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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

What’s that?

What did we ever do before Google?

How many times a day do we Google something that we don’t know? It really is unbelievable how much smarter or aware we are of our surroundings because we have the ability to “google“ anything we want to know, on the spot!

Take this morning for example on the golf course. We were walking down the 4th fairway at Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Club and we could hear this “who, who, who” noise coming from the forest. Ken and Curtis were trying to determine what kind of bird it was, and I said “I think it is an owl!” It sure sounded like an owl.

Ken going to determine what kind of bird we could hear.

As we were waiting on the 5th tee for the 5th green to clear so we could hit over the gully to the par 3, Ken and I walked over to the forest next to the 4th green to see if we could see the bird that was making all of the racket. Ken started looking before me and I happened to bring my phone with to take a picture if we could find the bird. Ken says to me “Look, right there, at the top of the dead tree stump, there in the branch, it is an owl!”

Western Screech Owl well camouflaged with the trees in the forest.

How do I know for sure it is a Western Screech-Owl? I googled it! After we finished golfing today we were driving down the highway, and I was very curious to find out what kind of owl we had seen. I use this app called ‘Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab’ to identify birds, so I pulled up the app and put the picture of the owl into the app. The app kept telling me all kinds of other birds, but not an owl, and I knew it was an owl based on the call. So after striking out with the bird identification app, I decided to google ‘owl bird calls’ to see what would come up. We listened to a few owl calls and then the ‘Western Screech-Owl” bird call came up and sure enough, that was our bird! Thank goodness for Google!

After golf we had decided to take a drive down to Lanzville to visit the Lanzville Foothills area. Ken (who we golf with) has a son, Adam, who is a builder and he has built some homes up in the Foothills area, so we wanted to see what the area was like. The Foothills is a development that is being built on the side of the mountain in Lanzville with spectacular views of the Salish Sea/Strait of Georgia, and the Coastal Mountains. Ken had told us to “Google” the development to see what it was all about.

Before we saw this sign, I had ‘googled’ the development.

This photo ws taken from the ‘lower’ Foothills. The views from the upper Foothills were much more spectacular!

We continued driving down a country road and it turned out the road intersected with the Highway 19 in Nanaimo. We had wanted to visit The Bay to see if I could get my Kiehl’s face cream, but after visiting The Bay in Nanaimo today, I realized that they don’t sell Kiel’s anywhere here up Island, so I’ve contacted Alicia (my son’s girlfriend) and she is going to pick some Kiehl’s for me and will bring it up this weekend when we see them both. Thank goodness! I could use some other cream I suppose, but I prefer my Kiehl’s.

After driving around Nanaimo for a bit, we were hungry and decided to stop for sushi for our lunch.

Freshly made veggie sushi with some cabbage in it. It was delicious! Nice and light with not a lot of rice.

Richard had the Volcano Dynamite roll with crab and shrimp which was warm and he said was very delicious.

After driving around lower Lanzville for awhile, we decided to head for home. We cut off the Highway at Horne Lake Road and then headed to the Coastal Highway to finish our drive back to Fanny Bay.

Between Qualicum Bay and Bowser sits the 200 acres which was ‘given’ to the Indigenous People’s known as ‘The Qualicums’ by the Crown. As we were driving through the Indigenous People’s lands today I noticed something we had not seen before.

Red dresses hanging up everywhere.

Red dresses on both sides of the Highway

Red dresses hanging on the fence on the Qualicum First Nation’s land.

I was really curious what was the significance of the red dresses hanging up on the fences, since these dresses have not been here all winter, so I ‘googled’ it of course to try and understand the significance of the red dresses.

Artist Jaime Black, a Métis from Winnipeg first created the REDress project in Winnipeg in 2010 and took the REDress Project in 2019 to the fence at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, - by hanging 35 red dresses, as an expression of her grief for thousands of Native victims. Native women are disproportionately affected by violence or go missing each year and there is no definitive tally of how many women are affected. The dresses are haunting and evocative and I could imagine the woman who once inhabited each dress. Across Vancouver Island this spring many Indgenous Groups have red dresses hanging to symbolize the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, many of whom are never reported. It is a very somber feeling to drive by these dresses knowing what the garments symbolize.

We got home to Newman and while we still had some nice daylight, I started to read the book I had purchased last week in Ladysmith on the history of Qualicum Beach. I think one day I will do a bit of a history lesson on the town with some shots to go with the history I’ve learned from the book. As I was reading my book, St. Stephen was texting Richard asking him if we were up for a visit so he could come and fix our bathroom ceiling light, so that all of the strips would work in the light. Richard said “Come on up!”.

When St. Stephen and Karen arrived they went to look at the sea lions in Fanny Bay as there a lot more sea lions now than when they were camped next to us at Lighthouse RV Park.

After hearing from Karen that the sea lions were really close to shore, floating on a raft, I wanted to get a closer look, so we both went for a walk to see the sea lions up close and personal!

I walked down the beach to where the tide had gone out and was able to zoom in with my lens to get this shot. I guess the sea lions thought I was getting too close, so then this happened.

The sea lions started to jump off the raft and swim away.

One by one they were gone from this raft and swam away to another raft. I wasn’t anywhere close to them. I guess they don’t like their picture being taken! Karen got a great video of the sea lions swimming away. I hope she posts it on Facebook because I was too busy taking photos to flip to video on my camera unfortunately.

Meanwhile back in Newman, we had a major repair going on!

St. Stephen had bought a soldering iron to solder the last row of lights back into the fixture properly so they would work. St. Stephen also bought some more fine wire, to wire the light fixture so the wires would not show through the cover of the light.

Richard is the ‘sous chef’ to St. Stephen who is doing the hard work here!

Our light now works perfectly and we have St. Stephen to thank! He and Karen are leaving on Monday for the mainland to spend a few days near Gibson, B.C. We hope that our repairs are done on Newman for now, until we can get to Nova Scotia this summer to have Newman’s roof replaced. Thank heavens for the day we pulled into Lighthouse RV Park and St. Stephen came out to meet us and took a shine to his little ‘hillbilly friend’ Richard.

Tomorrow we are off to play Crown Isle Golf Course in Courtenay. Richard’s friend Mark who is a member, is bringing us out to play at 11:33am. We are really looking forward to playing a championship 18 hole golf course tomorrow. I will definitely be taking a cart, not knowing how difficult the course is to walk. The weather looks fantastic at +10C and sunny for our round!

And if you’re curious to learn about the Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community in Courtenay, I suggest that you GOOGLE it to find out more about it!

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