April 25, 2011

Mega Bugs, Cool Stones in Chilliwack River

The day being overcast and gloomy, I checked the weather up the valley, and it was supposedly sunny near Hope, BC, on this Easter holiday Monday. So we saddled up our Subaru and headed out. Unfortunately, we never got out of the rain, but we did have a great time looking at cool aquatic bugs and rocks with all sorts of permutations of colours at the Chilliwack River in the drizzle. When I see stones like these, I wish I'd taken a geology class or two. . .

Can you imagine what sorts of forces and processes created such patterns? Mind boggling. As I wrote to a geologist friend of mine:

It's so exciting to be out in nature and drinking in the sights. There is so much to see at every scale ranging from micro to macro... I dunno why so many folks are so oblivious and/or so uncaring! While I may feel ignorant, at least I also feel awed and intrigued, and am always eager to learn more :-).



Whenever we stop by a creek, stream or river, Yumi has to
start turning rocks over to see who is living underneath.


A caddisfly


A stonefly


Another stonefly, big and fat. We never get bugs this big
in our pollution-prone, urban Byrne Creek, where we
volunteer as streamkeepers


OK, now we get into the cool stones and rocks, which I
know nothing about!






And this was the coolest of the bunch. What looks
like water, or snow, or ice, is some kind of solid rock
"flowing" into the other rock

Posted by Paul at 09:54 PM

April 23, 2011

Sunny Earth Day BBQ with Byrne Creek Streamkeepers at Choices in the Park

Choices in the Park held another annual Earth Day by-donation BBQ, with some of the proceeds going to the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers among other community environmental groups. Thanks, Choices! It was a lovely, sunny afternoon, and we enjoyed being out with our display. We chatted with people who dropped by, and while walk-by traffic was a tad sparse, likely due to the four-day holiday weekend, a good time was had by all.

It was great to chat with Choices CEO Mark Vickars, Park location manager Greg Goossens, and all the helpful staff.


Several folks who dropped by asked about the upcoming community Clean Sweep on May 7, and said they were looking forward to participating.

Posted by Paul at 07:19 PM

April 21, 2011

I’ve Missed Commercializing Easter, Can I Catch Mother’s Day?

Mother's Day is coming & another commercial onslaught begins. My email inbox is filling with "specials."

I'm an editor. A wordsmith. A writer. How can I take advantage of this?


Hey! Hire an editor to help you express your true feelings!! If you can't find any true feelings, we can make them up -- we edit fiction, too, eh?!

Mom will cherish the moment she opens your card, with well-crafted words from a professional editor!!!

Estranged? Disinherited? No problem!!!!

Mother-daughter spat going? Husband doesn't understand? (yeah, yeah, all HE has to do is scarf his mom's food, grin, and open himself up to huggies, eh?)

A professional editor -- like me -- can massage your message to get you back into the toughest Mom's good books.

Give me a call at 1-800....

Card was spat upon? Tossed in the fire? Sorry, but subsection 33 (A) [iv] of the client agreement disallows any refund or compensation.

Posted by Paul at 10:53 PM

April 18, 2011

2011 BC Endangered Rivers List Released

Kettle River tops BC's Most Endangered Rivers List for 2011 -

"Sacred headwaters" in second spot - list highlights issues such as the need for water policy reform and improved protection of northern rivers

The Kettle River has topped British Columbia's most endangered rivers list for 2011.

The Kettle River runs through BC's southern interior near the towns of Midway, Rock Creek and Grand Forks. This river, already suffering from excessive water withdrawals, seasonal low flows and high water temperatures, is threatened by significant new water extraction proposals near its source. The river is in dire need of a water management plan that recognizes there are clear ecological limits to the amount of water that can be withdrawn. Unless greater efforts are made to address this issue, the fate of this beautiful interior stream and its fish stocks may well foreshadow what many other streams in the region will confront in the face of ongoing climate change.

"Most importantly, the issues unfolding on the Kettle highlight the urgency of updating BC's century-old Water Act so as to ensure the needs of fish and river ecosystems are adequately considered before making decisions on water extraction for various industrial uses", said Mark Angelo, Rivers Chair of the Outdoor Recreation Council and an Order of Canada recipient. The province has just concluded seeking public input on Water Act reform, and new legislation is hoped for in the coming year. "Modernizing the Water Act creates a significant opportunity to improve the state of many waterways, including the Kettle", said Angelo.

