Saturday, 31 July 2010

DOGWOOD BOUNTY

The Bowron Lake Circuit is home to a variety of plant life. Large sections of the forest floor are carpeted in the green and white of dogwood, a prolific ground cover we are lucky enough to see in full bloom. Moss, mushrooms and small wild flowers grown on every available surface.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

EARTH: THE BLUE PLANET: BACTERIA

Exquisitely beautiful, yet small, silent and deadly, bacteria were some of the first true life forms. Our Earth formed 4,500 million years ago but bacteria didn't arise until 1,000 million years ago, well after the Big Bang.

Since that time, a great variety of life has evolved. Most of the plant and animal life that has arisen has subsequently gone extinct and our only ties to them are through the fossil record.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Friday, 16 July 2010

PADDLING BEFORE THE FRONT

As a weather system approaches, the wind picks up, with the strongest force just ahead of the front. The wind brings waves, making our paddling unstable.

Like most mountainous areas, Bowron makes its own weather system and it appears you get everything in a 24-hour period. In fact, whatever weather you are enjoying seems to change 40 minutes later; good for rain, bad for sun. Wisps of cloud that seemed light and airy only hours early have become dark. Careful to hug the shore, we are ready for a quick escape from lightening as thundershowers break.

For this small band of kayakers, the weather forecast is helpful, but it just one portion of the equation. Local weather, and more importantly, wind, comes from a mixture of factors.

Local knowledge of the topography, the relative temperature of land and lake we paddle help predict how windy and soggy our afternoon will be.

Today, the cooler air is flowing off the water up the forested slopes, heating and rising as it does so, creating a 5-15 knot intermittent force that turns ripples into small white caps.

A few strong gusts of wind drive us off the lake, breaking for lunch to wait out the worst of it, and knowing that the winds that started mid-morning will subside by late afternoon and rise again after sunset. We snack on warm soup and flatbread, watching as our once crystal clear oasis turns to froth. Warm, dry and now with full bellies, we get back on the water. We’re eager to push through to our next destination knowing that by nightfall the katabatic winds will arrive, as warmer air from the hillsides flows down and out over the chilly lake.

Paddling in unison, we enjoy the crisp air, confident that well before then we’ll be snugged in our tents sipping hot cocoa.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Saturday, 3 July 2010