Welcome to the Island Rambles Blog

Hi my name is Nora and Welcome to my blog world. This is a nature and birding photo blog about Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada. I am trying to be a birder and I take photos of the birds and scenery I find. I hope you enjoy your time here and please come back again. PHOTOS WILL ENLARGE IF CLICKED. The photos are slide show enabled if you click on them. If you click on the top lighthouse photo it always takes you to the most recent summary list of my postings.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Blast from the Past

I was looking through my old pictures and came up with these shots of the North American Indigenous Games in Duncan, B.C. Canada in the Cowichan Valley which is known as the warm land.  These shots show a few of the cultural performances on the main stage.  The letter today at ABC Wednesday is "N" for North American.  It is a blast from the past.

This was possibly one of the largest and most successful sporting and cultural events held on Vancouver Island.  It was the seventh of the North American Indigenous Games which started in 1990.  For the first time a city did not host the event, a tribe did. It is usually held every three years for First Nations, Metis, Inuit, Native American and North American Indian athletes.

Aboriginal participants from all across North America came and competed in traditional and contemporary sports.   They came from Nunavut to New York and from Oregon to Nova Scotia to compete in basketball, baseball, canoeing, and archery and many other summer sports.  There were around an estimated 7,000 participants and an estimate of around 20,000 combined participants and spectators.   There was a traditional Coast Salish welcoming ceremony. 


It was a powerful and moving experience for me and some of my most vivid memories are of the day we spent there.  I tried so hard to capture that feeling with my camera but the shots that you cannot see are of a diverse people from all over the place sharing this time and place in history with such a gentle grace.


It was a very warm day in August of 2008 and the  main stage was set nestled on a golden field and the lovely Cowichan River ran along beside us and we waded in the cool water and watched others swim and jump from the bridge as the music and drums washed over us.


Memes for the week are ABC Wednesday, Ruby Tuesday, Our World Tuesday, Wordless With Words Wednesday, This or That Thursday.  Thank you to the hosts of these memes for organizing this group of playful bloggers with the various games you have created.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Muir Creek B.C. Fossils















M is for Muir Creek.  We went here a few days ago to see the fossils.    This post is for ABC Wednesday, the letter M this week. Also for Our World Tuesday, Nature Notes Wednesday, Outdoors Wednesday, This or That Thursday. 

Muir Creek has the most easily accessible Cenozoic era fossils to see on the
island but make sure the tide is low before you attempt to go there. It seems
that it is not a park and it is private land owned by the timber company as they log around there.  Muir Creek is near Sooke, B.C. Canada.

You walk down the estuary to get to the beach and the fossil cliffs.
It is a glimpse into our past and ancient world as the cliffs contain the
preserved fossils of shellfish in layers of sandstone and conglomerate
from millions of years ago.  The shellfish we saw were preserved in their
original shells (calcite) and have been dated from 20 to 25 million years
old.

The rock cliffs have been battered by the surf which has exposed the fossils.
If you look way up you can see the different layers of deposits on top of
layers of shells at the bottom. The layers represent how many millions of
years it took to lay down the deposit on top.

I thought they looked so similar to our present day shellfish.  They formed
in shallow water so that is why there are so many of them. There also is wood fossilized and dated around 60 million years old.  And they found a lower jaw and a molar of a large extinct bear like carnivore and a partial skull of a primitive whale here.

This area is well known for its large old growth forest, it has the second
largest yew tree in B.C. There is a cedar circumference measuring 29'6" and
a Sitka spruce measuring at 25'3" in circumference. The tall totem carved by Mungo Martin and erected in Beacon Hill park came from here. Muir Creek is named for John Muir and his pioneering family that settled here in the late 1800s.  Muir's two sons were killed here at Muir Creek in a wagon accident.

Thanks so much to the meme hosts who provide entertainment for bloggers and who all have wonderful sites to visit. 
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M is also for Missing:  My Followers gadget is not displaying and I am missing seeing all your faces on it.  I think I will get it fixed.  It still works fine and I am following you all on my dashboard and reader.  I can add blogs and join blogs and blogs can join up with me.  It still works perfectly but we just can't see it!!  Please continue to follow me and please if you are new and want to join me, please join up.  I get a notice when you follow so I can follow you as well.  cheers.




Monday, April 02, 2012

Fisgard Lighthouse Light

















Lighthouse and light today.  So I picked the darkest, rainy, drizzling, cloudy day to shoot Fisgard Lighthouse.  Thus I have added in some photos from Canada day when the light was excellent.  Todays memes are Our World Tuesday, Ruby Tuesday 2, Sweet Shot Tuesday, ABC Wednesday (the letter "L" today) and Outdoor Wednesday and check out Wordless Wednesday With Words.  I am not sure which ones I will remember to put the linky in.  These are all really great memes and what would a bloggers life be without memes.

I thought you may recognize this lighthouse as it is my header and I think it is time to take you inside Fisgard lighthouse. First the issue of the light, I could have, should have increased my ISO and my exposure.  It was right at dusk and I was using a lens that needed lots of light.  Oh well.

George Davies and his wife Rosina arrived here in 1860 and were the first lighthouse keepers on this the first lighthouse on the west coast of Canada. I wonder what she thought of it. Isolated, stormy and lonely.   The lighthouse was named after the frigate HMS Fisgard.  I am not sure I have this story correct but the frigate was originally named after the French frigate Resistance which was part of the last invasion attempt of Great Britain, 1797.  The French ship was blown in off course at Fishguard trying to invade Britain but due to a large number of Welsh ladies in tall black hats and red shawls they surrendered thinking it was the British troops.  The name could be a Viking name Fiskegaard.

We walk out to the lighthouse now on a causeway but the lighthouse keepers used to row out to the island in the worst weather.  I seem to remember a story about a Christmas when the lighthouse keepers family and friends were all arriving at the lighthouse in little row boats but a storm blew up and the keeper could see his friends and family in the row boats get washed out to sea.  Can't find any verification of this one though and not enough time to search.  This is why the blog is called Island Rambles.  I ramble.  Have a wonderful week and thanks to the meme hosts who allow us to party at their blog homes while they do all the work.


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