Friday, November 21, 2014

Up the Lake: A Christmas Gift from Powell River

Early Bird Christmas
Shopping Suggestion

The book that started it all! 
 Up the Lake
Coastal BC Stories

Head up Powell Lake to experience life in an off the grid float cabin, take a boat to world famous Desolation Sound, ride a quad into the back country and fly overhead for a unique view of this incredible place. Read Up the Lake by Wayne Lutz and see how much fun it can be.
Print for $9.95
Kindle for Free
E-Book for Free
(prices may vary in Canada)

Or go to for ordering information and additional titles in the Coastal BC Stories series.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Coastal BC Plants: Stonecrop

S is for Stonecrop

We have an unusual plant on our cliff, it's called Stonecrop. It's unusual because it's a succulent that you would expect to find in a drier climate, but it seems to thrive on the sunny face of our cliff. Surprisingly, in Coastal British Columbia, you can find it clinging to the ground on rocky, exposed outcrops.

I believe ours is Sedum spatulifolium. The leaves are fleshy and sage-green to reddish. In summer, they develop bright yellow flowers on tall stems. Historically, the Coastal Salish people used Stonecrop leaves as a styptic poultice.

Are you interested in plant identification? I use Plants of Coastal British Columbia by Jim Pojar and Andy MacKinnon. It's available from or I like it because it includes trees, shrubs, wildflowers, aquatics, grasses, ferns, mosses. lichens and some oddball (and very interesting) plants. In addition to the color pictures, line drawings, and identification information, the narratives include how the plants were used by First Nations people and early settlers. I highly recommend it for the casual observer as well as experienced botanists. ABC pictures from around the world, stop by the ABC Wednesday blog. This is the fifteenth round of the meme established by Denise Nesbitt and now maintained by a team including Denise, Roger, Leslie, and other hard working volunteers. -- Margy

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Down on the Bayou

When we got to our cabin this trip, we had a big surprise. Instead of the clear blue water we're used to, it was murky and green. Seeing down below a foot or two was impossible.

We've kept records about lots of things over the years: critter observations, gardening, events in nature, the weather.

Here's what we figure. October 2014 was the rainiest October in our records. After a long, dry summer, the creek beds collected a lot of silt and debris. When the first winter rains made them run, all that gunk was washed down into the lake. More than ever before.

Because Powell Lake is so large (and deep), it has taken the suspended silt particles from the major waterfalls at the head of the lake this long to reach us down at Hole in the Wall.

No matter which way you look, it's murky and green, and has remained that way for over a week. If you go north it's the same. If you go south towards the mouth, the murkiness clears up on the surface, but the lake is still has a greenish cast. I'm not sure what is causing that part of the phenomenon, maybe tree reflections, but it's pervasive from shore to shore.

Quite the mystery. If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them. This is a first for us in thirteen years. Makes me feel like I'm in the south living on a bayou.

Speaking of bayous, here's a YouTube video by Enchanted Escape with bayou images set to Creedence Clearwater Revival's iconic song, "Born on the Bayou."

Thanks for visiting part of my world this week. For more great posts from Our World Tuesday, click here. -- Margy

Sunday, November 16, 2014

NOMA LED Twinkling Spheres

Last Christmas our good friend Jeanne gave us a set of Valerie Parr Hill Glass Spheres. When I wrote about them on my Powell River Books Blog, they weren't available in Canada.

But this week Canadian Tire came out with their Christmas Catalog and I found an ad for NOMA LED Twinkling Spheres. I went to the store to check them out. They look exactly like the Valerie Parr Hill ones.   YEA! Now we have a local option to get these great decorative items.

The NOMA spheres cost $49.99 CAD and come in small, medium, and large. They can be hung or have a flat bottom for table display.

The NOMA spheres come in silver or gold. A timer controls a 6-hour on, 18-hour off cycle. They are indoor/outdoor rated, and use three C-cell batteries that last over two months.

These are great sitting on a patio table (like Jeanne uses them), or hanging in the living room (like we do). We both use ours year-round, and at the cabin, they make a nice warm glow in the evening without using any of our limited solar-powered electric supply.

Here's what ours look like in action.

If you enjoy glowing lights at night, give either the Valerie Parr Hill or NOMA version a try. This post was also shared on my new blog Margy Meanders. Come on over and take a look. -- Margy

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sunset Barge Ride

This week we went out for an afternoon of quad riding on Goat Island. On the way home, we got some nice sunset views.

We love our cabin's location, but because of the surrounding mountains and trees our sunset views are limited.

It's nice to be out on the lake for such a beautiful view.

Today is Sky Watch Friday. Go to the Sky Watch Friday website and you'll see sky photos from all over the world! -- Margy

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Coastal BC Plants: Reindeer LIchen

R is for Reindeer Lichen

Lichen is made up of a combination of organisms.  All lichens include a fungus plus an algae and/or a photosynthesizing bacteria in a symbiotic relationship. Lichens are plant like, but not technically plants. Lichens cling to plants, rocks, logs or soil, but they are not parasitic. Because of their unique nature, they create their own food from sunlight, air, water and minerals.

A common form of lichen in Coastal BC is Reindeer Lichen. There are many different varieties ranging in size and colour. The Reindeer Lichen on our granite cliff if off-white, erect and forms flowing mats, especially at this time of year.  I'm not sure which variety I have, but I think it might be Cladonia rangiferina.

When winds and rains are heavy, clumps of Reindeer Lichen break free and wind up on the stairs or water. I pick it up to use as mulch. In winter, it gives by decorative plants some protection from frost. In summer, it helps hold in moisture during dry weather. Besides it's mulching properties, it's gives the cliff lots of bright contrasting colour during the gray winter months. ABC pictures from around the world, stop by the ABC Wednesday blog. This is the fifteenth round of the meme established by Denise Nesbitt and now maintained by a team including Denise, Roger, Leslie, and other hard working volunteers. -- Margy