Saturday 31 May 2014

Sparkling Water, Straight From The Tap

    We get our water from a waterfall on the side of a mountain.  As it tumbles and rolls over rocks and waterfalls, down the 4,000 ft. (1,200m) slope, the water picks up a lot of air.  We collect the water in a culvert, then it runs down a buried pipe to our house.  
    We had to cut off the water that flowed into our waterline the other day, when we cleaned out the gravel that was clogging up our culvert.  Once we got the gravel out, we once again got the water pouring back into the culvert and our waterline.
    Whenever we do this we end up getting water full of tiny bubbles coming out of our taps.  The bubbles quickly dissipate, in fact, when I was going to take a photo of the bubbles in a glass of water, I filled the glass, and carried it out to the lanai so I could photograph it in the sunshine, but by the time I got out there, all the bubbles were gone, so I filled up the glass again, and this time just walked out of the house just as far as the sidewalk.
    After about a week, “sparkling” water no longer comes out of our tap.  I assume that is because the water sits in our culvert and waterline a bit longer giving the bubbles time to dissipate before the water gets to our house. 

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Thursday 29 May 2014

The Left Boot

    Last night, I was over at Nadia’s helping edit her book, when the phone rang.  It was Joan, who then told me that we had just lost our water at our house, so I hung up the phone and rushed home to see if I could somehow re-establish the water before the evening sun disappeared.  
    We get our water directly from a creek tumbling down the mountainside.  Our intake is right in the middle of a waterfall, and since we have had a lot of rain lately, plus the snow on top of the mountain is melting, it means the creek is running fast, and it is carrying a lot of debris.  I called a neighbor, who is also on our waterline, and we went up to see what the problem was and hopefully correct it.  
    The problem was that our culvert in which we catch the water, had filled up with fine gravel, thus burying our intake pipe.  First we had to divert the water so it flowed around our culvert instead of into it.  Then we lifted the watergate on the side of our culvert, and the water (and gravel) flushed out, cleaning out our culvert of gravel.
      In the process, I managed to fill my left boot full of water, but that was a small price to pay for getting our water back to our house.  When I got home I took the boot off and poured the water that filled it into the flower bed.
    It rained over night, leaving everything wet, so this morning, when it was time to take our walk through the woods, I went to get my boots.  It was then that I realized that my left boot was probably still wet inside.  The prospect of putting my foot, and nice warm sock into a wet boot was not very appealing.
    Amazingly, I then remembered that when I bought these boots, it was to replace an old pair, one of which had developed a hole in the bottom.  Being the thrifty person that I am, instead of throwing both of the old boots away, I threw the torn one away, and kept the good one, in case I would someday need it.  (The fact that I like to save old things that may someday be useful, is a sore point with my wife).  
    At any rate, it was worth a check in the garage to see if it was the old left boot that I had saved.  I figured I had a 50-50 chance that it was.  
    It was!  I put my right foot into my new dry right boot, and my left foot into my old dry left boot and we headed off into the woods.  I somehow felt vindicated for all of those hundreds of old things I have saved through the years.

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Wednesday 28 May 2014

Swamp Candles

    We drove up to Prince George on Monday.  It was the first time this year that the sides of the roads weren’t lined with snow, although you could still see a few patches of snow in the bush in places.  One of the things that did catch my eye were the bright yellow flowers of skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanum).  You might recognize the similarity of this flower with the bog arum that I blogged about on May 25th.   They both are members of the arum family,and are also related to the taro plant.  
    Skunk cabbage is actually a good name for this plant, since the plant itself has large cabbage-like leaves and the plant does smell like a skunk.  First Nations people used the leaves like we use wax paper--to wrap food and other things in.  
    Skunk cabbage likes really wet boggy areas, areas that are too wet for trees to grow in.  It is always a nice surprise to see these bright yellow flowers sticking up in swampy areas, after the snow melts.

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Tuesday 27 May 2014

Hosta Photos

    My hostas have been poking through the ground and their leaves have been unrolling.  Here are a few photos I have taken of the process.