In the second position is the area widely known to the Iskut First Nation as the "sacred headwaters" in that it nurtures the source not only of the Skeena, but also the Nass and Stikine, all great salmon-bearing rivers. Located on the southern edge of BC's Spatsizi wilderness, the sacred headwaters is home to an abundance of wildlife, including caribou, stone sheep, grizzly bears and wolves; to many, this area is the "Serengeti of Canada" said Angelo.

Yet, the sacred headwaters is also the site of a major proposal by Canada Shell to extract coal bed methane gas, a highly invasive process that would compromise the biological richness of the great rivers that flow from this area. If approved, a maze of wellheads, roads and pipelines would spread across the proponent's 400,000 hectare tenure. Given the intensity of such development, concerns include the likelihood of altered drainage patterns and increased siltation. Vast amounts of wastewater, high in salts and heavy metals, may also be generated in the extraction process. Current plans call for re-injecting this polluted water back into the ground but this is an untested method that could contaminate groundwater aquifers linked to surface flows.

While there is a temporary moratorium on coalbed methane development in the sacred headwaters, it is set to expire in 2012, at which point development could proceed. "There is widespread support for making this moratorium permanent, which would do much to protect the legacy of the great wild rivers that flow from this area", said Angelo. "The threats confronting this area highlight the need to be more proactive in protecting our great northern salmon rivers", added Angelo, who also chairs the Rivers Institute at BCIT.

Coming in at the number three position is the Peace River, currently in the midst of an environmental assessment relating to the proposed Site C dam.

In the fourth spot is the Fraser River, which for the 18th time in 19 years, finds its way into the top half of the endangered rivers list. "Of particular concern this year are the development pressures facing the 'Heart of the Fraser' between Hope and Mission, one of the most productive sections of river anywhere in the world", said Angelo.

Coming in at number 5 is the Kokish River on Vancouver Island, southeast of Port Hardy. The river's salmon and steelhead stocks are jeopardized by a controversial run of river power project.

"As one scans this year's list, the issues and problems outlined are extensive and diverse, ranging from the importance of pro-actively protecting productive salmon rivers and ensuring that adequate water management regulations are in place to the need for improved riverside habitat protection," explains Angelo. "The list also helps to create a greater awareness of the various threats that confront our waterways", he added. "These issues highlight the fact that you cannot separate the health of our fish stocks from the health of our rivers; they are completely inter-dependent".

Each year, the Outdoor Recreation Council solicits and reviews nominations for BC's Most Endangered Rivers from its member groups, which total close to 100,000 members, as well as from the general public and resource managers from across BC.

For more detailed information on the rivers listed, please see the endangered rivers backgrounder at www.orcbc.ca

BC's Most Endangered Rivers of 2010;

1. Kettle River (water extraction, development)
2. "Sacred Headwaters" of Skeena, Nass and Stikine (coalbed methane)
3. Peace River (hydro-electric dam proposal)
4. Fraser River, "Heart of the Fraser"(urbanization, industrial development, habitat loss)
5. Kokish River (IPP proposal)
6. Morice (pipeline proposal)
7. Taku River (mining development, road proposal, leachate concerns)
8. Similkameen River (cross border dam proposal)
9. Elk River (development, increasing selenium levels, wildlife migration issues)
10. Coquitlam River (excessive sedimentation, urbanization)
11. Bute Inlet Rivers (IPP proposal)
12. Atlin River (impacts of dam and Whitehorse, Yukon energy proposal)

Media only: backgrounder details on each river is found at www.orcbc.ca

For more information, please contact:

Mark Angelo - (604) 432-8270                        Robert Gunn - (604) 451-6860                  

Posted by Paul at 12:52 PM

April 17, 2011

Herons Nesting Near Burnaby’s Deer Lake

Yumi and I had a great time observing great blue herons nesting near Burnaby's Deer Lake this afternoon.

