Friday, October 30, 2009

SkyWatch Friday ~ Some Morning Skies are just too beautiful for words

Click any of these photos for great detail.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My World Tuesday ~ A walk on the Dunes

Another one of those Oreo cookie moments between a steady stream of storms. The winds blew and blew and blew the clouds away. The sea took a little longer to settle.
The east coast of the Graham Island is mostly beautiful sand beaches for about 100 kms terminating at Rose Spit at the northeast end of the island. The Hecate Strait (seperating Haida Gwaii from mainland British Columbia) is shallow and sandy and our prevailing wind is a "southeaster".
These strong winds blow the sand that washes up on the beaches inland to form dunes. The sands if not anchored by grasses or blocked by debri on the beachs will move over a landscape claiming everything in its way.
When the natural dune vegetation is disturbed by grazing,or something as simple as
human traffic
The dunes move inland,
suffocating trees and plants
and encroaching on forests, changing vegetation (this is a border region where dune grasses are moving into the forest). As the trees are suffocated they die and become vulnerable to the winds.
Beautiful to visit and explore but so fragile.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

SkyWatch Friday ~ A sign of things to come

Storm growing in intensity as high tide nears on Tuesday afternoon.
The Queen Charlotte Islands/Haida Gwaii are known for their ferious winter storms. We have the highest consistent wind velocity of anywhere in Canada or is it the world, the third most dangerous piece of water seperating us from mainland British Columbia in the world and some of the highest tides in the world.
Beauty can be found even in the storm.
So when all three of these factures come together at the same time you can have some pretty heady storms. Unlike many of the recent storms we have seen from around the world the storms here on Haida Gwaii are an almost daily occurance during the winter.
The surf coming in on Balance Rock
Stopping ferry service for weeks and cancelling air traffic to and from the islands however you generally don't hear about these storms on the news because they are a part of our life and we accept that there is nothing we can do but be prepared.

This was my home four years ago on Christmas eve day when 100 km/hour winds, combined with 24 foot tides and a two foot storm surge scoured our eastern shore line and moved things around. As you can see I got all the firewood I needed plus eight inches of water in the cabin! The shoreline was eroded four feet bringing the beach within two feet of the cabin....I moved in the spring!

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Monday, October 19, 2009

MyWorld Tuesday ~ Haida Heritage

Haida Gwaii is the land of the Haida. They have lived on these islands since the beginning of time (scientifically documented back at least 10,000 years). At the time of contact with Europeans there were 30,000 Haida on these islands, a hundred years later there were just over 300. Along with their lives, their totem poles and regalia were taken by treasure hunters & museums or cut down and destroyed by church and government officials. Despite the near decimation of their people and culture the Haida are coming back. The heart of their resurgence is the Haida Heritage Centre at Kaay'llnagaay (Kaay means sealion, llnagaay means town). A dream of the Haida for more than twenty years the Centre offically opened last year. It encompasses the Haida Gwaii Museum, the Greeting House(with glass roof), the Eating House, the Performing House, the Bill Reid School of Art and the canoe and carving shed.
There are six house front poles, and one village pole. Traditionally the house front poles told the story of that house and would let a visitor know if they were welcome. There are three types of totems poles, house front poles, mortuary poles (holding the remains of persons of high esteem) and memorial poles(honouring those who had lost their lives by drowning or at war).

The village totem pole.

The Carving and Canoe shed has been a hive of activity over the past year with four canoes and several new totem poles being carved. Carver Marcel Russ works on a commissioned totem pole.
Inside the Centre are some of the repatriated totems that have been returned from around the world, several of them over 200 years old.
Displays share what the pre-contact life of the Haida was like. This is a 3 foot model of a chief in full regalia.
A quiet and peaceful place in the museum to contemplate what it must have been like before we came!
The Bill Reid canoe "Loota" (wave eater) and a fibre glass copy (right) waiting to be launched.
"Loota" Wave Eater
At one point after Bill Reid's death the "Loota" was grounded as it was considered an original piece of art that had to be preserved, however Bill Reed did not carve it be dry docked, he wanted it to be used and so it is...

and if you are in the right place at the right time you can paddle the "Loota" and experience what it was like to travel these waters by canoe, singing and drumming(with paddles) to keep your pace.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

SkyWatch Friday ~ Autumn Skies

I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky:
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain, when with never a stain
The pavilion of heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph, --
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise, and unbuild it again.
By Percy Shelly

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day ~ 2009

Why not join us at Blogger Action Day and be the change you want to see in the world.
This video is about the song and the intention ~ listen.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Watery Wednesday ~ Fall Reflections

Click on any of the photos for beautiful detail.
Enjoying beautiful watery reflections on a Thanksgiving Day hike on Haida Gwaii.
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