Friday, December 31, 2004

THe sun is setting on 2004 through a high cold blue sky here at the mouth of Howe Sound. The Brittania Range across the channel are respelndent in a new coat of snow cap, dazzling the ey in the late winter afternoon, as the sun lit them from across the Strait oif Georgia. A Squamish wind that was blowing most of the day has tuckered itself out, packing up just in time to make New Year's Eve visting a pleasant round.

Our gas station has closed here on Bowen, for some strange reason that I can't understand, having to do with posturing, face saving, Council decisions and a plethora of communication that didn't happen. THis will make it very difficult for people here who rarely go to the continent, and with the Queen of Capilano's annual refit all set to go, we'll all be packed in like sardines on the Queen of Bowen Island going to West Vancouver to fill up.

But now, with blues and pinks and oranges so vivid out my window, nothing can take away from the beauty and peace of this place.

Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Christmas is coming here on Bowen. Cocoa West is doing a brisk business, the shops in the Cove and up at Artisan Square are burning up the till tape, there are trees and lights and good vibes everywhere. Lots of handshakes and smiles here on the rock.

And some good news. The Snowin on Bowen CD is now sold out, according to Bernie up at A Little Bit of Everything. There are still a few left at Phoenix Photo, the Pharmacy and Bernie's place, but other than that, they are all gone. An island of 3500 people consumed 1000 CDs in three weeks. That is astounding, because it means that we have raised $14,000 for the performing arts centre building and $6,000 for Bowen Island Family Place. Incredible.

Mad Mabel has made her annual return to Bowen's shores. The popular play, penned by local guy David Cameron stars his partner Jackie Minns as Mabel an old woman who lives in a garbage dump and discovers the true spirit of Christmas courtesy of dustman dave McIntrash and his daighter Anna (played by Corbin Keep and the inimitable Molloy Montgomery). Kat Bernards, in danger of typecasting, played Raphaella, Mabel's feral cat. The Legion has been sold out for the performances this week and last. It's a great production, yet another reminder of the quality of talent around here.

So, tis the season. We hunker down by the woodstove, wait for a little snow to fall (Bowen's snowy season is usually the first week of January) and reflect on how fortunate we are to be clinging to this rock off the west coast of continental North America.

Happy Christmas, if that's your gig.

Monday, December 20, 2004

It is truly developing into a classic El Nino winter: calm, mild and reflective. The moisture in the air just hangs around at different levels. Sometimes it forms a layer of cloud that turns pink in the sunrise. Other times it sits on the water as thick fog, as it did the other night when the fog horns out in the Strait sounded long and dreary as the freighters plied the inside passage. And some times, like last night, it dissipates into the air and we get a clear day and a night full of comets and planets.

There has been very little rain and no real wind yet, not like we had back in 2001 for example, when the southeasterlies lashed the house several times during the fall. There is no new snow on the mountains, and the water is so calm it looks slack all the time.

Take lazy summer days and move them to December, make them 20 degrees colder and that's what we have.

Also, the coho have returned. A small school of them were gleaming in the lagoon the other day, their red sides glowing eerily in the murky water.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Fall is drawing itself to a close with some wild weather variation. Over the last week we have had a little snow, a lot of rain and some very warm temperatures. On December 8 the temperature hit 13.3 degrees which was a record high and we got 26 mm of rain which is a good load.

The winds have been less strong than normal this year, although in saying that we are bracing tonight for a southeasterly storm. We have had more Squamishes than normal here at the house. A Bowen oldtimer tells me that this wind is changing too. She mentioned that 15 years ago, the Squamish would blow straight into Horseshoe Bay, necessitating the bolting of doors at Trolls. These days, it flows through the channel and further west, often cascading over Collins Ridge and through our house. She had speculated that this was the result of logging in the Squamish and Elaho River Valleys changing the flow patterns of the air.

The other day while we were gathering slitstone pebbles at Bowen Bay beach, Finn stood in the spray of the crashing waves and reported that th water was quite warm. He was right. If this balminess keeps up, the Polar Bear swim on New Year's Day will be a breeze.