IT’S OVER!

All over but the chewing
Jacks stocking is empty now
Most of the gift treats are chewed up or safely hidden for future emergencies

Happy New Year folks!
Dad has just posted his latest video on Youtube. It’s all about me! I’m incredible! Here’s the link below:

(Click and drag red play line to the left to see video from the beginning)

Christmas is past. The birds and squirrels are back in the trees. Isn’t it a miracle how these tiny creatures survive an extreme wind? The devastation on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands has been massive. Thousand of trees have blown down onto houses and power lines. Power poles, in many places, were broken like match sticks. The overhead wires have been snapped like string and macramaed together with tangles of tree limbs. Roofs have been stripped bare all over the south coast. I am amazed to repeatedly see incredible carnage in a specific area and yet a few hundred meters away, things appear almost unscathed. Water supplies, fuel supplies and groceries have all become commodities that have moved from a taken-for-granted status to desperate scarcity. Portable generators are unavailable at any price. The snarl of power saws and brush chippers can be heard in all directions near and far. Some folks, nine days later, are still without electricity. The line trucks and crews are still out there, wearily restoring power. Fortunately, so far as I know, there was only one fatality attributable to the blast.

The Second Wave
Sunday Dec.23rd. another ferry-load of men and equipment head for Gabriola Island to help restore electricity. It was a stupendous effort and the crew’s tenacity and determination was amazing. They gave up their Christmas to put things right.

Selective Carnage
It appears that vicious swirling winds, much like small tornados, struck randomly. It is natures way of pruning and thinning for reasons we don’t always understand.

Yet it stands. I could hear Hendrix singing ‘The Watch Tower’ This old silo should have been toppled but it survived unscathed by the wind.

Our population, with its modern urban sensibilities and softness, is unable to cope with a relatively minor disaster and the basic realities of survival. We’ve all had a wake up call. We need to be reminded about what frail creatures we are and how we become seduced into total dependency and subsequent vulnerability. These few hours of wind on December 20th do not begin to compare to a full-blown hurricane, earthquake or tsunami. It is very sobering. Even an old bush rat like myself realizes how spoiled and dependant I am on an infrastructure that is delicate at the best of times. I have good backwoods survival skills yet here, softness creeps in. Vancouver Island has 3 days of supplies ahead at the best of times. Most of us cannot even cover that gap. Some folks have had a very lean and cold Christmas. Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the planet, Indonesia reels from another massively deadly tsunami. We can can our blessings indeed.

Within a stand of supportive surrounding trees this beautiful arbutus was torn off its base and shattered with bits laying in all directions. Think of the energy required to this.

Ironically, less than 50 metres from the open, crumbling shoreline this ancient, brittle arbutus survived the wind nearly unscathed.

Safe haven.
This niche in the base of a maple, complete with a tiny toadstool, could well have sheltered a little bird during the storm.

Thank goodness there are no trains for the time being. This blowdown is only 30 meters from the niche in the maple.

The old priest was in his bathroom at his morning ablutions and devotions. He prayed for a sign from his heavenly father. There was a huge noise as the roof disappeared. There he sat on the loo with a tree in his lap. “Well holy shit!,” he muttered.                This downed timber was bucked off just enough to open the road and there it will remain until  all local infrastructure is functional.

The pet’s memorial Christmas tree. Each year, in the woods beside a well-travelled path, this tree is decorated and then hung with photos of pets passed on that once roamed here. It’s very touching.

Time is ticking through the last hours of 2018. It’s over. For me it has not been a memorable year. I have achieved little other than staying alive, which is always a good thing. My life seems to have been what I did to pass the time between medical appointments and that I resolve to change. Yes, there are some things to look forward coming along very soon. I thank all those who love me and support me. You know who you are. It is remarkable how some friends and family continue to believe in you when you have lost all faith in yourself. That, in itself, is a blessing beyond any other wealth. I am grateful beyond words. So I will say it simply. Thank you. You’ve made a difference.

Rigged. All set up and ready to record interesting images.

May everyone have a grand and wonder-filled year ahead.

Happy New Year from Happy Harry Heiltsuk Now get that whalebone off my back!     That is a vertebra from a Fin whale.

My pain may be the reason for somebody’s laughter. But my laughter must never be the reason for somebody’s pain.” …..Charlie Chaplin

9 responses to “IT’S OVER!

  1. Very interesting post – amazing the devastation there. That big silo makes it, big trees are felled. Jack’s stocking is cute, as is Jack. The pet memorial remembrance tree touches my heart – I’ve never seen anything like that before. Happy New Year to you and Jack.

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  2. Likewise Linda! Wow! You’re on the bit, I only posted this a few minutes ago.

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  3. Great one Fred. I hope ‘19 goes really well for you George

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  4. A wonderful year ahead for you too.

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  5. …And the same to you Tony. Fairwinds, dry bilges, warm water, cold beer.

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  6. Love the video of Jack! Especially the part with him riding in your car – great choice of music to go with this, creates the perfect mood and sense of fun-loving character.

    Thanks for posting the images of the devastation. I hadn’t seen any photos of it yet, just the real thing here on Gab. Silva Bay was OK, but Degnen Bay got hit hard from the SW, a couple of boats washed up on the beach and a big swath of tall firs knocked down, creating a new water view from South Road that wasn’t there before. South Road looked like several bombs had hit it. North Rd. had lots of trees down too, at least on the south end. Our power was out 6.5 days. Our new generator system, powering all our essentials, had the final installation touches completed and its first-ever startup exactly one hour after the power went out. Whew! We’re grateful to the Hydro crews, and also to the wonderful electrician and gas-fitter who were working to get us online on that very windy morning. They saved our bacon! Well, veggie bacon I mean. 🙂
    Happy new year!

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  7. Laurie:
    I’ve been over on Gabe quite a bit during the past ten days helping folks with their generators. I’ve seen the devastation first hand…just got back from Degnen Bay a few minutes. I agree about the hydro crews, they were the heroes of the year indeed!. Some folks are still without power but all will be well that ends. Now, everyone is ready for the next natural disaster!

    Happy New Year to you both.
    Fred

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  8. Thanks for the great post Fred. Glad to hear you and Jack are looking forward to the New Year. Funny that I was just talking to a friend in Victoria and he did not mention anything about the storm. -20 here in east Idaho this morning. Hope the New Year is good to you and yours.

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