Monday, April 25, 2005

Lots of firsts in the last few days. Yesterday walking down at Cape Roger Curtis we experienced a number of firsts, including the first shorts day for me and the first swim of the year by my cold-resistant kids.

On a subtler level, there were a number of other firsts this weekend:

  • First sighting of Mourning Cloak and Spring Azure butterflies
  • First sighting of an Audubon's Warbler in the alders at Cape Roger Curtis
  • First sighting of a pair of Common Loons on that water at CRC
  • First sighting of frisky behaviour among the several thousand Black Scoters that are hanging out off the Cape.
  • First salmonberries forming deep with a cup of the flowers that have been pollinated by the Rufous Hummingbirds, the bumble bees and the first Yellowjackets of the spring.
It seems this year that we took a quantum leap into summer. I've been munching sword fern fiddleheads, peeled salmonberry shoots (not dipped in sugar like my Kwagiutl and Nuu-Chah-Nulth friends like them!) and eyeing the nettle patches. I'll have to go harvest some nettles soon, while they're still young and tender.

Walking home late Friday night off the water taxi, I could feel a strong cool wind in the Cove and in Horseshoe Bay. As we live about 100 meters above sea level, I had to climb up the hill to get home, and at the 5o meter level or so, I went through an inversion layer and the air seemed at least 6 or 7 degrees warmer. I realized that the cool breeze was in fact the result of cooler air sinking beneath the inversion.

These tiny katabatic winds are a sign of summer, when the energy of the air isn't driven by the large storm systems that slam into us from the North Pacific, but are rather small zephyrs inspired and driven by the local topography.

Sort of like someone I know...