ON BEING YOURSELF
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC)
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel 1904 – 1991)
I recently went whitewater rafting on the Nahatlatch river with my two oldest daughters, Nicole and Rochelle. At their request, I left my camera at home so I wouldn’t get sidetracked with nature photography, thus making it a Bona fide family outing. We decided to drive to the interior, crossing the Fraser river at Boston Bar and traveling through North Bend and onto the Nahatlatch valley. The last 10km of the road to the REO Rafting Resort was gravel and the further we got away from civilization, the more diverse the flora became. All of the conifers (spruce and Douglas fir) in this narrow valley were covered with long, pale green strands of a Spanish moss lichen (possibly Common Witch’s Hair or Alectoria sarmentosa) – a symbiotic relationship that I’ve only seen in much higher alpine ecosystems. Wildflowers such as Lilium columbianum and western columbine (Aquilegia formosa) were abundant, as well as Nootka rose, wild honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa) and Baneberry (Actaea rubra). So while everyone else on the bus from the resort to the rafting staging area was sharing ‘adrenaline junkie’ tales, I had my face pasted against the window, gawking at the passing wildflowers and wishing I had my camera with me. The rafting itself was great, as the water was high and the rapids had us plunging through waves and even catching a little air time. About half-way through the run, the river settles down a little as it hits an imposing canyon wall – when I looked up, I noticed that it was covered in purple patches of Penstemon davidsonii, literally clinging to the vertical face. When I pointed these out to the girls, the other people in the raft looked at me like I had two heads. So it appears that with or without camera, I am always going to be a bit of a plant freak – but I suppose, there are worse things to be.