A friend and I were trekking along a trail on Cypress Mountain yesterday and all of a sudden a blur of shiny black fur lept across the trail, about 25 feet away. “Is that a huge German Shepherd? Where are his owners?” I thought. Then I saw s cute, little, round beach ball of a baby black bear scurrying behind. My brain took a quick second to compute. Bears!!!
My friend and I looked at each other, then hung on to each other, then slowly backed up and finally turned and “calmly” walked away, with our hearts pounding almost out of our chests. We did not want to threaten Mama Bear in any way, shape or form.
Eventually mama and her baby went deep into the forest and we guardedly continued up the mountain. 15 minutes or so later we heard a splashing sound and peeked through the branches to see another big black bear hanging out in a stream. I didn’t stick around to get any photos but this was turning into a bear~y exciting, adrenaline rush of a hike.
I don’t have a lot of one on one experience with bears (we used to drive to the dump when I was growing up in Ontario to watch black bears go through the garbage and I saw a grizzly in Alberta but I was safely locked in my friend’s vehicle) but I remembered a hiker telling me about his close encounter with a grizzly in Alberta and how, after that solo experience, he would only go hiking in groups of six or more as bears won’t bother that many people grouped together. I don’t know if this is true but I believed him and when I spotted a family hiking on the trail just ahead of us. I called to them and we formed a bear-proof pack (there were 6 of us including my dog) and hiked safely together up to the view point and back.
There were no more bear sightings that day. Maybe our little group scared them off or maybe the bears had better things to do deeper in the forest. Either way, we had an awesome day in nature, made a few new hiking friends and walked off the mountain with a good story to tell.
Beautiful Pacific Spirit forest.
Our province is on fire with gorgeous forests like this one going up in flames and there’s no end in site. Forest fires are getting bigger and stronger the past few years because of global warming and this tragic situation is making me incredibly sad and anxious.
Humans are heading to the edge of a cliff and we need to decide now if we’re going to save ourselves or topple into the abyss.
What if we all shifted our priorities? Ego and greed could be the first to go. They don’t make anyone happy anyway. What if we made caring for our beautiful earth job one?
Here are a few ways we can do it:
1. Drive as little as possible. Walk (it’s amazing and good for you) or take transit (it’s not that bad. Really. I promise.) instead.
2. Stop eating meat (or eat as little as possible. The greenhouse gasses produced by animals raised for food are astronomical. A side bonus of this is that less animals will be treated cruelly and you’ll look and feel better too).
3. Stop buying a whole bunch of
crap oops, I mean stuff, you don’t need. Products made for retail are the 2nd biggest polluters in the world (oil and gas, you’re # 1). Forget retail therapy and get some nature therapy instead. Trust me, it’s way better for the soul.
Do these things and collectively we can all help our beautiful, little green planet re-balance itself and come back to health. As David Suzuki says “You may think that you’re only one drop in the bucket but if there are a million drops, things are going to change radically.” Remember your power in being able to make a positive change and we’ll have this gorgeous province to call home for many more moons.
A few photos and quotes from last week’s hike on Cypress Mountain in West Vancouver:
Birds are not meant to be caged. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. – Stephen King
In quietness are all things answered. – A Course in Miracles
I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive. – Gilda Radner
Spending time in the forest has always been my yin to the yang of the corporate world. Nothing for me is more soothing and rejuvenating than spending an afternoon surrounded by sweet scented, mossy green trees.
And after working up an appetite on a hike I like to head home to whip up a tasty, sugar-free treat. This recipe is a post hike favourite. It’s vegan, naturally sweetened and uber-healthy with nut butter, dairy free milk and lots of anti-oxidant fruit.
Blend together and store in freezer until frozen. Top with your favourite fruit. This one has banana, mango, strawberries and unsweetened coconut. The recipe tastes a lot like ice cream but is so very good for you.
Hope you enjoy it.
Vancouver is blooming and I just can’t get enough of all of the beautiful blossoms and their scents.
My current favourite activity is leashing up my dog, hitting the beach and breathing in the floral wonderland around me. Nature’s aromatherapy has opened up shop in my neighbourhood. The light pink cherry blossoms that were lining our streets have loosened from their stems this week and glided down to cover the ground in sweet little pink petals. Luckily fushia Azaleas have taken their place, as well as a plethora of other blooms.
And what to snack on during a walk through the flower lined streets? Banana chia pudding. This treat is raw, healthy and chock full of omega 3’s.
Blend all ingredients together and pour into mason jars for a snack on the run!