Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Yikes, Look at all of the Lightning

    Living where we do, surrounded by forests, we worry a lot about forest fires, especially now since climate change is making itself so obvious.  One of the major causes of forest fires is lightning.  Way back when I was working for the Forest Service, technology was beginning to be developed that showed almost immediately where lightning was striking.  

    I figured that surely after all these years, there must be some apps developed that made this technology available to everyone, so I checked, an sure enough there are a lot of them out there.  I downloaded one called “Lightning Tracker” and it is sure nice, when there is a thunderstorm to immediately see where the lightning is hitting.

    Above is a screen shot I took on Sunday evening after a thunderstorm.  The blue circle is where our house is located and all the red dots are recent lightning strikes, the yellow dots are older hits.  I was pretty shocked to see how close and how many strikes there were.  Luckily most occurred up in treeless alpine areas, and the strikes were accompanied with rain, so they didn’t cause any forest fires as far as I know. 

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Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Deja Vu at the Airfield

    Remember last week when we were walking Kona at the air field and a plane landed seeking fuel, well it happened again on Sunday.  We were halfway down the runway when we heard the chopping sound of a helicopter, then through the smoke ww saw it heading toward us.  We got over to the grass on the side of the runway and watched it fly over, then land at the far end of the tarmac. 

    When we finished our walk, we said hello to the pilot, who was just sitting in the chopper with his door open.  He told us the place sure looked deserted and then asked where everybody was.  I told him there was nobody that stayed around on the lonely air field, and we were there just walking our dog.  He then commented that he needed fuel and I showed him the phone number he needed to call to get Kelly out to give him fuel.

    I’m not sure where he had flown in from, it was not a helicopter company I was familiar with, but he was headed down to Oliver, BC to fight forest fires.  Oliver is in BC’s Dry Belt and has active fires.  It is 290 miles south, near BC’s southern border.

    Once the pilot got Kelly on the phone, we got in the car and left.

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Monday, 2 August 2021

I Was Hoping August Would Be Different

    It is strange how I always trick myself into thinking that the arbitrary designations of humankind will somehow have some relevance to Nature.  If there is a change of month or year, I always think that means there will be some change in Nature.  When 2020 changed to 2021, I thought, “Good Riddance, finally things will change,” but the only thing that was different was the nomenclature of the year.

    July was such a horrible month for us with the Heat Dome, our smoke-filled skies, and the infestation of mosquitoes, so I was happy when the month finally changed to August, but here we are in August and all of the smoke and all of the mosquitoes are still with us.  It is not very motivating to wake up to smoke and mosquitoes day after day.  When I see a group of people doing things outside on a beautiful day, I feel cheated.  What has happened to our summers?

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Sunday, 1 August 2021

Wait A Minute, This Doesn't Look Like Bob's Memorial

    The other day at the post office, I saw a notice on the window about a memorial to be held for Bob Elliott; a guy I used to work with at the Forest Service.  He died over the winter on Vancouver Island.  I was in a hurry so I didn’t really look at the details, figuring I would run across further announcements about the upcoming event.

    Yesterday when we were driving to town my wife noticed and commented on seeing some chairs and other things set up at Koeneman Park.  On our return home, the parking lot at Koeneman Park was full of vehicles and we could see a gathering of people standing around in the distance.  My wife commented that it must be the memorial for Bob.  It was getting close to 2:00, which I figured must be the starting time.

    I liked Bob and spent a lot of days working with him and felt like I ought to go to the memorial and I still had time, so after we got home, I quickly changed clothes and headed back to Koeneman Park.  The parking lot was pretty full, but I squeezed beside another car and walked toward the grounds.  When I got to the first row of cars I could see into the park, and to my surprise saw a bride and her bride maids. 

    Clearly this wasn’t Bob’s memorial.  I shook my head, walked back to the car, and drove back home, feeling like a fool.

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Saturday, 31 July 2021


    Here are a couple more photos that I took at Horseshoe Lake, while killing time waiting for my wife to bring the fob so I could start the car.  The walkway out to the gazebo goes through a marshy area at one of Horseshoe Lake.  Looking over the railing, this is what I saw.  The water was somewhat stagnant and had a sheen on it that really picked up the blue of the sky, making a nice background to the marsh plants.

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Friday, 30 July 2021

Remnants of the Flooding

    The other day while Kona and I were stuck at Horseshoe Lake waiting for my wife to come with the fob to start the car, I took advantage of the time by looking for photo-worthy subjects.  I noticed on the railing along the walkway to the gazebo that there as a lot of debris hanging from the chainlink fencing.  I guess all of that plant matter was floating on the flood waters and got hung up on the fencing when the water level got back to normal.

    I still find it surprising, just how high the water rose.  In our local paper there was a photo of a kayak paddling up this walkway to the gazebo.  

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Thursday, 29 July 2021

Look at What We Saw at the Air Field

    I have mentioned several times in this blog about how we often take Kona on walks up and down the runway at the air field.  It is an excellent place to walk the dog because it is open so you can see all around you, and can spot wildlife or something else that might cause Kona to take off, it is paved so the walking is easy for us, Kona loves to sniff out the weeds and bushes that parallel the tarmac, and there are rarely any planes.

    The other day when we were there, halfway down the tarmac, I noticed that one of the lights that run along the sides of the runway was on.  The lights are radio controlled and come on when a plane is in the area.  We listened and scanned the skies but saw or heard nothing, so we continued our walk.  About 10 minutes later we did hear and see a plane in the distance, so we leashed Kona and headed over to walk along the verge of the tarmac.  

    We watched as the plane flew past on the south, then made a wide arc.  We saw that it had pontoons so we weren’t sure if it was going to land in the Fraser River or the air field.  Then, as it tightened its arc, we saw that it was going the land at the air field.  We were well off the tarmac and watched it come in.  We were surprised at how little runway it needed.  By the time it had landed it was still pretty far away.  

    We could see the pilot get out and wander around in the staging area.  When we got close, we greeted him and he immediately asked us if the air field had any fuel.  He told us he had flown from Prince George and they had no fuel, so he was anxious to get some so he could continue his flight. 

    I told him there was fuel available and showed him the phone number he needed to call to get someone over to get him some fuel.  He called and was talking to Kelly, so we figured he was in good hand and so we left.  Wow, an airplane at the air field.

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