Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Early Tofino Spring

A biologist friend is monitoring the opening of salmonberry blooms on the coast. This multi-year project will help give indicators of climate fluctuations over time. (It will, in theory, be a loooooong study.) The first salmonberry blooms I saw in 2010 were on January 31 and a friend saw an entire bush in bloom that day, too. The salmonberry in my front yard is one of the "study bushes" and there is one bloom on that bush. It was out February 2. This seems early, but it has been a very mild winter. (Wet, but no frost for a long time.)

I thought it might be time to catch up on what George Jackson's days were like 83 years ago.

January 29
Rain — cut wood. Pete went over his traps — got a bunch of ducks. Pete shot two coons.

January 31
Fine day — cut wood. Killers [killer whales] killed a Finback Whale off Box Island this afternoon. Carcass came ashore on the beach at Hesawista [Esowista] it was badly cut up — great gash in belly and entrails hanging out. Killers apparently did not attempt to eat their victim but went out to sea again. Will go up next low tide and examine whale again and take measurements. Pete got another coon tonight but lost both dogs. Saw lots of deer down in slough. One nearly got in canoe when dog put it in the water. Hundreds of Widgeon in the field today.

February 1
Rain. Pete took up traps. Rastin [dog] came home — but Jasper [other dog] still missing. Got 2 Mallards. All went up to see the Whale and take measurement, found it cast up on the rocks, under driftwood. Could not get accurate measurement. Phoned Indians re. whale and a party came out here tonight to cut it up. They arrived here on the tide at 11 o'clock p.m. and I directed them to the whale.

February 2
The Indians found the whale today but before they got started to cut it up a big sea came in and took it out through the surf and they lost it. I went over the line east — all ok. Was accompanied by Pete and Muriel as fas as Sandhill Creek. They went onto Ucluelet via Wreck Bay. Big tide and sea rough, shifted driftwood considerable.

February 3
Blowing gale all night and today. Sea very rough worst storm for several years. 13 ft. tide. Shifted driftwood for several hours. Line down east from Ucluelet, all ok on my section. Maquinna laying at Ucluelet tonight too rough to get out. Jasper came home — all in.

February 4
Fine day. Maquinna laid at Ucluelet fifteen hours. Passed up this morning. Sea moderating, went over line west — found a windfall on line — five panels down made repairs.

February 5
Weather fine. Sea moderate. Worked on trail, clearing out windfalls and brush. Got mail this afternoon also Pete's batteries. Indian family came in today with canoe on tide. Counted more than two hundred ducks in the field this morning, some were in the yard and around the barn. White frost at night.

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