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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Troubling day...

Last evening we cooked the Lingcod on the BBQ for dinner. I dipped the fish in egg and breaded it with Panko crumbs and then we cooked it in half canola oil/half butter in the cast iron skillet on the BBQ..

The Lingcod was delicious! There were quite a few bones in the fish though, which I’m not used to dealing with, but I managed to get the bones out before I swallowed any. The fish had a nice light taste and paired with some fresh lemon juice, was very enjoyable. Richard had the lion’s share of the fish, and he truly enjoyed it too- other than the bones. I’ve not really been a fish eater much of my life having been scarred for life as a child being fed ’Captain Highliner fish sticks“ which were so fishy tasting and awful. My idea of eating fish is ”if it tastes like chicken I’ll try it!” Richard has been amazed that I have tried oysters, salmon, halibut, Dungeness crab, and now Lingcod, while on the Island this winter.

Maybe its the ‘new me’ or maybe its just that the fish really is that good out here, so fresh and tasty and not ‘fishy’ tasting at all, that is inspiring me to be more adventurous in trying and eating more seafood!

This morning we awoke to a very heavy frost. OH OH...we are supposed to be golfing at 8:56am!

Richard was up before me and was checking the website for Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Club to see if they had a frost delay in Qualicum Beach. The 31km between us and the golf course can definitely affect the weather, so it is always best to check before leaving home, to see if there is a frost delay. Sure enough, the golf club updated their website and there was a frost delay, so there was no need for me to get moving now, since we wouldn’t be playing early this morning.

We decided we would call and cancel our tee time, rather than dealing with the frost delay. And its a good thing we did!

My stomach was so upset today! What a troubling day. I’ve had digestion issues from time to time, but today was a doozie! I’m not sure if the fish didn’t agree with me, but something had really set me off.

So this morning was interesting to say the least....we finally left Newman just before noon and turned on the CBC radio in Jerry, to get the latest news. That’s when we heard the troubling news about Tiger Wood’s vehicle rollover accident in the 2021 Genesis GV80 in California. I immediately went online on my phone and saw the pictures of the wrecked car and said to Richard “it will be a miracle if he ever walks again, much less golfs!” At this point all we know is he has leg injuries. Having been through a broken femur myself, I can’t imagine how he could come back from leg injuries to be a top golfer on the PGA tour again, but he will have the best on his team helping him, so let’s hope he will be ok.

We thought we would head up to Union Bay and pick up our mail, but we realized that the Post Office is closed between noon and 1pm for lunch, so we continued driving north through Courtenay and over to Comox. There was an interesting spot we had never visited before and since I wasn’t feeling much like a taxing hike, we thought we would walk around the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park today in Comox.

What a beautiful display of spring flowers as we arrived on the grounds of the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park today!

The history of the Filberg family is a very interesting one. Robert (Bob) Filberg did not come from a wealthy family. His father, Adolph was a tailor from Sweden. His mother, Elizabeth, was a seamstress of Irish descent from New York. Robert’s parents met in America and Bob was their only child, who was born in Colorado in June of 1892. When Bob was around 8 years old, he and his parents moved to Seattle. Soon after, Adolph went up north, determined to make his fortune in the Alaskan gold rush. A few months later, the Filbergs received word that Adolph had died. Bob and his mother soon found themselves destitute. Bob spent his adolescent years travelling around the Western U.S. Looking for work. When he was 12 years old Bob worked for a dollar a day, carrying water to the loggers on the railway lines in Seattle. He gave all of his wages to his mother, who suffered from arthritis. As Bob got older, he started boxing and was quite successful as a featherweight boxer. Bob continued to work all over the Western U.S., following work. By 1909, the Comox Valley became his home. He found work with the Comox Logging and Railway Company as a Timber cruiser. Bob became acquainted with the company’s president and his daughter Florence, and Bob successfully courted Florence and in 1916, they were married. Bob continued to be promoted and first became Superintendent, before he would eventually become President of the company. The Comox Logging and Railway Coompany expanded and with high timber prices, Bob made the Company record profits. In 1929, shortly before the Wall Street Crash of Black Tuesday, Bob Filberg commissioned master builder William Hogarth to build a summer lodge for him and his family. The Lodge as well as the surrounding buildings, have a Scandinavian theme, now known as the “arts and crafts” style (recognizable for the extensive use of wood, steep pitches on the roofs and a rustic yet upscale look). The house with its five bedrooms, five fireplaces and four bathrooms, was massive for the 1930’s and took six years to build. Some people say Mr. Filberg stretched out the building process to keep his men employed throughout the Great Depression. Originally, the house was meant to be a summer home, but the Filbergs were so pleased with it, that they decided to make the Lodge their permanent home. In 1935 Bob and Florence along with their two children moved into the 4000 square ft lodge. The property would be christened “Grancuna” or from Spanish ‘the great cradle’. Bob died in 1977 and was predeceased by his wife and children.

Filberg Lodge overlooking the Comox Harbour.

Filberg Lodge.

I found this picture online of Filberg Lodge in the summer time. The main home has been turned into a “Gift Shop”.

Filberg Lodge. I love the leaded glass windows and the shakes and shingles.

The view from the Lodge out to the Comox Harbour. What a stunning piece of paradise in downtown Comox! The grounds of the Lodge and Park are 9 acres and are a very short walk from downtown Comox.

