Winnipeg served up a surfeit of serendipity. Steven and Elizabeth outdid themselves as hosts. Our first day featured grey gloom and a brief snow flurry. Thereafter nothing but relentless sunshine. On Saturday Birds Hill Park, though named for persons rather than winged creatures, furnished a fair riot of migrant sparrows and warblers including some –- palm, black-and-white, ovenbird –- that are only dreamed about back home on south Vancouver Island.
On Saturday afternoon we returned to Big Bras d’Or, finding the old cabin just as we left it seven months ago. ‘Bigadore’ is forty years old now. We will make a point of marking the ruby anniversary in suitable style. The Darlings –- irresistibly charming Lynn & Louise -– helped with the opening while delivering an abundanza of Chinese food. Then they whacked us in a bananagram tournament. The final score –- if you must know –- was 16-9-2-1 (Lynn-Louise-YT-Jan). To beat Lynn at ‘Smoothies’ –- the addictive best bananagrams variant -- come prepared to lay down all 36 tiles in seventy seconds.
In Victoria we revel in our Sooke wilderness rambles with Mary & Mike. The twins fill an analogous role here. On Sunday we hiked Lewis Mountain to Mathesons Lake, soaked up the mayflower extravaganza, studied globular clusters of frogs eggs and
From our dining room table in Victoria we savour the backside view of the neighbouring three-storey walkup. Here we make do with Kelly’s Mountain and the oh-so-blue waters of the Great Bras d’Or. An eagle just flew past. Gannets dive for fish carelessly and fatally lolling near the surface. Hermit thrushes, ovenbirds and magnolia warblers offer their morning vespers. Things could be worse.