nature (182)

Remote Living on High Altitude Lake on Xeni Gwet’in Land in Canada

Today I got an email from Jakub Amler in British Columbia, describing a 75-year-old man named Chendi, who has been living on the shores of the high altitude (4200 feet) 50-mile-long glacier-fed Chilco Lake in west central British Columbia for over 50 years. This is on the land of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nations tribe. From Jakub (edited):

“It’s hard to believe he has been here for such long period of time since he hasn’t cut down a single tree — for firewood or structures. He collects all his wood, mostly with his rowboat on the wild and windy Chilco lake.

It is totally off grid, no road access. His “truck” is a rowboat which he uses to carry all the logs from the lake. He doesn’t use any power tools (lover of japanese tools, of course), the craftsmanship is unique, his buildings are charming like most of the buildings in your publications.”

Chendi allows people to come stay there (one month minimum), and says:

“Volunteers sleep in simple and old log cabins, carry water, use an outhouse and rustic bath or sweat house. This is a very difficult and isolated lifestyle, requiring volunteers to be physically fit. You cannot function here if you are not up for the challenge. The wind is quite intense for much of the year. It is also as majestic a place as you ever will see.

Kayaks are available with access to pristine wilderness, hiking, rowboat, fishing from a kayak, gathering wild roots and hunting or snaring.

I also only want people who are serious about going forward from this experience to lead a different life. This is not just a place to have an adventure, but a place to learn a meditative lifestyle (yoga). I want people to come here with intention and mindfulness.”

www.workaway.info/en/host/438711758842

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The Reintroduction Odyssey of the Yurok Condors

A large soaring adult California condor / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The entire population of California condors was down to 22 in 1982, and none of them flew free in the wild. Since then, though, the California Condor Recovery Program (CCRP), overseen by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), has led the repopulation of condors through the successful collaboration among dozens of organizations, including zoos, NGOs, international partners, and local, state, and federal agencies. The condor population has gradually grown to 537, as of the last official count in December 2021. Of them, 334 are free-flying.

As the population expands, the biologists add new release sites, and slowly the giant birds have expanded from Southern California to Central California, Arizona, and Baja California. The historical condor range had stretched as far north as British Columbia, and once included the Klamath Basin and all the ancestral and modern-day lands of the Yurok. In 2003, tribal elders leading an effort to identify cultural and natural resource restoration needs determined that the condor was the most important land-based animal to return to Yurok lands.…

www.baynature.org/2022/06/09/the-reintroduction-odyssey-of-the-yurok-condors

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Sailboat and Humpback Whale in British Columbia

From David Shipway, a builder on Cortez Island, BC, Canada, regarding his catboat; his home and workshop are featured in Builders of the Pacific Coast.

It’s a fiberglass hull, modeled on a William Garden design, that has made my last 10 summers the best in my life! But as I was warned, it has definitely taken my time and attention away from maintaining some buildings here during the summer when it’s dry. I have quite a bit of roofing to do — in my 70’s now, but I’ll find some young bucks to help me.

The Humpback whale in the background of that photo is feeding on small fish that live under the aquaculture floats. These are passive shellfish enterprises, that unlike the salmon farms nearby, do not cause problems, and in fact are like floating artificial reefs, which increase the structural habitat biodiversity of this archipelago significantly, for birds, salmon and whales. Note the Bald Eagle, a white speck high above in the trees.

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Birds at Jenner, Highway One, Northern California

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Jenner last month, on my way up the coast to Louie’s. Thousands of gulls. They weren’t feeding, maybe in for the coming storm?

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Bees Gathering Pollen From Opium Poppies

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Two videos of bees gathering pollen from opium poppy + photo of pollen “saddlebag” on bee’s leg in upper right; bees gather pollen and nectar in pellets on their legs for transport back to hives.

I had five bee colonies in ’70s, ’80s, and they are utterly fascinating; the species has been around for 25 million years.
Don’t get me started talking about the brilliance of their societies!

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