March 29, 2004

Record Highs Make Great Creek Day

Temperature records were set here on the west coast today, with Vancouver Airport reaching 18.5C and White Rock over 25C, and it just so happened that we had plans to do some surveying along Byrne Creek.

I left the house wearing a T-shirt under a heavy cotton shirt, and a down-filled vest, not knowing how warm it was outside as I'd been working in my basement office all morning. Needless to say the vest stayed in our friend Maho's car.

Maho, my wife Yumi and I were surveying invasive species along the creek. Maho took photos while I took notes referenced to location tags streamkeepers placed along the creek. Yumi picked up and bagged garbage along our route.

The most serious problems in the ravine are with Himalayan blackberry, English ivy, Japanese knotweed, and holly. The area we mapped could easily provide work for a couple of dozen people for several weekends, and it's just a small portion of the creek.

The warmth was encouraging insects, and there was literally a buzz in the air as sleepy bees droned by, occasionally bumping into us in their spring lethargy and eliciting a surprised shriek or two. We also saw several butterflies.

We went to Hi Genki for lunch. The restaurant is part of the Nikkei Place complex on Kingsway and serves excellent Japanese food at incredible prices.

Maho dropped us off at home after lunch, but it was so nice out, Yumi and I decided to hike up and down the ravine section of the creek again. In the mid-afternoon heat we ran across a gorgeous silky black garter snake with a bright yellow stripe that had been basking on a trail above Southridge Drive, and saw male towhees tussling over girlfriends. They're usually very shy birds, but spurred on by competition they flapped and grappled, twisting and tumbling through the bush.

It was hard to turn our feet homeward and get back to work again...

Posted by Paul at March 29, 2004 08:28 PM