May 30, 2008

Liberty Place Opening Ceremony

Liberty Place, a southeast Burnaby assisted-living facility for adults with disabilities, celebrated its official opening today. I was honoured to be invited to attend to represent the Edmonds Town Centre Business & Community Association.

Inspired and driven by the Howe Sound Rehabilitation Services Society, and supported by Independent Living BC and Fraser Health, Liberty Place is a beautiful facility that helps those with physical challenges to live their lives to the fullest with privacy, dignity, and independence in individual apartments, while sharing meals and support services, and contributing to their community. I hope representative tennants can attend Edmonds Association meetings in the future.

I greatly enjoyed meeting and chatting with society founder Tonnar Brace, and renewing ties with Fraser Health Rehabilitation Consultant Cindy Hayto. It was Cindy who suggested to me that the best community representative to the Edmonds Association would not be someone from the society or a care assistant, but one of the tennants.

Posted by Paul at 09:00 PM

May 25, 2008

Deer Lake Wildlife, Views

Yumi and I took a 10.1 km (according to my GPS) ramble from our place in southeast Burnaby all the way to Deer Lake and back on this gorgeous afternoon. We saw lots of animals!

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The view from the beach.

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The turtles were out in force, soaking up the sun.

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A huge tadpole -- it was almost as big as some of the frogs we saw.

Hope it's not an invasive bullfrog...

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What's a carp doing in the lake? A dumped pet?

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This frog seemed unconcerned at our presence.

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Here's another one.

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A pretty wood duck.

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And here she is with her cute babies.

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A waxwing convention.

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Heading up toward the former prison farmland.

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Dandelions ripe for blowing :-).

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The marsh near the viewing tower is great for watching tree swallows.

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Spectacular clouds.

Posted by Paul at 05:25 PM

May 24, 2008

Revitalized Stream of Dreams Installed on SkyTrain Bridge

Several volunteers helped to arrange refurbished Dreamfish on a bridge carrying the Urban Trail across SkyTrain tracks near Edmonds Station today. The fish were salvaged from the original Stream of Dreams mural that was at the corner of Kingsway and Edmonds in southeast Burnaby for many years.

That original mural had to come down when the vacant lot finally began development. SDMS volunteers removed the Dreamfish and salvaged as many of them as possible for re-use if their colours were still strong, or refurbishment.

It's exciting that they are finally going back up! There will be an opening ceremony for the bridge and new mural on June 11 at 3:30. The bridge is just a few blocks south of Edmonds Skytrain station, heading toward Byrne Creek Secondary.

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Posted by Paul at 09:00 PM

May 22, 2008

Streamkeepers Attend South Burnaby Rebel Fest

A few Byrne Creek Streamkeepers set up a miniature version of our booth at the South Burnaby Secondary Rebel Fest this afternoon. It was a beautiful day to be outdoors and it was fun talking to kids about streamkeeping. Volunteer Eleanor was a hit because she'd graduated from the high school the previous year and still new many kids.

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Posted by Paul at 06:06 PM

May 20, 2008

Armstrong School Guides Mark Rain Drains

Byrne Creek Streamkeepers and Girl Guides from Armstrong Elementary marked rain drains (storm drains) with yellow fish this evening so people are aware that all such drains lead to fish habitat. We had gorgeous views of clouds building over the North Shore, but thankfully the rain held so we could complete our project.

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Streamkeepers oversee the work.

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Guides paint yellow fish.

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Clouds gather on the horizon.

Armstrong school is quite a distance from "our" Byrne Creek watershed, but a drain is a drain!

Posted by Paul at 08:43 PM

May 18, 2008

Iona Beach Jetty Walk -- Planes, Birds

This gorgeous Victoria Day Sunday, Yumi and I went to Iona Beach Regional Park. The park is a favourite spot for airplane watchers, as it has a great view of Vancouver International Airport. It's also a great place for bird watching, and here are several photos of both natural and man-made birds.

