Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Fall Quad Ride to Chippewa Bay

Unloading the quads at Chippewa Bay.
Summer rides are fun because the weather is usually sunny and warm. The down side is dusty roads and trails. Fall rides are just about perfect, the weather is pleasantly cool and the roads have received enough rain to tamp down the dust.

We loaded up the barge with what we would need for a day quad ride to Chippewa Bay. The quads stay on the barge all year long, but in the rainy season we take everything out of our cargo boxes to keep it from getting damp and possible damage. Plus it's always good to take along a chain saw just in case a fallen tree blocks your way.

Riding well used Museum Main to find the new logging roads.

We wanted to ride over in the Chippewa Bay area on Powell Lake because Western Forest Products has been building new roads into future cut blocks. We like riding through the trees before logging begins. We've been able to experience such rides in the Eldred River Valley, at Chippewa South, at Pickles Point and now in Chippewa Bay.

Large fir trees along Chippewa Main.

After the roads are completed, the logging company waits for several months for the newly compacted dirt and rock to settle before heavy logging trucks and equipment begin their work.

Wayne coming down a new section of road.

We missed seeing all of the large trees cut down to make way for the new road beds, but a few were still resting at the side of the road.

Wayne next to two sections of a huge fir tree.

This fir tree was over a hundred years old based on the tightly spaced rings. Just think of all the lumber that could come out of each section and how many new homes it could help to build.

Tightly spaced rings make this tree well over a hundred years old.

There are sections of road that are too steep for me to feel comfortable. Wayne rides ahead while I get off my bike to explore and take pictures. I found a Western Toad hiding in a hole. Right now her looks pretty secure, but I'm not so sure it will stay that way when huge trucks start rolling with their massive log loads.

A Western Toad in his hidey at the edge of the new logging road.

And there were still a few flowers to be seen.

Pearly Everlasting doing what it does best, lasting forever.

A bee enjoying a last few sips from a Butterfly Bush.

We stopped by the log skid and could see a boom of logs already boomed together. These came from road clearing. It's good to see nothing being wasted.

Looking down the skid to the first boom of logs.

Wayne checking his iPad GPS to see our track for the day.

Using the iPad GPS for road identification and tracking.

Western Products Products has online geo-referenced maps that can be used with handheld devices. Click here to find WFP map and other road building, logging and hauling information. Click here to find information about the Avenza map app. The basic app and WFP maps are both free.

Have you been riding this fall? What are some of your favourite destinations?

Want to read more about how we use a barge to take our quads to ride the logging roads surrounding Powell Lake?

Powell Lake by Barge and Quad is available in both print and e-book formats at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca. It's also available at other online booksellers and Coles bookstore in Powell River.

Thanks for visiting part of my world this week. For more great posts from Our World Tuesday, click here.

And also a meme called Through My Lens by Mersad. -- Margy

Saturday, October 14, 2017

How to Improve a Twirling Bottle Bird Feeder

My twirling bird feeder in summer.
A little over a year ago, I saved directions about how to make a twirling bottle bird feeder from one of my favourite blogs, Wanderin' Weeta (With Waterfowl and Weeds).

I made one of my own last summer. Click here to see the directions. It worked fine until the rains came. The u-shaped openings that allow birds to feed also allowed rain water to get into the bottom with no way out. The result, soaked and swollen birdseed.

Using a nail to drill holes in the bottom.
It was time to make some modifications or take it down until next summer.

I chose to make some changes to improve performance.

Improvements for the Twirling Bottle Bird Feeder:
Cut a small hole in the pan's middle.
Tape the edges to prevent leakage.
  • Drill small holes in the bottom to allow rainwater to drain.
  • Use a small metal pie pan for a roof. 
  • Add plastic beads to the bottom to reduce the amount of seed near the drain holes.
  • Use a fuel funnel to fill the bottle through the small top opening.
  • Screw the cap back on above the new roof.
  • Hang the bird feeder from a tree or post. 
  • To keep squirrels off, hang it at least a foot away from any branch. 
Insert plastic beads to fill the bottom area.
I hung my new and improved twirling bird feeder back on the bridge railing.

It is in a perfect spot for me to watch the action from my side of the sofa in the cabin.

So far, two Oregon Juncos have been using it.

Beads fill area below the feeder openings.
Plus a chipmunk who's learned how to leap about two feet from the bridge deck up onto the smooth round perch.

At least he eats daintily and doesn't flick the seeds into the lake water below.

Using a fuel funnel to fill with seeds.
Now I use a plastic fuel funnel to fill my bottle.

The bottom of the funnel fits nicely into the top opening. No more seeds spilling out of my rolled up paper funnel.

Did it solve my problem? So far, but the really heavy rains haven't arrived yet. I'll keep you posted.

The improved twirling bottle bird feeder hanging from our bridge to shore.

Here's my feeder ready for whatever the fall and winter may bring, or at least I hope so.

