Sunday, September 28, 2003

Yesterday, being the first day in about two weeks when I had time to sit and notice the world around me, I had a sudden awakening. I checked the date and found that we had eased into fall, although today's sunny and hot weather belies no hint of that. I caught myself looking out over the water in the Queen Charlotte Channel and just noticing what's going on.

The soundscape of Bowen at the moment is founded upon a steady drone of crickets, which call all day and night, chirping away looking for mates. Birds are quiet, although there have been more flocks of black-capped chickadees and young robins, who hang out silently, trying to look cool. Flickers, Stellar's Jays and nuthatches are all about. The towhees are inconspicuous at the moment, and the eagles and vultures a little more scarce too.

Today walking down along the causeway at Deep Bay, Finn and I watched the coho and the chum salmon jumping in the salt chuck, practicing for when there is enough water for them to enter the fish ladder and swim up to the gravel beds on Terminal Creek. There is no telling what they might find there this as there has been some very reckless dredging of Grafton Lake this summer, with the result that a lot of silt has made it's way into the Terminal Creek system. Along with the complete loss of a batch of coho fry earlier in the summer, this is not good news for this amazing fish. Some of the coho in the bay are two feet long, and are flying a full two feet out of the water right now. Weaving among them was a little grebe, diving for shore crabs and tossing them down.

I harvested some sweet grass yesterday from a clump that my friend April gave me in the spring. I'll braid it and use it for smudging this winter. Maybe have some on hand to give away to Elders.

The traffic is still a mess in the Cove. A bunch of new signs have been added to help people try to navigate the whole situation. They can best be summed up by a large sign that now greets drivers as they unload from the ferry: "Unique Traffic Pattern Ahead." Fair warning I suppose, although it doesn't help. This traffic experiment has become so BIG that it seems impossible to let go of now. Everyone is pulling to hard on everyone else. It's as if we are all standing on a log and leaning away from the other person all the while hanging on for dear life. Let go, and both of you fall in. The only solution is to ease up and move together, but I don't see that happening. It's frustrating, because there is a lot of work to do on the Snug Cove Plan, but at the moment, all of the energy is tied up in this ad hoc road system. With no stated deadlines, evaluation criteria or other parameters, it'll require change that allows someone to save face in order for this thing to move ahead.

In the meantime, I'm of the opinion that our village is a much more unsafe and unappealing place to be.

I can't quite feel fall in the air at the moment. It's close to 35 degrees in the sun right now, and although we have had a little rain and some cool weather, the nights seem to contain and inversion at our modest 200 foot elevation, making the evening air unseasonably warm. Hints of things to come have started appearing though, as last night we had the first Squamish for quite awhile, whooshing out in the Channel and occasionallybreaking over our ridge and swirling around to buffet the house with modest winds. Soon enough, those winds will blow at gale force with an icy edge to them. For now, we're enjoying the respite.

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