together and hug

There was a large pod of Orca in our waters last week but they were not really close enough for great blog pictures. A humpback sped past too, but it wasn’t Bobby. Sure it was young but it was very vocal and our Bobby doesn’t vocalize very much. But good to know there is still lots of activity near by, even if it isn’t right under our deck.

Very sad to report that one of our neighbours has sold my personally favorite house on the island and are moving on to their next chapter. They have been here seventeen years. I am unrealistically confident that the last eight (since my arrival) were their favourite. The island has benefited from their generosity countless times, from him carving the beast at celebration dinners to her quilting and knitting many many raffle prize. Women’s game nights at their dining table were just too much fun. I have a flowering Cherry tree and three hydrangeas in my garden which, when they bloom, will always remind me of her. Good luck you two! Maybe following the blog will keep us with you.

My flower garden is wild! The bees insane. The scents hypnotic. I haven’t had to use very much of our water reserves so far and it is June. We might actually be okay. The vegetables are all doing what they are supposed to be doing and when their demand for water is the greatest our tanks should be able to handle it. This year more than ever, we will be relying on the garden for our winter food. It looks promising.

I continue to diligently restock our pantry, cupboards and fridge. My goal is to stock the food and supplies we will need for twelve months. It isn’t easy. Thankfully, we have a variety of friends picking up a few items at a time when they are at the store in addition to the supplies we are getting from the neighbouring island. The most surprising lesson I have learned from this venture is the shocking amount of peanut butter we go through in a month.

E built another entrance to the garden nearer to the bunkie. The concept being that guests could take their coffee to the garden in the mornings and embrace the peace of the sounds they might find as they begin their day.

When the news of the day is just so very sad and the worries of the world around us seem so insurmountable, E and I know that we are fortunate to be together and live these days safely and in good health in this paradise. We take strength from the love we have for our family and friends. We miss you all. Please know we are thinking of each one of you in these most difficult of times and take comfort that there will be days ahead when we can laugh together, drink wine

together, and hug

is a bitch

Full disclosure. I never got dressed today. It just doesn’t seem worth the bother. It’s not that I am running around nude, I have my jammies on but E is likely quite sick of my ensemble.

The weather these days isn’t the best, so I am continuing with indoor projects. Unusual for May days for sure. E is contentedly puttering inside the bunkie. There is room for storage above the bathroom for sleeping bags etc. He lay down a stiff plastic panel to make it a cleaner space. I’m probably not describing it very well. But suffice to say. He is down to the last finishing bits.

He finished painting the furniture. I had told you I would show you my Mom’s blanket cabinet with the quilt I made for it when it was finished.

With a scheduled trip to town for us in June we now have the need for masks. In true “me” style I asked a few friends how they did it, spent hours on the google looking at ideas and eventually came up with a plan. This site is titled “What we learned after making 167,000 masks”, hosted by a group of women who have been supplying PPES to first responders in Washington state.

The masks are meant to be custom fit and reused after hand washing. The host has a handy tip section on what you can use if you don’t have the right stuff. Although I have lots of cute material, I don’t have the right bits and bobs… After much experimenting with sizes and the sacrifice of my only two, cloth, re-useable shopping bags. Here is the result. The nose clip is made from the thingy on a coffee bean bag. The shopping bags used as interface apparently give it an almost N95 level of security or,certainly, all we need for our purposes.

Not much unusual in the wildlife department going on. So not really anything to report. I won’t update you on Mrs. Robinson, it’s all too sad. Although I love living here and we are so very fortunate to spend our isolated hours together on the nature channel, sometimes mother nature

is a bitch.

and few murders

Welcome to day 39 on our island preceded by another 29 days on island since we got back from Mexico, or as I call it …. an introvert’s idea of heaven. We have a planned visit to the city in the middle of June but other than that we have really no intention of leaving the island…well, forever.. If I could figure out a way to test E’s blood work and give the dog a haircut we wouldn’t have to leave at all. But I can’t do either.. so off we go..

We are committed to socially distancing. If preaching “your truth” about a need to look pretty, party on the beach or build your stock portfolio, is more important to you than social distancing, and wearing a mask for the safety of the vulnerable in the community with whom you share this world… I do not want to hear about it, hire you, go to your store or buy your bread.

Whoops. I try not to get all political and negative here. I slipped, sorry. But you should know where we stand. E sums it up pretty simply. There is no cure. There is no treatment. If he gets it, it will likely kill him. We are staying home.

Our property is 2.5 acres. We have incredible privacy and, really, all of the comforts of home. We have no problem with internet service in our house at this end of the island and wanted to get service up to the bunkie and garden so E bought a wifi extender for our Telus smart hub. It cost about 100.00 and our dear neighbour picked it up from the post office for us .. (thank you Mary). We now have service throughout our property.

Our kids are safe and all but one is working from home. It’s difficult to be a wildfire fighter working from home, but that son has assured us they are taking precautions. The others are, as I said, safe and, I am hoping, able to figure out a way to come here and stay and work from the bunkie. If they should visit, that bunkie will be the single most brilliant thing we have ever done…

I have now used most of the material on the quilting projects I had thought would occupy me in November. It is the middle of May and I made a Christmas tree skirt for a son who neither needs nor probably wants a Christmas tree skirt…. In May!!!!! Last night, I found a great site, with beautiful material, that would ship to our PO Box for free. I ordered a ton… In my defense, I had planned on buying a lot of material on our cruise to Bali in March and that didn’t happen. When my new purchases arrive, I should have enough material to finish four more quilts. Or, as I like to call it, happily isolating at my sewing machine.

