Vancouver’s summer was good but ended, more or less, August 10th, so when on this last weekend the Sun manifested, we felt recompensed a little. Herewith some illustrated words on flowers that end in -ia, learning about the world, Jericho, harvesting and fishing.
The late flowers are different, they still please the eye even if they don’t touch the heart as the ones in April do. Here we have a fuchsia, I forget the Latin name but it’s the only hardy variety, and it’ll go on blooming now, sneering at wind and rain, nearly till Christmas.
Harvest · All our fruit trees have done well this year. When Scoble was over for dinner back in July, the plum tree was hanging low over the back porch where we ate and we had some for dessert; Maryam said “This is the best plum I’ve ever eaten!” I wouldn’t go that far but they’re pretty good, and that reminds me that I’d been meaning to say how great Scoble’s kid Patrick is, he’s ten and played with my five-year-old for the longest time and let him win the soccer game and was generally classy.
Anyhow, the pear tree has been great too, except for it produces more than a dozen families could eat, we called a charity that said they’d harvest urban trees and send the fruit where it would do some good, but they never got back to us. The trouble is, masses of them fall and start to decay before we can get to ’em, then you have to pick up the ucky gucky rotting pears, dodging the clouds of wasps. Judging by the wasps’ behavior I suspect they ferment slightly. When you’ve got six legs and you still can’t stand up, you’ve had too much to drink.
Even the poor old beat-up apple tree gave us a few bags-full; not very tasty but we’ll see if we can turn them into apple butter or something.
Back in August we helped out on Lauren’s Mom’s farm, getting in some hay-bales (the old-fashioned little ones, not the big modern round ones, that’s all automated). So this summer’s been relatively close to the earth. Without going all New Age, I think there’s something to be said for getting your hands dirty and learning about where your food comes from.
Here’s another late flower, a Salvia, about which I know nothing, Lauren scattered them all over the place, only a few came up but they sure are charming.
Learning the World · At home the other day, I made some remark about the whole world and “What’s the world, Daddy?” asked the five-year-old. So I got out the globe and showed him how it worked; he’s been to San Francisco and Australia, and his parents have been to Boston and Oxford in his recent memory, so he seemed to get it right away. But when I explained that the moon was another one of these round things that went around and around this one, that didn’t seem to sink in at all. But with kids, you never can tell; the notion may resurface in his conversation one of these days, either mostly undamaged or twisted in a weird direction.
And (uh, maybe it’s too obvious to point out) explaining the world to a five year old, watching it sink in, that’s pretty serious fun. This parenting thing has its moments.
Jericho · As Sunday went on, the day got brighter and warmer, and at 50°N. latitude, you don’t waste a sunny September day, so we left the apples un-preserved and went to Jericho beach for a sailing-centre burger and beer then loafed on the pier, which is used less for loafing and more for another kind of harvesting.
And I think to myself... what a wonderful world.