Now that two weeks of dense smoke have given way to both rain and blue sky in our region, an immense sigh of relief has swept across the land and through our bodies here atop the hill just in time for the autumnal equinox. We've also been treated to a flurry of bird activity over the past few days, as flocks of many species hop happily amongst the oaks and grasses, foraging and chittering after so many stressful stuffy days. The return of our Steller's jays, towhees, and robins signifies a much-awaited shifting of the seasons.
To be sure, summer brought energizing light and splashes of delight to hazy times, but the parting curtains of golden-brown leaves offer an opportunity for rejuvenation, deceleration, and transition. We'll have some big announcements to make about our autumn plans soon...
But before we wave goodbye to the last beams of the summer sun, we thought we'd take a bit of time to step back and reflect upon various happenings around the Hill during this year's dry months.
As spring comes to a close, we thought we'd celebrate the shifting of seasons by sharing the gallery we've been assembling (~60mb) which showcases some of the myriad expressions of life which we've witnessed around Humm Hill this time of year. And while summer may be dawning across our hemisphere, we look forward to continuing to share and reflect upon these scenes in the months to come.
While you explore our noticings, you may also enjoy listening to this field recording taken here one rainy morning earlier this spring:
How many different bird calls do you hear? For the answer, read the description.
An early morning stroll during May to July (according to the altitude) may discover the year's first Nootka Rose. Who has not then savoured the pleasure of the moment, the visual delight of the elegant buds, and the dewey freshness of the blossoms, the memorable fragrance—both of flower and foliage.
— Lewis J. Clark, Wild Flowers of British Columbia
Named after Nootka Sound here on Vancouver Island—where it was originally discovered—Nootka rose's thorny thickets make great habitat for birds and other small animals, and its flowers are loved by bees, wanna-bees, and butterflies. This qel'qulhp (Halkomelm for 'wild rose bush') has been traditionally used by many Indigenous groups for a number of medicinal and culinary purposes.
Apparently this rose makes a tasty jelly or jam, which we'll have to try sometime.