Level 5

8 October 2022 – I walked past Charleson Park the other day, part of a longer walk along False Creek, and was shocked to see that the pond had entirely dried up.

Signage assured me that it is part of a seasonal wetland, with naturally fluctuating water levels. This somewhat reassured me.

But only until the news report yesterday morning that the BC Lower Mainland, the Sunshine Coast and west Vancouver Island have now reached Level 5, the most extreme level on the drought scale.

At this level, “adverse impacts… are almost certain.”

Impact is already apparent, with, for example, thousands of salmon washing up dead in dried-out creeks, a prolonged wildfire season, shrivelled crops in the fields, and threat to the security of residential water supplies.

A friend just sent me a photo of her recent visit to the Camosun Bog. Do you remember any of my own earlier photos? Here’s one from April of this year, showing one of the bog’s dominant features: the depth, range and variety of its carpet of sphagnum moss.

Now it looks like this:

Camosun bog – sphagnum moss

After a wetter-than-normal spring, we have now had uninterrupted months of rainfall at some 12%-15% of normal, with record-setting, above-normal heat. Over the last 90 days, says the Weather Network, the Mojave Desert received more rainfall than BC.

Drought. Level 5 drought, here in the rainforest.


    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

    "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" -- Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

    "A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities" -- Rebecca Solnit, "Wanderlust: A History of Walking"

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