By Tom Read
Sometimes it pays Texadans to be considered a “remote community” by the provincial and federal powers that rule us from afar. Because we are officially remote, on Friday our entire island population had the opportunity to receive not one, but two flu shots: the H1N1 vaccine, and the normal “seasonal” vaccine. I got one in each arm, and today both are still a bit sore. After hearing about the vaccine shortages in other communities I’m certainly not complaining.
It took six nurses (two from Texada; four from Powell River) about four and a half hours to vaccinate an estimated 500 people (total island population is about 1,100), who then dined on hundreds of donated home-baked cookies. This all happened at the Texada Legion, also known as Royal Canadian Legion Branch 232. The Branch hasn’t been that jammed with people and vehicles since a particular hot summer’s night dance back in 1969 — or so commented a lifelong Texada resident who may have been pulling my leg, but only a little.
Meanwhile, it’s hard not to notice that doe hunting season is upon us once again. Seems like the island has suddenly acquired an abundance of unfamiliar pick-up trucks carrying quads and towing trailers. I was out winterizing our orchard this morning and kept wondering why there was so much traffic on High Road (aka Central Road). When I happened to look up at the sound of yet another passing vehicle, a dark blue SUV with conservation officer markings drove slowly by, pausing to take a look at me before proceeding south toward the hunting grounds. ‘Tis November.
Finally, let us remember that this place, since the end of the last ice age, has evolved into a temperate rainforest. The unusually hot and dry summer months of 2009 left us with some dead fruit and nut trees and unpleasant memories of downright hot days, but we are now thankful that the typical fall rains have returned. We had more than 4-3/4 inches of rain in October! True to November, Rumbottle Creek cascades powerfully toward Raven Bay, while our pond steadily overflows once again. For the first time it has attracted a pair of Great Blue Herons; if we acknowledge such fellow predators as having a legitimate place in the world, then our attempt to create an ecologically balanced aquaculture seems to be working. Where there are fish-hunters there must be fish!
And there you have a few brief glimpses of Texada this particular November, with more than half the month yet unknown.