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Sunday 25 May 2014

Bog Arum

    This showery morning as we were completing our walk around the trail, I veered off and looped around the pond.  I was delighted to discover that the bog arum, an aquatic plant that grows along one end of my pond, were blooming.  Here are some photos I took of the plant.

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Saturday 24 May 2014


    Forget-me-nots are tiny baby blue, pink, or white flowers that come up every year on our property.  When we first bought the place in 1977, there weren’t any, but Mrs. Nail, our retired neighbor had planted some in her yard, from seed she had gotten from the Alpine Club of Canada, and it was always a treat to see the light blue blanket they made every year.  I don’t remember if we planted some of hers in our yard or whether they just spread, but however they got here, they now help welcome the spring every year in our yard.
    Because I do like to have them, when they come up in the yard, I purposely mow around them, so that they go to seed and reappear next year.  This  of course, gives us a lawn that looks rather ill-kept, because the grass that grows around the forget-me-nots continues to grow, but I would rather have a spotty looking lawn with forget-me-nots, than a neat lawn that only consists of sterile looking grass.  
    It is amazing at how they spread.  They are now all over our lawn, and I spread some of the old gone-to-seed plants down on the dam of my pond and they have spread in the shade down by the water.  Joan and I were surprised the other day to find a lone forget-me-not growing way down in a field by the Fraser River, which is a long way from any of the other patches.  It is a mystery how a forget-me-not seed found its way down there and established itself.

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Friday 23 May 2014

Event Cluster

    I always find it interesting that it seems we go for weeks without anything happening around here, then suddenly we get a day when everything happens at the same time.  Yesterday was one of those busy days where my normal daily schedule was interrupted because all of the other things that were happening.  
    In the morning, I had to take our dog, Skye to the vet.  When I got home I split some wood, then mowed a bit of the lawn.  In the afternoon, I went to the book discussion at the library about World War I books.  It was an interesting discussion, I got to rave about my favorite, Dalton Trumbo’s “Johnny Got His Gun,” and I put “All Quiet on the Western Front” on my reading list, after it received some really good reviews by the group.
    Thursday evening is usually square dancing, but there was going to be a presentation in town by Dr. Menounos a professor at UNBC who has been doing research on glaciers and how climate change is causing them to drastically melt back.  His research was part of a global study that was released and made news last week.  This was of particular interest to me because a couple of the glaciers he has been studying are close to McBride--the Castle Creek Glacier, and the Robson Glacier in Mount Robson Provincial Park.
    It was a grim report.  I was struck by how complicated and how many un-obvious things have to be considered when doing scientific research.  But the conclusions pretty much show that the glaciers and polar ice caps are going to disappear, some in the not too distant future, and there will be ramifications for water, wildlife, people and low lying coastal cities around the world.  The photo up top was part of the presentation and shows the retreat of the Robson Glacier over the years.
    After the glacier meeting broke up, I rushed back to the elementary school gym to join the last 45 minutes of square dancing.  After all that it was nice to be back home, in my bed, reading before I fell to sleep.

