Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Another Pineapple Express on the way

This is the moisture forecast for next week. Another atmospheric River bringing us rain and warm temperatures and further delaying ski season. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Mouille frites and rain

This was my spectacular afternoon.  Mouille frites with Salt Spring Island Mussels in a curry creme sauce from Rustique and then a walk home along Pebbly Beach watching the clouds build up over the Britannia Mountains.  The snow line has drifted back below 1000 meters meaning that they are finally getting natural snow up at Cypress Bowl again after a few weeks of melting and high rain.

It's the perfect season for mussels right now and you should head out to Rustique to get the local ones while they are at their peak.  Thierry and Celine will be closing for two weeks in January to take a well deserved break after a successful first year in business.

Not me selling

My neighbour Brad has his house up for sale.  It's a quirky house up at the top of a long flight of stairs that is really hard to get to and is a special place for the right person.  As a result it's going relatively cheap, but the parades of people having a look this summer were an indication that it's not going to be easy to sell. For a young single person or a couple, it's perfect I think, especially as a weekend place.  And I hope he can sell it, for his sake.  The market has been soft these past few years.

I have no intention of selling my house.  I've said often that I intend to stay on this island for the rest of my natural life, and although who knows what might happen, I'm quite satisfied to be placed here on this place.  And having been here 13.5 years I've made lots of friends.

When Brad listed his house, they put the sign at the bottom of the long stone staircase that ends right at the bottom of my driveway.  For the past year, I have had people asking me, in whispered tones, if it is indeed me that is moving.  We are not moving, but I have enjoyed receiving the warmth of the question and the relief that spreads across people's face when they hear that it's my neighbour.

It's kind of like being a guest at your funeral.  Quite sweet to take in the little moments of appreciation.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Wind damage in the gloaming

Walking around in the dim dark air this afternoon looking at the wind damage from last week's pineapple express. This alder tree is just one of hundreds that came down in the south easterly winds of the past week. The creeks are swollen, gravel is washed away and new channels are carved. This is how it is in December.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Birding at the Cape

The west wall of Howe Sound, Mount Elphintone to Wrottersley looking back from Cape Roger Curtis

Spent the afternoon at the Cape looking for birds.  Oystercatchers, murrelets, Barrow's Goldeneye, mergansers, buffleheads and several thousand Surf Scoters.

The Scoters were something, flying in huge flocks in their usual winter circumnavigation of the island.  Was interesting to see what happened when they came around the Cape and saw the new dock.  They are used to a clean shot along the shoreline.  Today the flock was scattered and doubled back on itself before moving higher to get around the dock.  I wonder if any birds have hit this structure yet.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Ocean abstract. Afternoon sailing to Horeseshoe Bay

December rituals

The weather outside has been wild, a full on Pineapple Express for close to a week.  Record high temperatures, something like a foot of rain and high winds.   This is autumn at its best on Bowen.

Today in the Undercurrent, something of the rituals of December life here on the island.  Tina Overbury has a nice piece on what happens from Light Up The Cove through to the Polar Bear Swim, and why these small things matter in community.