There was a great big landslide during the last few days of November, 2020, in a not-so-far-away neighbourhood near us. A chunk of Bute Inlet was washed into the sea by a wall of water that started as a naturally dammed glacial lake that blew it’s banks and spilled over to join a storm-swollen river. That engorged ‘new’ river raced down hill and took half a mountain with it. A pretty massive amount of devastation resulted almost instantly.
But it is a bad landslide that does not sweep somebody some good even if the overall effect was pretty damn bad. The forest there was erased. The salmon habitat suffered. The normal delta area there was suffocated under the slide. A cottage or two was swept away and the sea was virtually unnavigable for miles around because of the ‘debris’.
But the debris was not just mud and smashed trees. It included hundreds of good, healthy, assorted-sized trees as well. Put another way, next winter’s firewood was then just floating around for the picking. And so some of us went a’picking.
Well, to be more honest, we just sat at home and watched in amazement as the natural bounty was swept hither and yon all through the region and we are right in the middle of yon. There were trees everywhere!
I have suggested in prior blogs that my wife is a bit of a nut but nothing illustrates her quirks quite so much as when she comes across bounty. She can get ‘hooked’. I once had to physically pick her up and carry her to the vehicle begging for more ‘sifting’ time when we had stopped to try washing sugar garnets from a roadside tourist trap. The kids and I had enjoyed the process for 20 minutes or so but an hour later, Sal was still saying, “Just one more bucket of sand, just one more!”
She is much the same way with Roger’s chocolates and, surprisingly, she is also a driven and obsessed log-aholic. She kept shrieking, “Oooh, look at that log! Another good one. C’mon, let’s go!”
“Sweetheart, we already have a lagoon full of logs. We have half the hill strewn with logs. And we have a bunch tied up and floating near the dock. We have no more room, no more rope, no more log dogs and, quite frankly, I think we are starting the 2023 winter wood pile already! We do not need anymore logs.”
“I know. I know. But, it’s like free money in the bank (she tends to garble her metaphors a smidge) and they are just sitting there! I need to get some. I need ’em. C’mon! Just one more…..maybe two. And yellow cedar doesn’t count!” Translation: by exempting yellow cedar, she was basically saying, ‘Let’s get a couple fir or Hemlock and then hunt all day long for yellow cedar ’cause they don’t count.’
Suffice it to say, we got in some wood this winter.