Friday, April 30, 2004

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Finn and I were wandering around Snug Cove yesterday when Finn spotted this guy hopping around on the lawn outside Blue Eyed Mary's, one of our favourite Bowen eateries. Later on it had crossed the road and was perusing the grass in front of the library.

Yellow-headed Blackbirds are rare in this part of the world up until April 15 when they return. I have never seen one on Bowen before (my only sighting has been near the Vancouver airport). Not sure if this guy is here to stay or just munching some bugs before continuing on north. I was lucky to get a picture of him though.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

For generations, Bowen Island kids have gathered at the government dock to fish for "shiners," little fish that hang around in large schools and will nibble at anything. Today was Aine's first crack at landing some of these little guys and this morning she caught her first four fish. Hooking her first one, she squealed at the sensation of the line tugging and shaking in her hand, and she gently lifted a little fish out of the water, to her utter delight and amazement. And with that she joins a long line of kids who got bit by the fishing bug on the Snug Cove dock.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

In response to a comment wanting pictures of spring on the coast, here is a shot of my little rhodo bush from this afternoon.

We have just got a little digicam up and working, so expect more images to compliment the entries here.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Aine has built a garden for herself up in the rocks behind our house. She found a little sunbaked nook and started gathering forget-me-nots, grape hyacinthes, a small lavander plant and an iris (which lost it's bloom in the process) and planted them in the rocky soil. Upon proudly showing me this little creation, I suggested that we really do it up right and build it into a little rock garden.

So on Monday we picked loose rock and made a little wall, and filled it with two bags of topsoil and yesterday Caitlin brought home a bag of morter from the Bowen Building Centre, so we are all ready to cement it all in place.

Aine has put a little bench in and hung a wicker basket off an overhanging branch of ocean-spray. She retreats up there behind the blooming broom bush and stays out of sight in the afternoon sun, pushing little piles of soil around and dreaming up new plans for terraforming the rest of the cliff.

Tuesday, April 6, 2004

We have had glorious spring weather the last few days. Bright sunshine in the day with t-shirt temperatures and the smells of spring and summer all around - sunlight baking the fallen fir needles on the side of the road, and warming the vernal sweetgrass in our little meadow in front of the house.

The tulips are in full bloom and the camillia bush which has sat for so long on decks and patios for years without flowering has put out a dozen big pink blossoms.

The other day I took the kids down to Pebbly Beach, which hugs the north edge of Deep Bay a couple of hundred feet below our house. They played on a huge old cedar log for four hours, foreshadowing the kinds of summer activities that they usually get up to.

We have towhees at the feeder, which is new. They hop around on the railing outside my office window and try to figure out how to get on the feeder. Juncos are still around as of today, but they'll be gone soon. And the robins are flocking together, and the warblers are back in the forest.


Thursday, April 1, 2004

More on the benefit for Remy:

"In light of Remy Jannenette Walen's recent accident, many people in our community have expressed their condern and wish to assist him and his family during this difficult time. A group of volunteers has gotten together to plan the first fund raising event for the Bowen Island Community Emergency Fund and the Jannette Walen family will be the first recipients of the funds raised during this event. On Saturday, April 17, 2004 at BICS, we will be featuring a dinner of delicious home cooked food, salad, bread and dessert and great entertainment is provided by many of our very talented local musicians, including: Rob Thompson and friends, Toni Dominelli, Brenda Reid, Moritz Behm and the Fiddleheads, Teun Schut, Wayn Kozak, John Bottomley, Jay Rosen, the Morrice Dancers and More!!

Doors will be open at 7.15, dinner starts at 7.30 pm and the $25 tickets can be purchased at VONIGO, Cates Hill Pharmacy, A Bit of Everything and at the door. Babysitting may be available.

Volunteers are still needed for a variety of jobs. If you would like to help, please call Mo Miller (947-9494), Christine Smith (947-2347 or 2113) or Betty Dhont 947-9237. Financial contributions and/or goods and services will also be gratefully accepted. Please call Pernille Nielsen at 947-2210 (P.O. Box 19) if you care to do so. Tax receipts are available.

Thank you in advance for your support and concern. Let us once again prove what a wonderful community we live in."

If you're on Bowen that night, come on out. Remy did much to support musicians when he and his partner Miriam owned La Mangerie, and now it's time for us to give back.

Helen is out of commission for a while.

Helen runs Bow-Mart, a remarkable place, if only because it is the oldest business on the Island, attracts the same five or six guys for coffee every morning, and never seems to be open.

The Bow-Mart is an institution, couched in more history than I can go into here. The patrons are few but loyal, and Helen has served them coffee for decades now as they discuss the current state of the rock. The guys that meet at the Bow-Mart in the morning are sort of Island Elders. There is almost nothing they haven't seen or talked about. And taking a place in this pantheon is next to impossible. When one dies, as sometimes happens, the stool is still referred to as "his" chair for evermore. There is no farm team for the Bow-Mart boys. They are in a league of their own.

All of this I have only heard about, of course. Having lived here for merely three years, I cannot come close to laying any kind of claim on the knowledge of the inner workings of this place.

But I do know one thing. Helen is revered as a stalwart in the community, and the fact that she can't be there to sling coffee for the boys in the morning is an event of astronomical importance.

We all wish her well in her recovery.

In related news, Remy, the former owner of La Mangerie fell from a roof and ended up in hospital with serious injuries to his hands and head. There is a benefit concert for him being planned. He and Miriam were so good to the musicians of Bowen when they ran La Mangerie, that it is only right that we pay him some tribute and raise some money for his recovery. Prayers are with him too.