Val Fox Writes

About Earth's Inhabitants

Blog Post New Entry

Different Flowers, One Meadow

Celebrating Earth's Diversity


view:  full / summary

Autumn Notes and Big G

Posted by Val Fox on October 4, 2015 at 7:05 PM Comments comments (3)

Since my "great" room window ends at the floor, I had an exceptional view of a black bear that rambled past the glass two days ago. I grabbed my camera, then decided to let him continue undisturbed. They live in the area, and are searching for food.

I see many bird species migrating from north to south. The grass is green again after the summer drought, and the autumn-winter rains will downpour soon. I hear chain saws, generators and a meeting of ravens.

Tonight, the smell of wood smoke, another fossil fuel; the only source of heat for many.

                      ©VFox                              Big George

tags: Vancouver Island; BC wildlife; Autumn in British Columbia, Canada' Earth's Inhabitants; Bull elk;  


Posted by Val Fox on May 18, 2015 at 1:00 AM Comments comments (1)


It's been six months since my last post. Last Autumn, people lined up their Jack-o-lanterns in the forest to be reclaimed. The sky grew dark and the mountains seemed to close in. Weeks of rain and power outages were December and January. Oh, and the fog. 


By February 2015, the first blooms opened. Spring beckoned us forward and we looked to the sky's golden hope and warmth. My companions are two senior cats.


Spring's glittering sheen and bold colors make The Island look feastive. As you can see, I am still learning the camera. Since the area is rich in photo opportunities, I'll enjoy the practice.


This year's garden consists of 21 assorted pots obtained from neighbor donations and thrift stores. They contain both flowers and vegetables.  I read in some "comments" somewhere that a woman got great results when she threw a banana peel into the hole prior to planting. I did the same in one of my two tomato plants.


               Near Port Renfrew.

Be wise in the forest, and Thanks for visiting.

Songwriter's Message of Hope

Posted by Val Fox on November 22, 2014 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (1)

A Clean Pair of Eyes
by David Gray

lyrics© BMG Rights Management US, LLC

Hear me God, I'm on the level
Mapping silence seeing things
Crying laughing like the devil
Before the might of all that's seen
I'll raise my head and wake to dream
with a clean pair of eyes.

Murdered gold and colours flashing
Time like blood like flowing hair
Faces merging airplanes crashing
Before the might of all that's true
I'll raise my head and wake to dream anew
With a clean pair of eyes.

A clean pair of eyes
Don't need no one to blame
Don't need no disguise
No sugar to sweet my brain
A clean pair of eyes.

Today I need no comentary
Today I do not need to speak
No explanation necessary

And before the light of all that's seen
I'll raise my head and dream again
With a clean pair of eyes

A clean pair of eyes don't need no right or wrong
Don't need no disguise
No sugar to fix my tongue
A clean pair of eyes.

Liquid air and flags that ripple
A tambourine of smoking suns
love that blinds us fear, that cripples

And before the might of all that's seen
I'll raise my head and wake to dream
And before the might of all that's true
I'll raise my head and dream anew
And before the might of all that's unnamed
I'll raise my head and dream again.

Dream again
Dream again

Logging Trucks and Rain Forest

Posted by Val Fox on November 16, 2014 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Winter is cold here on The Island too. It is a damp cold. I'm glad I brought my down-filled jacket. When the wind blows, it knocks out power lines and tree branches litter the autumn ground.

          Logging trucks roar past every day, all day.

The sun peeks over the eastern mountains later than near the coast, then shines low to the south until it vanishes in the afternoon behind the western mountain and soon I am in inky darkness. Like the prairie, dry and clear means cold. Rain means wet and bone-chilling icyness.The rains are expected to return on November 19 - Sheila Hollihan's birthday and the anniversary of my mother's death. I'll do something nice to celebrate them both.

Everything is different and I am completely out of my comfort zone. I patiently wait to see how things will look in the spring. In the meantime, What will I create?

                                          The forest is ever green on Vancouver Island.


Find ways to earn extra money, keep stacking the wood in the shed and gather the debris from last week's storm. Rain expected to roll in by Wednesday.

Keep working on the novel I am writing for this year's NaNoWriMo challenge. It must be complete by November 30, and I am behind. Some painful circumstances led me here and sometimes my heart is heavy with loss. Then, I pick myself up and get busy.

I am determined. Change is good. I watch for the miracles, and am thankful.

I am determined.

Journal Entry
Waking Up on Vancouver Island 2

Menacing Mystery Threatens Homor

Posted by Val Fox on October 26, 2014 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (1)


My name is Carmel Mae Whitney. I live at Ridgeway drive, number 4 in the town of Homor Oreos. I, I ..the date is October 29, 2014. I swear the story I will tell you is true. It really did happn tonight when I walked along the path from the park. This THING followed me on the other side of the trees. I'm sure it followed me.

