Salt Spring – Summer 2018

Out for a Jaunt..

It’s late August, and while summer still seems as if it will go on forever, with September on the near horizon, I know this is just an illusion in the same way the cold wet of January feels like it has always been with us in its midst.

With a few minor interruptions for smoke due to distant forrest fires that in recent years have reminded us of the severity of the west’s summer drought and warming, our summer has been delightful! Modest daytime temperatures due to our proximity to the sea, and comfortable evenings have predominated, as is pretty typical, even in our era of global climate change, with the occasional heat wave, which always demands some beach time!

I’ve managed to keep up my regular mountain biking sessions above the property on the vast open space dedicated trails that crisscross Channel Ridge, alternating this with paddle-boarding off the west shore we look out on. There are a number of lovely launch points within a few minutes by car, and even a small island called “Idol” though I prefer to spell it “Idyll” that I often paddle to, where I can swim in blissful solitude with only the nearby pair of nesting plovers for company. They don’t seem to mind, and perhaps because I approach and depart silently, we each pretend to ignore the other.

Our inland sea has been quite lovely to swim in, and my (part-time) golden retriever Wally can’t get enough of it! His visits from Seattle have become known as “Wally’s summer camp” weeks, and his normally placid persona takes on a Jekyll & Hyde-like tone as he frets, whines and barks till we throw him shells so he can he dive for them.

Summer is also a time of endless dinners and parties to celebrate the season. And Salt Spring is so generous with us in this regard, in terms of fresh organic delights like figs, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, plums, apricots, among many others, and all manner of greens and  vegetables in the endless cycles they arrive in. So many organic farms dot our local hillsides! And the lovely lesson of the tastiest foods in season, make me appreciate them all the more as they pass. Not that berries aren’t almost always available in the grocery stores, but after tasting local fresh picked berries, the distant imported ones never provide the same wondrous experience! On Salt Spring, even with out a calendar, you’d always know the time of year simply by the foods it provides, when you allow your dietary rhythm to be set by the growing season.