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Thursday 22 May 2014

Making Shakes

    Shakes are shingles, used for covering a roof, and are made from wood.  Since there were a lot of big Western Red Cedar trees in the Robson Valley, early settlers (and a lot of later ones) used cedar shakes to cover their roof.  Cedar shakes were also exported and used on high-end houses in California, until their high fire hazard was discovered.   Cedar possesses some chemicals that make it burn quickly, but it also contains chemicals that preserve it from rotting.
       In 1977, when we moved to McBride and bought our present house, it, along with the garage, had cedar shakes on the roof.  Our neighbor’s house, that had been built by “hippy, back-to-the-landers” not only had cedar shakes on the roof, but also on the sides.  I replaced the shakes on my house with tin roofing, because I thought it would be safer if there was a forest fire.  For decades, we used the torn off shakes as kindling in our wood stove.
    When I was out getting firewood the other day, I saw a cedar log and decided to collect some of the cedar for kindling.  When I got the pieces home I thought I would try to make some cedar shakes, because the process has always fascinated me.  I had all of the necessary equipment, which wasn’t much--a froe, a mallet and a chunk of cedar.
    Cedar works exceptionally well for making shakes because if you have a chunk that has no knots it splits straight and true.  Here’s how you do it.
    The froe is the “L” shaped tool you see stuck in the wood.  It is made up of a metal blade across the bottom and a handle.  You place the blade on the shake block about a half inch (1.25 cm) from the edge.  You take the mallet (the roundish cylinder with the handle) and bang the blade of the froe into the cedar.  Once that is in the wood, you grab the handle of the froe and pull it toward you.  This splits the shake off of the block and it flops onto the ground ready to use.
    Seeing the nice straight rectangular shake that pops off of the block, always seems like a miracle to me.  For years, blocks were harvested in the cedar forest around here, and because only knot-free blocks of wood could be used, there was a lot of waste.  Now most of those old cedar stands have disappeared and there is not much cedar shake making anymore. 
    The cedar blocks I gathered have knots and they are really not good for making shakes.  I just want the cedar for kindling, and just made some shakes, because it was fun.

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Wednesday 21 May 2014

The Yellow Tide

    The yellow tide of dandelions is sweeping across the Robson Valley.  At the flower stage, I find the invasion beautiful.  The animals like them too.  The bees are busy visiting the millions of yellow flowers, and the grazing animals enjoy munching on them.  When I had angora goats, they would return from the pasture with their lips yellow with dandelion pollen.  We enjoyed watching black bears sitting down in the field feeding on the yellow flowers.
    It is later in the season, when the flowers turn to fluff, that the dandelions lose their attractiveness, and the air becomes filled with millions of windblown parachutes, that the plant loses its attractiveness to me.
    Below is a shot of the old Koeneman homestead cabin sitting in the midst of a yellow carpet of dandelions. 

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Tuesday 20 May 2014

Robson Valley View

    We moved to the Robson Valley because we loved the mountains and the wide valley that sits between them.  Above, is one of my favorite Robson Valley views.  It shows some abandoned farm buildings amongst the fields just east of McBride on Highway 16. 
    I have taken scores of photos from this vantage point.  This one I took a couple of weeks ago.  Most Saturday evenings we go out to visit our friends, the Milnes, and we pass by this view on the way.  I always take my camera, just in case there is some interesting light illuminating the scene.  
    The gap you see between the mountains is the Raush Valley with its snowy peaks, part of the Cariboo Mountain Range.

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Monday 19 May 2014


    Willows are trees that keep on giving.  In the fall, they shower us with leaves, through the winter, its is branches and twigs that fall to the ground, now in the spring we are getting catkins.  These are the elongated “flowers” that the willow trees put out.
    A few days ago, we couldn’t help but notice the buzz of hundreds of bees, as they circled around the willows gathering the sweetness of the catkins.  Now that has seemed to have slowed down, and the catkins are falling from the trees by the thousands.  They are covering my truck, the sidewalks, and of course the lawn.
    I am not distressed by all these catkins, I am not one of those people that obsesses over a perfect lawn, I accept them as part of what nature does, and they will soon disappear as they are swept off of the sidewalks, blown off of the roof, or ground up by the lawn mower.  The fall of catkins is just another of those events that mark the changing of the seasons around here.

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Sunday 18 May 2014

Green, Green

    Suddenly, everything around here is green.  I am always amazed at how quickly this happens, once it begins.  The months when our world was filled with white and grey is now hard to remember and has suddenly been replaced with green.  You can almost see the plants grow, and the difference from day to day is astonishing.  The oak ferns (below) have suddenly appeared on the sides of our trail and are lush in growth and color, and taller bushes are now beginning to restrict our views.  
    This is only beginning, as the plants now race to get all their necessary warm weather jobs done before the next winter arrives.

