Tag Archives: Mike Manson

This year’s blueberry harvest on Cortes Island

This started out as a story about the incredible blueberry harvest in the midst of this year’s drought. 

One of the seniors picking at Sunnybrae Farm gave Cortes Currents the tip, which Mike Manson subsequently confirmed.

“We are seeing what we think might be the biggest crop ever. In terms of pounds per bush, and the fruit is ripening differently. It’s ripening in a more condensed manner, which is good for picking. The big crop is probably due to favourable conditions for pollination in the spring. Whether or not that had anything to do with dry weather, I’m not sure. Maybe the bees were glad it wasn’t raining and cold and wet, but certainly pollination was key, without that you don’t get a crop. For whatever reason, conditions were favourable for bees to be flying and doing their job,” he said.

“We’ve never seen a dry year start so early.  This year, the dryness started mid May. I remember May 13th was 30 degrees Celsius.  I think  the early heat this year has affected  the way the fruit has ripened. I haven’t seen it ripen in this fashion before.” 

However, there are three blueberry farms on Cortes island and, as I was soon to learn, they are in different micro-climates. 

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Cortes Day: Then and now

The Southern Cortes Community Association (SCCA) estimate 500 people may have turned out for Cortes Day on Saturday, July 15, 2023.

Mike Manson, whose great uncle(1) and grandfather(2) were among the island’s first known European settler, remembers there were once two festivals.

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Fresh look at an iconic display: The Cortes Island Water Cycle

Wild Cortes came into being as a result of a series of interactions between Laurel Bohart and Lynne Jordan, former President of the Cortes Island Museum. They started in 2005, shortly after Bohart moved to Cortes Island.  

“I met Lynn Jordan on on the ferry. She had this parrot, an African grey, and it was dead and frozen. She wanted to find a taxidermist, so I mounted her bird. That was the beginning of Wild Cortes, because we did ‘Ravens Relations,’ and put it up in the museum for a few years. People were absolutely enthralled. They wanted to know if we would have more animals, so we dreamed up the original Wild Cortes, the story of water,” she explained.

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The Taxidermist behind Wild Cortes

Laurel Bohart has volunteered her time to mount or prepare the study skins of 100 birds, fish and mammals for the Cortes Island Museum. She is a member of the Board and one of the co-curators of Wild Cortes in the Linnaea Farm Education Centre. Bohart is also a professional taxidermist, whose interest can be traced back to her parent’s missionary years in Nigeria during the mid 1960s.

The first words she used to describe taxidermy were, “It’s fun.”

To which she added, “It’s a form of sculpture when you mount a bird or a mammal. It’s better than a photograph, which is two dimensional. These are three dimensional.”   

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Boats at Mansons Landing given a reprieve

The boats stored along the shoreline in Mansons Landing Provincial Park have been given a reprieve.

For the 15 most derelict vessels, this means another 30 days before they are removed by BC Parks. Cortes Currents followed three Park Rangers down the beach to watch them tag their first vessel, a fibreglass dinghy with holes torn out of its bottom. Another derelict vessel was being used as the roof of a crude shelter in the trees.  

There were a total of 57 boats in the park when the rangers arrived last month. Some have since been removed, but there are still a considerable number on the beach. Most of them look seaworthy. At some point in the near future, albeit measured in years rather than days, they must all be removed.

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