Tuesday, August 31, 2010


This is the best time to be a West Coast fishermen...seeing we have the largest run of Sockeye Salmon in a 100 years. The Department of Fisheries estimate that a total of 30 million fish are returning to spawn this season.
You should have seen the crowds that turned up on Sunday at Steveston Wharf! At one point in the day, the line-ups to purchase these huge salmon were two hours long.
I decided to purchase a fish on a quieter Monday morning and it turned into a new experience for me. What I didn’t realize was that hundreds of fishing boats were poised along the Fraser River getting ready for another haul of fish. As I stood on a fishing pier with my camera, I noticed hundreds of fishing vessels lined up on either side of the River. At 10 am sharp, they took off into the middle of the river, lying down their gill nets. As they did so, salmon could be seen jumping out of the water, trying their best to elude the hundreds of nets that blocked their passage to the spawning grounds.
You could also see the occasional seal, opportunistic and sneaky, taking their easy pickings. I came back that afternoon to see if I could catch some shots of these hardworking fishermen pulling in their nets.
I was not disappointed as they pulled in their prized catch. What a sight to behold!
What a reminder for me concerning the words of Jesus, when he called out;
“Come follow me...I will make you fishers of men!”

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Something Fishy

I took a drive to Anacortes in Washington this week. The last time I came through this area was more than 15 years ago. The one thing that I noticed immediately about this very quaint little town was the trash bins. They were all done up to resemble canned fish products.
They looked so nicely done that it was no wonder that I didn’t see any trash in them.
Everything about the town cried out fishing village!
Even the old antique shops had fishing gear, fishermen’s hats, and old fishing boat photos. The highlight of this short excursion was discovering the best little Seafood chowder house this side of the US border. It was just a shack beside the road with a couple of tables out front on the porch, but the food was amazing.
I had a plate of deep fried oysters and fries along with the clam chowder soup. Yummy!
I guess consistency is important.
I wonder if everything in my life consistently reinforces my life’s mission?

Friday, August 20, 2010


There was a time not too long ago when we used to make an annual pilgrimage to a very special place. This year I decided I would squeeze in a daytrip to revisit my soul-refreshing retreat.
Manning Park has not changed much in the last 20 years. I remember the first time we camped out, we were totally ill-equipped. One tent, two canned food, three hours of driving, four people, against the elements. We didn’t get much sleep that first time because, we had not anticipated the cold evenings. This time round, we brought some friends who have not experienced the serenity of Lightning Lake and the surrounding mountain range.
I had prepared my two young friends to expect some local inhabitants, and they weren’t disappointed when we got there.
The excitement of two young girls trying to hand feed wild squirrels ended up more like a game of tag. This was a great time to introduce the virtue of patience and restraint to
the young ones.
Initially, they couldn’t sit still for long, but when all else failed, they tried patience.
One hour of sitting and waiting just for one successful attempt at hand feeding those critters must be the sweetest lesson on patience ever!
Good things come to those who wait!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Colours and Tones

I love how the sun feels on my skin during these warm summer days. Much more than how it makes me feel alive; is the warmth that it adds to the world around me. Colours change the mood; tones transform a scenery. It’s a wonder how the setting sun can add such artistry to a bland canvas.
The experts say that evening is the best time for nature photography. Well, it happens also to be the time I take my nature walks with my wife of 30 years.
Rarely, do you find me without my trusty companion – I mean my camera! I try to capture these special moments as a reminder to me of God’s handiwork and goodness.
Only God can add a silver lining to a dark cloud; only He can paint over a stormy day with masterful strokes of brilliant colours; only God with His Midas touch will wash over a scene with gold for just a few minutes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bear Country

One of the things that I enjoy very much is to see animals in their natural habitat.
How close have you ever got to a wild animal?
I’ve had the privilege and joy of travelling to West Africa and visiting a wild-life park years ago. I was told that elephants, rhinos and many other species frequent the area, but the only animal I saw was the screeching monkeys. What a let-down!
Often when you are looking for something, no matter how hard you try, you seem to fail in your search! This week, I managed to get close enough to a black bear that had wandered into a ball park. We were there just to cool off at a stream on a warm day and was not expecting encounters with a bruin. Sometimes, in life you are blessed with experiences when you’re not really looking for them.