Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tofino Water

It's the time of year when people start to get a bit twitchy about water here. Days can be cool or foggy, which tricks people into thinking it's actually rained. Well, it hasn't for quite awhile now and we are now being asked to conserve water. The fact that we have to be asked is a tad pathetic, but people here, like everywhere, can be a little self-centered, forgetful, lackadaisical ... you decide on the adjective. I've written about water here before. As long as everyone — locals and visitors — behave by conserving water we'll be fine. Everyone has to step up as they have in the past.

But it isn't really about our water supply that I wanted to write about today, at least not directly. I really try to avoid judging what is in peoples' shopping carts (it can be hard, believe me), but I am really shocked by the cases of bottled water I see leaving the Co-op. I want to go up to each and every person lugging a case to the till and ask them if they've actually tasted the water. We have the most amazing water. We should be drinking it and thanking Meares Island and the west coast rainforest for every wonderful drop. (Our water is delivered via underwater pipe from Meares Island.)

You may find it ironic that I'm talking conservation on one hand and encouraging water to use it on the other, but there's no need to buy bottled water here. You can drink it, straight from the tap. Drink it, but appreciate it and conserve it, too. (And, if you're so inclined, you can donate the money you saved to any local conservation group, perhaps the Raincoast Education Society or the Friends of Clayoquot Sound, the group that got its start fighting for — yup — the best drinking water on Earth.)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tofino Books: Road's End

Yesterday, when I was downtown with my daughter, a familiar laugh resounded from the corner of Campbell and First St. "Ah," Daughter P said, "Turtle's back in town." Laugh? Can we really call it a laugh? Whatever, once you hear "The Sound of Turtle" you will never forget it. Turtle is a Tofino character and it's timely that he is also tipping his hat on the cover of Shirley Langer's book, Road's End: Tales of Tofino. (It is also very timely to this post that Shirley is back in town for a bit. Welcome home, my dear!)

Shirley published this book last year and if you are looking for a read that delves into some of the quirkier characters of this place or looking for a local's perspective on life at the road's end, then look for this gem. You'll get an insight to the "coffee klatch" at the Common Loaf, the allure of glass balls, characters like Freedom (the dog), Fredy (the welder), Ravi (of the Tofino Herb Company or THC), and, of course, Turtle (the man), and much more. Here's a review from "the greg" and here's another one, too.

You can find Road's End at local bookstores, Mermaid Tales and Wildside Booksellers.

(And speaking of Mermaid Tales, someone posted this link to a recent post. Take a peek inside the bookstore and meet its owner, Mike.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Paris (and Tofino), je t'aime

Oooh, two of my favourite places in the world, sharing the love. Tomorrow night you can watch Paris, je t'aime under the stars at the Tofino Botanical Gardens. Show begins at dusk-ish.

Here's the trailer.

Dress warmly. Bring a blanket (and your sweetie). See you there!

Rare Tofino Birds

Tofino isn't all that known for its birding, but, really, it should be. We have some incredible birders here, most notably Adrian Dorst, who's been scoping the area for decades. We also have so many different habitats within an hour of town — mudflats, open ocean, long beaches, lake, streams, rainforest, swathes of alder, etc. Perhaps the filming of The Big Year will change this, but so will this sort of thing.

Here are a few more articles/links to birding: George Bradd's's Commando Birding article and, of course, George's web site gives lots of information for birding in the area. Both Adrian and George lead guided bird watching tours and the Raincoast Education Society offers an excellent series of birding workshops, usually during the winter months.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wasn't That a Party?

Wow, the launch of Crowlogue was so much fun. Thanks to everyone who attended (and especially to those who dressed up!). Here are a few photos from the evening. You can see more here.

As you can see, lots of crow-inspired clothing and artwork. (Thanks, Jan J. for the great crow sculpture that we hung above the readers.)

Crowlogue is available directly through the press's website, at Mermaid's Tales or visit our table at the Saturday Market. I'll let you know if it can be found at more west coast venues.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Eau de Long Beach

Now this is a new one! Bottling the scent of Long Beach. I wish computer technology included scratch and sniff!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Tofino Calendar

If you're coming to Tofino and looking for things to do with your children, arts and culture events, times for church or a yoga class, and more? Then you can probably find information here on Tofino Time's calendar on its website. And hard copies of Tofino Time are available throughout town.

Squid Jigging

Remember this? Here's more on the story.

Found primarily in the waters off the coast of Mexico, Humboldt squid have been migrating steadily northward in recent decades, first appearing off the coast of northern California and Oregon in the 1990s. Unheard of in Canadian waters before 2003, the voracious predators arrived in unprecedented numbers last summer, an invasion that was highlighted by the bizarre beaching of several Humboldt squid near Tofino in early August.

According to the DFO’s State of the Oceans report for 2009, released last month, there were “10 significant stranding events between August and October” on B.C.’s West Coast.

DFO officials, alarmed at the implications for B.C.’s marine ecosystem, handed Mr. Gillespie the task of determining why the creatures are migrating northward and assessing the potential impact on local fish populations.

“Humboldt squid are known to feed on Pacific hake,” the report notes. “Their impact on hake numbers (and perhaps other marine species in summer) in future years could be extensive.”

DFO scientists will be out next month sampling for squid, trying to get at the bottom of this mystery.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Cover Love

Here's the cover of our latest offering from Postelsia Press. It's being launched on Tuesday evening and it's gearing up to be a fun evening. (I just received a shipment of black ribbon and feathers...)

If you're on the coast, we hope to see you there. Tuesday, July 6 at Darwin's Cafe in the Tofino Botanical Gardens. The event begins at 8 pm. Consider yourself invited.

Tofino's Conservation Kids

Check out this video from the Raincoast Education Society's Sustainable Living Program. Great job, Conservation Kids.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day, Tofino

I'll do a longer post later today, but for now, here are a few of the many things going on in town today: The annual Tuff City SK8 Competition is supposed to be on, but it's looking a tad drippy so I suspect it will be postponed until the course dries out. It's always fun to watch so hopefully things will dry up. There will be music, activities for family, the market, poi and hula hooping, a bbq, beer garden and fireworks in Tofino as well. (Most taking place at or near the Village Green.) Just wander around town — you'll find something to do.

Last night was the kick-off for the two-week-long Pacific Rim Summer Festival. Tomorrow is the first concert, with the Pacific Rim String Quartet. And the art show, Art on the Shore, runs every day through the festival and it is at The Shore, at street front in the commercial space.

Tonight DJ Murge is at the Legion. Doors open at 9pm. Tix $8.

More later. Have a great Canada Day.