April 3, 2013


Peas sprouting

Seeds in the soil,

I wait, hoping conditions are right for germination.

Rockets and green zebras sprinkled in egg cartons.

A light on in the oven to warm them.

Is it too warm?

And I let them dry out.

I wait for little plants to sprout,

for tiny leaves and stems to tell me,


You did it.

This is me learning, tempering my ambition.

I will be tending to gentle life,

Springing forth from fertile soil.

April 2, 2013



Away for the warm weekend,

I returned home,

peeked outside and a joyful smile

exploded on my face.

Three tulips whose colours were previously unknown

bloomed in hot pink, hot pink and yellow, hot pink and white

in varying shapes and scents.

“I love them!” I exclaimed.

And across the street, the tree that has always looked beautiful

was topped with a bounty of magnolia blossoms

with more to come as they open in a cascade downward.

The willow is greener from afar, its tiny fledgling leaves glowing in the sun.

A forsythia I never knew was there reaches for the sky.

I wait for the other trees outside to leaf out.

Is that a pea sprouting in my garden?

Garlic scapes grown taller while I was gone.

My first spring in my new home

delivers me all kinds of sweet surprises.

I’m attempting to participate in NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Writing Month.

April 1, 2013

I know it’s spring


I know it’s spring

when the air is fragrant —

    cherry blossoms and ocean breeze,

    freshly cut grass,

    plants breathing

the sun seems to have sprung

higher in the sky.

those little unknown seedlings that over time will take shape,

slowly growing and unfolding into — ah! — whatever they become.

home smells new, with the

scent of warmth and life.

short sleeves and bare feet,

soles dirty from the grass and garden.

shadows, still long, appear for a longer day.

it’s time to put toques and scarves away.

(at least on the West Coast.)

winter has passed the torch of time to spring,

to light up the daffodils, tulips and magnolia,

the hyacinth, camellia and forsythia,

and others the sun is still beckoning.

I’m attempting to participate in NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Writing Month.

January 28, 2013

A winter garden

Garlic growing

In the fall, I planted four garlic cloves and crossed my fingers. The soil had been used already for tomato plants and I didn’t have much compost left, so I added coffee grounds and watered them occasionally when I remembered. Talk about neglect. To my utter delight, I recently noticed two of them growing and wondered if the other two — which are closer to the wall where they’d receive less of any rainfall that made it that far — would appear. Sure enough, there they are!

Continue reading A winter garden »

January 14, 2013

A wild park

Mushrooms (1)

Mushrooms sprout on a nurse stump

I’ll never forget the first time I visited this park in my new neighbourhood, three years before I moved here. It was March and it started snowing! Between the wild, jagged terrain and the owl appearing in the tall conifers, it left an impression almost more idyllic than my experience of it now.

In the warmer months, one particular path that begins at the street is muddy, almost creek-like. Riddled with stones and pebbles, it’s hard to traverse when it’s so wet and is slightly uphill. Yesterday it was hovering around zero degrees and the pseudo-creek bed was blanketed in ice! It looked like a tiny, frozen river.

Continue reading A wild park »

October 28, 2011

Nature and night: Moving from the woods to the city

Maple leaves

Swishing through a bed of leaves in Kitsilano reminds me there’s nature in the city, but it’s still difficult letting go of the dense, unique nature around the home in which I grew up.

It’s dark when I get home from work now. I get to my street, and it’s like I’m at the edge of the wilderness. There’s only one street below mine on the hill as it slopes down into the water. From street level you can’t see the lights across the inlet. Those lights are what make the darkness borderline between oppressive and refreshing. There’s just enough of them, and at Christmas everyone lights up their docks and boats.

Moving was easy the first time. I don’t know why — I should have been more emotional about it since I didn’t intend to move home again. I did two years later; I’ve been here again for over three. I’m glad of it though: being in my mid-twenties — a mature adult, one might say — I’m aware of my surroundings in a more intimate, celebratory, pensive way, where I revere and require the nature around me. I would have missed out on this if I hadn’t moved back.

I know it will be harder the second time. I remind myself that I will be excited about the prospect of having my own place. It’s more complicated now, and yet easier: I plan to buy an apartment not solo but with my sweetheart, once his current place is ready for the market and we’ve had more time to know each other. The only disadvantage of this co-purchase is timing, since we’re in agreement about having a bright place near a farmer’s market and a bike route, close to nature. (Too bad Trout Lake is a lofty dream.)

But as we’ve been talking about it more, I’ve been thinking more seriously about the prospects. Oh, not regretfully. I want to. But I’m nostalgic and I’ve spent all but two years of my life living in this house, surrounded by trees and looking out onto a scene so beautiful that people always remark about that aspect when I tell them where I live.

Continue reading Nature and night: Moving from the woods to the city »

March 20, 2011

Spring announces itself

The flicker’s call can last even longer than in this video, taken yesterday in the back yard.

The past two days, the flickers have been singing and drilling on metal street objects — their loudest instrument. Today, I can hear four or five different species of birds. In a nearby wood, a proper sort of woodpecker made quick work of an old stump. The trees here provide many resting places for migratory and resident birds.

It’s warm enough in the sun for a t-shirt. My neighbour two doors down, Pat, is gardening in short sleeves. He rakes the life into his garden, stands tall to examine his work, and leans to tend by hand. People pass quietly by on the street, on foot and bicycle. It’s a pleasant contrast against the cars that roar by and mask the bird calls.

Continue reading Spring announces itself »

February 18, 2011

Photowalk: Nature’s little surprises


I took advantage of today’s glorious sunshine and brought my camera with me to Stanley Park’s Lost Lagoon and seawall. In case it’s not obvious, I have a thing for willows and birds. Don’t you just love the word ducks?

Continue reading Photowalk: Nature’s little surprises »

February 2, 2011

TED Talk: Michael Pollan gives a plant’s-eye view

“Looking at the world from other species’ points of view is a cure for the disease of human self-importance.” — Michael Pollan

I was lucky enough to see Michael Pollan speak at UBC Farm in 2009 and I found him terrifically inspiring.

In this fascinating TED Talk, Pollan talks about humans’ relationship with, or rather perceived dominance over, nature, corn’s dominance over us, and nature’s incredible systems at work on a farm.

“…If you think about it, this completely contradicts the tragic idea of nature we hold in our heads which is that, for us to get what we want, nature is diminished. More for us, less for nature. Here, all this food comes off this farm and at the end of the season, there is actually more soil, more fertility and more biodiversity. It’s a remarkably hopeful thing to do. … We can take the food we need from the earth and actually heal the earth in the process.”

75th graphicThis daily green blog is in support of David Suzuki’s 75th birthday fundraising campaign put on by the David Suzuki Foundation. Please help me out by sponsoring me online now.

Note: I am writing solely on my own behalf, and do not claim to represent the David Suzuki Foundation or its views here.

January 31, 2011

Dichotomy/nurse log

tree stump

pausing    the sound of waves sighing, birds humming the tune of spring in winter

i walk seeing the world of the park in poetry

carved bare, a fallen tree is alternately caressed and whipped by the water where it sits

as i sit the late january sun lays its blanket on one side of my face,

the cool wind gently breathing on the other


one day that moss will break down the rock under its clinging feet

the tree bridge will sink into the earth, a nurse log

for future cedars

75th graphicThis daily green blog is in support of David Suzuki’s 75th birthday fundraising campaign put on by the David Suzuki Foundation. Please help me out by sponsoring me online now.

Note: I am writing solely on my own behalf, and do not claim to represent the David Suzuki Foundation or its views here.