Thursday, 23 May 2019

Up On Sunbeam Falls

    We get our water directly from Sunbeam Creek.  We have a 4 foot (1.27 m) culvert sitting upright in the middle of Sunbeam Falls to collect the water, which then runs 4,100 ft (1.2 km) to my house.  During the spring all of the snow on the mountain tops begins to melt increasing the volume of water thundering down the falls in strength and volume.  The current picks up and carries a lot of rock and gravel down the falls also.
    We have a heavy duty gravel screen which we put over our culvert to prevent the culvert from filling up with rock, but a lot of the finer pieces get through and can clog up the fine screen we have over our water intake.  Yesterday our water pressure was beginning to go down so we went up to replace our water intake.
    It is very dangerous work.  The falls is something like 355 ft (77m) in elevation and our culvert is about halfway down the falls.  The photo doesn’t show the hundred foot drop below our culvert.  Like I said it is dangerous work.
    The photo shows Glen, my neighbor in blue, standing on top of the gravel screen which covers our culvert, scraping off the rocks stuck on the screen.  You can see the orangish-brown top of the board at Glen’s feet.  We pull that up which opens a hole in the bottom of the culvert, causing the water in the culvert to pour out, carrying out a lot of the gravel that made it into the culvert.
    We were able to change our intake screen, so hopefully we won’t have to mess with our water  system for a while.

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Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Forget-Me-Nots: A Raggedy Lawn

    Slowly over 35 years, more and more Forget-Me-Nots (the tiny blue flower you see in the photos) have been taking over our lawn.  They have spread because I like seeing them, and instead of mowing them down whenever I mow the lawn, I mow around them.  I will do this until they form seeds, then after that, I will mow them down.  
    This of course makes my lawn look pretty ratty, but I would rather have the blue patches of forget-me-nots than a uniformed manicured lawn.  The only problem with doing this is that often a few dandelions or other unwanted weeds grow among the Forget-Me-Nots and I am usually too lazy to pull them out so they keep growing also.  
    Anyway, I like having the patches of the Forgot-Me-Nots in my lawn, they remind me of a wild natural meadow, and plan to do what I can to encourage them.

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Tuesday, 21 May 2019

I Love Hostas

    Because we have a lot of shade in our yard we were always looking around for some kind of decorative plant that liked a lot of shade.  Somewhere down the line we discovered Hostas.  They love the shade and they have become one of my favorite plants.  I have probably painted more pictures of hostas than any other subject.  
    Our hostas have just sprouted through the Lily of the Valley and have opened their leaves.  Once again, like hundreds of times before, I couldn’t resist grabbing my camera and taking photos of them.  

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Monday, 20 May 2019

Greens and Blues

    Way back in the 70’s. James Taylor came out with his Sweet Baby James Album.  In listening to his song, Sweet Baby James, I was immediately struck by the lyric, “Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose” because those nature colors were my colors also.  Every Spring I can’t help but think of those lyrics as I watch those first leaves of the trees start to show themselves, set out in front of the blue mountains.  
    It is the young leaves of the Aspen trees that I most enjoy (I seem to have a thing about yellow-green as many of my paintings confirm.)  I don’t really know if yellow-green really qualifies as “deep” green, but that is the color “I choose.”
    Here are some photos I took of the greens and blues at Horseshoe Lake yesterday.

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Sunday, 19 May 2019

Bald Eagle

    On yesterday’s walk my wife pointed out this Bald Eagle sitting high on a Cottonwood tree.  With all of the subdued blues and greens that surrounded us, the white head really stood out.  The huge bird sat there the whole time, allowing me to get some photos.  Some eagles spend whole winter in the Robson Valley feeding mostly on the carcasses of animals that have been killed by vehicles or trains.

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Saturday, 18 May 2019

Raindrops on Lupine

    This morning after I painted my square, I realized that I didn’t have any photo to blog about.  I did what I have done in the past, I decided to walk around the pond in hopes of coming upon something to photograph.  
    We had a nice spring rain overnight, so all of my lupines were sporting water droplets.  I have taken numerous such lupine shots before, but I found these two lupine leaves and they are today’s blog photo.  I am not sure what it is about lupine leaves that make the rain droplets keep their shape rather than collapsing and running down the stems, but it is a nice trick that makes a ordinary drop of water look like a jewel.

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Friday, 17 May 2019

Train Whistle

    Yesterday while talking to some neighbors, we were told about an elderly, long-time resident of the Robson Valley who has had to move to Prince George for medical reasons.  They said that she had told them that what she really missed since leaving the valley was not hearing the train whistle.  I about choked when I heard that, because I would really welcome not hearing those terribly loud whistles.
    We live a mile or so away from the train tracks, but there is a crossing way down below us where the trains are required to blow their whistle three times when approaching the crossing.  Our house is situated on a slope, higher than the tracks which are on the Valley bottom.  Despite all the trees, which one might think would buffer the sound, the train whistle carries beautifully upward and is very loud.  During the summer, when we occasionally open our windows to cool off the house over night, the whistle sounds like the train is just outside our house, so normally we keep the bedroom window closed.
    It may sound romantic to hear about the train whistle reverberating and echoing through the mountains, but it is something I would happily live without.

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