Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring 1928 with George

We've been having some crazy weather lately — heavy rains, hail, bouts of "slushing." Today is lovely, but it was cold last night. There is snow on the top of Lone Cone and in The Pass as well. I thought it might be interesting to see how the weather was for George Jackson out at Long Beach in 1928 around the Spring Equinox. Here are a few entries:

March 17
Overcast and showering. Worked at repairing fence around garden. Maquinna passed down this evening.

March 18
This was a lovely day almost like August, it was so warm and balmy. Took a walk as far as the two mile Point but saw nothing of interest on the way. "Sussie" came out of the bush this morning with a fine big healthy calf. Have a fine show of daffodils and Primula now in the garden and the bushes are all leafing out. The grass is beginning to look quite green again — a good six weeks earlier than 1927.

March 19
Strong S. E. wind with showers but not cold. Dug some potatoes in the back garden and replanted them in front. Found them in good conditions after being in ground all winter.

March 20
S. E. gale with heavy rain for the past twenty four hours. Big sea. Shifted the driftlogs at high tide, moderating now.

March 21
S. E. gale continuous with heavy rain.

March 22
Gale continues. Geo. Hillier, Al Prince and Montgomery came over from Ucluelet this afternoon for a visit arrived here just at tdark. Brought some smoked fish.

March 23
Still blowing. Maquinna passed up this a.m. The boys hunted some, but did not get anything. Walked as far as the sand dunes in Schooner Cover this afternoon. Nothing new on beach.

March 24
Storm continues S. W. high wind with frequent squalls of hail and rain, is now snowing hard (11 pm). Baked bread. George H. and Prince went home this a.m. Jim Motion came in from Tofino on the tide. Had lunch with us and then walked on to Ucluelet. Montgomery went hunting but got nothing. Grant brought my mail.

March 25
Fine weather. Visited Pressler and had lunch. Montgomery went hunting — nothing. Ground all covered with snow this a.m.

March 26
Find this a.m. but N.E. wind changed to S.E. during afternoon and developed into gale before 4 pm and is still howling at midnight. I think the worst storm this winter, lots of rain with it. Wires were down beyond Ucluelet since yesterday and now they are all dead here. Will have to go int he morning. Montgomery went back to Ucluelet this a.m. Set Mrs. H. a setting of eggs with him.

And so it goes. Warmest day of the year, torrential rain, snow and gale force winds? Sounds just about the same as the month we just had!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

We [Heart] Whales

On the last (very, very wet) Sunday of Whale Fest a few brave souls gathered on MacKenzie Beach to make a little art. This is what they came up with. (Thanks to Jeremy Koreski, for permission to post his photos.)

And the zoomed out version:

And here's a story from The Westcoaster that describes the event.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tofino Day Trips: Hot Springs Cove

So here's a new feature on The Heart of Tofino — days trips. (Sorry, I'm not going to give away my absolute secret spots — those are for you to discover on your very own and my fav will probably not be yours — but there's lots to do on any given day here so we'll explore that here.)

Here's the first: Hot Springs Cove. This video, produced by Canadian Tourism, gives you a good overview so I won't blether on. The video also gives a fabulous look at Clayoquot Sound on a sunny day, which, of course, is not always how you see this place.

Sadly, last night I had to miss the play The Death of a Clown by Itsazoo Productions. I was at an equally entertaining (no doubt) event — a band concert put on by the local students in grades 7 and 8. There were probably a few other events I missed last night too. It always amazes me when people ask me "What do you do here?" Yoiks. I can't even come close to doing all that I want to do. Tofino is one engaged and active place. So, did anyone go to the play? How was it?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More on the No Franchise Debate

The discussion over the motion to restrict (or ban) franchises in Tofino has continued. Last Friday, village councillor Stephen Ashton was on CBC Radio's Q with the lovely Jian Gomeshi. The question of the day on the Q Blog was Should a community be able to ban retail chains and fast-food franchises?. The blog comments are worth taking a look at. As of this post, there are 136 responses most of them in favour of the idea. It's an interesting read with many good points, but I have to say I get a little disturbed at the lack of peoples' creativity when they say they won't come to a place without a Tim Horton's or a McDonalds. I think — hope — that's a lot of the reason why people DO come here. (I have the same feeling when people complain that there's nothing to do here.) You can listen via podcast by snooping around here.

