Posts Tagged With: Port Moody

Little Free Library

This spring marks the fifth anniversary of the arrival in Port Moody of our first Little Free Library. For the uninitiated, these mini- libraries are actually weatherproof boxes mounted on front lawns or in parks, capable of holding a couple of dozen books. The instructions for use are simple – “take one, leave one”

I think they are a charming addition to the local landscape, and I’ve been an occasional user ever since the first one popped up on San Remo drive, using the box to purge my bookshelf of any highbrow material I’m finished with ( I’m still too shy to share with my neighbors the trashy novels with high body counts that comprise most of my actual bedside reading!)

A couple of years ago another box popped up at Old Orchard Park, and five more in Port Coquitlam  and I’ve spotted several during  visits to Victoria. Curious to know how widespread the phenomena was, I took to Google, and quickly learned that there are upwards of 40,000 registered locations worldwide.

To my utter shock however, I  also discovered  via my google search that these benign little community affairs are actually the subject of controversy in many places. The boxes have attracted complaints about zoning and by-law compliance in a number of communities ( one municipality even deemed them to be “illegal detached structures” ) and some folks just plain don’t like ad hoc structures popping up on boulevards and front lawns

They have even prompted the ire of the Journal of Radical Librarianship (yes, they are for real!) who suggest that  these tiny book exchanges are elitist, often showing up in more affluent, better educated, and predominantly white neighbourhoods, and accuse the volunteers who build them of “self gratification” and “virtue signalling”.

I must say,  I find impugning the motives of those who go the extra mile to make our community a better place to be highly offensive, and I shake my head over petty bureaucrats trying to stomp out these friendly little, Thankfully as far as I know, our local boxes haven’t offended anyone.

So, when I ambled down to San Remo drive this weekend, I gave thanks : for a gorgeous spring day,  for a community that supports quirky endeavours such as the Little Free Library, and especially, for a neighbour who thoughtfully deposited a couple of dog-eared John Grisham novels that I haven’t read yet !

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November evening

NOVEMBER EVENING

The head of Burrard inlet is a lonley place on a drizzly November afternoon.The park that skirts the mud flats is deserted, as even the bredraggled dog walkers have long since sought shelter.

Standing still in the gloom, hunched against the rain, and trying to ignore the cold and the wet creeping through the soles of ones boots, you can just make them out in the last of the light – coming in low between the new high-rises that form Port Moody’s new town centre.

They come in pairs,and in small family groups, and sometimes in long noisy skeins of twenty or thirty or more, wings beating furiously , honking loudly as they inspect the emply inlet: then satisfied that no danger lurks, banking, and in unison gliding in to land.

They are Canada geese, pilgrims from the Arctic, stopping only briefly to rest and feed on their long trek south, and they come in waves, every few minutes, filling the emply inlet with noise and movement.A thousand birds? 1,500 ? impossible to say, but a remarkable sight.

Leaving the geese to settle in, numb feet find the muddy path up Noon’s creek, to the heavily padlocked hatchery. The stream below the hatchery shows signs of man’s efforts to help nature, but nature is on its own upstream. One follows a barely discernable path to a bend in the creek. There, tight against the far bank, where rushing storm waters have pushed a deposit of sand and gravel, there is a flicker of movement. Thrashing, circling, it is a solitary pair of chum salmon, completing their dance of life, alone, in the dark and drizzle of a late November evening.

Categories: Nature, Port Moody, Reflections | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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