Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Fraser River Delta

When you leave the Salish Islands and drive through the Fraser river delta in October to Olympic City, the fields, off the highway, in the river delta are spectacularly red. These are cranberry and blueberry fields turning to their fall colors. You see very little if you stick to the highway, your eye on the ferry traffic ahead, but if you take a few minutes and wander a back road or two you are in for an enormous treat. There is nothing better than miles of orange and red and brown for the short magical period Mother Nature and the berry farmer provide. Both berries grow best in the peaty, boggy, delta soil, supplied over the centuries by the flooding of the Fraser and the rotting vegetation! The sight of the fields is thrilling and at the same time sobering, knowing that the Fraser undergoes a major flood every 50 years. I remember feeling the same sense of colorful magnificence, seeing miles of heather and fern massed in the hills of Caithness and Perthshire. The capacity of Mother Nature to provide the vegetation that will thrive in the particular soil types that are difficult allows the uniformity of design from a duoculture, whether planned by man or Mother Nature, that is an interesting departure from the mixed vegetation we usually see. Seems there is a plant for every location. Darwin would be pleased with the adaption ! So would Mendel!

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