Thursday 13 November 2014

Asian Carp Invasion

The Ontario Angling Federation has set up a series of information sessions in several Ontario locations on how the Asian Carp invasion would jeopardize the Great Lakes. Each session will include speakers from the federal and provincial governments.

“An Asian carps invasion would jeopardize the Great Lakes’ $5-billion fishery and decimate native fish populations,” reads an OFAH press release. “While Asian carps are not yet established in the Great Lakes, their DNA has been detected near Chicago just a few miles upstream of Lake Michigan, prompting both the Canadian and Ontario governments to commit major resources to the threat.”

There is concern over the risks imposed by the Asian Carp creating ecological disruption that would alter the habitat by being carriers for disease and prey upon native fish populations. As well, the socio-economic impact upon the Aboriginal communities fisheries could result in the loss of their livelihood. Legislation in Canada is needed to ensure “that all Bighead, Black, Grass, and Silver carps entering the country to be “dead and eviscerated” prior to entry as Asian Carp have the ability to appear dead on ice for two days”.

Preventing the invasion is cheaper than trying to eradicate them once they have become established in the lake system.

It is now illegal in Ontario to possess live Bighead, Black, Grass or Silver Carp as well as other invasive fish species. has information on how to report a sighting.


Photo Credit: Lake Superior, Ontario - Orchid Calpso CC=nc-nd-flickr.
I apologize for no carp photo, but blogger would not allow Wikimedia photo to load for some strange reason. Is it Twilight Zone time?

Sunday 9 November 2014

Cataract Falls

Cataract Falls is located at the Fork of the Credit River Provincial Park. Within the park various activities such as hiking, fishing, cross-country skiing and birding are common.

Photo Credit: bobcatnorth CC=nc-sa-flickr.

Saturday 18 October 2014

Hiking Trails - Abbott Ridge Trail

[1) - Nearing Glacier National Park boundary on Highway 1 westbound with Sir Donald range in the background. An introduction to this area was posted earlier on Glacier House with location instructions. The first photo is borrowed from that post.

Mount Abbott: 2454m
Elevation of the trailhead - 1250m
This trail is strenuous
Length: 10km (6.2 mi)
Elevation Gain: 1,040m (3,412 ft) in 5 km (3 mi)
Time: 5 to 6 hours

The best time to hike this trail is July to August as snow remains on the higher elevations in early July.

From the campground:

Cross the Illecilliwaet River on the bridge, 

making your way through the Interpretive Trail at Glacier House.

The Abbott Ridge Trail heads west/right from the middle of the ruins.

The trail switches back and forth through the forest of lush ferns and undergrowth among evergreens and western cedar.

About 1.0 km along the trail a waterfall from Avalanche Creek can be seen on the other side of the valley to the east.

At the 1.3km mark Avalanche Mountain (2861m), Eagle Peak, Uto Peak (2927m) and Mt. Sir Donald (3246m).

At 1.7km the Hermit Range across the highway to the north and Tupper Glacier to the NW.

At 2.5km mark is Marion Lake, really more of a seasonal tarn. This lake is named after Reverend Wm. Spotzwood Green's daughter. Reverend Green and Reverend Swanzy climbed the area in the early 1900s. The water is clear, and the basin gouged out by a glacier in the rock.

At 2.9km the Illecillewaet Glacier becomes visible through the trees.

After Marion Lake Junction at the 3.0km mark there is a longer trail which swings past the Abbott Observatory to ease the legs of the hiker before heading to the top of Abbott Ridge and across.

Or, the hiker may take the short cut to Abbott Ridge (more strenuous than the previous portion of the trail). This is on the north side of the ridge. Be prepared for snow portions on the trail.

Above the treeline on the lower ridge is alpine tundra. When traversing scree slopes be careful not to mis-step and fall resulting in a nasty trip down. This is a treacherous area to the unwary.

At 3.1km is the false summit of Abbott Ridge. Here you leave the trees and ascend through charcoal grey rock to the Abbott Observatory. Although exposed to the elements, there are great views.

In the swing around to the Abbott Observatory at 4.5km. Here the cabin provides an emergency shelter for snow research and avalanche personnel who climb up here once a week during the winter.

After the observatory, follow the trail to the base of the cliffs where the trail switchbacks up to the ridge.

Once on the top of the ridge magnificent views of the surrounding area can be seen. Expect gusty winds.

