This morning, we made pancakes for breakfast, filled their little tummies, then headed off to Maple Ridge Park. Just a five minute drive from us is the beautiful Alouette River and forest. We still have my Brother in Laws children here, we want to do as much as we can in their last week in B.C. I had to be at work at three o clock, so this nearby destination seemed like a perfect spot to spend this hot, sunny morning. The kids were a little leery of getting into a river where they know there are crayfish. Here Nick looks around to make sure nothing is sneaking up on him! But before long, with encouragement from Cousin Heidi and Uncle Keith, they were all happily frolicking in the currents, crayfish forgotten. Here Heidi and Nick float Uncle Keith on the currents. It is not very deep at this time of year, but still runs quite fast. Which is great, as it keeps the river so crystal clear. Troy enjoyed 'surfing' along in the current, until he was stopped in a shallower patch, getting caught up on the huge rounded rocks just below the waters surface. I love this boys huge infectious smile. Before long, there will be enormous, three foot long salmon swimming upstream, battering their red bodies against these same rocks.
This little beauty sat on a rock in the river and I couldn't resist this shot. What a natural poser! Lexi is the littlest of the three, and sometimes, looks so much like her sister Kayla at that age.
All along the banks, trees grow. They offer shade to both people and water creatures. The salmon, we know, require shade in order to keep the water cool enough for spawning. This river rises substantially after a good downpour in the mountains. Also in late spring when snow on those mountains begins to melt. The run off can make this river a very dangerous place. Although too cold to tempt human swimmers so early in the year, many a dog has plunged in and been swiftly washed away. Those high spring waters, wash the soil away from the banks, exposing the roots. They are fascinating to look at. It amazes me that the soil around the roots is so moist. It has been so hot and dry. Everywhere, the ground is parched and dusty. But not here. The canopy is so dense overhead, that sunlight rarely reaches beneath the treetops. I guess the constant deep shade keeps the soil moist. Or, perhaps the roots themselves are bringing water to the surrounding soil right from the river. I'm no botanist, but i do wonder about these things. My eldest son is going into Environmental studies, so perhaps he will be able to enlighten me on the matter someday!
We got home and had last nights leftover lasagna, warmed up. Then I went to work. While I was gone, the girls all got picked up by their Auntie and they had a girls night out, including going to the new Hilary Duff movie, then a sleep over at another aunties house. That would be five giggling girls and two very patient aunties. Keith was in charge of the boys. He took four young boys to a 'guy' movie, Pirate of the Caribbean. After that they came back here for a sleep over. Luckily for me, they were so pooped from their busy day, that when I got home from work shortly before midnight, they were already sleeping.