It shon really bright and was a sparkly blue. When I walked, it mooved when I moved. I wanted to run but I coudnt. I tried to just walk normal and pretend I didnt see t. I could hear my breathing and I wanted to be quiet but I coulnt.

I kepped walking until I could see the lights from Barnwell's store. It was real quiet and my y chest thudded hard. Oh

when I was almost there the light disapeered. I coudnt see it any more. So I started to run.

Then I heard something like a real sick person thats hurting bad. But it was different too. The sound kind of rattled, you know like a person who's dying. Yeah. Then it got louder. It was behind me. UI knew it was. I could feel it. It was hot like it wanted to burn me. I kepped running and the light came closer behind me. I slipped on the rocks and my ears popped and it hurt.

The ground turned blue and I raced from the trees to the store. Barnwell already locked the door and went hme. I saw the lights go out and banged on the door and said let me in! Bt he had gone home early because his wife is sick.

So I ran here to you guys and and it shreeked like a siren was behind me and I don't know if it's still out there or not!  I dont know what it was. I have to get back home to my little ones. I was only supposed to be gone a cupple of minutes. And now I need to get home but that thing is out there. That's all I know.

Carmel Mae Whitney.

Photo: Val Fox

Tags: Halloween tales; mysterious light; Girl followed; Unsafe Streets; Is This For Real  

Waking Up on Vancouver Island

Posted by Val Fox on October 19, 2014 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (1)

The whole experience of moving away from friends and loved ones is a shock. It's all happening so fast, I hardly have time to process it. I already miss Alberta's vast sky and it's wonderous sunsets.



A series of events has resulted in my availability to take a risk, a leap into the unknown toward uncertainty. I have never moved so far away from family and friends.

Yet here is this prairie-boomer-grandma preparing to ride the ferry from British Columbia's lower mainland to Vancouver Island. This time I won't be there to play tourist. I'm taking whatever I can fit in a minivan and I'm moving there, with family support. I can see them in my mind's eye, leaping high and shaking celebratory pom poms.

Do what makes you happy. ;)


                                        You'll thrive out there. :) 

                                                                         Your time to shine! 8)

I'm thankful for those people who are giving me a push. Some of you don't even know how you are helping me do this.  I might have remained in comfortable familiarity all my life. Instead, I will live in a winter rainforest, keeping warm by a fire. The girls will soon curl up nearby and I will be thankful for their company.


Please join me weekly as I discover my new home on Canada's Vancouver Island.  A new journey has begun.

Begin A New Life Chapter

Posted by Val Fox on September 12, 2014 at 1:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Navigating through major life changes can be frightening, especially when an unknown future beckons and we grieve for lost dreams. I have begun such a journey.

   Author Jeanette Winterson writes that when going through change, it's easy to interpret our fear and sorrow as something totally painful and negative. The lack of sleep. trembling hands and basketball slamming in our gut plead for the familiar, demanding our return to the same game of chance.

Winterson implies that the jumping off point and its subsequent turmoil could be a blessing in disguise, even if it doesn't feel like it yet. Many other wise souls make similar claims.

Some days we're paralyzed with sadness; others days our youthful energy and curiousity will illuminate the room.

For those experiencing major change, the new trail will become familiar soon enough. Chaos will not last forever. Lessons learned and a fresh perspective will help lead us forward to clarity, peaceful heart, even joy.

Believe it. Claim it.




Summer Celebrations Underway

Posted by Val Fox on July 28, 2014 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (0)

It's that time of year when pow wow enthusiasts load vehicles and travel to various celebrations hosted by First Nations communities throughout North America. The following photos were taken July 20 at the Kainai Nation annual summer pow wow and rodeo here in southern Alberta.


                                  A July sunrise greets participants of the summer 2014

                                  Kainai celebrations.


                                 This bustle is attached to the backside of a Chicken Dancer.


                                Technology helps the audience see the dancers in the arbour.


                                Young Fancy Shawl dancer watches other competitors.


                               Esther W. of the Standoff Hutterite Colony shades her eyes

                               from the late afternoon sun.


                               Summer celebrations included midway, hand games and fire works.


                              Three lovely Jingle Dancers getting a closer look.


                               July 2014 Southern Alberta sunset.

Thanks for visiting everyone! If you have any photos you'd like to share with our readers, I'd be happy to see and share them. You can reach me through the Contact Me button and I'll be sure to respond to your message. Stay Safe.

