Fall has arrived but I still think it is summer in the garden …

Lucky us with lots of sun happening .. JaneE Kat doing her due diligence by the wash tub water fountain.  She just loves having her showers here …and patrols this area quite often. And then she sits in the sun to dry off.th07

Here is me and my shadow …taking a photo of me!  Another me in another dimension coincidentally occurring in the same timeline?th01And I had planted my potatoes late also .. these are supposed to be purple potatoes.  I’d planted them in a huge oversize container in the back of the yard and they didn’t get much sun at all.  Still, a respectable amount of potatoes despite all that.  And that green thing that looks like a lime is totally strange.  It grew along with the potatoes and is a strange vegetable .. one which I will not eat!th02This is the rose that I’d planted many years ago.  It survives on nothing, I swear.  I don’t water it or feed it and it keeps growing on.  The root system must be very deep.   Anyway, I’d given it a very hard pruning months ago and was surprised to see the new growth.  That’s my kind of plant.  Tough and independent and at the same time, so very beautiful.th03I know that there are many ladybugs in the yard but I really hadn’t seen many until I saw this shiny new one, resting on a bucket lid.  Did it prefer the red colouring?  Seems so.th04The pigmentation is starting to change in the bean plants ..quite pretty, I think.th06Despite this .. all of the pole beans are growing like mad and there are so many flowers and beans growing!th05A morning photo .. dew on the bean leaves .. I like the effect.th10Sweet little Gold Crowned Sparrow .. doing the shuffle shuffle dance, looking for food amongst the fallen leaves of the wild and crazy tree (pear stock).th11

One morning, I saw the White Crowned Sparrow, perched high atop a telephone wire, quite the handsome bird.  http://www.birdweb.org/birdweb/bird/white-crowned_sparrowth12

In the backyard, a diminutive Anna perched on a branch of the wild and crazy tree …there are quite a few around the front, sides and back yard ..adding a speedy sparkle to the atmosphere.th14

Oh, la la .. the French Marigold has blossomed, adding a spice of red and gold to the garden.   I’d sowed the seeds after I planted the beans and was surprise to see them (but happy at the same time!)th13-2And the tiny tomatoes keep on growing ..there are quite a few.   I don’t give them any special care and they just flourish.  See the tiny one growing on the left?  Is it a tomato or is it a tiny garden sprite, camouflaging itself so that I wouldn’t notice?  The top part does really look like the kind of headgear that a little sprite would wear during the summer, to blend in and no one could notice. th13There are sunflowers in all stages of growth near the bird feeder.   This one is at the seed forming stage …th08

And this one is at the smorgasbord stage …the birds are feasting on the seeds which are still growing .th09

I know that summer is over and fall has begun.  But when the sun shines so warmly as it has done for the past while .. it’s easy for me to pretend that it is still summer.    With a mug of strong Yorkshire tea in hand, I walk around my bean forest and bask in the joy that a garden brings.  Reliving the steps that I took to prepare the soil, plant the seed, build up the structures for the beans to grow along.

Planning what to do for next year.  Soon enough it will be time to undo all that I have done and stow equipment away for the winter.  Still have another month for that, though.  So I will just continue to wander around and enjoy what is there.

Watching the dancing blue skies above … with the achingly beautiful cloud designs that are constantly changing and adding so much design and texture.

Loving the sight and sounds of the birds as they perch in the trees, fly about the yard and surprise me with their sudden chirps.  The Chickadees, in particular, love to settle on a branch by any one of the bird feeders and demand more food.

JaneE, with her wash tub showers and imperious demands for treats makes me laugh.

The pyracantha berries are nearly all dry .. I spread the orange berries outside in the sun to dry and take them inside for the night.  I hope that the birds will enjoy them during the winter months.

The garden is a busy, happy and magical place to be!

There is much to be learned and there is a lot of wisdom there if one looks closely enough.

🙂

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So Yesterday Was My Birthday!

It was a lovely sunny September Monday .. and DH surprised me with a flight on my Birthday!  What a fun way to spend the day.  While he was preparing the plane and doing all the necessary things that need to be done on a pre-flight inspection, I was able to just wander around, looking up at the sky and then down at the ground.  Interesting things to see everywhere.

