After a couple weeks of extreme busy-ness, I spent part of Sunday afternoon and yesterday evening walking around the yard, taking some pictures of the garden and just paying attention to all the flowers, trees and bugs I hadn't had time to pay attention to lately. I recently discovered I had yarrow in my yard, and bergamot too. And I had planted some sage a while ago, inspired by Heather's stories of her delicious mint and sage tea. The internet tells me that yarrow and bergamot leaves can be used in tea as well, and so I decided to give it a try, all together. The result is the beautiful concoction you see in the picture there. A pale green, leafy elixir, with a small dollop of local honey. It occurred to me that this was a totally local beverage, since the water we get is from the North Saskatchewan river. Just before my first taste, I hesitated a bit, thinking "These are some leaves I pulled off some weeds in my yard, do I really want to drink this?" I did, and the first taste convinced me that good herbal 'loose leaf' tea is available right in my own back yard!
My second water story isn't quite as nice. As I was on my way to work today I saw a huge vacuum truck parked on the side of the gravel road, with what looked like a big hose leading into the wetland area there. I pulled over and talked to the man beside the truck who confirmed that he was sucking water out of the pond at the instructions of "the County" for use at a nearby construction site. I said, nicely I think, that this is a wetland, a duck habitat, and that you can't just drain water out of it. A small duck was swimming towards us as I was talking. The man replied that I'd have to "talk to the County." I said I would be doing that, and he went back to his hose. I got in my car and drove to work, fuming. I needed some yarrow bergamot sage tea right then.
I have written to the County about proposed housing developments around here and they assured me there weren't any under consideration at the present time. When I get home I will check the name of the contact person on that letter and give them a call. I may call Ducks Unlimited and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society as well. I thought wetland areas were automatically protected, and now it looks like that just isn't so. It makes me sad.
July 30 2008 Update: Last night I retrieved the letter I got from the County and have just now on my lunch hour called them to talk about my concerns. Of course the contact person referenced in the letter was gone until after the long weekend, and the Mayor, who's signature was on the letter, was gone too. I was able to leave a message with someone the the admin assistant said was the "Planning and Development Manager" so we will see if he calls me back. I managed to speak quickly enough to get in both concerns (land development, pond draining) before the answering machine cut me off....
What a Difference a Day Makes!
10 hours ago