To the southwest is Mount Bonney (3100m) and its glacier.

At the end of the trail on the top of the ridge where you can see the Illecilliwaet Glacier in the background.

Always check the weather and hiking conditions before you venture out. Be prepared for rain or snow squalls which can occur unexpectedly in the mountains.

Glacier National Park

Photo Credits:

{1} RegNatarajan CC=flickr
All other photos:

kleinmantara CC=nc-sa-flickr.

Friday 17 October 2014

Saskatchewan Crossing

During the 1800s, the Saskatchewan Crossing was used by fur traders making their way into British Columbia. Located at the junction of the Icefields Parkway #93 and the David Thompson Highway in Banff National Park it offers a jumping off place for hikers and backpackers.

The Glacier Lake Trailhead can be located at the parking lot on the west side of the Icefields Parkway 1 km north of the Saskatchewan River Crossing Service Centre. The distance is 8.9km one way with an elevation gain of 210 m, and an elevation loss of 220m. The hiker is looking at 6 hours for a round trip.

Parks Canada provides information on activities available on its website.

Photo Credit: eurotrash CC=nc-sa-flickr.

Thursday 12 June 2014

Dragonslayers From Beowulf to St. George by Joseph A. McCullough (Book Review)

"With its fiery breath, scaky armour, and baleful malovent stare, the dragon became the ultimate symbol of evil and corruption in Eurioean folklore and mythology. Often serving as a stand-in for Satan, or the power of evil gods, dragons spread death and hopelessness throughout the land. Only heroes of uncommon valour, courageousness, and purity could hope to battle these monsters and emerge victorious. Those that did became dragonslayers.

"The list of dragonslayers is small, but it is filled with great and legendary names. Hercules, Beowulf, Sigurd, and St. George all battled to the death with dragons. Other heroes such as Cadmus, founder of the City of Thebes, Dieudonne de Gozon, the Knight of Rhodes, and the Russian warrior Dobrynya Nikitich, might be less well known to Western readers, but also fought and defeated dragons. This book retells the greatest legends of this select group of warriors, while examining the myth of the dragonslayer in historical, mythological, and even theological contexts."

DRAGONSLAYERS is part of the Myths and Legends. Mr. McCullough has done a superb job of putting together well researched material complete with illustrations. It covers multiple sections: Ancient Dragonslayers; Norse Dragonslayers; Holy Dragonslayers; Medieval Dragonslayers and Dragonslayers From Around the World.

Advance reading copy provided by Darrin Turpin with many thanks.

Book format: paperback, 82 pages
Publisher: Osprey Adventures


Chapters Indigo

Monday 9 June 2014

There had been an ealier post on the vastness of the cosmos and its different life forms, as as the karma or one's consequences of their actions which was deleted in error by accident. This may have been instant karma or just a rash decision of pressing the wrong button instead of "Update".

Over the years I had read about various types of meditation where one could learn over time answers to questions. It took several attempts of trial and error to mix bits of methods together to facilitate appropriate responses.

One time I was curious about how choices were dealt with, and I queried over how a person was chosen to assist another in a given situation. My meditated answer resulted in a brief internal vision of standing and looking up a very tall lectern where a large book rested, open two-thirds in. Behind the lectern stood a tall man dressed in a long dark coloured robe, the forefinger of his right hand slowly making its way down a list of entries. He turned the page and continued down several more entries until he reached the one he sought. Behind the man were tiers of shelving.

I took note of my position in comparison to the man and discovered I stood less than knee height on him.

Afterwards I contemplated over this experience, thinking it to be a visit to the Akashic Records. At the time I had not seen the entry nor knew what the entries in the large volume were for except it seemed as if the man was trying to find a match to my query.

Photo Credit: 1902 Ice Grotto in Akulkan Glacier by Jasonwoodhead CC=flickr.

Monday 12 May 2014

The Sword & Sorcery Anthology (Book Review)

Blood will flow, heads will roll, dragons will soar, and the dead shall rise. Journey to ancient cities ruled by sinister mages, storm-tossed seas where monsters dwell, mysterious towers full of ancient secrets, and dark dungeons with untold treasures. From Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian to George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire, join the legendary heroes—and villains—of sword and sorcery in nineteen epic adventures that are sure to bring out the barbarian in you.

