I would be tempted to claim that there was not a single cloud in all of Canada yesterday afternoon or evening.

I started, as always, in that little propeller plane at a modest 15 000 feet over the late-winter woods and lakes of New Brunswick. I feel I can say late-winter since, even though we’re well into May at this point, the branches are still bare are some snow and ice still persists on the water’s surface. I didn’t take a picture this time, though.

Flying into Montreal I noticed that among the checkboard farmer fields there was an occasional rectangle of houses. I can imagine the family, after generations of bringing in the harvest, deciding for one reason or another to leave it behind for greener pastures—figurative ones this time—and letting the developers come in with their subdivision.

After a meal of St Hubert’s chicken in the airport I was airborne again, this time for the long haul to Vancouver. Quebec and Ontario continued with standard east coast scenery before giving way to the Prairies, where the checkerboard squares are larger and reach, literally, to the horizon in every direction, only occasionally giving way to a winding river valley. Brown wheat faded to white, blue, and navy, exactly like being in the shuttle watching moonrise, except with a less pronounced curvature and no celestial orbs. Still, it was a nice view.

I guess I must admit that, though I did see a lot of the Rocky Mountains, closer to Vancouver they seemed to be holding back some cloud layer, so I didn’t get to see the city from above. The city knows how to make a first impression regardless—that much was clear as I was walking by the stone walls, native artwork, and waterfalls in the airport. Yes, waterfalls. And today, after a beautifully sunny afternoon just after sunset, I walked from my house to the beach and put my feet in the Pacific ocean. Not bad for my first day at a new job.

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