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Bob's Blog

Trees Category

Pink Streets

bc-cherry-nixon-100425.jpgA few decades ago, in a moment of madness, I agreed to go winter camping in northern Saskatchewan.  We slept in snow huts in minus 45 degree temperatures and huddled around the fire for days.  It was the most miserable time of my life and yet I look back on it fondly principally because I felt so wonderful when it was over.  The lesson was clear.  The longer one endures privation the more one enjoys its end. 

Maybe that's why when I came across streets absolutely cover in pink petals, the joy I felt was transcendant.  It was not just that the sight signalled a spiritual end to the cold and rain of the Vancouver winter.  It went right back to every every winter I have ever endured.  In that respect, my Winnipeg youth continues to pay big dividends as this sight was pleasure indeed.  Petal Power icon_video.gif

Family Willow

bc-tribute-nixon-100411.jpgIt's been windy lately.  I was woken twice in the past few weeks by that ominous sound of branches wildly brushing against my windows and debris flying down the street.  My wind chimes played a crazy tune.  All the while I worried about the old cherry tree in my backyard, wondering if this would be the storm that ended eighty years of magnificence.  The tree was spared.  So was I, because no one wants to deal with something you love falling to the ground. 

Not everyone was as lucky as I was, and I came across one fellow in East Vancouver slowly cutting away the branches from his unfortunate willow.  He told me about this tree, and why it meant so much to him and his family.  It is quite a story.  Favourite Tree icon_video.gif

Zipline Test Pilot

bc-zip-line-nixon-100126.jpgZiplines have been strung out all through old growth forests over the past decade, delighting and occasionally terrifying eco-warriors who get a thrill as they zing through the woods.  So it makes sense that a province that wants to showcase its assets would come up with a way to bring this tourist attraction to the thousands of visitors expected to swarm Vancouver during the Olympics.  Sure enough, a zipline has been constructed right in the heart of the city and no doubt this will be a popular attraction.  But as the crew stringing the 164 metre (not 52 metres as I said in the story - a mathematical miscalculation for which I offer profuse appologies) line finished the job, I began to wonder who would be its very first rider? Zipline Right Stuff icon_video.gif

It's Blooming January

bc-blossoms-nixon-net.jpgIt's happened before because this is the west coast, but some plants are once again fooled by a January mild spell.  Of course, when the temperatures rise well above zero and the sun comes out, we can be excused for being fooled ourselves.  But surely, after a few hundred million years of evolution, a cherry tree would know that a couple of nice days does not mean it should pretend that spring has sprung, that winter - or what little we have had this year - is over and it's time to turn a lovely shade of pink.  But who knows the mind of a tree?  Cherry Blossoms icon_video.gif

Fig Picking

You may have noticed fig trees in Vancouver.  Not too many though, I suspect because we live in what gardeners call a hardy growing zone and getting a good crop of figs is never a sure thing.  But this year's fig crop appears to be pretty good, and the picking has begun.  I joined a special group of fig harvesters, who share their bounty with others.  Tree Fruit Project  icon_video.gif 

The Tree that Won't Die

It has been knocked down, bucked up, made into a giant woody skeleton.  But is a big catalpa tree in Stanley Park still alive?