Friday, May 29, 2015

The Passage

 Discovery Passage on a hot May day. Named in 1847 by one Captain Henry Kellet after Captain Vancouver's ship, the HMS Discovery ,which toddled around these waters around 1792. Quadra Island is at the eastern shore with Sonora Island on the west. The first settlers were from the West Coast Salish people. ( Weiwaikum of the Campbell River Band  are on the Vancouver Island  side, with the Weiwaikai on Cape Mudge of  Quadra Island. )
 At low tide it's hard to tell,  but the passage has whirlpool currents of up to 16 knots at Seymour Narrows , which is the most narrow point. Discovery  is about 14 kilometres long and is known as the most important shipping passage between Alaska and  south to Washington state.  In the summer, I've seen countless cruise ships bobble through the passage,back and forth.
     Campbell River is known as the "Salmon Capitol of the World". Well, the world comes here, I am sure of it. I had no idea until the past while, just how many tourists toddle in and out of town , all summer long. They park their RV's camp overnight. Often you will see campers loading up with supplies for a trip, into the rainforest, or to the ocean, or to the mountains.
Often you will also see the heron, down at the boat ramp, watching and waiting as he fishes from the shore.
  Cape Mudge Lighthouse on Quadra Island , 100 years old in 1998. The island has a really relaxed lifestyle. People take the little ferry, back and forth, in rain, mist, fog, wind.
 Many people live  take the ferry over to Campbell River for "town days". A town day is time to do everything in one fell swoop.
 Tyee Fishing is known far and wide in the area. I never really paid much attention , until  I noticed that  records of salmon being caught were published in the newspaper, on a regular basis.A tyee  is what a chinook salmon is called when it reaches 13.5 Kg ( 30 pounds). The catch : you have to use a single artificial hook , cast from a rowboat. Weigh in is at Tyee spit.

               Campbell River has been the site of many movies. The scouts must have loved all the coastline and dripping rainforest . Movies such as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,Seven Years in Tibet, and The Scarlett Letter. Seems like everyone comes here at one time, enticed by the promise of the best salmon fishing, and probably the vast wilderness of the Passage.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Early one Morning Again

 Early one morning again. Smokey on the fence. First light. Cat from the hill ,that he is.

  Spencer , his brother, also from the hill. Come from their own home. Early in the morning. Here he is. On the porch. Snoring away.
        And meanwhile, the roses bloom. Black Bacarra Red. It's scent of chocolate  quite heady.
 "All who joy would win must share it. Happiness was born a twin. "(Lord Byron)
                     And the Peace roses  open.
                        The Campaula Takesana begins.
      And Spencer yawns on the pavement. His sojourn on the chair ended. He takes to rolling in the dirt.This early morning.

       "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. The way of life is wonderful' it is by abandonment." (Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882)
                   Early in the morning the poppies bloom.

                     And  Iris stare out between bars of green stalks.
                               Early in the morning.
                 Till late in the day. When Smokey once more sits on the fence. Surveying his world.
                                     And Spencer decides to join to have cat conversations with his brother.
                                         They can see their own house from the fence.
                                    Their humans are calling."Smokey" "Spencer"
                                                          Instead they loll about.
                                        Till the sunset wanes. And home they toddle.
                                                                   Till it's early one morning again.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


 ELK FALLS SUSPENSION BRIDGE. A gift from the Rotary Club of Campbell River. In honour of the 75th birthday celebrations.  Open to everyone, starting on May 9 , 2015. And it is FREE!
 Known as Salmon Capitol of the world, Campbell River now boasts  a suspension bridge( jot as big as the ones at Capilano, but still, a suspension bridge), that offers an incredible view of the 25 foot metre falls.The park is 1,055 hectares ( give or take), and the protected area is 16 hectares. Elk Falls was designated a park around Dec  1940, I believe.

 Great walking trail. I was really impressed with how easy it was to get down to the falls. You do have to walk over the bridge that spans over  water pipes  supplying water to Campbell River.

  The trail  has been well laid out with views of the valley and the streams. There is a campground  located at Elk Falls with everything you will wish for. So much wildlife in the area, bears, deer, Roosevelt Elk, otters, muskrat and Beavers. In fact there is a Beaver Dam! Fishermen come from all over to fish in the Quinsom River, and surrounding lakes, for trout and salmon. From Nov to March  is the steelhead run.

 Only drawback: a huge new staircase that you have to hoof down to the suspension bridge. It 's not wheelchair accessible, or for those who have  any sort of mobility issues.  But you can get to the top of the staircase, and see the edge of the falls. If you're okay with walking up and down stairs, then  it's just fine.There are 6 kilometres of trails in the park.

 This area has the only old growth Douglas fir forest.  The bridge is secure. But it still wobbles a if you are not too crazy on heights you can go at least a little ways out.
     I managed to get part of the way out, before I felt the need to scoot back to one of the  viewing platforms.
 Being salmon capitol of the world, many fishermen come to this area to fish for chinook and coho salmon,Also part of the park is the Quinsom Salmon Hatchery.  Worth  a look and and a wander on the trails there. In the fall, you can watch the salmon swim upstream to spawn. The falls are a good day trip to GOld River, Kelsey Bay, ROck Bay, Sayward, Quadra and Cortes Islands.  Really worth a look at the Elk Falls Suspension Bridge. And did I mention it is FREE?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


      They're here again. The fairy doors. Magically appearing. Gateways to another place and time.

               Cordelia's seen them. I am sure.  She watches so much from her fence on the hill.
   Not sure if Spencer has ever seen them. He has been snoozing lately. Fairies  would most likely ruffle his soft fur. Or tweak his ears and whiskers.
                      Only those who believe will ever see fairies, the "Aos Si", in the garden.
        In old Celtic times, fairies could be found hiding under roses, flowers, in walls, fences.
           Fairies love all things that are beautiful. They become caretakers of beauty.
      At night they gather for parties under the ferns. They play music and dance.
                   And run from the likes of Smokey, who sits on the arbour with the grapes.
                               They live from what is left on the vine, or on a fruit tree.
                                  And gather water from the roses.
                                       And honey from the bees.
 Best to leave a cup of some nice to drink, out for the fairies to drink at night,
                                             when they  dance under the ferns.
 Fairies bestow good fortune on those who treat them well. So plant a fairy door.
                                      And watch them return again and again.