Thursday, 17 October 2019

A Troubled Sky

    Although the day is turning out to be pretty useable, this morning when we took the dog for her early walk, the sky looked pretty unsettled and troubled.  It did give me a bit of hope seeing that there were at least a few open breaks in the clouds.

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Wednesday, 16 October 2019

WIndy Politics

    Canada is in the midst of it’s forty day election campaign.  As you can see, the edges of roads are littered with lawn signs.  Those signs were struggling to remain upright yesterday against the strong gales that were gusting, making it easy to see which way the political winds are blowing.

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Tuesday, 15 October 2019


    I had an inquiry from a reader who wondered how my firewood situation was, and since I didn’t really have any other thing to blog about today, that is my subject.
    I think I now have enough to get me through the winter.  The photo above is a bit deceptive because there are actually two rows of firewood, one behind the other.  It certainly looks like a lot of wood, but all firewood isn’t created equally.  A lot of it is spruce, pine, and some cottonwood.  Those burn quickly and don’t put out much heat, so we go through them pretty quickly.  The other half is birch which I save for the coldest nights because it burns slowly and puts out a lot of heat.
    Another big variant is the winter temperatures.  If we get a really cold spell (below -25C or -13F) then we really start going through the firewood rapidly, and my stash of wood starts to shrink pretty quickly.
    A lot of the wood you see is insurance, just in case we get a really cold winter.  I just about always have a lot of firewood left over by the time Spring arrives, but I like to put up more than I will probably use, because I don’t want to be caught without on those cold winter nights.

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Monday, 14 October 2019

Canadian Thanksgiving

    Today, Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving; a time when we are all supposed to look at our lives and be appreciative of all that we have.  Traditionally a big chunk of what we look at on this day, centers around food, and to be sure, I am very thankful of the food that we have grown ourselves and have stored away for the winter.
    The photo shows the tomatoes, beets, and zucchini relish that sitting on our pantry shelf.  We also have beans, chilis, and peas in our freezer, and lots of potatoes that are about to be put away under the house in our “root cellar”.  All that food will help us get through the winter.
    I am thankful for my family and friends, and the good life Canada has provided.  Later today we will be joining some of our friends for a big Thanksgiving feast.

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Sunday, 13 October 2019

Steller's Jay: Fall Visitor

    The other day when I was digging my potatoes, I heard a raucous call and looked around to see a Steller’s Jay on the compost pile, where I had been throwing my rotten potatoes.  The Steller’s Jay is a beautiful blue and black bird that lives around here in the forested mountains year round, but they only seem to show up at our place during the Fall.

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Saturday, 12 October 2019

Biodiversity in the Robson Valley

    Last night we attended an engrossing talk on Biodiversity in the Robson Valley by Darwyn Coxson, a professor from the University of Northern BC, that was presented by the McBride Museum and Library.  While most of us that live here know the Robson Valley is a special place, I think the fifty people who attended were still blown away at just how diverse our environment really is.  
    We have plants growing here that are very rare and only found in small isolated pockets in other places in the world.  He gave an example of a fungus that is only found in the Himalayas, a section of Africa, and a few scattered places in Asia.  Its mystifying how the spore of that plant found its way to the Robson Valley.  Coxson gave several examples of such sparsely scattered plants that are found here, as well as species of plants that have been discovered here that are unknown to science.
    He spent a lot of time speaking about the reason for these rare ecosystems:   the unique shape of the valley and the constant flow of water flowing underground downslope, largely from the snowmelt, but augmented by frequent rain, that enable these rare plants to grow here.  In the Ancient Forest which contains the giant Red Cedar trees (some of which are probably 1,500 years old) they have found no evidence that there has ever been a forest fire there.
    Computer simulations have shown that the biggest threat to these rare ecosystems from climate change will be the lack of snow, which would disrupt the year round flow of water.
    It was a fascinating and enlightening evening.

In answer to the comment below:  
      The snow that falls through all the months of the winter, does not melt, but piles up on the ridge above the valley.  Then when the temperatures warm in the spring, that mass of snow slowly melts and trickles underground to feed the trees and plants downslope.  The water from that melt lasts well into summer, and is augmented by all of the rain and showers.  
      If in the future it warms and just rains during the winter, all of that water will be lost to the plants which will not use it during the winter.  It is the lack of all the slow melting snow during the spring and summer which will cause havoc in the temperate rainforest.

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Friday, 11 October 2019

Tipi on the Shoreline

    The other day when we were driving home from town we were surprised to see this tipi on the far shore of the Fraser.  I don’t know anything about it, but it sure added a scenic touch to the river.

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