The Waves of Cascadia

Here we are on the surface of the Yellowstone Plume, the newest part of my country, Cascadia.

These are the Mammoth Hot Springs.

It’s hot there, and exquisite.

And stunning. It’s all on the surface for you to see.

Up to the north and west, in a land of volcanic collisions rather than a vast eye of heat, the same process of water-borne minerals being deposited as salts takes place when the old sea beds are bared by dynamite.

When I contemplate how many times these salts have cycled through the sea, I am struck by how the Yellowstone Plume and the Pacific Ocean off the Cascadian shore are the same.

Salt Hanging Out With the Salmon in the Salish Sea

We could call them the Pacific Plume and the Yellowstone Sea.

Vernon, British Columbia, A Cascadian City

Not just that. Look how the atmosphere and the landforms, and the lakes play along. That’s fog from Kalamalka Lake lying over Coldstream Ranch in the middle distance. Consider for a moment how clouds, mountains, fog and the breakage points of uplifted seabeds, and the volcanoes erupting through them, are all the same sea and the same plume. It is useful to give them separate names, such as hill and cloud, sky and water, volcanics and so on, but those are words that come from far away. Here, they are the same energy folding into and outside of itself. The knowledge contained in a great European thinker like Descartes, or a great European dramatist, like Shakespeare, has its equal here, in exactly what you are looking at in this image. If you do not see it, it’s time to go walking! In this country, there is no such thing as a mountain.

These are not mountains.

Coyote Den in Priest Valley, looking west over Fjord Lake Okanagan

Salmon On the Way to Sea

While making arrangements for my father’s funeral a week ago, I walked down at dawn to the mouth of Simm’s Creek, on Eastern Vancouver Island. No, this is not rain.

Four years from now, with some incredible luck, this plucky little salmon will be coming home.

Others like it will be returning to the fire forests (note the smoke) over the mountains to the east. Fire, water and fish: it is enough.