Adam’s River Salmon Run 2018

I headed out on the ninth of October on a bad-weather day, first to meet up with friends and next, to drive early-morning to the Adam’s River, north west of Sorrento in British Columbia.  Days have passed and I’ve been unable to sit down in order to write a post.  I’ve asked myself, ‘Why the hesitation?’  To some degree, I feel like my words can never contain the powerful meaning this experience had for me.  While the numbers of returning Sockeye did not match predictions at the time, given that 2018 is a ‘bumper’ year, it didn’t matter to me.  I have spent half of my lifetime wanting to be a witness to this journey and with all that is impacting various species globally in the present, I jumped at the chance to go.

I wish to contain the archive of this experience on my blog.  However, I will note right from the beginning, that there are no words for the experience of standing on rounded river stones and looking out to see the brilliant red backbones of so many fish, struggling against current, with an instinct that insists somehow that they must go home.

To begin…a short video.

On the evening before my firstborn’s wedding day, family members gathered in my studio…not all at once, but a few at a time.  My brother Cliff owns and operates a salmon charter business out of Comox, British Columbia.  His company is called Cliff’s Chinook Charters.  More than anyone, he has taught me about salmon populations and what variables contribute to a healthy population.

My brother wrote a piece that he called, The Salmon’s Plight onto my studio wall.  These words have been embedded in a few different paintings over the years since and every time I read them, I cry a little…for the memory of the salmon and for the memory of my brother.  Given our family’s military history, we live in every part of our great nation.  I miss my brother very much.


I was blessed to ride along with Cliff and catch a couple of fish with him, my father and my daughter.  It goes down as one of the most beautiful times of my life.




Bad road conditions took us all the way to Lake Louise and then it seemed that the skies opened up and the mountains became crisp against a light grey sky.  Gratefully, Pat shared oatmeal cookies that were so buttery that they melted in my mouth. After a stop in Golden to enjoy our packed lunch of turkey sandwiches and garden carrots, we were off, on the last leg of the journey.

We headed immediately for the Adam’s River Salmon run.

Adam's River

At this point, I’ve decided to post some photographs…if I write anything at all, it will be heartfelt.  Years ago, having completed a 30 day Outward Bound course, I accepted myself as the artist in the group…that person who was taking in the sensory experiences, but not necessarily bound to the physical achievements and the orienteering.  My head was in the clouds.  Consistent to that, I was completely plugged in to this earthy, fishy, visual encounter with these amazing salmon during their upward surge.

I highly recommend CLICKING on some of the images of the salmon…they are just so absolutely beautiful…powerful…mesmerizing.




Pacific Salmon

We stayed that night in a local Bed and Breakfast in Chase.  I highly recommend the Sunny Shuswap B & B.  This was breakfast!


We checked out and headed right back to the Adam’s River.





Poems to follow…I need to head out with Max.  I am blessed for having had the opportunity to see the salmon run 2018. Grateful.



The Spawning Grounds by Gail Anderson-Dargatz

I’ve written about Gail’s books before, but completed The Spawning Grounds in October, so I thought I’d leave a small footprint in the passage that is my life about this one.  In her promotional video, Gail uses the perfect word to describe this story…well, at least it comes up.  The word is ‘numinous’…not a word I’ve encountered before, but I love it.

  1. having a strong religious or spiritual quality; indicating or suggesting the presence of a divinity.
    “the strange, numinous beauty of this ancient landmark”
    synonyms: spiritual, religious, divine, holy, sacred;

    The Spawning Grounds gives the reader opportunity to consider characters, conflict in relationships and an awe-inspiring setting, but the thing that will either make or break this book, for the reader, is this ‘numinous’-thing that Gail, herself, has described as being ‘magic realism’.

    The book confronts the stories of people on two sides of a river, separated by a bridge.  In itself,  this initial setting establishes a huge metaphor for readers, especially given the present-day events of Standing Rock and the struggles for the Sioux and Lakhota peoples.

    While the element of magic has been present in other books that I have read by Gail, this one takes the cake for the consistent and fluid relationship between humanity and its spirituality. (Science Fiction? No!  Magic…or as we religious folk call it, Belief.) There is conflict as a result, and the reader questions his/her own ability to distinguish between what is real and not.  Some readers will cluck their tongues on this one.  However, I was able to move beyond rational explanations like ‘mental illness’ and ‘trauma’ and flowed easily into more remarkable mythologies that explained the sequence of events that erupted throughout the book.

    This won’t make any sense to my readers, right now.  In looking over that last paragraph, I take pause.  “Hmmm”…I’d say, “give it a chance”.

    For me, the novel was lyrical.  The images that were created were both horrifying and wondrous.  I loved this book.


Big Fish Landing in my Bucket List

Big Fish

Poser…42 Market Street, North Bay, Ontario with his 14 pound lake trout!

I’ve always wanted to fish with my Dad.  I remember going out a few times with him and my brothers, trying to bait a hook…that sort of thing, but no HUGE memory of a fishing experience.  Fishing with Cliff, Dad and Cayley in August exceeded all of my dreams.  A beautiful August day and we headed out to Kitty Coleman.

P1180502I highly recommend Cliff’s Chinook Charters for an experience that you will not soon forget.  Bring people you love…it is an awesome experience to share with one another!  And women…make it a ladie’s event.  You can do this thing!


A perfect day!


If you have time, watch this wee video diddy…it was a super nightmare to try to upload.  And yes, I agree…I’d like music on the final bits from the word ‘blessing’ as well…but heck if I could figure out how to do that!  And don’t under ANY circumstances, point out the bracket following the word magic on the final slide!!