Monday, October 19, 2009

Unanswered questions at the Nicomekl Bridge

As we so often do on our way to Crescent Beach, we stopped at the last little bridge that crosses the Nicomekl River. The water, as usual, was smooth, unhurried.

Looking downstream. South Delta farms on the north bank, each with their dock and a boat or two.

It's an odd little bridge; solid cement, crossing a span 50 metres long, one-lane, with a narrow walkway along one side, and with tall, thick cement walls enclosing it, so that from the shore, only the roofs of the cars are visible. As we drive up to it, we get a quick flash of glossy water, then the walls shut everything out; there are no gaps. I always wonder about it; why such a strong bridge, for one car at a time; why those walls, where there is no danger of flooding, or even of strong wind?

Just a couple hundred metres upstream, the King George highway crosses the river, too; three lanes of traffic, this being the main route into White Rock, on two bridges, these supported by wooden pilings, and edged with rickety-looking green railings. Something seems cross-wired.

King George highway bridge, with flock of ducks.

Moss garden on the bridge wall.

Past the bridge, we took a short path down to water's edge. There's never much to see down there; green water, green bush, the grey cliff of the bridge support, sprayed with grafitti. This time, there were waxberries, too.

Wax (or snow) berries, and evergreen blackberries, long past their prime.

Shining in the dark green shade.

I was told, as a kid, not to taste these berries; they were poisonous, people said. I never tested them, even though I did taste most other plants. But the whiteness seemed unnatural; they reminded me of soggy pills. The birds eat them, though, and some of the natives used them as a stomach remedy.

Someday I'll sample one.

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