Posted by: Kiersten | November 25, 2009

Rain or Shine

The locals have been telling us that the past few weeks have been the worst weather in recent memory, that there weren’t as many hail storms and consecutive days of unending rain last year.  This is good news for us, as the weather hasn’t really slowed us down, and it doesn’t really seem that bad… yet.

I suspect the effect of mostly rainy weather over many months is what really takes the toll.  We were advised that we should be stocking up on vitamin D and calcium-magnesium supplements, which is what the doctor orders to get the Vancouver Island folks through the dark rainy season.  It turns out the everyone knew this but us, and the supplements are backordered all over the Island.  I’m hoping that my parents back in Ontario will be able to root up some sunshine supplements.  Ontario may have crappier winters, but they do get a lot more sunshine this time of year.

When I was in Toronto, one of the biggest fallbacks of my nine-to-five job was having to watch sunny day after sunny day pass by outside my window.  During the shorter days of winter solstice, I had to be on the subway just as the sun was rising, and I’d return home after dark.  It could have been a glorious day outside, but I’d have to miss it.  I could usually get outside for a short walk at lunch, but I would have preferred to meander around for a couple of hours, watching the birds and exploring the trails.  We might not get much sunshine in Ukee this time of year, but at least I can get outside to appreciate it when the sun does appear.

The local wildlife makes the most of the fleeting gentle weather too, which is why I’ve started carrying my camera everywhere I go.  I’ve started a new page called the “Daily Deer” devoted exclusively to wildlife pictures.  It’ll be updated regularly, so if you’re a fan of pictures, check it often.  I would also be grateful if the few dozen or so readers who keep coming back (bless you!) would help me to identify some of these birds I can’t seem to place:

Some sort of loon – I don’t think it’s the common loon, maybe the pacific loon?  I see him almost every day, hanging out at Little Beach.

 Black and white ducks.  We saw these critters at the Scarborough Bluffs back in Ontario, so they must be pretty common.  Any ideas as to what they are?

 Some sort of white dove.  They sound a bit like mourning doves, but they’re twice the size and a greyish white.

Another giant tree washed up on little beach. 

 Bonus crawling around inside the log:


 The burling of the wood mimics the water:


I hope someone comes by and salvages this piece.  It would make a gorgeous… something.  Kat & I won’t be able to start salvaging beach wood until we have a car – waterlogged driftwood is HEAVY!  Much too heavy to carry home.

Here’s Mocha enjoying the Pacific surf:

While I was taking pictures of the black and white ducks that were diving close to the shore, I dropped the dog leashes on the beach with the intention of picking them back up, but Mocha, the little brat, stole both of them while I was distracted and carried them off into the seaweed.  Notice how much the piles and piles of bull kelp on the beach looks like leather dog leashes? 

Needle in a haystack.  After searching for a half an hour I was contemplating using my belt as a leash to get the dogs home, when Mocha gleefully located the leashes in the seaweed and raced across the beach with them.  She pranced teasingly just out of reach for five minutes before allowing me to have them back, but at least we got them back – salty, but intact.  I suspect it was all a dog plot to extend the beach walk.

We’ve had some good correspondence with Cheryl, our contact at the Women’s Entrepreneurial Centre.  I just sent her a revised version of the financial projections yesterday, and we have some more changes to add today.  It’s amazing how a business plan evolves, the further you dig down into the details.  Cheryl also sent us some information on negotiating commercial leases which was very helpful.

We made some contacts with a couple of possible commercial spaces for rent – it’s all word-of-mouth here.  One fellow has a possible commercial space with an apartment over top, and another space is near the church in a building that needs work, but is more likely to be cool with us installing a chimney.  We also heard the owner of Ukee Dogs (indoor hot dog stand with awesome food) has a few apartment rental units, so we’re planning on asking him to keep us in mind if a unit becomes available in the March – May period.  Our current apartment will return to it’s B & B status in June, so we’ll need someplace to go before then.

Donna of Cynamoka had great news for our knitting club:  her brother just bought four alpacas!  Alpacas look like this:

They have the softest, warmest fleece ever; it’s my very favourite yarn fiber – and soon I will be spinning it!  Woo hoo!  My inner homesteader looks forward to the day when I can have my own small herd. 

Meanwhile, life on the island is one step closer.



  1. You have probably figured this out by now, but the cute little black and white ducks are called Buffleheads. The males have more white than the females.

  2. yes! the ones in this pic must be buffleheads. I’ve also seen Tufted ducks, which are similar

    and the ringneck duck.

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