Vancouver is a beautiful island off the ickiest coast of Canada. Its name is from an Indian phrase meaning “Do I have to?” It has people, but nobody cares about them. This essay is about nature. And not just cute, fuzzy nature, but yucky, gory nature – that’s where the real money is.
Vancouver is home to megafauna like the black bear, and the Rhymes-With-Orange bear, widely considered to be the most boring of Canadian bears – and that’s saying something. In this century alone, a dozen hikers have been bored within an inch of their lives. It is not merely that the Rhymes-With-Orange bears hibernate, it is also that they won’t shut up about it.
Salmon infest many of the streams and rivers (good luck telling THOSE apart) of this nerdy Canadian isle. Huge numbers of them swim upstream, for reasons that are too gross to mention in this publication.
The Hey-Yo! River (from a Brooklyn expression meaning “How do you do, dear friend?”) is the fastest running river in Vancouver – and that is because it is trying to get out. Look into the river for the triangle fish, which is shaped – as the name implies – just like a fish. These fish are not tasty, but the Crested Toothpaste Bird catches and kills huge numbers of them, just to be a jerk.
Closely related with the Crested Colgate is the Anti-Tartar Bird. It is not so much ugly as it is woefully unfashionable. Throughout the winter months, the males can be heard tirelessly bellowing their mating cry . . . “MABEL!” This is a shame, as the females have migrated to spend the cold months in Mexico.
Nature documentaries generally concentrate on animals, but numerous plants on Vancouver are just as interesting, such as the . . . forget it, I’m boring myself.
Warrior beetles, with their huge horns, are easily offended. They will often attack the wolves that call this island home (though they refuse to pay any property taxes on it.) The warrior beetle stealthily approaches from behind, jumps onto the wolves’ legs, and does its best to poke the wolves. To the best of our knowledge, no wolf has ever noticed this. Then again, wolves have no manners – they were raised by wolves.
The marmot is the largest member of the squirrel family. It is the most solitary animal on the island – not because it chooses to be, but because the other animals can’t stand it. Marmots go on and on about themselves, and never ask questions of the other animals. A naturalist observed some fiddlehead ferns throw themselves off a cliff rather than continue to be around a marmot. In their defense, marmots have a hard life – there is no place to get a decent pizza in the woods, and that would make anyone cranky.
If visiting Vancouver, bring cash. These nature documentaries don’t pay for themselves.