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Friday, January 20, 2012

Bunny Trail

We noticed these tracks the other day.  They are everywhere.  We have often wondered if our little rabbit friend was still around.  It is very rarely that we see him/her.     

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It Is Freezing Here

Thursday, 19th -
8:12 a.m.
Temperature: -32C


As I sit at the computer, the sun streaming in through the frosty window pane feels hot on my shoulder and neck.

Wednesday, 18th -
-32C as the day began.  The birds (chickadees, redpolls, grosbeaks) arrived at the feeders just after 8:00 a.m.  Thank goodness for the sun.  And a cosy fire.

Tuesday, 17th -
It is another very cold day here in the central interior of the province.  The poor birds!

Monday, 16th -
There is an arctic chill to the air.  It was -24C when I took my walk down the road before lunch.  Coming back, I had to pull my scarf even higher around my face due to the wind.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Forest is Alive Even in the Depths of Winter

~ January 15 ~

Pine Grosbeaks sitting in the bright winter sunshine.

~ January 13th ~

Today when I came out of the house, I was greeted by the lovely song of the male grosbeak.  I looked up to see him at the very top of this tree.

The loud call of the Pileated Woodpecker and then his hammering on some nearby tree soon got my attention though.  The odd hollow sound was coming from an ancient tree, still standing but not green anymore.  The woodpecker didn't seem to be looking for insects, but was simply tattooing out a message.  Every so often he would stop and just sit there. Waiting.  It wasn't long before a second Pileated Woodpecker arrived on the scene.  Both the female and male Pileated Woodpecker have the red crest, but I really couldn't get a good identification of either of these birds.  They were too far away.

As if that wasn't enough excitement for the day, shortly after seeing the woodpeckers, I saw one of the lake's Bald Eagles perched in a spruce tree very close to the house.
 ~ January 12th ~

On my walk through the woods, I spied a busy squirrel feasting on a morsel taken from an evergreen that had blown over in a strong wind.

~ January 10th ~

The pine grosbeaks love to perch on the highest branch.  This one appeared to be sunning herself, but she was only pausing momentarily before flying down to the bird feeders.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Northern Gateway Pipeline Proposal

Yesterday was the start of the public hearings for the proposed building of the Northern Gateway pipeline extending from Alberta's oil sands to the west coast of British Columbia (Kitimat).  If it goes ahead it would have the capacity to transport 525,000 barrels of oil daily (200 oil tankers per year) destined for U.S. and Asian markets.  The oil tankers would have to navigate185 km of inner coastal waters and the Great Bear Rainforest. 

In Kitamaat Village, where the first hearings are being held, Haisla Hereditary Chief, Ken Hall expressed his opposition to this project saying that it "put his people in the crosshairs of possible disaster and they must put threats to their homes and their children's future ahead of job prospects that might come from the pipeline."  Samuel Robinson, a Hereditary Chief and fisherman from Kitamaat Village also opposed the project.  "I know every inch of our territory.  The area's rich with seafood, halibut, cod, fur-bearing animals," he said.  "It worries me that all this will be lost or destroyed when there is a spill.  Mark my words: when there is a spill.  Experience knows it will happen."

I have my own misgivings about this project and the impact it will have on the environment.  The proposed pipeline stretches for 1,177 km and crosses some 1000 streams and rivers. Five major salmon rivers will be affected: Stuart River, Morice River, Copper River, Kitimat River, Salmon River. The upheaval to the land and waterways will be enormous.  


Wednesday, January 4, 2012