Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer and seals

The North Pacific high is well established bringing calm, hot and clear weather to the south coast of BC. This is turning out to be a massively dry summer, fuelling forest fires in the interior and creating drought conditions all over the place. It reminds me of 2003, when the salal in the forest margin behind our house dried up and died. The huckleberries are thin and mealy and the cedars are drying out.

Most significant of all, Bill Newport wrote yesterday that Terminal Creek has dried up for the first time in recent memory. Terminal Creek feeds the fish hatchery, and disaster could have struck the coho and the chum fingerlings, but the hatchery stewards got water pumped through in time. The note of alarm in Bill's voice is distinctive though, and I'm surprised we haven't yet heard of water restrictions on the Cove Bay system.

IN another note, the ocean has been stunningly warm and the swimming is excellent. Yesterday Finn and I went over to Bowen Bay and I swam out to the float to relax. While I was lying there with my legs dangling in the water, I felt a kid bump my foot and when I looked down I saw that it wasn't a kid at all but a seal pup bobbing in the water. I said hello, it looked at me for a few minutes, and bumped my foot with it's flipper again before slowly swimming away. It kept coming back to the float though, playing around with kids and adults who were swimming out there.

Cute and all, but remember that if you go out there, try not to initiatie contact with it. If this little seal grows to be curious about humans, it could create problems later in life if it approaches boats. So as with all seal pup events at Bowen Bay, give it it's distance.