Every fall around this time of the year, the land-locked salmon enter our creeks and fight the current in search of their annual spawning grounds. They turn bright red as they complete their life cycle, spawn new life and die. This event puts eagles, ravens, and gulls on high alert because it is the time to fatten up for the long winter months. My wife and I witnessed the gulls in their feeding frenzy. Today’s post is a small visual report of the red fish’s life cycle. Enjoy.
After a hot day, it feels good to walk along the beach near the Fauquier-Needles ferry landing. By the way, the ferry ride whether by car, truck, or as a foot passenger is free as all BC inland ferries are considered part of the provincial highway system. On the south side of the terminal, you see a large log boom that contains the lumber that the logging trucks haul out of the nearby forests. When enough logs have been collected, tugboats drag them south to Castlegar to the wood processing plants. I put the photos together into a video-slideshow. Enjoy.
It didn’t take us long to overcome our initial shyness, and we started to get to know each other during recess. Towards the end of the week, Angelika asked if I would be allowed to visit her on the last day of the school week. We could walk together to her place, and her dad would drive me home at night.
My parents had no objections, and on Saturday, after early dismissal, we walked together to her home. It was a long walk to an unfamiliar part of town. There were lots of trees and beautiful yards. In Germany, most people do not own houses but live in apartments. Angelika stopped at a big cast-iron gate and opened it with a key. We walked through a long garden path to a big house with many windows. A slender young lady opened the front door. She had raven black hair and pale blue eyes. She kissed Angelika on the cheek with a gentle smile and then greeted me. I hadn’t expected Angelika’s mother to look so young. She served us some delicious little pastries in a bright sunroom. The delicate cakes looked like the ones I had longingly admired in the window of the fancy pastry shop in town. Finally, I tasted these small fruit tarts covered with strawberries and topped with whipped cream. Frau Janzen asked me many questions about my family, interests, hobbies, and school. She had a gentle voice and kind eyes. After our refreshments, she showed me all the rooms in the beautiful house, and I was reminded of our big, wonderful home in Gotha, which we had lost. Our room at the Old House where we lived now was about the size of this sunroom.
The readers who have been following me for some time will know from my posts that the Arrow Lakes are actually the mighty Columbia River that was dammed into a giant reservoir in the late 1960s. To make room for the project, many orchards and farms were destroyed. Entire forests were cut down. People lost their homes and had to move to higher grounds. Many left the area and never returned. As a result of this upheaval, tree stumps were submerged and only surface when the lake level is down in the dry summer months. I consider these leftovers as an opportunity to capture their stark beauty. Yesterday we took the canoe for a short trip north of the Needles Ferry landing where I found these beauties on the beach. My wife’s hat added that little bit of extra that the photographer in me is always in search of. Enjoy.
Frau Panknin’s Success and Biene’s New Friend Angelika
Biene wrote this post.
Often my mother was at the point of exhaustion and desperation to give up. The bureaucracy was so overwhelming that all her efforts seemed futile. But my mother’s tenacity and indefatigable spirit finally paid off after seven years. She went to the highest government department to plead for justice as a last desperate effort. Miraculously, she was received by a representative of the German Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, who had a sympathetic ear and got the “ball” rolling in no time. My father was finally entitled to a sizeable pension and a big back pay for the lost years. My mother had won the struggle for financial security at the expense of her health and vitality. The years of worries and deprivations had taken their toll. But my brother and I were too young and self-absorbed to notice. For us, she remained a pillar of strength and comfort. Her love for us was inexhaustible.
After this memory fragment of my mother, let’s return to my life. Shortly after our second year of high school had started, “Mecki,” our homeroom teacher, introduced a new student. He assigned her to sit beside me since I had lost my desk partner the previous year. She had failed the grade. I glanced furtively at my new companion, who looked straight ahead at Mecki. Angelika had a cute snub-nose and big blue eyes with long dark eyelashes. Her short hair curled softly around her round red cheeks. She had a nicely curved mouth and dimples. When she eventually dared to smile at me, she looked beautiful.