Further to a few of the comments: It is unlikely that a big box store will look at Tofino. The population of the "greater west coast area" (so, Tofino, Ucluelet and the outlying First Nations' communities) is about 5000. I doubt that's enough to support a big box chain and there are lots in Port Alberni, just 1.5 hours from here. And several people mentioned jobs — where will our children work? There is no shortage of summer work here — both Daughters A and P could be working full time in the summer if they choose and ALL of their friends work. The kids who live here have it good — primarily because they have a place to live. Lack of affordable accommodation is a pressing issue as it is in many resort communities. (And, finally, I am a bit distressed when the Charter of Rights is brought up in defence of allowing franchises and chains. If people are allowed to restrict outside clotheslines as they have in one subdivision here, then surely there's a way for a community to have a say in the look of their downtown core.)

Here's an interesting take on things from the Law Times. Sounds like another good reason for keeping our Official Community Plan strong and up-to-date.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Painting: Storm Over Tofino

The stormy weather has stopped for the moment — it was gorgeous yesterday — but it was an exciting few days. I came across the painting, Storm Over Tofino, by Leslie Redhead, which she had posted here. Thanks for sharing, Leslie. Love that moody sky — so beautifully (and logically I suppose) captured in watercolour. You can learn more about Leslie on her blog.

While I'm not fond of the size of The Shore in downtown Tofino — and really feel for some of the older Tofitians who now look out on a huge modern building instead of Meares Island and up into Clayoquot Sound — I'm always curious about architecture and design and how they are interpreted out here. This is probably the closest I'll ever get to seeing what The Shore is like inside, so if you are interested too, take a peek at their show suite.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Creating a Nuu-chah-nulth Canoe at Chesterman Beach

Jackie had a great piece on the art of Nuu-chah-nulth canoe carving on CBC's North By Northwest over the past weekend. She interviewed Joe and Carl Martin to learn about their art — carving canoes from red cedar. You can listen to the radio story here.

Jackie was kind enough to fire over these photos and a link to a video she'd shot of a canoe being steamed. If you are in Tofino, make sure you check out the carving shed on Chesterman Beach near the Wickaninnish Inn. There is carving at Tin Wis on occasion as well.

All images and links courtesy Jacqueline Windh.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ahhhh, No McTofinoHortonBucks?

Oh, Tofino. You do love the spotlight. We're in the news again because of councillor Stephen Ashton's proposal to prohibit franchises from setting up shot in Tofino. It is not a done deal by any stretch. Although I believe council voted unanimously in favour, it still has to be investigated by staff and go through several readings. Personally, I wouldn't want to see a Tim Hortons or Starburcks, McDonalds and the like, but there are smaller franchises that aren't too obnoxious — Ucluelet has a Delicado's for example. We have an Esso and had a Saltspring Soaps. (Is there such a thing as an independent gas station anymore?) There are franchises and there are franchises. What do you think?

This is all over the news, so you can take your pick of stories. Here are a few: CBC (interesting comments at the end), The Westcoaster, the Times Colonist, and the Vancouver Sun. (And, as always, Ralph has an interesting take on things. Always cracks me up.)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Whale Fest Parade

Visitors in town for Whale Fest may be surprised to find they've also arrived during Storm Watching Season! Yesterday was quite nasty — strong winds, hail, biblical rain, and, a power outage! We seem back in business now. The power is on and the skies are clearing. Just a little excitement for 24 hours or so.

