Running The Trail Wildlife

Sunshine, Yes

I recently learned from my specialist, who is trying to figure out my foot, that I have a vitamin D deficiency. This is not uncommon for those living in Vancouver. And while I don’t feel the need to complain about much, the constant rain does leave a lot of us longing for that glorious sunshine. A recent climate study shows that someday Vancouver might be more like San Diego, but at a huge cost. Give me Vancouver instead. The amounts of rain we get every year, and amount of snowfall in the mountains, are absolutely necessary for the temperate rainforest canopy and all its wildlife within. To shift climates will mean warming waters and more chances of droughts and wildfires, and, generally, more death with our native species that won’t be able to adapt. So I’ll take the omnipresent gray-green, the wet droplets on everything, the fog, the vague shapes of conifers in the mist.

What saves me, a sun-loving girl who feels at home with hot beaches and deserts, is that despite all the rain we do have a number of days each year that bring us a lot of sunshine. Our summers are becoming hotter, and our recent summers full of sunshine–but also drought and wildfires. During the winter, even, we see some beautiful days where the sun comes out to say hello between otherwise bouts of rain. The night of the super blood wolf moon emerged as a rare and clear night. We took our camera with a zoom lens out to the balcony:

Super blood wolf moon

And the last couple days have been very cold and clear. Today the sunshine is so wonderful, the way it outlines the snow-covered coastal mountains up north and bigger mountains in Washington State, that I have a hard time sitting inside and I keep going on walks. The other day there was an article about daffodils already blooming in Vancouver, and I keep forgetting to check the buds on my backyard cherry tree, but I’ve seen other buds on trees already. We haven’t had snow this winter, though there is a slight chance on Monday followed by melt if so. The longer days–it’s no longer dark when we leave in the morning or when we get home–the magnificent sunsets and sunrises: these things remind me daily of the simple but great things we cannot take for granted.

Oh, I have some good news. Over the weekend we finally bought an electric car (Nissan Leaf) and scrapped our old car in for a rebate. I like not having to contribute anymore to emissions. It’s just part of making changes to our lifestyle that aren’t as hurtful to the environment (eating foods with high-plant fiber, keeping heat down low, etc.) We still do take the train, walk, and will get back to biking with warmer weather. But, for us, this car is an upgrade. It is pure electric, so if we go very far, we need to charge it up after 135 kilometers, but it’s newer and more reliable than the old one.

Planning our daily life now revolves around: how far can we go? Because of the cost of the car, we decided to go forego big vacations this year but take smaller, local ones. Yesterday I was so motivated by sunshine and warmth that I made our first tent camping reservations in late May, at Golden Ears Provincial Park, which is almost in driving range. We’ll see. We found some charging stations in a nearby town, just in case. Golden Ears sounds like a beautiful place with kayaking, canoeing, and hiking in the wild mountains of lower mainland BC, and I cannot wait. We’re going with some friends and I’m hoping that my mom-in-law can also go because she’s just so much fun to be around.

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