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December 6, 2014

Unexpected Places

By Maryanna Gabriel 

As Lexie and I came up the Malahat this week, I saw something I have never stopped to witness. That is the good thing about a dog. They make you stop and smell the roses, er, well not exactly in this case. The salmon run has come to an end it seems. Gulls lined the river and the decay of rotting Coho, Tyee and Chinook, pervaded the air. Lexie and I went to the water and when my eyes initially began to focus on the landscape around me all I saw were the winter browns of the vegetation. As I stared, my eye picked out more and more until I realized there were salmon everywhere piled up thickly along the shoreline as I walked. They were huge, most well exceeding two feet. It kind of startled me that this is my landscape and I have never taken the time to look. I was happy to see such an abundance of life, albeit decaying, there in the rainy river grey, a miracle of migration. I learned the males develop hooks around their mouths and the females change colours as they spawn. A sign was posted saying there was a bear in the area. I guess so! Why it has taken me all of these years to see this amazing and powerfully moving sight is my loss. I have my dog to thank for the unexpected places she takes me.