Wednesday, 22 June 2011

A Chip Off The Old Block

Another haul on the Greyhound again today, the only difference from the last 3 or 4 is this will be undertaken in daylight. After the great experience of Prince Rupert it was a return trip to Prince George and onward to Dawson Creek, back to familiar territory as this is the track taken on the 2007 trip. Once again I was able to ride in Pole Position, front seat on the starboard side, ideal for watching the scenery and wildlife go by and taking the occasional photo. The first Moose was seen today as were 2 Black Bears but 'fleeting; from the coach window.

In the town of Mackenzie stands the World's Largest Tree Crusher or so the saying goes.

However, a lady passenger on the Greyhound told me that the claim is not strictly true! Another larger vehicle was also employed on this project but ended up at the bottom of the lake created by the clearance.

The plaque tells you a little more.

Just a 'flash' of the endless and seemingly unspoiled country that is Canada, and this is the town of

Chetwynd, home of the Canadian National Chainsaw Carving Competition.

Each contestant is allowed just a single block of wood, a chainsaw and 36 hours to create a masterpiece.

The 'entrance fee', if you can call it that, is the Top Ten placements have to donate their sculpture to the town.

To date, Chetwynd is strewn with 80 carvings, and I can tell you the overall impression is amassing.

In the last 3 competitions a Japanese 'sculptor' has swept the board.

Unfortunately, the best examples of this extremely skilled art-form are in the center of town, and the Greyhound Station is a mile or so away.

With only a 10 minutes 'stop over' it was not possible to get a close and prolonged look at last years winning entry, but we did at least get a look as our driver slowed down on passing.

The subject was a Preying Mantis standing some 6 feet tall, its antenna as thin, proportionately, as the real thing - what a beauty! Only after the event are the contestant allowed to apply a coat of preservative and, even in just a few rare cases, paint them.

Here's one for the boys and girls on the Buchan Alpha, a Talisman (Canadian owners of the BA) office in 'small town' Canada.

Our driver George Leask a Shetland Islander who tells me he is extremely happy to be here in Canada with his wife and 8 year old daughter. Have to say Thank You again George for the drive and the craic!

A fine view as we crossed a river about 20 miles south of Dawson Creek, with the plateau in the distance looking interesting albeit short lived.

Savannah Sparrow

Plenty of song but not a lot of show!

Chipping Sparrow

Luckily the black stripe through the eye and the rufous cap can be seen. The song of this bird it notable as being very like Grasshopper Warbler.

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