Thanks again to Wanderin' Weeta for this great idea. And for my readers, I highly recommend visiting her blog. She's a nature expert, superb photographer and takes us along to explore Vancouver Island's many trails and back roads.

Thanks for visiting my post this week. I'm linking up with Camera Critters and Saturday's Critters. Check them out for more great animal pictures. -- Margy

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Coastal BC Plants: Pacific Ninebark

N is for Pacific Ninebark

During early summer, Wayne and I went on a camping trip to Vancouver Island to go quad riding on the logging roads and trails northwest of Campbell River. While we were riding north of McCreight Lake, we found an old logging road heading off into the bush.

We followed it for about a klick and came out into a meadow filled with Sweet Gale.

A creek ran through the meadow and nearby I found a large shrub covered with clusters of white flowers. From a distance it blended into the trees bordering the meadow.

A large Pacific Ninebark shrub in the middle of the forefront.

Pacific Ninebark (Physocarpus capitatus) is a member of the rose (Rosaceae) family. It grows to 4 metres (13 feet) in height. The leaves are palmate, deeply veined, serated on the edges, and have 3 to 5 lobes. They are a shiny green and lush looking.

The flowers form in clusters.  Each has five round white petals with yellow pistils and 30 stamens with long filaments.

Some of the clusters flowers changing into red seeds pods.

Here's a branch that contains both flowers and seeds.

Flowers and seeds are present in early summer.

When you take an old road into the bush, you never know what you may find. What kinds of things have you discovered?

Reference: E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia (online) and "Plant Parts" at The Great Plant Escape (online).

For ABC pictures from around the world, stop by the ABC Wednesday blog. This is the twenty-first round of the meme originally established by Denise Nesbitt. It has now being maintained by Melody and her team.  -- Margy

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Chris Czajkowski and Her Wilderness Dog Harry

On Tuesday I had a wonderful experience, meeting one of my favourite authors in person. Chris Czajkowski is on a tour for her newest book about her wilderness dogs.

After two events on the Lower Sunshine Coast, she came to Powell River's new library.  I've read most of Chris' books including Lonesome: Memoirs of a Wilderness Dog, a book told from another of her dogs' point of view.

Chris' new book is told through the eyes and mind of her current companions Harry and Badger. Harry: A Wilderness Dog Saga recounts their years together with Chris at the remote Nuk Tessli cabin and Chris' current homestead at Ginty Creek. Both locations are in British Columbia's northern interior.

I've been following Chris' Wilderness Dweller blog for several years. When I read she was going on tour, I wrote a comment. She sent me a personal email and we made arrangements for her to stay at our condo in town. There just wasn't enough time to go up to the float cabin.

After a brief stop to get organized and walk the dogs on the Sea Walk, we were off to the library. There was a great turnout of interested readers. Powell River is a literary town, so visiting authors are warmly welcomed. After the slide show and talk, we headed home for a quiet evening.

Chris signing books at the new Powell River Library.

Chris' tour is very demanding. After a presentation on Monday, two on Tuesday, she was off to Courteay on Wednesday morning for another. I'm really grateful she had time to put Powell River on her schedule, and had time for a personal meeting.

Stay tuned for a full book review after I have a chance to read my signed copy of Harry: A Wilderness Dog Saga. Want to get a copy? It's available online in print and Kindle formats at Amazon.ca and Amazon.com. -- Margy

Monday, October 02, 2017

“This is me” by Danny Wilks

https://www.amazon.com/This-me-Danny-Wilks-ebook/dp/B00B9MPK5IDanny Wilks is a Scotsman who was inspired to paddle more than 1000 miles through the Inside Passage from Vancouver, BC, to Alaska. His adventure is chronicled in his book This is me: Where there’s a will there’s a way – one man’s quest for Alaska (self published, 2013).

Like many young people who like to travel and have adventures on a budget, Danny participated in WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). This volunteer program allows individuals to exchange their labour for meals and lodging in a variety of settings from farms, to mountain lodges and much more. It’s through this program that he was allowed to gain some experience in kayaking.

On a subsequent trip to Canada, Danny went to Vancouver, BC, and began to plan his 10-week paddling adventure. On a tight budget, he acquired his supplies including a Current Designs Storm 17-foot sea kayak. To let people know his progress, he created a blog spotthescot.wordpress.com. He updated it when possible (not often on his wilderness route) and asked others to submit pictures and entries.

Danny states that he's not a writer and “teachers … would testify to this,” but his story was an entertaining read.

Danny embarks from Vancouver and works his way up the British Columbia coast in all kinds of weather. He learned most of his kayaking skills along the way, and in some hair-raising situations. He camped most nights and ate simple meals, augmented with fish when possible.

Arriving in Ketchikan was a shock after being alone. Money didn’t go far in a tourist town, and a run-in with US Immigration didn’t help. He was required to return to Canada. He paddled back south to Prince Rupert where he sold the kayak and hitchhiked back to Vancouver.

