des baleines et la mer


it’s a rainy november evening. the time change sure makes these nights cozy. i have been hunkering down and going to bed earlier. listening to miles davis is adding to the current coze factor. things are slowly in change mode, but the last few weeks have been the regular ol’ goodness. the most recent weekend home, j and i hauled up the rest of the soil necessary to complete the first garden bed, and so i was able to plant my garlic! i’m starting with 30 cloves and will see how they do, i hope they make it! the bed is mostly wood debris, with a fine layer of dirt on top, so when i was planting some of the cloves, sinkholes appeared as i pushed them in. whoops! i’m hoping the rains don’t make a mess of the bed. the next day j went to work drilling holes in the bedrock for the cistern-roof footings while i prepped to leave (which always takes way longer than i think it should) and made breakfast. 


the prior couple of weekends were spent foraging for wild mushrooms and accomplishing smaller tasks at home. i wanted to try ascending arrowsmith again while the skies were clear and before the snows hit, so we attempted to do so one fine saturday. checking the forestry website before leaving, it said the gate i’d gone through previously with matt and ben was closed, so we decided to try another entrance that would take us up the northeast slope. the website said this gate closed at 4, so we knew we didn’t have much time to get to the top, but i was optimistic. upon arrival, it turned out the gate closed at 3, and once inside the gate, it took us about an hour just to drive to where we could start hiking. perhaps needless to say, we didn’t make it to the top, or to anywhere near where there was a good view, unfortunately. but at least it was a fun adventure. we tried one approach that the car couldn’t make it to the top of – the water reservoir – but we made it within a 5 minute walk of where we would have parked anyway, only to realize they were blasting in there and we couldn’t pass! so out we went again, and found another trail. this one started as a creek until we found the remains of an old logging road that paralleled it for some time. it was a fascinating creek. where we got onto it, it was little more than a trickle, but as we steadily ascended, the flow grew in volume. we discovered that most of it unobtrusively disappeared underground at one point, and did so again further up the creek. despite not reaching the top, we were happy to have found the trail for next time and also found our first admirable bolete (boletus mirabilis).


the next days’ wandering in the woods produced way too many chanterelles to eat in one sitting, along with several more admirables, and a ring of coral fungi (ramaria)! we still have not determined what sort of coral it was, since there are over 200 species, but most of the ones in canada being edible, i went for it. they were just so hearty and beautyfull, i had to eat them! so that evening i fried up all the chanterelles i had, a couple of boletes, and a tiny bit of the coral to try before committing (johnny went home to the wee isle and i was back in nanaimo with half the mushrooms). the chanterelles and boletes were deelish, and the coral had a mildly bitter flavour, but i still quite liked it. the next day i made a soup out of the rest of the coral, and as i was washing the dishes, spotted a shaggy mane from the kitchen window, so i decided to cook that too! well, i think that was too many mushrooms folks. maybe it was just the tipping point, but in the midst of mushroom festivities i came to the realization that i have systemic candida. sigh. anyone else have issues with this? i feel a bit at loose ends, given that my diet is fairly sweet/starch free at this point, and has mainly been for awhile. what in the world can the yeastie-beasties be eating? any personal experience that anyone else out there has, i’d love to hear it.


that said, it’s apple harvest time! yes, i realize fruit is sugary, but i need to eat SOMETHING with my nut butters and celery is NOT cutting it. so i bought three boxes of my faves again this year, and am limiting myself to an apple (or so) a day. it turns out, however, that it was a bad year for belle de boskoop. i’m not sure if it was because the summer was so dry, but they turned out quite mealy, and are rotting fast, so i’m going to end up with far less of my faves this year than i’d like! 


one really fabulous score of late is a fellow islander selling off seven double pane windows of varying sizes for 400$, so i’ve got myself a nice stash to start the house with. so exciting!


i realize that i have said nothing about the ocean or whales in this post, but i just love those words in french, so they had to become the title. and it IS based on the fact that it seems over half the time i cross on the ferry lately, there are whales. humpbacks in close range, or just a spout of air in the distance. divinity.


one lone pine mushroom at heathers! (tricholoma magnivelare)


look at this beauty knife john made for me. i am in love. a holly handle.
the usual tomfoolery of home.



*20th photo by johnny.

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