Here is one of those lovely little periwinkle blue flowers .. don’t know the name, but they are everywhere and are just so pretty.t01And the versatile and under-appreciated dandelion!  Good for medicinal purposes,  dying fabric, culinary and, again, just plain pretty.  Remember putting a dandelion beneath someone’s chin, as a child, to see if it reflects and if it does, you like butter?

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One of the potted plants at Dakota Cafe, I’d planted this one a year ago, now it has spread, is still velvety soft and there are dainty yellow flowers gracefully growing throughout.  I will propagate this beauty.  Hardy succulents are perfect for the hot summers and don’t need much care at all.  t03

Anyway, up up and away and soon we approached the Qualicum Airport.  t05

Qualicum is a lovely airport, it has a terrific restaurant with delicious food, friendly staff.  And the location makes it easy for a little walk to town – we’ve done that a few times.   There are always interesting planes visiting there and we do get a chance to chat with a variety of pilots.t14

After lunch, time to head back to Victoria … I like these chairs, casually arranged on the other side of the runway, behind the fence.   There is a trail over there and I can just imagine people taking a break, relaxing and watching the planes arrive and depart.t12

Here is a racetrack up by Duncan, looks like fun and a great track.  t09

All too soon .. we are back to Victoria ….I love flying and the toughest part is landing when I would really prefer to be up in the air!t08

I indulged in a fair bit of sky watching .. these formations look like Greyhounds, bounding through the skies!t13

This reminds me of an ice-cream sundae  .. yum, yum!  Or perhaps peas in a pod?t11

Such a variety of skies yesterday.. and they were always happy skies ….at one point, I watched a pair of Turkey Vultures, calmly, majestically following gentle thermals that wafted through the skies … I didn’t try to take any photos, they would only have looked like little dots in the sky.  So I just enjoyed their beautiful flying.

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So, thoughts on my birthday.  I always feel as if each one is the start of a fresh new year for me.  Just like New Years Day.

I’m infinitely grateful and in my heart I always give thanks to my Mother for giving me this life.

No matter my age, I consistently feel like a kid .. always looking forward to whatever life offers to me and it offers quite a lot.

I am grateful for my many and varied interests and happy that I can get quite enthused about so many things.

Sometimes I make promises that I don’t keep but they are fun to make and always give me a sense of purpose.

Promises like:

  • I will do some housework every day
  • I will clear up my desk (yet again)
  • I will try to go to bed earlier so I can get up earlier so I can do more things .. sigh
  • I will watch  my diet better (oh, yeah!)
  • I will finish some projects begun a long time ago

Things like that.  I feel extremely virtuous when I strive to fulfill these promises and when I do keep some of them, well, that is like the icing on the cake.

Speaking of cake, my DH surprised with a delicious chocolate birthday cake, complete with flowers and my name and sang me Happy Birthday .. a complete surprise!

I am so very lucky!

Anyway, just a few reasons why I like birthdays so much.

And on with this day!

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Fall is approaching but there is still a lot of summer beauty in the garden ..

A lovely big dragonfly was zooming around the yard a few days ago so I thought that I would provide a drinking dish for it.  Pretty marbles in a dish with a bit of water.  I waited around for the return of the dragonfly but alas wasn’t able to see it.  Hoping it returned and, liking the colourful display, rested there for awhile.  There is a lot of activity  in the garden when I’m not there!w01Sweet little JaneE Kat patiently awaiting her treats!

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A fresh new birdfeeder is welcomed quickly by the birds.  Here is a little sparrow  – he has ventured inside and is now perched in the opening, checking to see if other birds are nearby.   He owns the feeder for now.w03

Give us this day our daily beans.  Non stop growing of all the beans.  I’m juicing these like mad as there is no more room in the freezer.   Maybe I could set up a road-side stand in front of our house??  :)w04Fall really is approaching.  The daily dance of the wild and crazy tree (pear tree stock that has grown like mad over the years) results in a potpourri of the leaves being scattered throughout the yard.   The pear trellis rust is nearly gone.  Thanks to all the healthy foods I’m feeding the tree with.  EM, llama manure, seaweed, nothing but the best for my garden.w05Lots of self-sown tomatoes.    So dainty. w07More sunflowers ready to burst into bloom.  w09Lots of flowers everywhere for the bees.  w10Lovely to see the flowers of the Scarlet Red Runner Beans.  Prolific beans and tasty.

w11More of my “favourite” beans .. pole vines that grow up high, into the trees.  Nice crunchy beans & delicious cooked or juiced.  There will be lots of these seeds for sharing so others can enjoy them  next summer.