David G. Hartwell is one of the science fiction and fantasy genre’s most experienced editors. He has been a senior editor at Tor books since 1995, and his many anthologies include the Year’s Best SF and Year’s Best Fantasy series. He has received the Hugo and World Fantasy awards and administrates the Philip K. Dick Award.

Jacob Weisman is the World Fantasy Award-nominated editor and publisher of Tachyon Publications. His writing has appeared in The Nation, Realms of Fantasy, and the Seattle Weekly. He is the series editor for anthologies including The Secret History of Fantasy, Steampunk I and II, and The Treasury of the Fantastic.

Introduction: Storytellers: A Guided Ramble into Sword and Sorcery Fiction by David Drake.

The Tower of the Elephant by Robert E. Howard

For my first experience of Robert E. Howard’s words, despite seeing the Conan movies, this was a marvelous romp into a fantastic adventure. Each step Conan took his goal was set with perils more deadly than the previous. Despite being a thief, Conan’s compassion is revealed in an unexpected moment.

Black God’s Kiss by C. L. Moore

A sword wielding woman, Jiral of Joirey, is taken in combat, only to escape to seek a weapon in a tunnel beneath the dungeon. A creepy and compelling story to remind you to be careful what you ask for.

The Unholy Grail by Fritz Leiber

A wizard’s apprentice uses his magical lore to seek revenge.

The Tale of Hauk by Poul Anderson

An excellent norse tale of a father saddened by his son’s refusal to go pillaging is finally laid to rest.

The Caravan of Forgotten Dreams by Michael Moorcock

A well told tale of an anti-hero enlisting old acquaintances to fight an evil magician

The Adventuress by Joanna Russ

A pick pocket is hired by a spoiled teenage woman to assist in her escape of matrimony.

Gimmile’s Songs by Charles R. Saunders

Dossouye, an ex-soldier, with her war bull encounters mercenaries carrying an unusual mystic object.

Undertow by Karl Edward Wagner

Desslyn vows to escape the torments of a necromancer. There are several creepy minions combined with excellent swordplay.

The Stages of the God by Ramsey Campbell (writing as Montgomery Comfort)

Topops, forced from the city he ruled, locates an ancient shrine in the desert where he takes a stand against mercenaries.

The Barrow Troll by David Drake

Johann, a priest kidnapped from his bed, is manipulated to assist a wild northerner in taking a troll’s hoard.

Soldier of an Empire Unacquainted with Defeat by Glen Cook

A skilled swordsman and worker of elemental energy assists sheepherders against bullies. There are several well done episodes of magic, swordplay and inter-personal relationships.

Epistle from Lebanoi by Michael Shea

A Shakespearian foray into a swamp.

Become a Warrior by Jane Yolen

An excellent tale of survival by a resilient young girl; her father, the King, is cut down in battle.

The Red Guild by Rachel Pollack

An assassin is hired to subdue a dragon.

Six from Atlantis by Gene Wolfe

Thane enters the mysterious realm where stones change to gems, and beautiful women wield swords.

The Sea Troll’s Daughter by Caitlin R. Kiernan

Malmury is determined to collect the bounty for killing the sea troll.

The Coral Heart by Jeffrey Ford

An intriguing story of a man with a magical sword capable of turning victims into coral.

Path of the Dragon by George R. R. Martin

Daenerys Targaryen, Queen of Dragonstone, with her three dragons has sailed to Westeros to bargain for slaves.

The Year of the Three Monarchs by Michael Swanwick

This story might interest another.

The review copy was provided by Charlene Brusso.

Book format: trade paperback, 480 pages / 6 x 9

Publisher: Tachyon Publications

Available: ISBN 978-1-61696-069-8 Also in ebook

Chapters Indigo

Saturday 19 April 2014

When a writer begins to craft a story, often it is useful to use a photo to study or ponder: what if...

Most of my ideas come from history and locations based on those found here, though currently I have been considering work still on a fantasy level with other elements of a supernatural nature.

For characteristics I sometimes use those found in astrological charts to form a complicated set of behavioural patterns. There are several websites where one can obtain a relatively thorough chart complete with quirks. It all depends on the degree of where the planets are placed and in conjunction with other planets. The variations are there for consideration. All signs have their bright or shadow side, often in various combinations.

Photo Credit: Two Galaxies by Wikimedia Commons.