Boreal Forest

Here’s a report from a brief work stint in northeastern British Columbia at the edge of Canada’s great boreal forest.
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This is still a relatively intact ecosystem that is surprisingly diverse. The breeding bird diversity alone rivals most other places in Canada (probably comes in at number two behind somewhere in southern Ontario). Today someone saw a wolverine, and grizzlies are sighted daily. The forest understory is lush and verdant and has some of the thickest devil’s club I’ve seen anywhere. Blueberries are dripping off their stalks. The aspen groves are gigantic and full of Connecticut Warblers and Ovenbirds. Growth and activity however are winding down with mid-summer in full swing and autumn just around the corner.

Posted on 07/30 at 10:42 PM | Comments

Upper Highballer

Up on Give-out road is one of Nelson’s mainstay mountain biking areas. Unfortunately it’s also a mainstay logging area too, but by no coincidence are the trails here because of the logging roads in the area. 

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There’s Highballer, Lowballer, Midballer, Upper Highballer and Upper Upper Highballer (Bulls on Parade). We’ll be losing some aesthetics on a section of Upper Highballer this week due to some recent logging activities.
After many years of living in British Columbia, I’ve learned to acknowledge the necessity of resource extraction in our lives. I’m glad to say that the bike club and the logging company were in communication about this and other cutblocks. It’s tough to see trees like this removed- I’m sure there will be some remediation work on the trail and it’s not like we don’t have dozens and dozens of trails flowing through other forests-probably more trails than beautiful cedar groves like this, but oh well…

Posted on 07/15 at 09:27 PM | Comments

Summer soak

My buddy Pete and I took a run down the Slocan River last week to stave off some of the heat.

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The river- a serpentine jewel that cuts through the Selkirk Mountains- is a mainstay float for hippies and other residents of the Slocan Valley (there are a few non-hippies). However, it’s running a bit high due to recent rains, so nobody was out, not to mention the nipple-perking temps. But we went for it anyway. Neither of us are devout canoeists, at least in flowing water, so it was a bit sketchy running some wave trains (almost lost our beer!) but we eddied out pretty fast when we saw this rope swing. We each took a few runs at it and then continued down the river. I felt like I was 16 again.

Posted on 07/15 at 09:20 PM | Comments

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