Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lazy spring day

Stunning weekend here on Bowen Island. Yesterday was 25 degrees and clear and Aine and I went walking along the south shore of Cape Roger Curtis, watching cruise ships sail and surf scoters dart by. Today it was a late brunch, some football at the artificial turf field and lunch at Artisan Eats with the kids and then relaxing on the sleeping porch in the cool afternoon breeze. Nothing remarkable, and yet it is his miracle of stillness that I live for.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Surrounded by lows

Early morning trip to Minnesota on a holiday Monday. One downside of working a lot in the United States is that American clients often book me for long weekends. It's free on my calendar, so it must be okay!

Not too choked to leave on a little trip today though. The weather has been glorious the past few days, the Vancouver Whitecaps have treated us to some fabulous games at BC Place, including a thrilling comeback in the opening leg of the Canadian Championship Cup final and a terrific derby match against Seattle.

But now the rainy weather has moved in, the Pacific high which gets established over the Gulf of Alaska every summer, is yet to settle in so it's bright grey cloud with light rain, moderate temperatures and no wind. I'm off to Minnesota where I'm looking forward to sunshine and thunderstorms.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Public vs. private again

Last week in the Undercurrent our mayor published an article about the money we pay to Translink, the Greater Vancouver Regional Transit Authority.  In it he argued that, despite paying a substantial amount of money to the authority, we get very little in terms of local attention and services.  Two ideas he would like to see are increased consultation with Islanders on creatively expanding our local bus service, and figuring out ways to have a better connection between Express buses and Horseshoe Bay.  Both of these are good ideas.

But this week, we see the knee jerk reaction to the idea that we might continue to contribute to a region-wide public good.  In a letter to the editor entitled How much is enough?, R. Gordon Ganong argues that we should aim to reduce our contribution to Tranlink to zero:

I urge mayor Adelaar and council to continue their work regarding TransLink payments and take whatever steps possible to reduce our gift to TransLink with the goal of reducing it to zero.
This is not a gift.  Public financing of public services is the way we live together in a society. We cannot simply reduce our contribution to zero.   I urge the mayor to continue with his solution focus, to find ways we can make our contribution matter and have a greater affect on addressing local needs.

Life claims its place


Rambling the unknown trails

Out for a little gathering wander yesterday. I went with a friend searching for oyster mushrooms, but we didn't find any worth harvesting. It has been a little too dry the last couple of days. We did however score enough good food for most of my supper last night including a salad of greens made from Siberian Miners Lettuce and Lambs Quarters and Dandelion leaves, and some fir tip tea. Found a few fiddleheads as well and steamed them up on top.

Since the majority of voters chose to kill the National Park initiative in the fall, I have made it a point to wander on the little known and lesser travelled trails of the Island. Yesterday we were hunting for food in the Davies Creek canyon below Valhalla. I bet you didn't know that Bowen had canyons, but several of the streams and creeks of the Island travel through deep steep walled valleys that are beautiful, lush places of quiet.

So, looking forward to a summer of rambling in the quiet parts of Bowen and eating from the land and the sea.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Dangerous Dan has been at work


Dangerous Dan Cowan's 8 meter single track bike trick on the slopes of Mount Gardner.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Shake, rattle and roll

That little yellow dot is the epicentre of an earthquake that shook the island Tuesday morning.  No damage done, but a friendly reminder that we live in an active region of mountain building and land creation.  In fact that large island just to the west of us, Vancouver Island, is moving every steadily towards us.  It is part of what is called the Insular Superterrane, a region of tectonic plates that is slowly crashing into the edge of western North America.  In a few million years, Bowen Island will sit in a valley not unlike the current Okanagan.  We'll probably have nice dry weather and our descendants will be growing grapes and mangoes.

And as it creeps ever closer, The Insular Superterrane occasionally lurches a little and gives us a shudder.  In fact we're expecting the stormy geological weather to continue with light showers of tremors and aftershocks during a current swarm.  And who knows, perhaps the Big One will show up as well.  You can never tell, nor guess when it will happen, but it's a fool who doesn't expect it.