Access: See Getting to Boundary Bay.

The passage of the snow geese coincides with the arrival of migrating western sandpipers. During April and May each spring half a million of the Alaska-bound shorebirds pass through the Fraser delta and Boundary Bay pausing for just three days to refuel on intertidal zone invertebrates.

Breeding and rearing in the glow of the midnight sun is a brief affair with most adults returning to the Lower Mainland from June to mid-July. Juveniles are abandoned after a relatively brief period of parental care and remain behind to fatten and strengthen until late in the summer, passing through the Pacific Northwest in August and September on their way to points as far south as coastal Peru and Chile.

The End


Fireweed

Fireweed

Gashes in the forest caused by fire, blowdown or human intrusion are quickly filled in by pioneer species such as fireweed or salal. Quick growing red alder and maple soon take over, being themselves supplanted in turn by Douglas fir once soil has stabilized. Eventually shade tolerant climax species such as western red cedar and western hemlock will come to dominate. The whole process can take centuries if not millennia. Immature fireweed plants can be cooked whole like broccoli while the young leaves can be used as salad greens. Fireweed is high in both beta-carotene and vitamin C. During pre-contact times fireweed seed fluffs found utility as pillow stuffing.

Illustration by Manami Kimura