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Cheers and thanks for your interest. Hayley

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Caretakers Tale (Knight Inlet update)

As the air warms and sweetens the forest birds seem more vocal and squirrels appear to have time to play, is spring really on its way? The lingering snow has finally begun to melt revealing past summer treasures. Salmon bones, as though rising from the earth appear on numerous bear trails we walk by the river side. Bear scat, crimson like berry pies emerge from their frozen coffins brightening up the white drenched logging roads. Huckleberry buds are eagerly sprouting on new birthed lime-green stems and the salmon fry are departing the rivers in crowds, heading for the first time to salt water. It is a new beginning for nature’s heroes, as they awaken from a lazy sleep and are immediately faced with the gauntlet of trials and tribulations from the very essence of our natural world that separates the weak from the strong. It is the season of new beginnings, fresh starts and brighter horizons. It is the time of year that change is welcomed and challenges await us as the spring draws closer to the season of sun. The well earned bright light in the sky that warms our skin and gives us nutrients we are deprived of during the long winter nights. Gardens are being tended, buildings are being maintained and our bodies are receiving a little more attention. Holiday plans and weekend adventures are enthusiastically scribed on the calendar and schools are gearing up for sports days and spring themes. For me here on a float (or two) at Knight Inlet Lodge, I am surrounded by nature at its most potent. When it rains for a single day, the river floods and our fish catching equipment ceases to function. The logging roads turn into a giant mud puddle where even our 4 by 4 is unable to navigate. The lean limbs of vulnerable Alder give way to the pressures of snow and ice and they too break down by nature’s forces. Here in the Inlet, waterfalls release the ancient ice from glaciers that stand like guardians above the steep granite cliffs and fill the salted fjord with pure, fresh water. I have been here for 3 weeks and already I have witnessed nature’s precious gifts which one can only receive if they bury themselves in a wilderness place for a lengthy period of time. Deer have crossed my path in the thicket of this rainforest and river otters have feasted at my feet on juvenile Coho. Bald Eagles have stood their ground, refusing to flee from their novel catch of a Herring Gull. I delight in the company of 2 dogs whom are in my care, a novelty for a transient ocean dweller like myself. While I remain distant from civilization and during this time where I am so fortunately embraced by natures generous arms, I can not help but reflect on a journey just past and one that lies ahead. My mind is often shadowed by my plans for South Georgia and although I work away at it each day, trimming the edges of my plans in progress, my heart beats at a different rhythm. Life offers lessons that can only strengthen and enhance our brief existence on this earth if we take the time to understand how they have shaped us. And from a place where fear is felt far less than love we are left with the simple joys of what truly matters the most; the freedom to share the wonders of our world with those whom we treasure. The gift of family and friends who love us, just the way we are.

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