Sunday, May 24, 2009

Getting locked in

BC Ferries`security paranoia has caught the attention of my island neighbour Richard Smith
, who is a communications professor at Simon Fraser University and who is very interested in public and private spaces and issues.  

What do they expect us to become?  The locks aren't on the gates yet, but who's to say when that will happen?

And just coincidentally, the ferry staff seemed unsually stoney faced today.  Not even a response when I greeted them with a good morning.  Maybe it's already working?

Music, peacocks and choice in eating

Another touch back on the island between trips, this time heading from Victoria and going off to Cornwall, Ont. Last night there was a big group of people at The Snug, eight mainlanders joined us for Irish tunes and the weather was so fine that we sat outside for the whole evening, only going in at 10:00 when the mainlanders headed for the ferry.

It was a glorious night last night, punctuated only by the plaintive chirps of a couple of Tessa Goldie's peacocks who have been hanging around our place lately and who decided to roost last night in the fir trees. Plaintive chirps is a joke, as anyone who knows peafowl will realize. These creatures make a loud piercing cry, and they seem to like to do it at all hours. By the dawn, they had carved out a space of 100 meters around them, where no other bird dared go. I was by then fervently wishing that the ravens or eagles would dive bomb them and force them out of the tree. Alas, the peacocks left under their own steam.

Heading into the Cove this morning, I met a friend getting out of his car. To open his door, he had to reach out the window and pull the outside door handle. I remarked that I liked his Island car move, and showed him the jury rig parking break on my car. Seems that my 1996 Honda Civic has a problem whereby the button that releases the handbrake has disappeared into the handle itself. When I take it to Honda they never have the part, so the only solution, rigged up by our island mechanic, is to take a four inch long bolt and tape it into the hole left by the retreat of the button. My friend laughed at seeing this. We're actually proud that our once pristine brand new Civic has finally become an island car. Other friends have cars whose doors open only from the inside, or with some magic combination of enchantments and hope. Still others are missing hubcaps, aerials, wing mirrors – stripped off my close encounters in ferry loading – and other assorted bruises and scrapes. Island living is hard on the car, by Chris Leigh, our local guy, has a great triage operation/hospice program, and he is able to nurse a lot of life out of otherwise dying beaters.

And while I'm thinking about the Cove and prolonged life, there is a new restaurant in the place of the short lived Bow-Mart. Mik-Sa opened last week, offering tapas and cocktails and a rotating menu. The food business is heating up in the Cove now. Blue Eyed Mary's is going to open for breakfast, The Snug and the Happy Isle are both opening for dinner and there is one new place “downtown” All in time for the summer, we'll see how long it all lasts, but right now, you can feel the life building in the village, as everyone welcomes the influx of traffic and the warmer and drier weather.

Snow? Did we have snow this year?

Friday, May 15, 2009

More scenes from the lake

Very much enjoying the ritual of canoeing on Kilarney Lake in the evenings.  Last night the lake was glassy, and we quietly cruised along the east side, coming near to many families of mallard ducks and Canada geese.  Vaux swifts on the air and some scaups flying circles around the lake too, and a small flock of common mergansers were seen.  As the sun crept down over Mount Elphinstone, just barely visible to the west, two barred owls began hooting and calling, echoing over the still lake.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Black Sheep on tour

OUr very own Black Sheep Morris Dancers on tour in the UK.  We are so lucky to have this legitimate village side in our presence.  The Sheep return this week from their first world tour.  

Monday, May 11, 2009


First canoe day of the year. I'm determined this year to get out in our little green boat as much as possible. Tonight, the kids and I went to Kilarney Lake and paddled around. There was lots of action on the lake: small trout jumping for bugs, a large flock of Vaux Swifts hunting the same, bitterns booming in the reeds and the beaver out for a swim. Goslings are hatched too. Out in the lake is magical. You can only see about six houses up in the woods, so the whole place has the feel of being in the middle of the wilderness. Mount Gardner dominates the view to the south, with tendrils of cloud clinging to the peak. The water was like glass, with a little mist in the sheltered bays.

And speaking of fish jumping, this afternoon, walking home from the Cove, I noticed many many coho fry feeding in the Lagoon. Good journey to those little guys and hopefully we'll see them in four years or so, bright red and desperate to get home and spawn.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Touch the rock

Twenty days on the road and back for an afternoon. Tomorrow I leave for Vancouver island for a couple of days.

It's raining hard tonight.