Symbols of Spring

Spring comes late for the Elk Valley. Across the province, the snow receded months ago and summer flowers are beginning to bud. Here in our sub-alpine climate the long wait makes the eventual burst of colour and birdsong that bit sweeter. Ducklings at the Annex Pond, leaves unfurling on the trees, the receding snowline, the chickadee-dee-dee and the click-clack of bike cleats on the steps of the Brickhouse. What’s your favourite symbol of spring? For me it’s the daffodil. Often the first flower to push through the dirt and dust, this eye-searing narcissus brings with it the aroma of honey and jasmine - it’s no accident that it’s one of the most basic ingredients in floral perfumes. These stunning flowers resemble the rays of the bright spring sun balanced above ribbons of emerald.

When you take the paper daffodil from your lapel at the end of April, think about registering for the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life in the Elk Valley. The event will be held on June 9 at the Fernie Secondary School Track, so May is the perfect time to register, assemble your team and begin fundraising. If you spread your efforts over the whole month, the commitment is minimal but the impact is huge. The biggest event in the CCS calendar, the Relay brings together communities to celebrate, hope and support each other in the fight against all cancers. For more information contact Betty-Ann Price on 1-800-656-6426 or by email at elkvalleyrelay@bc.cancer.ca. To register online, visit relaybc.ca.

Just a hop, skip and jump from the FSS track, the Fernie Golf and Country Club welcomes Spring with Men’s Opening on Wednesday 9 and Women’s Opening on Tuesday 15. With community in mind, the Rotary Golf Tournament on Saturday 12 is the first golfing event of the season. For over 80 years, the Fernie Rotary has supported community activities both locally and internationally. Half of the money raised at this year’s tournament will be donated to the Clear View Campaign at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital. To register, call the pro shop at 250-423-7773.

Fernie’s bike community haven’t wasted any time getting on the trails this year- the South Country is way ahead of us in the spring stakes. Those who can’t wait to swap ski pants for lycra shorts think nothing of loading up the bikes in the back of the truck for a day trip to the banks of Lake Koocanusa. The Fernie Mountain Bike Club (FMBC) thanks you for holding off mud-bogging the local trails in order to keep them in the very best condition for summer. In return, they invite you to join them for the ever popular Spring Bike Blitz on Saturday 26 to kick off the biking season in style. Events will be centred around the Elks Hall on 1st Ave. The day begins with a bike and gear swap from 10am-2pm (drop off items on Friday between 7-9pm or Saturday morning from 9-10am, pick up from 2-3pm). From 11.30am-2pm, enjoy the amazing bikers BBQ, and then at 2pm join the Fernie biking community for a bike parade and ride around Fernie. All ages are welcome; every year this event gets bigger and better so don’t miss out on all the fun. A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of items at the bike and gear swap will support the incredible trail and resource building efforts of the FMBC.

2012 also brings the Fernie Quilt Guild’s bi-annual quilt show at the Fernie Museum on May 5-27. Admission is by donation and there will be a quilt raffle. The ladies of the guild have been working hard as usual and pieces will include a stunning mix of traditional and modern techniques, beautiful colours and creative designs. I’ll be checking it out to see if there’s a daffodil or two in the mix. What will you be looking for this month?