Down The Hill

1 mantasThe surgeon who replaced my knee visits the Bella Coola hospital twice a year.  It has been 13 months since my operation and I still have pain and swelling.  The surgeon said he can’t do anything more for me and made me an appointment with a man who will be visiting Bella Coola early July to have a brace fitted.  I will need the brace only for hiking in rough country.  But as I want to guide a trip to Nuk Tessli this year (and hopefully every year) I guess that is the route I will have to go.

I took my Lithuanian volunteers down The Hill with me.  At the top, there were still patches of snow.  Half way down, we hit green leaves!

2 on the hillAt the bottom, spring was in full swing.  Unfortunately, because of the cold spring, the timing was just too early for the usual forest floor flowers.  The hemlock and douglas fir had new green shoots, though.

3 fir and hemlockThe false lily of the valley has beautiful leaves.

4 false lily of the valleyWe had lunch at the very end of the road, 2 miles past the wharf.  A tugboat was hauling booms of logs from a nearby (very noisy) sort yard.

5 tugboatWe then visited Walker Island, a park I have never been in before: I had thought it was merely a sports playground, but I was very wrong. At the end of the road we found a boardwalk.  Skunk cabbage has matured, but its skunky scent still puffs around on occasion.

6 BoardwalkIMG_7379It was hot and we found a glorious swimming hole.  (The water was icy!)

8 swimming holeIMG_7376

 

7 creek IMG_7373Further downstream we walked through a mature cedar forest in almost complete shade.  There are many culturally modified trees in that area.  First Nations People would chop the bottom of the bark, peel it off, and make fibre from the inner bark for both twine and clothing.

9. Culturally modified trees.IMG_7390On one rotten snag we found a pile of fungi.

10. FungusA bunch of beetles were chomping on it in fine style.

11. BeetleOn the way back home, temperatures reached +27 C.  At the top of The Hill, however, it cooled rapidly to +12C. and bad weather hung over the Chilcotin.  (This burn happened three years ago.)

9. Top of HillThis pond was dramatically lit.

10. High PondSoon we ran into rain!  And while we had been gone for 2 days, the leaves had opened.

11. Rain

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