The stone retaining walls in the gardens were so interesting There are lots of little walkways to walk up to the next level of the grounds. The original stonework was done by stone mason and head gardener William Meier. Robert Filberg used his extensive travels to bring back unique exotic plants and trees for the gardens.

Trying to get the best angle to photograph the stone steps

These steps have certainly lasted a very long time!

The gently sloping lawn down to the Comox Harbour.

These tree’s roots reminded me of chicken’s feet

Lots and lots of stonework in the gardens and stone retaining walls for the different levels in the gardens.

An interesting wooden structure in the garden by artist Carole Forresrer.

“NAIAD’ by Michael Dennis 1988

The archway today on the grounds of Filberg Lodge.

The archway in the summertime. Look at the beautiful Wisteria growing on the wooden archway! We are sorry we cannot be here in the summertime to see how gorgeous these grounds will look.

As we walked along the grounds of Filberg Lodge and Park, we encountered a deer or two. The deer are like squirrels back home. They are everywhere!

I caught him enjoying the warm sun on his face at +7C today.

Filberg Park Rotary Stage. The construction of the stage was a community project supported by many local oganizations. The island timber frame was prefabricated and test-fitted in a shop that a crew from 191 CEF (19 Wing Comox), could take care of the site preparations and installation of the timber frame structure. Every year (except last year because of Covid), the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park hosts an entertaining festival summer after summer for more than 30 years. The event takes place on the August long weekend and the festival organizers invite 130 artists from the island and Canada to entertain, sell unique crafts, jewellery, pottery, textiles and art. Upon arrival on the grounds during the Festival, kids head to the Enchanted Forest for face painting, story-telling, crafts and games and everyone enjoys the array of food trucks that pull in from all parts of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Two stages are set up to host 15 bands and solo artists through the festival. Patrons are invited to pull up a chair and listen to old favourites of the folk scene, jazz performances and much more. A 4 day festival pass is $45 or $15 for a day pass. Let’s hope that the Festival continues once again this year if it is safe to do so!

The petting farm on the property. There were no animals on the farm today.

The root cellar built as a separate structure on the grounds of Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park.

The Summer Kitchen for the Lodge, which was close by, across the driveway. It made sense in the ‘pre-air conditioning’ days to have a summer kitchen to cook in, rather than heat up the house with the wood stove.

The dairy building. The family definitely had everything they could need on their property from the farm, to the dairy as well as herbs, vegetables and flowers. They definitely used the 9 acre property to its fullest advantage. To this day a full time gardener is employed year round on the grounds to maintain the property.

When Robert Filberg died in 1977, he left the property and buildings along with $11million to the Vancouver Foundation. The Comox Council of the Town of Comox were able to purchase the property in 1978, and in 1979 the non-profit Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park Association was created to manage and preserve the estate. The property was officially designated a municipal heritage site on April 18th, 1979. Upwards of 300 volunteers put in roughly 10,000 hours per year doing everything from tending the cutting garden, giving tours and gift shop sales to support the Park.

One of the best things about the park for me today, was they have proper washrooms with flushing toilets and running water! With the day I was having, we had chosen a perfect spot for us to visit! As I came back from the washroom for the 2nd time, I saw that Richard was sitting on a picnic table watching something. I asked him “What are you watching?” He said there is a hummingbird who keeps coming to the side of the Dairy Building. I set my camera setting on a 2,000 shutter speed to try and capture the little bird, should he make another appearance. And luckily he came back so I could capture him!

Hummingbird at Filberg Heritage Lodge & Gardens today. I asked Richard how he could see the bird and he said he could hear the ‘whirring’ of the wings before he actually saw the hummingbird. I tried to look up what kind of hummingbird it is, but I’m at a loss to determine which variety it is.

The hummingbird kept darting in between these wooden beams.

Hummingbird in flight.

Something kept bringing him back!

After we finished walking around the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Gardens it was time for lunch. Sounds familiar right? We do some exploring and then we are hungry!

Sushi from Sushi Kobo in Comox. The best sushi place we’ve found in the Comox Valley. And cheap too! Lunch was only $11!

Not just any veggies, but all veggies including asparagus in their veggie sushi!

Richard had the shrimp tempura sushi today.

We drove over to Goose Spit Park in Comox to eat our sushi lunch. We elected to eat in Jerry, as it was a bit breezy off the Salish Sea/Strait of Georgia, and the weather was fluctuating from sunny to spitting.

As I was walking along the beach at Goose Spit Park, this woman was sitting crouched down on the rocks. I thought the picture would look good in black and white. The shoreline makes a nice ‘leading line’ drawing you into the picture as you wonder ‘What on earth is she doing?”

I walked over the road in Goose Spit Park, to shoot back at the Comox Yacht Club and the Vancouver Island Mountain Ranges and this cloud formation over the mountains was forming. Next thing you know, we were getting rained on and then it turned into sleet, all the while the sun was shining and the temperature was +6C! Strange weather! Acording to St. Stephen there was hail down in Parksville today, while we were having sunshine in Fanny Bay!

We headed back down the Coastal Hwy in Jerry to Union Bay to pick up our mail and while I took a call from my old work, we drove home. It turned out to be a good day, even though it felt like a short one, since we were not out for long and didn’t get much exercise today. Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow, a little less troubled, so we can have a good hike! We want to go to Englishmen’s River Falls and hike up to the Falls this time. If I’m feeling up to it, tomorrow should be a good day for our hike!

And here’s hoping Tiger is ok too and a little less troubled than he was this morning.

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