Thursday, May 2, 2002

It’s been a busy month.

I travelled to Alaska and Williams Lake for work and missed a whole lot of spring arrive here n the coast. Our garden is starting to bloom, with the daffodils and cherry tree leading the way. Rock daphne and tulips, lavender and rhododendrons are also flowering now. We have started a new flower bed kind of as an experiment nto see what the deer will eat and what they won’t. So far it has been planted with heather, yarrow, chrysanthemum and swan river daisies. The scent of wild plants like the sweet elixir of laurel and alder and the sharp tang of skunk cabbage fill the air.

Aine and I joined the Bowen Nature Club and went to hear a talk on the black tailed deer. We discovered that the reason they like to eat garden plants is the fact that these plants contain so much nitrogen. Nitrogen is critical to maintain a community of bacteria in the deer’s rumen, their first stomach, which allows them to process all kinds of food. Without these bacteria, the deer will die, and several have been recorded dying from malnutrition with a full stomach because they couldn’t digest what was in there.

We had a taste of summer this week. A high pressure ridge parked off the coast, bringing our typical summer weather pattern to us. We had clear sunny skies with temperatures in the 20s and no wind. We have all spent time at the beach and are already starting to tan. Down at Deep Bay the other day the tide was so low that Aine crossed the bay on foot and dug for small clams and heart cockles with her friends.

Today the clouds have moved in and we have had a little rain. The cooler wetter weather is good for the new plants, but lousy for the stargazing that we could do. There is a rare planetary alignment right now and the sky is awash with interesting things to see, including a naked eye comet which Aine and I glimpsed from Hood Point.

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