Monday, June 28, 2010

My World Tuesday ~ My World!

Photo credit:  Cacilia Honisch
The universe is trying to tell me something!  I went to a pole raising and feast got almost all the photos I wanted and then my camera stopped has been sent off to the Olympus camera hospital.   I was able to download my photos to my laptop but then I got the dreaded blue screen (with a message).  I am an optimitst so I am hoping my tech can fix it.  I am showcaseing a beautiful photo of my friend and using her computer and will try to keep somewhat up to date.
We are building a cabin on the dune at tree line so maybe this is a message to focus more on the cabin building rather than the recording of the process!
Any way this is my world this week!  All the best to everyone and have a great week.
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

SkyWatch Friday ~ Some blue sky with our clouds!

Low tide in Queen Charlotte.
We are having a very, very wet spring and summer so far on Haida Gwaii. So when you get a sunny day everything stops and you get out and enjoy it! 
Jungle Beach on the east coast of Haida Gwaii.
All blue skies are best but we will take "some blue sky with our clouds"!
The beach is the best place to be these days as the "no-see-ums" are horrific!
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 and remember you can click on any photo to enlarge. 
Also please remember to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle...the earth is depending on us.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My World Tuesday ~ With Respect

New globe presented to all schools in British Columbia with the name change.
Before explorers, most places had names, often very practical names like "island of the people" however when people took to the seas and found new places they named them in honour of their motherland, ship or wife!  And so it was with Xaadaa Gwaayaay (Haida Gwaii). 
The islands were first visited by Juan Perez in 1774 and Captain James Cook in 1778.   In 1887 the Islands were surveyed by Captain George Dixon and he named them after one of his ships, the "Queen Charlotte" which was named for Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III of  the United Kingdom.
Through the Council of the Haida Nation, the Haida have lobbied to have the Islands returned to their rightful name and on June 3, 2010 Bill 18, the Haida Gwaii  Reconcilliation Act was passed by the British Columbia Legislature and signed into law.
 Premier Gordon Campbell with the bentwood box containing the name "Queen Charlotte Islands".
The Haida have never used the name Queen Charlotte Islands and in a ceremony on June 17th they respectfully returned the name to the Queen's representative in British Columbia, Premier Gordon Campbell.
Button blanket
For the Haida who have never lived anywhere but here and who never signed a treaty with the "white man" this was a time of great celebration.
Nearly a 1000 Islanders shared in the celebration with singing and dancing
feasting and speeches and
                                                                  photo ops!                                                                   Press photo
Totems carved by Jordon Seward and Cooper Wilson at entrance to Old Masset
On June 21, National Aboriginal Day in Canada the Haida celebrated by raising six 10 foot totem poles in a day called A Splash of Art. 
Watchmen totems carved by Todd White and Derek White
These two were carved for the Entrance into the Greater Massett area.
Detail on the poles is quite amazing.
Carver Vern White
Pole at the Family Centre in Old Masset.
The poles are carved from Western Red Cedar and are not treated with anything, they will eventually turn the colour of the building.
The "Jasper Totem" February 28, 2009 on my trip east.
The last act of this busy week was the repatriation of what is known as the Jasper Pole.  For 94 years the magnificant Raven totem pole stood proudly in the Town of Jasper, Alberta.   The Raven Totem was carved sometime during the 1870s-1880s in Masset on Haida Gwaii.  The pole was originally 18-21 meters(60-70 ft,) in height however during the course of two moves within the town of Jasper, the pole was cut to its current height of 12 meters(40 ft.)
                                                                  Masset circa 1890-Raven pole seventh from right                                 Courtesy BC Archives
The original pole was plain cedar with no paint on its surface.  During its lifetime in Jasper, the pole was painted several times to make it more "attractive" to park visitors!
The pole the day before it was cut down for the final time April 2009.
On the Pacific Northwest coast, most totem poles last 60 to 80 years.  Once a pole has fallen, it is left to return to the earth.  Wind, weather, fungi, insects and plant life all contribute to the decay of the old pole.  The Jasper Raven Totem stood tall for over 130 years due to the drier climate of the Rocky Mountains, as well as the conservation efforts that have been made over its lifespan.
The Raven Totem Pole at home in Old Masset, June 21, 2010
After being cut down in April 2009 the Raven Pole travelled to Vancouver, BC to have lead paint removed, restoring it as best as possible to its natural state.  It will never be raised again.  It returned home to Masset where it will be housed in a new Long House.
Food was burned to pay tribute to the Ancestors while the Great grandson of the original carver looked on.
Click on any photo for more detail.
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Friday, June 18, 2010

SkyWatch Friday ~ Low tides and dramatic skies

  This weeks new moon has brought low morning tides and a weather system out of the southwest has given us dramatic skies.

Intertidal at the edge of the low tide.
On an extreme low tide the tide will go out over a km, on our beach it is about 1/2 a km.
Yesterday the weather was more menacing than trouble.
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My World Tuesday ~ One person's interpretation

To appreciate the detail in this post please click on the photos to enlarge.
The circle of life....we are all one!
This is a pretty busy week on Haida Gwaii, with the returning of the name "Queen Charlotte Islands" to the Crown (Canadian Government) on Thursday officially returning these islands to their original name, the returning of a totem pole from Jasper, Alberta which was removed from the islands in 1931, the raising of six (6) totem poles (including the returned one) on Saturday and the celebration of National Aboriginal Day and the first day of summer on Monday, June 21. 
So I thought I would start the celebrations with some remarkable wall "graffiti" I discovered in Prince Rupert on my way home to Haida Gwaii in May.  The work was painted on the back of a building covering a full city block.  It has taken the artist several summers to complete the work and when it starts to deteriorate he will be back to paint a new story on the wall!
DFO is the Department of Fisheries!
The artist is Tsimshian from the Terrace, BC area and his work is truly remarkable.  I can interpret some of it but not all....I would love to meet the artist so he could share his story.
Some of his designs are so very obvious
I wish I knew what this meant
and others you have to think about.
The butterfly represents the wandering or lost spirits of those who died at war or away from home.
Some tell the First Nations story,
The missionaries had the First Nations cut down and burn their totem poles.
and some tells ours.
Many chinese immigrants were brought to Canada to build the railway.
Some you just have to wonder about.
This one I can't begin to explain but it absolutely captivates me.(make sure you enlarge)
Paddling into the after life(these are life size)
The great canoes
Spirits leaving(note the detail in the smoke of the long houses)
The wolf and the raven (note the detail in the mountains and the grass is real!)
The mighty bald eagle.
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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Scenic Sunday #100 ~ Rainbows and garbage!

Looking east over Hecate Strait at Lawn Hill Beach
Saturday was a pretty chaotic day for weather on Haida Gwaii, by early evening though we were treated to blue skies and this beautiful rainbow.
The garbage collection on the beach this morning was light as we had high tides and winds gusting up to 90 kph(55 mph) last night which blows debris past the high tide line and into the dunes which are full of nesting pluvers at the moment.
(For those of you stopping by for the first time check previous posts for the daily beach garbage collection.)
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Scenic Sunday

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Weekend Reflections ~ Migration of birds and garbage

If you look very carefully you will see several long legged beauties in the low tide of the Yakoun Estuary.  Haida Gwaii is a stop over point on the western flyway for migratory birds.

Today we were treated to eight Sandhill Cranes!  Unfortunately I don't have a good zoom on my little point and shot but this wasn't bad.
And on the theme of migration this is what came up on last nights tide on our stretch of is never ending! 
(For those of you stopping by for the first time check previous posts for the daily beach garbage collection.)
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