Last weekend was the kick-off parade for Whale Fest. Sadly, I had to miss it, but thanks to Josie for this vicarious look through her photos. Lots of candy, lots of kids, lots of fake whales and fun.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spouting Off - Launching N'eau

This is what we woke up to this morning ...

It does seem to be warming up though.

Last night was the 5th Annual Spout Off held in conjunction with the Pacific Rim Whale Festival. There was a full house at Darwin's Cafe to hear members of the Clayoquot Writers Group and others read their work.

[David Floody reading.]

The theme was water, although it was okay to interpret that loosely. Seven of the writers had crafted some very witty labels for "brands" of water. They bottled these ideas, both literally as labels on bottles of water and also in a small chapbook, N'eau: A brief exploration into dubious virtues of marketing. [The Cosmic Springs label on the bottle shown here was written by Greg Blanchette.]

The lovely Joanna Streetly was the water sprite of the evening (the strapless gown, sparkly shawl, and striped knee high socks looked particularly fetching together) and tried to sell her watery wares to the attendees.

There are still copies of N'eau available. It's a limited edition of 50 so if you are interested, just leave a comment here or email me for more information. All proceeds to the Writers' Group.

[Greg Blanchette reading.]

[Janice Lore reading.]

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

In Season: Red-Flowering Currant

Ooh, I am feeling for those little hummingbirds we started to see a few weeks ago. It's been "slushing" on an off all day. Brrrr. Along with salmonberries, hummingbirds do love red-flowering currant — the other shocking pink harbinger of spring. Theses bushes are bursting out all over, pretty in pink. Later on in the year, they will produce a blue-black berry, that are, apparently, edible, "but insipid." Insipid. Great word, that.

[They do look nice in my garden, but not bad on my desk, either.]

Whale Fest - Spout Off!

For those of you in Tofino and area, don't forget this evening's 5th Annual WhaleFest Literary Spout Off! This year, the Clayoquot Writers' Group will be reading on the theme of water and I know for a fact there are some fun, quirky, thought-provoking readings in store for those who attend. Open mic to follow.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tofino, Long Beach & Area in...You Gotta Be Here

If you watched the Olympics you probably saw the ads with Sarah McLachlan, Steve Nash, Kim Cattrall, Michael J. Fox talking about their "home." Poor grammar aside (Gotta?), it was quite a beautiful pan through the province with the west coast very well represented — it begins on Flores Island and ends at Long Beach, with shots of Chesterman Beach (with Sarah as well as the Wickaninnish Inn), Long Beach, Cox Bay and the Broken Group Islands. I'll embed the video below but this link gives a second-by-second break down of where the shots are from.

Friday, March 5, 2010

My New Baby

Nope, not that kind. Those days are done. But this week was the official "birth" of a new enterprise — Postelsia Press. This is a venture about five years in gestation co-conspired with my friend Marion Syme.

Under this brand spanking new press we'll be producing a small selection of books that relate specifically to the west coast. (The west west coast.) There will be champagne and prizes when our web site is officially launched in a few weeks, but for now here is a look at our first product — an activity book for children (and maybe their parents, too). Watch for them in local shops and on our web site soon. (Sorry, no link to the site yet.)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tofino Through Spencer Brawn's Lens

It's always nice to see Tofino and area through someone else's lens. Here are some beauties from photographer Spencer Brawn. Please check out his blog here.

Thanks for sharing, Shawn.

For those of you in town, remember that the Pacific Rim Whale Fest kicks off this Saturday. There are no shortage of events to choose from, but here are a few that I might just take in over the next few days.

It's going to be a toss-up between the grand opening of the Ukee Aquarium or the "Parade of Whales and Wonders" in Tofino at 10 am on Saturday. And for photographers, there is the Winter Wave Showdown from 7 to 9 Saturday evening at the Black Rock in Ucluelet. On Sunday, also at Black Rock, I'm going to try to get down and see Elin Kelsey read from her book, Watching Giants: The Secret Lives of Whales. See you there?

(You might have other interests, so check out the full list here or look for the March issue of Tofino Time.)