We walked the length of the 4km jetty extending into the Strait of Georgia that is also the sewage outfall for the nearby treatment plant. It's funny how far 4 or 4.5km feels when it's a straight line with no nearby frames of reference!

The setting:

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First the "real" birds:

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We saw several bald eagles.

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A gull.

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One of over a dozen herons.

We also saw many cormorants.

Now here is a gallery of prop and jet passenger planes from several carriers. They are impressive coming in low and heading for the Vancouver airport. After awhile, though, as they keep coming, and coming, about every two to three minutes or so, my mind began to think of all that fuel being burned, and all the carbon emitted!

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Posted by Paul at 07:17 PM

May 16, 2008

I Make Varenyky for NewsLeader

I was asked to provide a recipe for the Burnaby NewsLeader along with an example of the finished product. Eventually we settled on Ukrainian varenyky, now commonly known as perogies. I used the recipe from the late Savella Stechishin's Traditional Ukrainian Cookery, the bible of English-language Ukrainian cookbooks. The photo shoot went well; however, there was a slip in the transition from me to reporter to editor -- somehow the word "pyrohy" was described as slang for varenyky, while I clearly never said that. In fact I corrected it when given a chance to look at the copy before it was published. It is a term for baked dumplings, and a dialectal word for varenyky (boiled dumplings). Just wanted to clear that up, as it could make nit-pickers question my source, my aunt, Roma Franko, who is a retired professor of linguistics!

Anyway, it was a good picture and a fun experience!

Posted by Paul at 07:55 PM

May 15, 2008

More Birds, Bugs

It's a gorgeous sunny day here in Burnaby, and I took a stroll up and down Byrne Creek this afternoon. I came across two species of woodpeckers and several kinds of bugs.

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Pileated woodpecker.

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I think this is a female hairy woodpecker.

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An American robin with a worm.

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Striders in Byrne Creek -- dunno if they're fighting or mating.

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Ladybug.

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A group of sow bugs.

I was also buzzed by a hummingbird and saw an unidentified raptor hovering over Taylor Park.

Posted by Paul at 04:14 PM

May 09, 2008

Byrne Creek Birds, Bugs, Snakes

I walked Byrne Creek from the top of the ravine all the way down to Marine Way today.

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Shed garter snake skin.

There were lots of little garter snakes along the dike basking in the sun. I had to be careful not to stomp the harmless snakes as I walked through the grass.

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The caterpillars are back attacking trees in the spawning habitat.

I don't like killing any beasties, but on the other hand, these trees provide crucial shade for the sediment pond...

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I was happy to see a goldfinch in the habitat.

I also saw three bald eagles soaring high overhead.

Posted by Paul at 05:27 PM

May 05, 2008

Another Trillium in South Burnaby

Yumi and I found another trillium near Byrne Creek today. It's only the second one we've seen this year.

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Posted by Paul at 01:37 PM

May 03, 2008

Edmonds Clean Sweep

Community members participated in the Clean Sweep sponsored by the Edmonds Town Center Business & Community Association this morning. The main meeting site was the Eastburn Community Centre, whose staff were very helpful in coordinating the event. It was a rainy day, so we had fewer volunteers than usual. The City brought one of its salmon eco-sculptures and participants were invited to help plant it.

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Mayor Derek Corrigan and Councilors Pietro Calendino and Dan Johnston helped out.

Byrne Creek Streamkeepers also participated in the event, setting up a sign-up booth in the parking lot of Edmonds Skytrain station. Thanks to the Horizontes Scouts for assisting!

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photo by Joan Carne

Thanks to Burnaby Firefighters for supplying a hot dog BBQ and hot chocolate!

All in all, volunteers reported that the amount of garbage had diminished from previous events, which is a good sign. I did manage to fill a 5-gallon pail just patrolling around the community centre!

Posted by Paul at 02:42 PM