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Just a handful of beans picked – Spanish Musica, Blue Lake Bush, Scarlet Red Runner and my “favourite” beans.  I like using these round baskets as my “picking” containers, have had them for years and have no idea where I got them.    Anyway, some days I go outside and pick 2 full containers of beans.  Morning and afternoon.   I’m honestly so surprised at the bountiful growth of these beans.   And I swear they hide on me sometimes.  I feel like the great “bean hunter” as I carefully search for them in the bean forest.   There will be a great supply of the Spanish Musica beans also, for sharing.  There must be at least 30 pods (with many seeds in each one) hanging way above my head, too far to reach so I’ll just let them stay on the vine and let the pods dry .

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Eye candy for me to enjoy during the cold winter months – inspiration to start planting as soon as the spring starts.  Next year I’ll plant the squash and beans a little earlier than I did this year (mid-July) so that the squash plants will have a chance to grow more fully.

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More aerial looping by the beans.  Now why on earth is this bean doing the twisty thing?  No obstacles in its way.  Just being silly I think.

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ta da!  Very strong tomato plants that grew from the compost that I put here.   A very sturdy plant with lots of tomatoes.  I’ve been clipping away surplus leave so all the energy will go towards the tomatoes themselves.  Last year I grew those tiny patty pan squash in this oak container and they grew very well.  This year tomatoes  are growing here.  Next year .. potatoes?  tomatoes?  who knows.

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I know that the season is nearly over and I won’t get tomatoes from these flowers, but the bees will savour the nectar.w17

This is the time of the year for gardeners to tidy up the yards and get ready for the cold weather.  So I’m doing all of that also.

And I am also spending a lot of time just wandering around the yard, admiring the growth of the plants.   Thinking about where to move this and that.  Mixing up the rich compost with poorer soil.   Gathering up all the plant saucers that were so needed during the hot weather, so that all potted plants watered would retain some moisture for the roots.  With the fall rains coming these are no longer necessary.

Watching the bird activity – welcoming the fall visitors, like the Gold Crowned Sparrows back to our yard so I can enjoy their beauty.  Placing some seed in the feeders .. not too much as there is a lot of food available to them naturally.  Enjoying the Nuthatches as they dig out insects from the trees.  Listening to the Bewick Wrens as they sing their unique songs from hidden areas in the trees.  Loving that.   I still have their abandoned nest from a few years ago ..and know that they are nesting somewhere in the yard.    https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Bewicks_Wren/id

Such an interesting place is my garden!   So many things to see and enjoy.

Magical, energizing and fun!

🙂

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Looking upwards .. what do I see ? Just the most amazing sky art there can be!

Saturday .. a few days ago .. was a magnificently beautiful day and the skies were just plain awesome.  I’d accompanied DH to the lumber store and while he selected the supplies that he needed for a project, I wandered outside .. and devoted some time in admiring the show high above me.

We all have fun seeing shapes in the clouds and sometimes they are clearly seen.  In this one, I can see someone riding a horse .. galloping away to a place in the sky ..m-01

Same sky .. another area .. wispy waves that look like a sand washed beach ..

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Dreamy wispy clouds that look like the softest of cotton candy floss ..

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Happy dancing clouds …

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I caught some tree branches in this photo but it shows that fall is near, leaves have begun to fall .. are the branches waving to the sky?  Perhaps.

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Are these two clouds lusting after each other?  They seem to be kissing.    Lovely, against a panoramic background of incredibly beautiful sky art.

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And the kissing clouds are softly covered with a gauzy curtain of fluffy white clouds.  Censorship ??  “ok you’ve seen enough .. run along now”  🙂

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Love seeing such a variety of shapes and textures up above .. and I love even better being up there, flying amongst them.

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Now I can see something above the upper half of this photo .. is it a spreading tree, branches flung far and wide?  Is it a mythical shape from Aesop’s fables?