Here's one carrying a twig to shore up a nest:


And what I think is a female northern harrier:


Little ones may not be as impressive, but they sure are cute:


And a fuzzy wuzzy bee:


And another kind of bee:


And here's the gorgeous urban park in Burnaby where you can see
these sights:


Posted by Paul at 08:57 PM

April 16, 2011

Edmonds Clean Sweep May 7, 2011

Come one, come all to the Edmonds Clean Sweep on May 7, 2011, in SE Burnaby. Sponsored by the Edmonds Business & Community Association, this event brings people in the community together to clean up their neighbourhood.

Meet in the parking lot of the Gordon Presbyterian Church at 7457 Edmonds St.

Registration: 9:45
Clean up: 10:00 - noon
BBQ (free for volunteers): Noon

Alternative registration site with the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers in the parking lot of the Edmonds Skytrain station - times the same.

See you there!


Posted by Paul at 08:29 PM

April 10, 2011

My wife will dance, unseen, on Kodachrome Super 8

So I'm unpacking boxes that have been in storage for decades, and what do I run across but a Bauer C50XL Super 8 movie camera. Yes, I'm talking "movies" here, nothing digital about this piece of equipment. This camera wasn't even mine. As I recall, a cousin bought it, used it once or twice, and then lent/gave it to me, the photographer in the family. And at most I ran only a cartridge or two of film through it, some 35 years ago.

So I unzip the case, and there it is. What's this? It's even got a cartridge of film in it, with a few feet unexposed. Whoa! I find some AA batteries, slot them in - and nothing. I figure the film is jammed after two or three decades sitting untouched, so I pop out the cartridge, shake it a bit, pop it back in, hit the trigger, and yowza! Trrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

I run upstairs where Yumi is preparing her lunch for Monday in the kitchen, point the camera at her, and say "dance!"

She stares at me, "what is that thing?"

"It's an old movie camera, shake it, baby!" Smile

So she shakes it, and the camera goes Trrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, for about nine or ten seconds, and . . . silence.

Kodak no longer processes Kodachrome film. So Yumi is immortalized "shaking it" on film that will never be processed, never viewed. . . Until some advanced space culture comes along and develops it, and wonders about those weird Earth customs. . .



The film cartridge was originally inserted some 35 years ago
when I was still living in the family home in Saskatoon!

Posted by Paul at 10:26 PM

April 05, 2011

Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Release 2010 Watershed Status Report

Byrne Creek Streamkeepers in SE Burnaby have released their Byrne Creek Watershed 2010 Status Report. It's a 26-page document with lots of photos, maps, graphs and charts that depict the state of the watershed through several indicators in a format easy to read and understand.

You can download a PDF (5.6MB) for free from the home page of the group's website.

The report addresses lots of topics including monitoring of salmon spawning in this urban creek, resident fish populations, invasive plant species, pollution problems, etc.


Posted by Paul at 08:29 PM

April 01, 2011

Get Your Butt in Gear, Read and VOTE!

If you don't vote, don't complain. Read the platforms, decide, and VOTE.

In alphabetical order:

Conservative: http://www.conservative.ca/

Green: http://greenparty.ca/

Liberal: http://www.liberal.ca/

NDP: http://www.ndp.ca/

Note: I'm putting the Bloc last because I do not consider them to be a Canadian party.

BQ: http://www.blocquebecois.org/accueil.aspx

Posted by Paul at 09:55 PM

Choices Supporting Enviro Groups with Earth Day BBQs

Choices Markets has been holding by-donation BBQs for several years now, with partial proceeds going to local environment groups. I see in the April Choices Newsletter that Byrne Creek Streamkeepers are again being supported by Choices in the Park. Thanks!

Earth Day
Saturday, April 23,12:00pm-4:00pm at all locations
Looking for products that are made by companies with earth-friendly practices?
Saturday, April 23, in recognition of Earth Day, Choices Markets will be showcasing
samples of environmentally safe household items and delicious local and/or organic
foods. We'll also be hosting donation barbecues and donating the net proceeds to
five organizations that are all lending a hand to help the planet:

Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society
SOLEfood Farm
The World in a Garden
Byrne Creek Streamkeepers
Green City Acres.

Posted by Paul at 11:31 AM