Tags: summer activities; colourful regalia; pow wow circuit; traditional dancers; pow wow drums; drum group competitions.

Gardening is Therapy

Posted by Val Fox on July 20, 2014 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)




This year has been emotionally challenging in some ways and I forgot that fact earlier as I chastised myself for not being more productive. I forgot that I had written a story in May and it was published in July, or that I was studying for tough editing exams to become certified. Self-criticism rarely inspires and will often skew the truth. I find the truth when I stop thinking and dig in the garden.



When we say "you should be.." we often forget all the other things that steal our attention each day, many of them unplanned events such as vehicle breakdowns or sudden illness. This is not to be confused with making excuses for doing nothing. I'm talking about events that affect our usual routines or mind-set. The garden's colours can help us feel grateful.


When I hit my forehead with the palm of my hand, saying "I forgot, again!" or I see a typo in my writing, I forget that three children demand my attention - the second set of kids I've raised. It escapes me that three sisters-in-law have died in the last six months and that one of our beloved dogs was run over. The garden's moist earth wafts a grounding fragrance and I discover that I'm grieving.



When our son rolled the truck, breaking his leg and pelvis, the garden got neglected. The flashing police lights were frightening but I remained calm and observant. When the fear feelings came, the garden offered a place to catch my tears. Others have claimed this too. A garden grows newness.


Living in the trailer (RV) was fun for several weeks, after much of our furniture was destroyed and we had to live out of boxes. The kids and I have slept soundly in the fresh night air, carressed by the fragrance of petunias, peonies and lilac.


We all have our share of life's bumps, some more than others. We hear tragic stories on electronic devices or share in the sorrows of family and friends. Some of the garden's plants are living memoriums to lost loved ones; they call forth happy memories.


The sight, feel and scent of a garden's treasures will always invite us to a place of wonder in the middle of life's stresses. When we allow its energy to comfort and amaze us, our turmoil eases, gratitude grows and our creativity is stimulated.


Thanks for visiting, everyone. The next post will feature scenes from last weekend's Kainai Nation Pow Wow in Southern Alberta. See you soon!



Experiment With Genres

Posted by Val Fox on July 2, 2014 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (2)

     Hi everyone! Welcome to the first Wednesday of every month where writers of all levels gather for a virtual blog hop to share our doubts and triumphs with one another. This monthly event is hosted by author Alex J. Cavanaugh and his talented team of co-hosts. I'll post the link to his site at the end of today's brief message. Please feel free to share your thoughts.

Today I will submit a short story for possible publication in an anthology of dystopian tales - a genre I had only seen in movies until recently. Writing a post end-of-the-world story felt intimidating but how will I learn if I don't try, right?

I've learned that when we experiment and stretch by trying something new as writers, interesting processes will often surprise and reward us.

After scanning several recommended books I came to one conclusion. Just concentrate on telling the story or let the story tell itself. A good story is where it begins and where it ends, always. Trying to write in different genres will always teach us something helpful if we give it a shot.

The following is a short excerpt from the story I will submit today to WPaD Publications, titled The Last Summer Storm.

"We can't make it back!" shouted Sofia. "Follow me down into the coulee!" Before they reached the bottom she glanced back and saw two of the horses racing back and forth along the top edge of the deep slope. Then, they vanished. The menacing cloud had swallowed them up and continued to spread in all directions. She heard their screams.

Everything we write, matters, even if it isn't published; all this practice is part of the writer's journey. Keep tapping and your writing will get better than you could have imagined. 

Have a fantastic day and thanks for visiting. :) 

Here are some early summer photos from my home in Southern Alberta.

                                   Happy Birthday, Canada!

             Rocky Mountain foothills provide prime grazing land for Alberta cattle ranchers.

                                Two-month-old Nahanni with her mother, Peach Monroe.

                               Gardening is a popular form of physical & mental therapy.

Tags: IWSG July 2014; supporting other writers; new palomino foal; dystopian fiction; speculative fiction; foothills and The Rockies; Alberta ranchland; Kainai Reservation



©Val Fox

Southern Alberta Rains

Posted by Val Fox on June 19, 2014 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

June rains have once again risen to flood level in many
Southern Alberta areas.

                                         This is normally a green meadow dotted with wild flowers.
                                          Hwy 505 west between Levern and Glenwood.

Alberta Spring Photos

Posted by Val Fox on May 26, 2014 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)


                A warm, spring wind blows the snow off the nearby Rocky Mountains.

                Today's photo dedicated to a dear sister, Bernadette Fox, who left her earthly

                life on Saturday, May 24, 2014. Thank you for the inspiration, Bernie. :)