Pender Island revisited

Life on Pender Island presents a variety of new experiences each visit. We are here house and garden sitting, plus caring for a cat. The garden has vegetables and numerous flowerbeds on terraces, creating a colourful display.

One constant is to prevent the deer from entering the garden and eating all the flowers. A novelty this year is the deer have learned to jump the fence.

They don’t fancy Dahlias, Gladioli or Daffodils. But Roses, “yes”! Plus just about everything else. The routine is, when we spot any deer, Natasha calls the friendly neighbours to help us corral them back out through a gate.

Our own place in James Bay, Victoria is on the shores of Juan de Fuca Strait. So it’s a change to be surrounded by Arbutus and pine trees, even though they’re only forty years old. (Long ago the virgin forest was clearcut).

“You can take a boy out of the country, but not the country out of the boy”. Here on the island, you can enjoy the sight of sheep and cows grazing with a horse or two nearby. Now a vineyard has appeared, almost overnight.

Where we’re house-sitting there’s a large vegetable and flower garden, plus orchard. Apple, plum, pear and cherry trees.

We enjoy having the cat Mosey around. Cats are fascinating. Mosey’s getting on in years and has down pat all those classic cat poses. One is “the Sphinx”, front paws tucked under while staring mysteriously into that realm only cats know. (Having just reached 79 years, I can relate to this, but I can’t sit in that Sphinx position.)

It is peaceful and serene here, ideal for contemplation and meditation. Only sounds are the welcome songs of birds, or fluttering of wings.

I watched a hummingbird flit from flower to flower, gone in a flash. Amazing to know these miniature exotic wonders on the wing need to have nourishment many times their weight each day, just to keep going. Soon they’ll be off to the sunny winter abodes.

Speaking of wonders, how about those Dragonflies? They go up, down, right, left and of course, hover over the main garden, presenting a free aeronautical display.

Yesterday we visited the Saturday market, mostly handicrafts and baked goodies. Only a few vegetable stands. One is run by a happy family of five, who operate Kentu Farm.

At dusk Natasha sees to it that the garden is not thirsty after a hot summer day. Yours truly does the cuisine, one of my other interests.

Although our stay is only eight days, and we rarely go out, (preferring to enjoy the serenity here), it’s interesting how much you can take in of Pender Island life during a short visit.