On whales, squirrels and wasps

Whales.  Humpbacks, this time.  Four of them.  Rolling, swooshing, even breaching and pulling off big flop-body bangs not two hundred feet from our deck.  We saw them go up the channel and then we saw them come back a few hours later.  One of them was a baby but bigger than a new-born.  Couple of tons, I would guess.  Pretty neat.  Nice to see.

Even nicer was the rain yesterday.  We got a day-full.  It was good.  Real good.  We really needed it.  A lot of places really need it but we got enough to sustain our water source likely though the rest of the summer.  Especially with what we have stored in our cisterns as well.  The ‘worry’ seems over for awhile.  Our ‘source’ is a big, flat area like a high elevation marsh that soaks up the water like a giant sponge and then trickles it out in a remarkably consistently flow given the naturalness of the situation.  If we get rain once every two weeks it is enough to keep us in good flow all season.  This year, it dwindled but it did keep flowing.

Got all our fire-fighting stuff up and operating.  That was a chore.  Two big tanks installed (separate from the cisterns), tuned and fired up the pump.  Fresh fuel.  Hoses strung at the ready.  Fire extinguishers checked, a few new ones added just to be sure.  I figure that one gallon of response within five seconds is worth way more than five hundred gallons ten minutes later.

Carburetors proving I was a bit premature in my earlier celebrations.  Still acting quirky. Still stalling out when least expected.  Carburetors, eh?  Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without…..

The visitor flow has started up in earnest.  Grand Central, we are.  August, our month of popularity. Could be worse.  What if we were even nicer and had July, too?  Actually, September is pretty booked, as well.  Which is a function of our age…..when you are younger, summer ends on Labour Day for school and work reasons.  But, when you are retired, you can stretch your summer past the usual limits and maybe miss out on some of the two-ferry wait crowds.  Our circle is almost entirely made up of retired people.  So, the tourist season is a smidge longer for us.

Environment is changing.  Again.  Aside from the heat this summer, the wind patterns were very different.  Precipitation non existent.  Salmon are bunching up in the area ’cause there isn’t enough water in the streams for them to go up.  That brings more seals and Orcas and, for reasons inexplicable, there were fewer eagles, herons and even the ravens were less than frequent visitors this year.  They still attack on shopping day, of course but, otherwise, were often busy elsewhere.

Got squirrels up the wazoo.

This summer, I have seen quite a few garter snakes and salamanders.  Very cool.  We like them.  But ‘quite a few’ means four or so sightings when, for years, we saw nothing. So, it is NOT a migratory event or a climate change indicator.  But, speaking of migratory, there seems to be fewer birds about this summer….jus’ sayin’….

…..and we had the wasp season from hell this summer.  Gazillions.  So, I dunno….is it changing?  Yes.  Does it always change?  Yes, I kinda think it does.  Is it changing more than it used to?  Yes, I kinda think it is.  So, is that it, then?  We doomed?  Yep, I think so. I think it is all over.  We are toast.  The whales, squirrels and the wasps are clearly taking over.

Oh yeah, and the urchins, too.  They are everywhere in the water.  Could be the dawn of the urchinstene era.

We are doomed.


9 thoughts on “On whales, squirrels and wasps

  1. Seeing those humpbacks so close would be quite a treat.
    Sounds like your water issues are well taken care of as long as the visitors dont suck ya dry.
    Dried out carberators and gummy fuel deposits….the joys.
    I wonder if the birds stick close to the fresh water sources during this dry weather.
    Wasps love dry weather so could be a reason there are so many. And then they drone into every house/patio/bbq sniffing for food. Very annoying.
    Its a shame squirrels dont eat wasps or vice versa.


      • I’ve heard of squirrels eating birds eggs out of the nest. Killing and eating small birds? Wow!
        I once saw hummingbirds snapping fruit flies out of mid air. I was sitting outside in my back yard reading ….I had a bowl of blueberries I was eating. Didnt finish them and about an hour later I was being divebombed by hummingbirds…..In the sunlight I could see them snapping up fruitflies with a flick of their tounges.
        Never would have believed it.


        • We saw a bird go ‘into’ a little wooden house we had built (1 cubic foot) to act as a bird feeder. As soon as the bird went inside, the squirrel scrambled up the tree, made the leap, into the house and pulled the bird out in his teeth. Off he went to dine al fresco. We named him Hannibal.


          • My god!
            NEVER heard of a carnivorous squirrel before.
            Did you leave a light chianti for his apertif?


  2. Very bucolic. “Gather ye rose buds while ye may…” A few drops of rain fell here but not really enough to do much good but better than drought. Many of the trees have leaves falling so is fall five weeks early? For the last forty-two years August was a bit of a bummer followed as it is by Labour Day and the renewal of the toil in the hall of the Gods. “Okay kids, a minor point ‘alot’ is not a word.


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