The Glacial Sky of Cascadia in the Morning

This is not an image of mountains, not of what rises or mounts, but what held against the ice that cut all else away.

The Coast Mountains

The ice is now air. Humans, bears,  martins,  squirrels, eagles and bobcats, to name a few, pass through it: the people of the ice. Nice.

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.

The Beaches of Cascadia

If your country started out as a chain of volcanoes …P1790654 …very exotic volcanoes…P1790660 … in the tropical Pacific, very different volcanoes ….P1790674 … in five different island chains over 150 million years …P1790692 … and if they then drifted across the sea and crashed into North America, lifting new volcanoes up into the clouds …P1790700 … and welding the bits together …. aP1790726 … and then if super-cooled, subglacial water had blasted all that away and the sea had a go at it for 10,000 years ….P1790729 … why, then your beaches might look like this, too.P1790764 All beaches are beautiful, of course, but these are the beaches of Cascadia.P1790782 To be more specific, these are the beaches of the newest chain of islands to crash on the shore, Islandia.P1790786 And if you lift your head and look across the last water to the previous chain, now uplifted and ice-carved and creating rain, why it might just look like this…P1790797

…and if you lived there, and if you knew that, you would never see a mountain again. You would see the earth, alive.

 

 

Native and Settler Apples on the North West Pacific Shore

Welcome to the fuscas!

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 Malus Fusca: Pacific Crab

110% of life size.

Here’s a domestic apple, descended from Caucasian stock, for comparison.

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 Liberty (Macoun X Purdue 54-12; Geneva, New York, 1955)

40% of life size.

Beautiful Red Water

Yellow and orange, too. In braids. Running over shells on its way to the Pacific Ocean.

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Stream Soaked in Red Cedar Roots, Pacific Rim National Park, Vancouver Island

I don’t think we know enough about this stuff. People have been calling it a resource. I dunno. I’m beginning to think that we are the resource.

 

Walking on the Surface of the Sun

On the shore of the sea, the water goes up and down. You can walk around out there when the moon drags the ocean all here and there and the sun blows over the stones and the sand. It’s awfully beautiful. You won’t be alone.

 

Sea Stars, Willow Point

On the other side of the mountains, it’s still the shore. The rains rise and fall. Sometimes the ground is dry and hot in the sun. Sometimes the sun has lifted some water over the mountains and the earth turns into a tide flat. You can walk around out there, in those pools of the sun. Or you can just slide …

The Planet is Alive.

What a great place for walking on the surface of the sun. The sun itself is awfully hot, but here, right at the spot where the sun ends at last, right here where it touches the earth, there’s treasure.

X Marks the Spot

This is what it looks like when you share a habitat. Sometimes you see your neighbours. Sometimes you don’t.