In the evenings we are rewatching the IT crowd on Netflix, very funny, thankfully no politics and

And few murders

Ocean and all

For those of you worried that Bobby (Hammer) had left our waters for good, fear not. He made a brief appearance Friday night around 8:30 with his typical three small dives and one big down. E’s sisters were here, suitably distanced and able to see him briefly. Although, I had grown lax in my diligence to watch for him out the window I have recommitted my time.

Unable to easily justify doing absolutely nothing while whale waiting at the window, I decided to start sewing again. With no guests visiting for the foreseeable future and the eating habits of teenagers, we don’t need the dining room table right now.

With the bunkie fairly complete to accommodate any of our children should they be able to visit and it ever so unlikely our granddaughter will be here soon.. I have taken over the guest room as a sewing room. Sewing room is an optimistic name for the place where all of my ufp’s (unfinished projects) are now stashed, but guilty pleasure room didn’t have the same ring to it.

It is all set up.. Now I have to decide which of the many unfinished projects I’m going to attack while I keep an eye out the window.

I am happy to announce that Mrs. and Mr. Robinson are the proud parents of four wee bairns born three days early. Congratulations to the busy parents and we will keep our fingers crossed that the squirrels and raccoons keep their mitts off.

We have had plenty of rain over the weekend with more scheduled for the coming week. I am not needing water for my vegetables and we are able to catch more than we use. E even felt daring enough to power wash the deck a bit.

If it can’t be my grand daughter’s bedroom for a while, it makes a most adequate sewing room. What with it hanging over the

ocean and all

Looking down from my sewing machine

you don’t mind

On the grand scheme of things, blog posts about whales, when you are living on the nature channel, seem to be of universal interest and, really, write themselves. Takes no work whatsoever to entertain my readers when I have whales to talk about..

With that bar set fairly high, and no whales about to speak of, I felt I would only bore you with discussion of the minutiae of my days these last two weeks. But, if you can hold on to the end of the blog, you might just see something you have never seen before…

I have been trying to stay away from the garden as Mrs. Robinson is very busy with her eggs. She tells me they should hatch on Tuesday and then, after two weeks, the kids will be out of the nest and I can have my garden back.

E has now hung seven bird houses in the trees around the property. I like to have them where I can see the comings and goings from the garden or favourite deck chair. This Mom is hard at work outside our bedroom window.

I have spent hours and hours lately sitting on my deck doing very little but staring into space and watching the local birds.

We have two eagles who are very busy at their nest. I am most eager to see who they are tending. We have tons of hummingbirds. Most of them, I suspect, we have held in our hands at one point or another because a day rarely goes by when they don’t mistakenly come inside the house.

When they do they let us catch them in our hands and release them back outside. For added entertainment they let me feed them. This week I took the feeder off the hook, removed the yellow thingys and floated them in a red lid with the usual sugar water. They came to my hands and when my hands were tired and I put the lid on my lap, they still came and fed… There is something very rewarding when they trust me enough to just sit on the lid and drink at a leisurely pace.

This morning, over coffee, as I scanned the water in front of my house for any signs at all of a whale or two, I saw, instead, an eagle catching his breakfast. We had seen him do this once before, years ago, during the reno, but it is still a rare and incredible sight.

So we have turned to the bird show on the nature channel for a while as the whale programming seems to be on hiatus. I hope

you don’t mind.

The nature channel

In the thirty years we vacationed on the island we never saw a whale. In all those years, E’s Dad lived here full time and I think he mentioned seeing one once at Thanksgiving time in front of Boat Harbour. In all of the years the previous owners of our house were here, they saw a humpback whale once…

We had heard rumours of a second whale hanging about these waters in the last six weeks. We assumed it was Claw, Bobby’s Mom and tried to get photographic proof. We needed a picture of her tail and it would have been nice to have one of the two of them together. In my head, Mom and son were enjoying the spring together in a world where I can’t spend time with my kids..

We heard back from the research group last night. The picture we took yesterday afternoon at 3:38 was of a substantially larger whale. listed in the clayoquot whale catalogue.

When the underside of the whale’s fluke is more than 80% white it is classified as a BCZ whale. If it is primarily black, it is a BCX, and somewhere in between, a BCY. This whale is is even more unique as it is listed in the Clayoquot catalogue instead of the DFO catalogue. The whale’s full scientific name is BCZ-CS513.

She is referred to in sighting reports as a “giant”, and yes she is a she. Her nickname is Anvil for the black anvil shape on the upper right corner of the fluke.

I should mention that our Bobby is nicknamed Hammer by the researchers for the hammer shaped marking on his fluke. (He will always be Bobby to me). I have been told by the research group that it would be unlikely that Bobby would still be with his mom at this age.

There is a 2011 picture taken of Anvil in the Clayoquot catalague. Humpbacks reach maturity around the age of twelve and have a calf every two years on average.

Humpbacks whales were the most common large whale in these waters until commercial whaling killed almost 2000 between 1903 and 1966. There were only a few left when they were declared endangered in 1966. Since the 1990’s, sightings have increased on the BC west coast from one or two per year to daily events in the 2000’s .

Adult humpback whales are between 35-45 feet long. The humpbacks we have in our waters go south to warmer waters for breeding and calving. They rarely eat there. They return to the colder waters in the summer months to feed on krill, herring and other small fish. They normally return to the same areas every year and we can only hope Anvil and Hammer have found our waters hospitable and continue to return.

Humpbacks, much to our anticipated enjoyment like to breach and tail slap and can be found lying motionless on the surface of the water for long periods while they sleep.

I think you all would agree that we are living in a substantially different world than we were even three years ago. But, you need to find the positives where you can. I suggest starting with the whales on the nature channel.