Monday, March 29, 2004

Back from New Zealand. It's warm tonight, the air holds scent from the blossoming trees. Birds in full spring song now and the flowers are dotting the garden. Daffodils, grape hyacinth and Camillia in bloom. Time to think about really fixing up the garden this year, figure out how to keep it alive during the drought and free of weeds during the rain.

Monday, March 15, 2004

I live in a neighbourhood that is called "Seven Hills" by locals. I still don't know whey it is called that. It lies on a hill between Deep Bay and Miller's Landing. But it's only ONE hill, not seven.

At any rate, the neighbourhood has given its name to a B&B at the bottom of the hill, and the propritor of the establishment, Anne, has a blog!

So welcome to my growing list of the Bowen noosphere, Ann! I'll pop by next time I'm heading down the hill to pickl up my mail.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

What a great day yesterday. I hooked up with my friend Leslie, father of four kids, and all seven of us bundled off together to do some beachcombing at Tunstall Bay. Leslie was in search of some cedar which he was planning to split and turn into a gate for his garden.

It was a really nice day yesterday, sunny and warm with a slight wind coming from the northwest when we set out, so it was a little chilly on the beach. But we quickly found a beautiful log which Leslie sawed in two with an old four foot crosscut saw. As we were hauling the log off the beach and tying it to the roof of his van, a couple of carloads of Saturday visitors from the mainland arrived in new luxury automobiles and fine clothes and stood around watching us. I had this distinct feeling of myself as a spectacle...a couple of hardy Islanders salvaging their own building materials while their kids ran around popping bladderwrack floats and looking for crabs, and playing in the caves on the rocky shore. It was like a scene out of an Enid Blyton novel. I could hardly restrain myself from laughing out loud.

To make matters more fun, one of the Island oldtimers and his son showed up right at low tide to launch a boat on the primitive boat ramp. Primitive begins to describe the ramp, only because there isn't a word that comes to my mind to describe pre-primitive. The ramp bascially consists of the road ending in a small drop off onto a rocky beach, which at low tide, extends about 40 feet out into the ocean. Buddy showed up with a rebuilt 1970s Jeep and they pushed and bounced their way into the water, pausing only to force the whole apparatus over a sizable boulder that didn't show up in their rear view mirror. I thought the trailer was going to come right through the bottom of the boat.

At any rate, they got the boat into the water where it started up in a cloud of blue smoke, took off a couple of hundred yards off shore and then gave out. It limped back to the beach and got hauled out on the trailer and they took off to make the necessary repairs.

By this time, the wind had died down and the sun was really warm. We sat on the beach watching seals and oystercatchers, mergansers and loons ply their trade near shore while out on the water fishing boats jockeyed for space with log barges, log booms and skiffs full of woodchips motoring up and down the coast.

Friday, March 12, 2004

On and off the island...travelling to various parts of the country and then home again for short all makes for a very disengaging time.

So now I am surprised when I see that the daffodils are in bloom, the heather and lavender are flowering as well and the birds have really started into their mating calls in earnest. Black-capped chickadees and towhees are whistling and whirring in the forest and warblers are returning. It's lighter in the mornings and dusky until 7:00pm and the quality of light has changed too. Instead of grey scale landscapes, Howe Sound is painted in shades of blue. The old fruit tress in the lost orchards around Deep Bay and Crippen Park are in full bloom.

Spring really just arrives on the coast. One day you wake up and you're outside in short sleeves enjoying the sun, cutting kindling for the nighttime fire, becasue it's still cold. You notice the change in the soundscape and the colour and the light and it's just so clear that something has shifted. No more storms, lighter rainfall, more sun.

Bring it on!