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The cumulus clouds were so solidly dense it seemed as if I could just reach up and break off a piece .. like a marshmallow or something like that.  And, ahem .. are these more amorous clouds that I see???

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The clouds are getting a bit darker in some areas .. an indication that rain will be happening later on .. and there was a little bit of rain but not that much really.

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Art Nouveau, anyone?   Time to return home, vehicle loaded with supplies.  Camera loaded up with more beautiful photos of the uplifting skies above.

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The beauty of the skies has a special energy which I find quite compelling.  Such random beauty that is ever changing and brightens up our daylight hours.

I am compelled to look upwards and sometimes must remind myself to focus on where I am as it is easy to trip over something!

At this stage of my life I am no longer embarrassed to be looking upwards and quite often I just simply stand still in awe of the beauty up there.   And there is lots of action up there also .. soon it will be time for the Turkey Vultures to migrate and luckily we are on their pathway so I must keep looking up to see this feat of nature.

The magic of seeing these birds, many hundreds of them, is humbling.  They are part of the nature that created this earth and we mere humans must always respect this.

Despite all the inventions by humans, the raw power of nature answers to no one.

Thank goodness for that, eh???

I have to say this … we Canadians are well known for saying “eh” … and that is not a bad thing.   And there are a few thoughts on how this came about.

My vote is for the French “hein” meaning “what”?  Some words in French, carried over to English, are pronounced without the “h” sound.  thus “hein” becomes “eh”.   And there are other words carried over also, which need the “h” sound, but that is for another day, another blog.

🙂

 

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The magic and joy of being in a garden never gets tired.

Fall is near and dear and the skies sometimes reflect this …

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The little birds are getting themselves ready to endure the coming cold weather so I help them out by putting small sections of suet and bird seed out for them

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I think this is a female Bush-tit .. sweet little bird ..

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It is still hit and miss to try and get a good photo of the Gold Crowned Sparrows .. love their songs ..

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There are a number of Nuthatches that visit the yard .. they like this feeder in particular.  I’ve spent a fair bit of $$ on good quality bird seed.  The birds aren’t impressed with the costlier hulled sunflower seeds and mostly just toss them out of the feeder.  So I won’t be buying that again!  They prefer to pick out the un-hulled seeds to take away with them.

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A geranium plant is preparing to unfurl a bouquet of lovely flowers …

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It almost seems like a New Year’s celebration with all the curling tendrils of the squash plants .. all we need are sparkling lights to add to the festive atmosphere.

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The rains began, sporadically, on Friday … yesterday the pattern continued, with interspersed spots of sun and visits by the wind.

I wandered outside … looking at the birds.  The word is out that there is extra food set out in the feeders so there are quite a variety.   A Flicker belts out his happy song from up above in the wild and crazy tree.  He is tucked away in the branches so I couldn’t get a glimpse of his beautiful plumage.   I’ll get a good look, though, in the upcoming season.  They can’t stay away from the suet!

The Gold Crowned Sparrows have returned during the past week ..their lovely songs warm my heart and I am so pleased they are back.

Despite the chilly weather, I just know that there will be warm and sunny days ahead.  Plenty of time for the hundreds of bean flowers to transform into juicy green beans.

This has been a most bountiful year for all gardeners and I’ve heard many excited stories of people trading their excess of fruit and veggies with others.  Happy stories.

Myself, I am quite content with my summer of growing beans, loving the beauty of the tall pole plants providing privacy, shade and food for our freezer (and juicer!).

Healthy plants, fed with seaweed, (unmedicated) llama manure and the powerful EM (effective microorganism) that I mix up.   Along with a sprinkle of rock powder, my garden soil has enabled all my plants to grow happily.

The cleaning up of the garden has begun and I have more to do .. potting up plants, moving them to one area of the yard so they will be easier to maintain.  Some pruning to be done, some clipping of errant branches and heavy cutting of larger limbs that seemed to have suddenly appeared.   That will be dh’s job as a chainsaw will be needed.  More sun to come in the yard.

Another year of gardening has flown by .. another year of magic.  Still amazed at the power of one little seed growing into massive plants that bear food for us to eat.  Timeless transformations.  It never gets tired.

There is much to be learned from a garden.

