Saturday, 29 January 2011

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Monday, 24 January 2011

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Monday, 17 January 2011


Widgeon Estuary is a wonderful springtime jaunt either as a daytrip or overnight. The paddling is easy. You can do the trip via kayak or canoe and can stay for the night or do it as a day trip. I'll be planning to camp near the base of the trail to the falls and will likely go for three days.

There is nothing better than to cruise flat water with rippling reflections of big snowy mountains cascading off your bow.

The estuary of Widgeon Creek at the south end of Pitt Lake at Grant Narrows is the perfect place to enjoy this sensation.

If you like quiet peaceful waterways teaming with bird life this is the place to go for the whole estuary is a protected bird sanctuary. After making the 300m crossing of Grant Narrows, expect to see tons of waterfowl and other species from herons to harlequins that make this area their habitat. You might even see a fleeting glimpse of muskrat or beaver if you are lucky.

If Widgeon Creek is high in the spring or early summer you can paddle quite a distance up under lazy overhanging branches draped in moss and lichen. Huge lush ferns and skunk cabbage line the shoreline in the marshy areas and neat little gravel bars are gathered in the bends of the creek. When you are there you will be amazed that you can be so close to the city yet so far away.

A campsite is located near the west end of the estuary if you want to stay longer. This is probably best to do in the shoulder season when it isn't so busy. If the water is high more secluded sites are located up the river.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Saturday, 8 January 2011


Pterosaurs, the mighty winged-lizards, soared ancient skies expertly hunting for prey. Because they evolved from reptiles prior to modern birds, it was once believed that pterosaurs were primitive, passive fliers. They were seen as gliders, rather than skillfull hunters. Being the earliest vertebrates to have evolved powered flight, we now recognize that they were powerful fliers, chasing and catching their prey on the wing. One clue to this revelation is a small bone at the front of the wing bone which curves back towards the shoulder, roughly like an elongated thumb on a spread hand.

Modern birds have a small but vital feather, the aula, in this position. It shifts, acting like the leading edge on some airplane wings, redirecting the airflow over the wing, and allowing major changes in speed and angle in the air for comparatively little effort. It seems clear the pterosaurs’ extended thumb would have held a flap of membrane in a similar position at the front of the wing, and for a similar purpose. Their skulls hold the other clue; they have much larger brain cases in relation to their size than their earth-bound contemporaries. Co-ordination of flight requires tremendous brainpower, and co-ordination of active flight, with the constant shift in the shape and location of massive wings, even more so. Nature is extremely parsimonious, not frittering away investment in any organ where it is not needed.

Given the engineering challenges and the energy costs of getting each additional gram of weight off the ground, pterosaurs would never have developed such large and heavy “on board computers” unless they clearly paid their own way in faster, more nimble flight that would have allowed their owners to catch more prey and outmaneuver competing aerial hunters and scavengers.

Sunday, 2 January 2011


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.

Saturday, 1 January 2011