Celebrating and Preserving our Shoreline

Kitty's serene photo captures a waning moon in the early morning.  Warren'a photos record a spectacular rainbow, a dramatic sunset behind the wharf and the lighted boats before Christmas.

Early in December, Paige Erickson-Magee gave an inspiring presentation at Harbourside about the work of the Habitat Acquisition Trust (H.A.T.) She told us about how to become stewards of our own shoreline and offered advice as to how we might improve the plantings along our waterfront.
 
Stewardship involves the control of invasive plants, increasing the number of native plants providing food and shelter for wildlife, and the protection of the shoreline from erosion and pollution. She encouraged us to visit the Witty's Lagoon shoreline currently being re-developed under the stewardship of Andy MacKinnon.
 
Paige then led us on a walk-about of our Harbourside property, suggesting places where we could consider installing bird houses or platforms and pointing out examples of invasive species like ivy, blackberry bush and buddleia. She encouraged us to control erosion of the steeper cliffs by planting in tiers, starting at the top.
 
The improvement of our shoreline will be pursued by our Shoreline Stewardship study group. (Arlene)
Gox’gokulege at the Sooke Library
Several Harboursiders helped Edith Newman model the figures for this highly detailed and creative installation currently on view at the Sooke Library.
“My family has a house and the house had a name. It was Gox’gokulege. Gox’gokulege was in the village of T’saxis. T’saxis is on Vancouver Island near Port Hardy..."
“Before the Fort (HBC) was built (in 1849), we, the Kwagiulth (people of T’saxis) had always made and prepared everything ourselves that we needed to survive and thrive.”
With these sentences, we are taken into someone's memory of their family home. Each figure in the model has a name and specific function which are described on an accompanying panel. The whole beautifully designed installation has been lovingly assembled by Edith Newman and Michael Benneyworth. (Arlene)
Berken listens intently to Jaroslav describe the stone milling process at Nootka Rose Milling
Baked with freshly milled flour and starter brought from Pemberton, this is Marisa's Friendship Loaf.
Harbourside bread bakers on a locavore field trip
 
Three of the Harbourside bread bakers went on an outing to Nootka Rose Milling in Metchosin. Jaroslav Turecek kindly agreed to an impromptu tour and explanation of his stone mill and other flour processing equipment, and of course we came away with a few bags of fresh flour and some impressive baked goods. The grains are not locally grown, but fresh milled flour that includes the whole grain is an entirely different product than anything we can get on the supermarket shelf.

Our foody field trip was rounded out with a visit to Ragley Farm to pick up some fresh fall produce, plus a soup and bread lunch enjoyed outside in the autumn sunshine. We are already talking about more bread baking adventures for all of the Harbourside bread baking enthusiasts. (Marisa)
Phil may have designed the most beautiful outhouse on the Island for our wharf, based on a photo from the Pender Island Fall Fair provided by John, who worked alongside Phil to build it. John caught Phil peeking out of the partially finished roof with helper Joel on the right. Our composting toilet (donated by Jack) should be
'open for business' soon!
Guerilla knitters hit Sooke! Knitting as guerilla art started appearing around the turn of the century when groups of knitters banded together to form ‘yarn bombers’. The homespun craft of knitting was brought out into the world of street art allowing the domestic to interact with the gritty, urban world.
 
Since then, delightful and surprising instances of knitting have occurred in public places. Look up ‘yarn bombing’ on Pinterest for some amazing pictures of knitted cosies covering tree trunks, posts, bicycles, even entire buses! But you need go no further than downtown Sooke to experience the real thing!
Through the clever use of "interference paint", Warren has created a winter scene on his kitchen window that reads completely differently colour-wise from each side. 
Ekoos Choir at Christmas
 For the second year in a row, Harboursiders have enjoyed the gift of a Christmas Concert presented by the Ekoos Choir. Harbourside has a special relationship with Ekoos as several Harboursiders are members of the choir, which has been invited to use our Great Room for their practices.
 
It is a special privilege to sit so close to a performing choir in the intimate setting of our own living room. At one point, a sweet blend of female voices gathered for several songs ending with the infectious "Fum, fum, fum"! This was followed by the gentle instrumental strains of flute, guitar and bass played by the men of the chorus. Thank you Ekoos for a wonderful holiday celebration! (Arlene)
Wynn's fabulous Christmas Cactus, captured here in full regalia, was given to her by a friend 12 years ago. It was already 30 years old!
12 Days of Harbourside Christmas 2017 (Gail's inspiration)

On the first day of Christmas, Harbourside gave to me a view of the sea
On the second day of Christmas, Harbourside gave to me. Monday morning coffee and a view of the sea
On
  the third day of Christmas, Harbourside gave to me 3 Joracan composters, Monday morning coffee and a view of the sea
On the fourth day of Christmas..............an exercise room......
On the fifth day of Christmas,................a Co-care suite........
On the sixth day......................................... 6 green digesters.......
On the seventh day.....................................7 different buildings......
On the eighth day.......................................sometimes drums a-drumming.......
On the ninth day.........................................a library full of books.......
On the tenth day........................................weekly movie watching.....
On the eleventh day..................................a multitude of meetings......
On the twelfth day....................................a caring community.....
.
and a view of the sea!
K.I.S.S. Lunches
"Keep it simple soup" lunches have begun at Harbourside! Once a week on Wednesdays, two soup options with bun or bread will be offered to Harboursiders for $5. Volunteers take turns providing the soup and are reimbursed for their costs. The first lunch was a huge success with 24 participants and no soup left! Jean has urged soup-makers to make more soup next time! The program begins in earnest in January. 
A collection basket of socks for the homeless was a Christmas project initiated by Marg A. 
December M & M

Jean started the very popular Meal and a Movie night celebrating all the birthdays in each month.
An unusually large group gathered to celebrate the four Harboursiders with December birthdays -- Berken, Phil, David and Warren. A roast beef (carved by Jack) and Yorkshire pudding dinner was followed by 2 Yule Log birthday cakes created by Pam. 
Caught in the act by Warren, this little critter demonstrates how he/she managed to dislodge so much insulation from inside our garage roof.
Happy New Year wishes to the readers of the Bulletin.
A special thank you to Marisa who has agreed to be
Guest Editor for the February Bulletin. 
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