Tuesday, October 31, 2006

And while we are on the subject of weather, and because Ambrose asked, I found a great resource explaining the climate and weather of BC. NavCanada (the people that control air traffic) have produced a beautiful set of books about the weather of Canada, and best of all they are free for downloading. The British Columbia one is great and explains in easy to understand ways the basic climate of BC and all the forces that go into producing our weather. You can download the guide from the NavCanada publications site. The book is a great complimentary read to what is probably the definitive book on the subject, "The veil of chaos: Living with weather along the British Columbia Coast" by Owen S. Lange which is a superb treatment of the topic. You can find that book at the Bowen Island Library.

Now all we need is the weather to show up. Hallowe'en night was cold, and colder especially in Deep Bay where we gathered for fireworks. On calm nights like this the cold air from the mountains pools down in Mannion Bay, and there was actually a fair breeze at my back as I stood watching the fireworks. The air comes flowing down the mountainsides at night and it was downright chilly. Once we got back up the hill to home, the usual inversion took over and I could barely see my breath. Very cool the way these very local patterns work.
Autumn blue

It has been probably one of the driest Octobers on record here. The fall storms have not yet arrived in any volume, and, in fact the last couple of days have felt like we made the switch to winter. It has been colder and sunny with strong Sqaumish winds pouring down the Sound.

Winter is clearly coming to the north, as today I saw scaups, hooded mergansers and pied-billed grebes on the Lagoon. We don't have nearly enough water in the creeks yet for the salmon, but a rain storm last Sunday put some flow to the weir. Still, no chum yet, no snow on the mountains. We're two weeks behind. It's all making for a really nice Hallowe'en night though.

Despite the strange climatic dynamics, things are moving along on the Island. Gin has moved Tha Happy Italian coffee bar from his space beneath the pub to a space beneath The Ruddy Potato, across the road. He has renamed it “The Happy Isle” as a nod to Bowen's past, and he's now the first coffee bar on Bowen to be doing latte art.

Up the hill, in Artisan Square, our Bowen Island Taekwondo dojang has moved into a new building next to the Galley, and the Galley owners have opened a small movie theatre above the restaurant. Down the road a little a phenomenal art show has opened at the BIAC gallery. It is a show of art produced in chocolate sponsored by Cocoa West and the Bowen Island Arts Council and it is the perfect blend of the enterprise and art that is bubbling right now at Artisan Square. It seems that the square is really coming into its own now.

And so we get ready for Hallowe'en tonight and I'm hard at work preparing the October edition of Island Time which will have more audio about all of the above. In the meantime, enjoy these photos of a crystal clear autumn day on Bowen.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It has been a worryingly dry month so far. The almana in the Vancouver Sun said that we have had 24mm of rain this month, and 20 of those fell on Sunday. Altogether that is less than half the average for the month.

What it means principally is that the creeks aren't flowing enough for the salmon. They are due back soon, and I think there are chum in Deep Bay at the moment, but there is nowhere near enough water going over the weir at The Causeway for them to get up. It won't be long I'm sure.

El Nino is taking shape. It feels like the snow is still a long way off from dusting the mountains.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It reminds me of 2002. There is a mild El Nino brewing up for this winter, a warm current that develops along the California coast peaking around Christmas and bestowing us with beautiful weather for the winter. So far, that pattern has begun to take shape and we are bathed in what feels like summer weather - calm and sunny with patches of fog in the mornings quickly burning off to reveal clear skies and spackled ocean.

This afternoon, I took some time to sit in shirtsleeves at Pebbly Beach and read for a whiloe, as if it were summer. In fact it feels like spring, with a bit of chill on the breeze but warmth in the sheltered places.

A glance at the weather maps shows high after high piling up along the coast, keeping the fall storms deflecting northwards. It won;t be long before these highs collapse, unable to be sustained by the ever sinking sun, and soon enough the storms will arrive, drenching us in wind and rain and filling the creeks for the salmon to return too. I can't imagine this weather will hold for more than a couple of weeks, and indeed the 14 day forecast has average or above temperatures and just showers rather than full storms. The chum will be late this year, but we're relishing it while we have it.

Friday, October 6, 2006

James Glave is trying to get a good idea going.

Many of the cars that drive off Bowen Island are single occupant. In an effort to alleviate this problem, James is trying to start a movement whereby drivers put their hazard lights on if they are driving into town and have room for a passenger. That way foot passengers can easily scan the deck to catch a ride.

I like it...so simple. I hope it catches on.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

We are pleased as punch around here to announce that the first episode of "Island Time" is up and available for download. You can find it hosted at the Internet Archive, where you will also find show notes and three different audio formats.

The show will be aired on Artisan Radio this month as well.

Download the mp3 here.


00:00 Intro
00:38 Bowen Moment - Cocoa West Soundscape
02:31 Our Island's Ours Again
06:41 Bowen Moment - Deep Bay summer afternoon Soundscape
09:53 Searching for plumnose anemones at the Union Steamship marina
16:43 Bowen Moment - First fall rain
19:04 Making jelly from wild berries
28:04 Outro and credits

Produced by Chris Corrigan, Caitlin Frost, Aine Corrigan-Frost and Finn Corrigan-Frost for Artisan Radio (http://www.artisanradio.com0 88.7FM, Bowen Island, BC, Canada.

For more information chris@chriscorrigan.com