In addition to the blog and book, Danny also took video during his trip. He put the clips together into a two hour and thirty-seven minute film that's available on YouTube.

Danny Wilks is one of those people who can take a dream and make it become a reality. He’s had many life adventures, but this is one to remember. I enjoyed the book and recommend it to any outdoor enthusiast, kayaker or adventurer at heart.

This is me by Danny Wilks is now available for Kindle at Amazon.

Have you ever taken a dream or desire and made it real? What happened for you?

http://www.semicolonblog.com/For more exciting book reviews, head on over to Semicolon's Blog each weekend.

There's also the monthly Book Review Club for teen/young adult and adult fiction over at Barrie Summy's blog.

It’s time for “Outdoor Wednesday.” Click HERE for more outdoor pictures. -- Margy

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Coastal BC Plants: Arctic Lupine

Arctic Lupine

An Arctic Lupine growing on the rocky shore.
We went on a summer camping trip to the head of Goat Lake. We beached our barge to offload quads and camp on the empty deck.

The next morning we rode north on Goat Main. Not far past the barge ramp there's a spur down to the Eldred River.

During winter and spring runoff the river runs high and fast. In summer it recedes to reveal extensive gravel bars. That's where I found an Arctic Lupine amid the stones.

The Arctic Lupine (Lupinus arcticus) is found in meadows, clearings, roadsides and open forests from Alaska to Oregon. It's a perennial herb from the pea family (Fabaceae). On this gravel bar it's hard to imagine it lasting through floods, but the roots must be very hardy.

The leaves are mostly at the base, but also grow along the short stems. The shape is palmate with 6 to 10 leaflets. The cup shape allows them to capture and hold raindrops, and in this case dew from the night before. This lupine is located in close proximity to the river, but in its rocky location doesn't get much moisture during dry summer months.

The flowers are on taller stalks and are most commonly blue. More rare is whitish-pink.

The seeds are a giveaway that it's in the pea family. The pods are 2-4 cm long and covered with fine hairs. Inside there are from 5 to 8 seeds. I was lucky to find this plant with lush foliage, flowers in bloom and seed pods all at the same time.  -- Margy

Reference: E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia (online).

Monday, September 25, 2017

Jasper Mallory Daniels Powell Lake Homestead

John showing Wayne the exposed stone chimney.
During September, Wayne and I went up to the Head of Powell Lake with our good friend John. Because the water level has been exceptionally low, a hidden historical treasure has been exposed.

The height of Powell Lake was raised when the dam at the paper mill was built in 1912 to produce electricity for the adjacent paper machines and the homes and businesses in the mill's townsite.

The fieldstone chimney faces north and charred snags are visible nearby.

In 1924, the dam was raised for additional power. Homesteads along the lake's shore that weren't already flooded were washed out.

The chimney on exposed lakebed with Powell Lake to the east.

If you know where to look, you can find evidence of those old homesteads and imagine the lives of men, women and children living remotely up the lake.

When water recedes, a sand and mud flat is exposed at the Head. If you guide your boat carefully through the shallows you will find a historic treasure, the fallen remains of a rock chimney. After being submerged for 93 years, that's all that remains of a once thriving homestead.

Looking down the flue and exposed field stones.

I took pictures and posted some on Instagram asking for information. I was surprised when David Brindle, a reporter for the local Powell River PEAK responded. The pictures inspired him to research the possibilities. The results were published on the front page of the PEAK on September 20, including one of my pictures. What an honour! You can read the whole article by clicking here.

Based on records at the Powell River Museum, online resources and ancestry websites, and the location of a great grand-daughter still living in the Powell River area, the answer appears to be that the chimney is what's left of the wilderness home of Jasper Mallory Daniels, Sr.

Family painting by son Mallory Daniels (Allen Farrel) of the homestead from PEAK.

Jasper Senior deserted from the U.S. military and made his way to Powell Lake. Here he built a life for his wife and children. Genealogy.com recounts the early life of his son Mallory Daniels, Jr. (aka Allen Farrel) on the homestead:
"Mallory spent his earliest years living at Siwash Creek, at the head of Powell Lake, where his family homesteaded. On a bare, stump-strewn flat beside the waters of Powell Lake, they built a sturdy log home with a fieldstone fireplace, encircled by a picket fence. Bushes thick with berries grew on the hillsides and among the charred stumps that surrounded their carefully tended garden."
Life must have been hard, but in its own way ideal in this picturesque spot Wayne and I love to visit by boat, barge and quad.

More evidence, a stump-strewn flat.

When I saw the painting in the PEAK it made the identification of the chimney's owner almost complete. It was a "fieldstone fireplace" still in excellent condition, it was right next to "the waters of Powell Lake," it was located on a "stump-strewn flat," and there were "charred stumps still visible."

Even more evidence, a stump next to the chimney similar to the painting.

John has known about the chimney for many years, but it took my photograph on Instagram to inspire David Brindle to discover "the rest of the story." Thanks for great sleuthing Dave and answering my call for information. -- Margy