Tenacity.  Inspiration.  Patience.  Mysterious.    Joy.  Happiness.

Just to name a few.

 

🙂

 

 

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The Gold Crowned Sparrows have returned. The bees are busy .. and the rains have arrived.

A few days ago we had really artistic skies .. like this one ..

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and this one ..

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Yesterday .. these were a memory as the weather was changing, getting ready for the rain that started falling yesterday evening.  sigh.

So I wandered around the yard, looking for interesting happenings that I hadn’t seen before .. this spider’s web had a lovely sheen of rainbow haze which I couldn’t quite catch .. nonetheless .. quite beautiful.

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I had scattered some French Marigold seeds throughout the bean forest and had completely forgotten about them until, searching for beans on the Blue Lake bush beans plants, I noticed this Marigold!  Ready to flower so that will be pretty to see and more nectar for the  bees!

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One of the sunflower feeding stations which evidently is being visited by an assortment of little winged friends who visit.

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I love the weathered look of this sunflower .. seeds nearly completely gone ..

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Diminutive sunflower shyly peeking out ..

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Looks like the leafcutter bees are still active .. they are good pollinators ..

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The Gold Crowned Sparrows arrived in the yard on Monday … fresh from their long trek from Alaska.  I find their loving bird-song very comforting and was so happy to hear them.  Here is a link with more information and sound tracks of their songs:  https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Golden-crowned_Sparrow/sounds

When they first return it is challenging to find them, but they soon overcome their shyness and are more evident as they look for food in the yard.  Because it is still technically summer, I don’t put out much food – but I knew it was going to rain so distributed small chunks of suet and birdseed in the feeders for them.

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Loving the light playing through the bean leaves …

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This patch of beans was planted very late but peeking through the vines I was happy to discover these beans.  More will grow ..some for juicing .. some for saving seeds for next year.

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Another surprise Nasturtium growing away at the base of the bean plants.

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And another one ..

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Simple beauty .. bounty from the bean forest …thank you my garden ..

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Loving the surprises that are tucked away!!   Exciting to see how long this little squash will grow .. it is mid-September now.  I’ve just checked several online sources for the fall frost date and it seems that Nov 5 is the start, here in Victoria, BC.  So, there is still a month of growing to happen.  Lovely mix of EM/llama manure and lots of rain with sun dropping by will result in magical transformations!

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Yet another surprise squash healthily growing away, tendrils reaching out for support – there is a lot of that in the bean forest!friday-20

Bees are busy .. glad the flowers are there for them

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Time to leave and find another source of nectar ..

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As quickly as the bee buzzed in … it was gone.  Life is busy for the bees.

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A line-up is happening over at this squash flower.  Normally I notice, when there is a bee in a flower, another bee just leaves to find another one.  Perhaps this little guy was just tired and taking a break or perhaps it sensed that there was more nectar than the first bee could handle?

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So satisfying to see such a myriad of happenings throughout the yard.  There are still other areas of the yard to finish organizing and to observe what is going on.  For now, though, it is the growing portion of the yard that attracts my attention so I will stay with that.

Rain and sun for the next few days.   I’ll take advantage of the rain to do some indoor things today!!!  Soon I  will be entering my creative world of artistic endeavours – crafting away some bracelets of beads and wire … that the sunshine and outdoors drew me away from.

🙂

 

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The Place Where My Spirit Breathes

I like the energy of this blog ..

tea&bannock

maskéko-sákahikanihk.

This summer, I took a four day intensive néhiyawéwin class. I’m learning my language, slowly. This class was the beginning of a commitment to push myself further towards this goal.

I live in Ottawa now, but I’m a prairie girl through and through. Going back home is a necessity in staying grounded and connected to what calms my soul. The language is in the land, in the vast prairie skies, the water. nipiy. my veins.

Don’t bother writing the words down. Just listen. You’ll remember.

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péyak. níso. nisto.

I’m in kindergarten, my favourite class is Cree class. We learn numbers, greetings, animals. Those words come flooding back in my memory.

I’m grateful to the educators that provided us with the opportunity to be exposed to our language and culture.

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Thirty years later, the class is full of eager students willing to learn néhiyawéwin. The instructors are passionate about passing on the…

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