Monday, 17 May 2021

Horse Incident

     The other day while walking Kona down Horseshoe Lake Road, we perked up when suddenly the herd of horses that are pasturing there became animated and frisky.  Soon the herd was running back and forth.  They were a beautiful, graceful sight that we felt privileged to witness, however after a bit, most of the horses settled back down, but one black mare kept pursuing a younger brown horse, quite aggressively.  It chased it back and forth, then into the bushes and along the fence.

   We heard one crash, but both horses came out the other side of the bushes, the black, hot on the heels of the young horse.  She chased it again back into the bushes again and when they re-emerged the young horse ran into the wire fence, got tangled up, freed itself, then jumped over it, safe from the pursuit at last.  It limped a bit so it must have hurt its leg.  You may not be able to tell from the photo, but the small brown horse is standing outside the fence and the black horse inside with her head down.

    We knew who owned the horses, so we drove over to their farm (a month ago they lost 6 horses when their barn burned) to tell them about their horse getting out and probably injured. The owner immediately got into their truck to check out the situation.  I don’t know any more about what happened after that.  We sure hope  the young brown horse wasn’t injured too badly.

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Sunday, 16 May 2021

Spring Waterline Maintenance

     Our water comes from a waterfall on Sunbeam Creek.  He have a large culvert in the middle of the falls to catch the water and funnel some of it into our waterline.  (The arrow is pointing out the culvert.). Every spring when all of the snow on the mountain top begins to melt in earnest, torrents of water come shooting down the falls carrying rocks and gravel with it.  That gravel can fill up our culvert and stop the water from flowing into our waterline.

    To prevent this we have a heavy iron grid-like screen (initially used by Highways for screening gravel) that we put over the top of our culvert to prevent the rocks from collecting inside.  We take this heavy duty screen off every winter so it doesn’t cause our intake to freeze up with ice, and then every spring we have to put it back on. 

    As you might imagine by the steep slope of the falls, maneuvering the screen onto the top of the culvert is a rather dangerous job,  I wore a safety helmet and was strapped onto the culvert so I wouldn’t be swept away if I slipped.  Together with Glen, our neighbor and fellow waterline user, we manhandled the screen into place, so that takes care of one of the yearly worries I have this time of year.  Hopefully the spring runoff will be mild and we don’t encounter any unexpected problems with the waterline.

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Dewy Horsetails

    This morning I happened to see these sparkling Horsetails, backlit and shining like diamonds in the sun.   When I first came to BC and saw Horsetails growing on the side of the road, I thought they were small trees.  Horsetails are ancient plants, as a kid I found 250 million year old fossils of Calamites (ancestors of Horsetails) in the walls of a neighborhood railroad trench.

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Friday, 14 May 2021

I Fear For Our Big Cedar

    Back in 1977 after we bought our place, whenever we were driving down the road toward it, we would look for the top of a big dead cedar tree that grew in our barnyard, so we could tell when we were getting close to our driveway.  I hated that the big Western Red Cedar was dead, but I took some consolation in the fact that right beside it, a younger cedar was growing, and it continued to grow these forty plus years.

    Now it looks like that cedar, which was just starting to get big, is dying.  Two-thirds of its lower needles have turned reddish brown.  Cedar needles do periodically turn reddish brown and are then replaced by new green needles.  The process is called “flagging”, but what is happening to our cedar seems well beyond that.  It looks like it is dying. 

    Western Red Cedars do grow where there is a lot of moisture, but they can’t survive in standing water, and that is what has been happening with this one, because of all the rain we had last summer and fall.  Underground water seeped down the mountain slope beside our property and accumulated in the old bogs that are in our yard.  Bogs have been saturated, with water sitting on its surface, for a year and a half now.  One of those big old bogs is right beside the cedar and it is still full of water.

    The needles on the very top of the cedar haven’t yet turned red, so I guess there is still hope.  Around here, Western Red Cedars can grow for hundreds of years, that is what I had been hoping this one would do.  Cedars are my favorite tree and I would sure hate to lose this one.

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Thursday, 13 May 2021

Fog Again

     We had another foggy morning today.  It was clear at our house, but when I took Kona down along the river at Koeneman Park, I found it shrouded in mist.  Above, is a photo of the foggy Koeneman homestead cabin silhouetted in the fog.

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Wednesday, 12 May 2021

More Morning Fog Photos

        Here are a couple more fog shots from yesterday.  The sunlight through the fog created some magical effects as I was walking Kona down Horseshoe Lake Road.

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Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Early Morning Fog


    The sky cleared off overnight causing the temperatures to cool.  This morning it was -3C (-6F) and the cold air over the warmer pond caused fog to form and vent off of the water, giving it a sinister feel.

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