Monday, September 28, 2009

My World Tuesday ~ Moving Day

I'm moving today so I will catch you all on the flip side. Have a great week everyone!
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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Scenic Sunday 63

A splash of colour in an otherwise green environment!
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Scenic Sunday

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sky Watch Friday

What started as a grey featureless day yesterday changed with every passing minute.
West coast fog covered the islands.
The sun made its presence known Warming the land.
The sea was calm.
Then what I thought was a "sundog" appeared.
Then out of the fog came the rainbow.
Which announced a beautiful day.
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Monday, September 21, 2009

My World Tuesday ~ Prince Rupert

Haida Gwaii is located in the Pacific Ocean about 100 km (60 miles) west of mainland British Columbia and about the same distance south of Alaska, however short of having your own transportation the only two destinations off the island are Vancouver, BC (2hr and $250. by Air Canada) or Prince Rupert, BC (1.5 hrs and $200. by float plane or 8 hrs and $30. by BC Ferries).
Just before Labour Day I went to Prince Rupert by ferry to deliver a pair of cats to a friend who has moved to the mainland. The only practical way to go was by BC Ferries as a walk-on passenger. It is not my first choice(I get seriously seasick) but the 72 hour trip didn't justify $400. + excess baggage fees for the cats, so the ferry it was.
Prince Rupert is a natural deep water port of approximately 15,000 people. Prior to the incorporation of Prince Rupert, Port Essington at the mouth of the Skeena River was the business centre of this area.

Charles Melville Hays , 1856 - 1912

Named for Prince Rupert of the Rhine, Prince Rupert was founded by Charles Melville Hays who was the General Manager of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway whose western terminus was at Prince Rupert. Charles Hays had many grand ideas for Prince Rupert including berthing facilities for large passenger ships and the development of a major tourism industry. These plans fell through when Charles Hays perished on April 15, 1912 on the RMS Titanic. Today it is the hub of land, air and water transportation for the BC north coast.It the wettest city in Canada with an annual average rainfall of 2,500 mm (100 in.)and is also known as the City of Rainbows. Like many communities of the Pacific Northwest coast, fishing (canneries) and logging were the economic drivers for this once thriving community. Today tourism and the anticipation of a new deep water port are what keep Prince Rupert hanging on. I don't travel to Prince Rupert often(I can't handle the ferry ride!) but when I need to escape for a few days I will come and visit this quaint waterfront community. The recent construction of a cruise ship dock has initiated the revival of the downtown core of Prince Rupert. This area, a railway right of way is known as Cow Bay, so named after a Swiss farmer, John Nehring who unloaded his dairy cows from a barge in this spot in 1908. The name stuck and has taken on a life of its own, like the name of this cafe...Cowpaccinos! When I first came to Haida Gwaii twelve years ago this harbour was filled with commercial fishing boats, now it is mainly recreational and sport fishing boats. I stayed at the Eagle Bluff B&B (in the photo below) on the harbourside. When I checked in my room I went out on my deck and was hit with the smell of steamed prawns being prepared on a fishing boat below my window. The fisherman invited me down to have a "cone" of prawns....I hadn't been on the west coast more than two hours! I have never forgotten that introduction to this quaint and friendly town.
One of the other wonderful things about Prince Rupert is its flowers. When I first came I walked the streets of Prince Rupert exploring and one of the things that struck me was all the flowers, especially nasturtiums. Prince Rupert is built on a rock island, little or no flat land and often a grey and dizzily place. The town council decided to cheer the place up so each spring in residents tax assessments a package of nasturtium seeds was included with the instructions to scatter them in rocky areas. The result are hanging walls of nasturtiums and colour. I'm not sure the tradition continues but planting bright flowers everywhere does. Like all fishing communities from time immemorial tribute to the hard working souls who challenge the forces of nature on the sea is an important part of Prince Rupert.All along the seawalk are these memorial plaques as a reminder to the many men and women who have lost their lives at sea plus the unusual memorial below.

In September, 1985, Kazukio Sakamoto left Owase, Japan, for a day of fishing aboard his boat, the Kazu Maru, and never returned. 18 months later the Kazu Maru was found empty and adrift off the Queen Charlotte Islands and was brought to Prince Rupert where it was discovered to have come from Prince Rupert's sister city, Owase, Japan. The people of Prince Rupert have restored the boat where it also stands as a tribute to all those who have been lost at sea in the Pacific.
Prince Rupert stands on Tsimshian(the "T" is silent) territory. This beautiful facility was built with federal money given to the Tsimshian people however like too often happens there was no money to run it so it had to be sold. It now houses the Museum of Northern British Columbia, highlighting ancient NW coast human and natural history.
One of the fascinating exhibits of the museum and Tsimshian is the Legend of the "Man who fell from the heaven" The above photo is a life size cast taken from the original at Robeson Point. The Tsimshian legend goes as follows:

"A young man was exiled from the village of Metlakatla for a forgotten transgression. Days later he returned to the village, mad with hunger and raved that he had journeyed to the sky and observed many wonders and feats of magic. He lamented that he could have remained forever but somehow fell and plunged from the above back to the village. The elders, while amused by the audacity of the young man's tale, were about to cast him out again when he offered, unexpectedly, proof of his unlikely exploits. He escorted the bemused villagers to Robeson Point and there showed them the crater his body had made when he struck the shore.
He was not only allowed to return to the village but was given a position of honour as shaman." from "The Man Who Fell From Heaven" by Phyllis Bowman

There is no beach in Prince Rupert but they have created a beautiful seawalk incorporating the old and the new.

Built in 1911, Kwinitsa Station was one of 400 identical rail stations along the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway from Winnipeg to Prince Rupert. Today, this fascinating structure is one of only four surviving stations, and serves as the Kwinitsa Station Railway Museum, telling the story of early Prince Rupert and the role of the railway in its development. It has a remarkable collection of Canadiana railway history. Not far from where I was staying at the Pioneer Hostel was this beautiful Sunken Garden, unfortunately when I found it, it was getting dark so most of my pictures did not turn out.

Click the links in this post for more information on this area.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

SkyWatch Friday ~ Oreo Cookie Day!

The estuary of the Yakoun River
Squished between six days of torrential rains, hurricane force winds and downright miserable weather was this gem of a day...the cream in the oreo cookie!
(Click on photos for great detail)
However the tell "tail"(cirrus clouds known as mare's tails) signs of what was to come swept in. These are Monday photos, Tuesday the average wind speed for the day was 68 kph with gusts to 110 kph and summer isn't even over yet!

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SkyWatch Friday

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Watery Wednesday ~ The Calm after the Storm

After a day of hurricane force winds(still waiting for the official windspeed but 120kph is being bantered about) we recieved the gift of this beautiful rainbow.For more watery scenes click on the logo.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My World Tuesday ~ My World is about to Change!

On or about March 5, 2010 this beautiful couple are going to make me a Grandma for the first time! I could not be happier for them and well I'm just so excited I might just have to start walking from Haida Gwaii, B.C. to Ottawa, Ontario to tame my excitement!
May I introduce you to my Smyth!

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pet Pride ~ Miss Molly

Hi guys, it's Jazzy, oh you may know me by the name the older fat lady gave me....Miss MollyAfter a rough beginning I finally have a home and am learning the skills a kitty needs to know to survive... like mousing,
listening to music on You tube, checking out the quality of the toilet paper,
getting to know my house mate Sammy who is a little stuffy, catching birds (no eagles where harmed just molted feathers),having dinner(trying to share the older fat ladies dinner of Dungeness crab),exploring (I was called a few choice words after this adventure!)

and sleeping(learning is exhausting!)
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