Listening to winter in a land of extremes

This summer I was worried about drought. About the ability of the greatly diminished Cowichan River to support the fall Chinook salmon run. These worries seem silly now that the winter rains have arrived, with a record 27 days of rain in October. A sodden procession of greyness and damp. This is the land of…

Western Water & Forests: Spring 2016 Outlook

Last month, Dezene Huber, a professor at the University of Northern British Columbia, tweeted this photo of BC’s mighty Fraser River in Prince George. Doesn’t look so mighty, does it? Yes, that’s the gravel bed showing through, and there’s very little water – frozen or not. Fast forward a month, and Stephen Déry – also…

Wishing for Snow

I’ve just returned from another soggy dog walk. My rain pants and jacket are dripping on the floor, and the baseball cap I wear to keep the rain off my glasses is sopping. Not to mention the dog who – despite shaking herself off regularly along our 45 minute route – is soaked to the…

Becoming a Western writer

When I first read Wallace Stegner’s Wolf Willow, it stuck. Not just for days, but even years later I can recall the story in the middle of the great blizzard of 1906. Stegner layered history, memory, and landscape into a compelling narrative, and the deft shifts in writing style from nonfiction to creative nonfiction to…

wildfire area burned

Water woes in water-rich Canada

Yesterday I had an editorial post up at Science Borealis, Canada’s science blog aggregator. It was one of those posts that you write at the last minute because you’ve missed the reminder from your online calendar, and you realize you have a responsibility – as the Editorial Manager – to set a good example and…