Saturday, July 24, 2010

Going away, coming back

While looking for some information for a song I'm writing on the Sid Sirocca, the boat that is beached on Pebbly Beach, I discovered a new Bowen blog: Going Away, Coming Back.  Who is this mystery writer who drops such  beautiful gems into the web sphere?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bowen Island National Park?

The federal government has formally begun its one year feasibility study for a national park for Bowen Island.

I had heard that this was under consideration, and now the planning process has begun.

I'm not sure which lands are under consideration. Obviously Crown lands, which means one of the three mountain tops. Cape Roger Curtis is not one of these parcels obviously, as it is private land, and it is being logged, smoothed out and prepared for houses now. It's gone.

Which is too bad, because there was a time when we could have bought that land for $16 million and made it into a park. But the current owners beat the community to the punch and came up with the money before we could raise it all.

At any rate, what do you make of the idea of a national park on Bowen? It represents a shift in what we think of as a national park for sure. Not too many small rural stands of second growth forest are represented in the national parks catalogue. Do you worry that too many people will come and overrun the place? Or is it just a good way to protect existing Crown land.

One thing for sure, the possibility might exist to put more Skwxwu7mesh identity on the land here. Obviously any conversion of Crown land to park requires consultation with the Squamish Nation. It would be good if we, as a community were to approach them to enter into a relationship with the Nation in whose territory we reside. That would be a welcome change, rather than letting the federal government be the ones to blunder through the relationship.

I'm up for helping on that.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bowen in Transition

Dave Pollard is one of a small group of us who are working on thinking through the Transition Town scenario for Bowen Island. He's got a number of useful links and think pieces at his blog.


A blustery night here last night on Bowen as a weak front moved through.  Winds backing southwest have stirred everything up.

Yesterday was a fun day...50 people crammed into Artisan Eats to watch the World Cup Final (won of course by Spain!) following which we commiserated with many of our Dutch friends here on the island both in person and virtually.  Feeling bad for Teun, Betty and Thuys, Tanya and Jim, Clement, Edwin and others.  Remembering too Miriam and Remy who owned the bakery where Artisan Eats is now, and imagining what it would have been like there if they had still been running the place.  Probably painted orange.

The water in the sea is very murky now, but full of plankton and very bioluminescent at night.  While the moon is young, now is a good time to go swimming at night if you want to see a sea of light.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Katabatic Winds and True Summer

True summer, the deep summer that comes with the stabilization of the Pacific high, arrives here on he coast all of a sudden. The clouds and unstable weather of June gives way to a crystal clear sky and hot sunny weather. Overnight the true summer comes in and with luck it will stay until the sun starts to fade away in August and the ocean cools, weakening the high and letting the fall storms through. 

The summer this year arrived three days ago and we migrated with the season to the outside. Doors and windows were thrown open to the air, our bedroom moves to the porch and we spend so little time inside that we can't even get to the phone when it rings. Work has ended for the year and we enter a deep period of calm and quiet, becoming as stationary as the weather and as relaxed as the wind. 

The days are calm and hot now and the ocean is perfect for swimming. This afternoon at Bowen Bay I swam out past the moored boats and floated among seals and oystercatchers gazing across the Strait through air so clear I could make out the shape of the clear cuts on the mountains 20 miles away on Vancouver Island. 

Last night as we slept the air cooled on the top of Mount Collins behind us and flowed down the mountainside through our house, washing over us on the porch and finally out to riffle the waters of the bay below. Just before dawn the sky began to brighten pink and yellow and Jupiter blazed in the clear sky. 

It is impossible not to feel reverence on days like this, not to be moved to tears by the beauty of this place on the finest of summer days