

Mitzi, on the other hand, isn't too joyful these days.  I can't remember if I mentioned this on a previous blog but towards the end of May she was diagnosed with chronic renal failure.  The meds she was given helped her immensely, and she was like her old self - happy, eating well, chasing me around the house a couple of times a day - until this week.  At first I thought it was just the heat, but now that I have put up exterior blinds and installed the air conditioner, the house is really quite comfortable.  Still, she is refusing to eat no matter what I offer, has the occasional vomiting episode, and trying to get her meds into her is next to impossible.  C'mon, Mitzi, bounce back again.

Leave me alone!
I's not feelin' good. 

And that's about it - Until this heat spell ends, I shall hide in the house most of the day.  Perhaps I'll use the time to blog about the many adventures I've only posted on facebook over the past few months.  Perhaps.


Kate D. said...

You always amaze me Jean, you always seem to find the beauty amongst the ashes ! definitely scary with all the fires and the high temps, hopefully the fire fighters can keep it under control both on the island and the mainland. Hopefully Mitzi will rally and feel better, the heat is playing havoc on the dogs, never mind the ones that dont feel well. glad to hear you have an air conditioner though as you both need a break in this heat.
take care

Anonymous said...

Lovely pictures of the Flutterbys Jean. My butterfly bush is also a very busy place.
I'm so sorry to hear about Mitzi. Is she feeling any better today?


Anonymous said...

hi Jean, the flower is known as Coneflower or botanically Echinacea...M