Vancouver, 7 September 1893

We had to stay a day longer in Vancouver to give the hunting organizers time for their preparations for our expedition into the Canadian Rocky Mountains and I thus planned for today to hunt in the vicinity of the city with a hunting expert and kill a grouse or some other animal. The expectations about its results were very divided. Some said that we would encounter game, most however proclaimed that the right season for this was already over. My undertaking seems to have been enough to displease the heavens — already early in the morning it started to pour down and a cold wind blew and howled over the roofs  so that the hour of departure had to be delayed until the rain had begun to relent. Then we drove out of the city in a high light carriage with three of my gentlemen and the hunting expert who was dressed very impractical in an immaculate black salon dress and equipped with thin half-boots and a black hat.

Our path first led to a long wooden bridge across a sea arm, then continued along a gentle mountain ledge that at first was covered only by burnt dead forest but later was stocked with luxurious beautiful trees especially on the opposite side. Across a second bridge we reached a large island that carries the lovely name of Lulu Island and is settled rather densely by farmers. Between the forest lots were fields primitively cultivated with potatoes, oats and barley. Agricultural machines were buzzing everywhere, while cattle and horses were grazing on small meadows — the first true meadows we had seen for nearly a year. The farmers‘ houses were in no way different from those in Vancouver.

We had reached the scene of today’s action and the hunting expert advised us to range at the edge of the sea through the reed but stayed behind for good reason given his half-boots. The reed was not especially high but was difficult to cross due to the many intervening streams. Just at the beginning of our journey we saw, out of reach, some geese and ducks lift off from the sea but then the location seemed dead. A great bittern and three  common snipes constituted our total catch as we later only saw a single one of the promised ducks fly over our heads. Instead we encountered plenty of dead salmons with dark red meat that were partly floating on the water surface and partly had been swept on land by the high tide.

As it had started to rain again on this unsatisfactory expedition, returned to the hunting expert and asked about his further plans. A local expert was called and assured us that in the island region there would be plenty of grouse and pheasants. He indicated multiple fields and depots as the best hunting grounds. We went to these in the pouring rain after having eaten a snack in a barn. In a forest lot overgrown with tall ferns we found not a single living being — it was then said that the grouses must be in the fields as they were not in the forest. Thus we assiduously rushed criss-cross across the oat fields but also without results as before in the forest until finally the hunting expert explained that the farmer had apparently shot the grouse himself and we thus were unlikely to encounter such game. We thanked him very much with some winged words for this belated friendly information and mounted completely soaked into our carriages to return to Vancouver where we made preparations for our departure and ended the day with a truly bad dinner.

Links

  • Location: Vancouver, Canada
  • ANNO – on 07.09.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is closed for summer until 15 September. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Margarethe (Faust)“.

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