Christmas in BC

Do you have your bird feeder full? As well as giving the birds something to eat you provide yourself with the pleasure of seeing birds in Tumbler Ridge. The British Columbia Field Ornithologists have Christmas Bird Counts. When one goes to the site ? http://www.bcfo.ca/christmas-bird-count.php one will find a section on ?event and trip reports.? There is a 2004 Tumbler Ridge Field Trip Report with beautiful pictures of the groups. Mount Spieker was where white-tailed Ptarmigan were seen. Other alpine/sub-alpine species observed were Blue Grouse, Horned Lark, American Pipit, Pine Grosbeak and seven species of sparrows. Brassey Creek viewings included 14 species of warblers including such desirable ?Eastern? species as Magnolia, Cape May, Black-throated Green, Black & White, Ovenbird as well as a Connecticut Warbler. The Murray Riverside and Bullmoose Marshes included a California Gull as well as 13 warbler species. So don?t forget to observe the wildlife in your backyard.

What was Christmas like a century ago? The lamps would be filled with kerosene and you would likely go to bed early because there was limited light. Your Christmas tree would not be ?lit up? but the ornaments would be made by the family and cherished each year. You had to make your own entertainment and Carolers would go door-to-door in the towns. In the country you took care of the animals and snuggled up under a feather quilt. The furnace was a wood stove and anyone who remembers wood stoves it would be hot, hot before you went to bed but the fire would dim and by morning you were cold, cold. The outhouse was a cold place at Christmas time. If you needed a doctor you had to go by horse and buggy to retrieve him but they did house visits just like you can have in Tumbler Ridge if need be. In the 1950s I went to a one-room school by horse and sleigh. There would be a Christmas concert at the school and everyone would have a part which you had to memorize. TVs were just becoming available and that was the ?black and white? era. Now 50 years later the computer age rules. The TV is now a little thing that is hand held and you can watch your movies on little, tiny screens or you can buy a humungous TV that is life-like. Christmas, however, still has a tree with ornaments of the past. Presents are made in China and sold in WalMart or on E-bay. But as in the 1900s Christmas is about family and friends. Some things don?t change.

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