Bill Reid, the sculptor whose creations we've been photographing, has a major Haida Gwaii by Bill Reid work at the Airport. We stopped by to admire the most complex of the statues we've seen: Haida Gwaii, or the Jade Canoe. The canoe is filled with legendary creatures: bear, raven, eagle, mouse woman, captured human, beaver, wolf, and The Ancient Reluctant Conscript. Each of his works is impressive, with lots of humor and the broad confident shapes made by an artist sure of what he was doing.
Point Roberts is part of the State of Washington which can only be reached by land by driving through Canada. It's on a peninsula which drops below the 49th parallel boundary. There are 900 year-rounders and about 5000 summer residents. The climate is supposed to be relatively mild and dry. The border agent gave us a map of the community. We drove around and saw nothing that impressed us. There were a lot of summer homes and a good-sized marina. We couldn't figure out why someone (either Canadian or U.S. citizen) would choose Point Roberts over, say, Anacortes. A gaggle of snow geese
While we were south on the Fraser River Delta, we took a couple of interesting excursions. First, we found Deltaport, a large, modern container terminal built several miles off shore on Roberts Bank and connected to land by a truck and rail causeway. Container ships go back and forth between Vancouver and Asia, and containers are loaded or offloaded onto trucks and trains for continuing transportation. This facility was much larger and more modern than anything we saw in the downtown port facilities. The ship loading cranes were very impressive!
Next we went out to the end of Westham Island, where we found the George Reifel Wildlife Sanctuary. Actually, it's a bird sanctuary par excellence. As we approached we found thousands of snow geese who were on their way to their breeding grounds in Siberia. Then we waited patiently for a ring-necked pheasant to walk across the road. Then we got into the Sanctuary proper, where we were sure we'd run over some of the hundreds of mallards who were just Sandhill Crane posing sitting on the gravel in the parking lot, waiting for more human suckers to come and feed them! This is the busiest time of the year at the refuge, with many migratory birds in transit.
The big attraction at the refuge now is the nesting sandhill cranes; the attendant warned us to keep our distance, as they are known to become aggressive. We thought the greedy waterfowl were aggressive enough - mostly mallards, along with wood ducks, coots, shovellers, and Canada geese (and probably a few other varieties we didn't recognize) - but there were plenty of other birds too, as bird feeders were hung from every tree and bird houses built on every fence post. We especially liked the red-winged blackbirds, and the hawks high in the trees. We hope you enjoy some of our bird pictures.
As we drove back across the bridge to the mainland, we saw a trumpeter swan swimming along in the river. They had just passed through on their migration -- this one must have been a little late.