A beautiful day here. Finn and I went out with our friends Paul and Calder Stewart to steward some trails on Mount Gardner. We were working on Hand Logger's Trail which runs from the top of a cul-de-sac of West Side Road over to where a trail ascends from the end of Windjammer Road in Bluewater. Hand Logger's Trail is part of a trail network that encircles the mountain at around the 400 metre level, meaning that it is relatively level for most of the way. We were out today clearing some branches that had fallen during the winter, moving around some bucked up timber and working on a couple of really wet spots that benefited from having the water channelled to avoid it pooling on the trail. We built a small new section of trail around a persistent swamp and started to clear a new trail beside a significant creek that flows on the west side of the mountain past the old mine shafts.
Calder and Paul have been stewarding the trails around there for the past few years. It's a quiet job they do, largely out of the sight and knowledge of most anyone who uses those trails, but you can really see their work on sections of the path that seem welcoming, or especially aesthetically lovely. We're not slashing and burning roads up there, but rather working in concert with the land itself to build very natural places where flow wants to go, whether that is the flow of water or the flow of feet and bike wheels.
It's just a gorgeous way to spend a Sunday.
On the way home as dusk was falling, the spring air rang out with the referee whistles of Varied Thrushes calling to one another. Spring is truly here.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
A warm and wild wind blew through here last night and today the skies are clearing today. It is spring now and the news from the hatchery is that the chums have started to emerge. If you want to see them in the wild, trek down to the base of Bridal Veil falls and see if you can spot the little ones in the pools at the bottom of the fish ladder. They're not easy to spot, but it's a lovely sign of spring when you can see baby salmon.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
The stupidest fence on Bowen Island is the one at the end of Whitesails Drive where the trail down to Cape Roger Curtis starts. It's just about 100 meters of chain link fence that doesn't go anywhere and is basically the security version of pissing on a fire hydrant. It seems that its only function is to hold up a couple of "No Trespassing" signs.
Monday, March 5, 2007
Out for a walk this afternoon. SInce I am spending so little time here these days, I'm taking more time to walk deeply in the forest around my house, to visit the land and sea and stay quite connected to the rhythms of this place. So for your edification on this misty late winter afternoon, here are a few things I noticed...
- A few early signs of spring, including new growth on the salmonberries and some skunk cabbage growing in the swamp.
- An accounting of some of the carnage of the winter storms which felled hundreds of trees in Crippen Park, including these three giants.
- The fallen trees will open up much new light in the forest and allow for more growth of food plants like berry bushes and ferns. I was lucky to harvest these licorice fern rhizomes from a fallen maple log. You can see in this photo how thick the moss is that they grow in. So lush. After picking through the moss my hands smelled like rich, wet life. Fantastic!