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Trepid Archives

Exciteable descriptions of a new life living in "The Best Place on Earth". The new template is more basic, more classy, tidier... so totally not me! 

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Friday, May 20, 2005

12:42 p.m. - Swim Free Little Fish Swim Free!

At 10 am I noticed about 30 cars parked along our road and in the car park for the river pathway. Scenes of another foot chase came to mind but I realized the Environment Canada SUV suggested there was something different afoot.

I wondered about it for another hour until I went to set off on my run and realized that today is the day the city, Indian band and Environment Canada release thousands of salmon fry into our rivers and streams. This is an ongoing effort to increase the salmon populations that have, over the years, depleted due to excessive fishing, water pollution, increased fertilizer run-off and general bad care in pervious generations. I like eating fish and I also like to watch fish. We have a salmon viewing area on the creek in the village where you can stand in September / October and watch huge big salmon on their way to lay their eggs then die, being returned to nature's food store. The creek is only 6 inches deep and the salmon are about 4 inches around so they're easy to spot as the teem in the water.

For anyone who doesn't know much about fish, the salmon return upstream to the place where they were born to lay their eggs. This is the pig-out time of year for bears, osprey, eagles and anything else that fancies a bit of fish. The ageing salmon are exhausted and battered from their journey upstream. There are parts of BC where trees shouldn't grow in the poor soils of high mountain ranges but they do because there's a high concentration of nutrients around the base of the trees. Scientists have discovered that this is due largely to the bears who sometimes move to the cover of the trees to eat their salmon and leave the blood, bones and spilt meat at the base of the trees. If it's a good year the bears only eat salmon brains with most fat in it (yum yum)and leave the rest of the fish to return to nature.

Science lesson over.

I left the Indian Band to their ceremonies to the North of the bridge. I didn't want to go jogging through their ritual. Instead I ran South towards the airport - just like the river. I don't know if it was the release of fresh salmon fry that did it but the wildlife experience was wonderful today. First an osprey flew past me really close along the river. I didn't realize how white they are underneath. That made me notice a totem pole at the log homes place I've not seen before. I will photograph some day. Next I noticed a little critter building a nest over the end of a drainage outlet. It was building a stick-pile over the drain - probably a mistake as it will get washed away in the next big storm. I don't think it was a marmot as it was awful skinny. It wasn't a beaver either though. Probably a rat.

I ran on by the Tim Hortons toasted chicken sub sign today before turning round to run back. On the way back I ran past a beautiful colourful bird. Well it was like a blackbird but it was wearing very 1980s dayglo orange shoulder pads. It was a male red-winged black bird. I hoped it had a more impressive name but apparently not.

Pretty anyway. Then I saw the critter again - swimming in the river this time. No doubt catching fry. Then the Osprey passed with a claw-full of something for the littl'uns back home. I wonder what that was then?

So all I can say is "swim little fish swim" and "I hope you last long enough to make it to the lake and come back to visit me in our creek later in life". That is, unless they end up on my BBQ.

31 minutes, 4.32km, 6 mins running, 1.5 mins walking. Switched my pedometer over to kms because they pass quicker and I can do more of them. I find miles depressing but as an American product, that was the default setting.

Anonymous franchini said...

All that wildlife and countryside sounds wonderful. I'm looking out at grey skies, other houses and cars and barely a tree in site. I do love living in a city, but I do get the odd "grass must be greener" moment and this is one of them.  

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