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


Cattails

Cattails

A veritable supermarket on a stick, cattails were once a source of sustenance as well as comfort to Pacific Northwest natives. Young shoots can be eaten as greens in the spring while young flower spikes can be roasted and eaten like cobs of corn. Young roots or rhizomes (underground stems) can be peeled and eaten as is—sashimi-style, hold the wasabi—or dried and pulverized into flour. Early settlers too discovered that cattail pollen could be harvested and added to bread or pancakes. Cattail down or fluff was collected in autumn for use as a wound dressing or for stuffing pillows and bedding. Cattail leaves found use in native basketry.

Illustration by Manami Kimura