A Saturday walk at the river (South arm of the Fraser, at Steveston)

May 4, 2013

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What a difference a couple of weeks have made at the river! The last time I was here the water was blue-black and solemn and dreary, and the grasses were just brown lumpy islands with water rivulets sparkling around them.

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Now look! The warmer temps have caused a melt and the rich sedimentary water has turned the river a slight violet shade. The grasses have greened and grown to hide periscoping Canada geese.

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Today was somewhat windy, but warm and bright, and the wind played on the water with those little gusts which you could watch sparkling along. You know the ones? The ones which look like a shoal of thousands of little silvery minnows?

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It feels so good to be at the river, to see the broom blooming, welcoming birds and bees, to see the gulls banking in the wind and moving from place to place just by spreading their wings and catching the breeze.
It felt good to look across to the eagles nest on the island and realise that an eagle just lifted from there.

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The only thing which spoiled this lovely, lovely day, was the startling discovery of twelve fresh shark fins for sale on one of the fishing boats at the fishermanโ€™s dock and several vocal Chinese women fighting over them. Twelve harmless creatures, caught, mutilated and thrown back to die slowly of their injury, for prestigious soup, for showing off wealth, for pride…for nothing. Banned in Vancouver, but not here in the city of Richmond. But still, there is an election coming very soon and banning shark fin soup is a political platform.

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So we will try to put that in the back of our mind and sit here in the shady corner with the river behind us and concentrate on how good it feels to be here.

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It all started with white bluebells
Early lunch and a hike

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  • Reply Kalyan May 4, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Simply beautiful colours…lovely!

    • Reply Veronica May 5, 2013 at 7:27 am

      Thank you Kalyan. It’s great that you left your addy for me because now I can come and visit you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Diane May 5, 2013 at 3:22 am

    Just the thought of eating shark fin soup (ick) and of what it entailed to get that fin turns my stomach. Some cultures do the dumbest things… ours included at times.

    • Reply Veronica May 5, 2013 at 7:39 am

      It’s just horrible Diane. The thing is, it’s just straggly goo with absolutely no flavour. It’s beef or chicken stock that gives that horrible soup the flavour. I akin it to killing a gorilla for the paws to make ashtrays or killing a rhino for the horn to powder and sell as a male enhancer. I know it’s traditionally culturally important to show wealth and status, but there are so many other options to the shark fin which don’t involve the mutilation and brutal death of a vital animal. I know there were only 12 fins but last year 76 million sharks were killed for this soup. It just disgusts me, and Chloe, who’s very passionate about the ban, was practically in tears. Ok, getting off my soap box before I get a sliver.

  • Reply Sara v May 6, 2013 at 3:23 am

    Veronica, wait! Is there room on that soapbox for me?;-). Sometimes it’s worth a splinter or two…so many holdovers whaling, shark fin soup, rhino horn, elephant tusk, veal (what has 4 legs and can’t move?). Okay, I’m done–love the water sparkling like a shoal of minnows ๐Ÿ™‚ and the Broom-yellow flowers always make me smile

    • Reply Veronica May 6, 2013 at 4:20 am

      Oh good lord Sara, tons of room. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Kristen Zayon May 6, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Love the picture of the gulls. Our gulls are seasonal, so when they arrive up the rivers in the spring it’s quite an event, at least for me, because I love them. Just saw my first ones last week – naturally, I heard them before I saw them!

    • Reply Veronica May 6, 2013 at 10:11 am

      Lol Kristen, they do make a show of it, don’t they? ๐Ÿ™‚

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