The Sacred Headwaters


Sacred Headwaters, Paul Colangelo, 2012

The Sacred Headwaters is a basin in Northwestern BC and contains the headwaters to three important rivers—the Skeena, Nass and Stikine. Recently, a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the region was set to expire, but in a surprise move the Provincial Government banned all oil and gas exploration in the region. It’s a major victory for those who value wild places. It also shows what can be done when an election is looming.

New Growth

Bright Lights Swiss Chard, Jason Landry, 2012
Greens, Jason Landry, 2012
Swiss Chard & Greens, Jason Landry, 2012

I’ve grown various herbs and cherry tomatoes in the past, but this is my first year of branching out and really trying to learn something about gardening. I still don’t really know what I’m doing, but it’s satisfying work and I love watching the various things grow and change as time marches on.

Flowers

Wild Strawberry, Gambier Island, 2011
Wild Strawberry, Gambier Island, 2011

Flowers, Jim Bryson

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Deer

Deer Shed, Gambier Island, 2011
Deer Shed, Gambier Island, 2011
Major Matthews
Are there any deer on Gambier Island now?
Miss Wiegand
Yes, many of them.

Early Vancouver, Vol. 7, Major J.S. Matthews

The conversation above took place in 1946 and I can confirm that there still plenty of deer on Gambier Island. I’ve seen them resting in the shadows of a tree in our lower section, I’ve spooked them in the bush and, most recently, I awoke to see two young black-tailed deer crossing the steep slope above our tent. I’ve heard of a cougar sighting on the island, but most sources say the deer have no natural predators, so I expect to see many more.

Riches

The Morel, Holly A. Heyser
The Morel, Holly A. Heyser

To be a mushroom hunter is to be the Indiana Jones of foragers. You must be part scholar and part adventurer, willing to head far off the trail and brave real dangers to return with riches.—Hank Shaw, The Thrill of the Mushroom Hunt

I’ve been following Hank’s Hunter Angler Gardener Cook for a little while now and ran across his essay in the newly launched Gilt Taste. I know the Pacific Northwest has an abundance of mushrooms, but I never gone on a hunt myself. I would really like to change that, though.

Delphinidae

Pacific White-sided Dolphin in Howe Sound, by Rick Gustavson
Orca in Burrard Inlet, by Dave Price
Pacific White-sided Dolphin by Rick Gustavson & Orcas by Dave Price

In recent weeks there have been a number of sightings of Pacific White-sided Dolphins in Howe Sound and just yesterday a small pod of Transient Orcas was spotted in Burrard Inlet, just offshore from Stanley Park in downtown Vancouver.

It’s suspected that the large dolphin numbers is due to the return of Herring in Howe Sound, so hopefully we’ll continue to see them in the future. An Orca sighting this close to the city is quite rare and, with all the boat noise in the inlet, isn’t expected to become a common occurrence—but we can hope.

In Bloom

Our Saskatoon bush in bloom
Our Saskatoon bush in bloom

Spring has arrived for our Saskatoon bush. The new leaves have appeared in the past week, it is now in bloom and in about two months the kids will be stealing berries.