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Saturday 17 May 2014

Fraser River Foam

    Every spring when the waters of the Fraser River start to rise, big clumps of white foam can be seen floating on its surface.  When we first saw this, I thought they were little icebergs floating down the river, but when I was able to get close to examine them, I  realized that they were stiff light-grey foamy bubbles, which made me begin to worry that they were some sort of pollution in the water.   But since there isn’t any industry upriver, I soon abandoned that idea and assumed it was just some natural phenomenon. 
    I believe that they are created as bubbles are generated, by falling and fast flowing water because of the minerals and tiny particles in the water they become stiff and suspended then build up and are carried away by the current.   If you look closely at the photo below you can see someof the chunks floating down the river. 

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Friday 16 May 2014

Ahead of Time

    One of the problems of being retired is that it is hard to keep track of what day it is.  When I was working, I had the work week and the constant writing of the date to keep me anchored with time, but now as a retiree, all the days are pretty much the same, I never have to write the date, and it doesn’t really matter if its Monday or Saturday.  Lately, however I guess I have let this dateless existence get a bit out of hand, I seem to be living my life a week ahead of time.
    There is the old joke about asking a retiree how they like being retired, and the reply is, “I really like it, but I do miss the holidays.”  I have been thinking of that a bit lately because on last Friday’s blog I said it was the Victoria Day long weekend.  I was wrong, the Victoria Day long weekend is this coming weekend.  This is particularly embarrassing for me because every year I create and sell a trivia calendar (above), I should probably make myself pay more attention to it.
    There is a book discussion group that meets at the local library each month on the last Thursday.  I have never attended but this month the discussion is to be about books related to World War I.  I really like books (Three Day Road), movies, and TV series (Parade’s End and Downton Abbey) about this time period, and wanted to attend the discussion, so yesterday afternoon, I gathered my favorite World War I book, (Johnny Got His Gun), and headed down to the library.  
    I was a bit surprised that there weren’t many vehicles parked in front of the library, and when I went in and asked about the book discussion, I found out why--the group meets next Thursday, or is it the Thursday after that?
    I’ll have to find out and mark it on my calendar.

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Thursday 15 May 2014

Fraidy Dog

    When we got our dog Skye, we were wondering how well she would get along with Lucifer, our cat.  Skye is easy going and friendly, while Lucifer can be a real terror, thus her name.  Unfortunately, in that period of mutual adjustment, Lucifer showed her demonic side, and Skye decided the cat too unpredictable and pretty scary and so he gives her a wide berth.  What is strange about the relationship is that Lucifer is also afraid of Skye, so there are some interesting dynamic that go on in our household.
    The other evening, I filled a small container full of corn and oats to take down to the pond to spread for the wild ducks to eat.  As I walked down the path, Skye followed me.  Then a minute later, Lucifer also joined the parade.  
       After spreading the grain, I turned and walked back toward the house.  Skye followed me.  When I got to Lucifer, who was sitting there on the path, I walked passed her and walked toward the house.  I turned to see where Skye was, and she had planted herself on the trail, afraid to go past the cat.  She just sat there.  I could tell she wanted to come to me, but fear had frozen her to the spot.
    Eventually, Lucifer turned and walked back to the house, and a relieved Skye followed her, although at a distance.

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Wednesday 14 May 2014

What a Waste

    We have a wood stove that provides us heat during the winter.  We are fortunate that we are surrounded by forests that supply a constant opportunity to gather firewood.  I don’t like to cut down  trees, and fortunately, I don’t have too, because there are so many downed trees laying around, unused by the industrial logging that occurs here.  I am happy to have the supply of firewood, but even though I have been to hundreds of logged out areas since moving to Canada (40 years now), I am still appalled every time I go into a “cutblock”.
    There is so much waste.  After the loggers have trucked away the wood they want, the ground is still covered with logs, littered with useable wood, scattered chaotically around.  
    Birch is the wood I prefer to burn in my stove.  It splits easily and burns slow and hot.  Even though there is a manufacturer of birch flooring in McBride, the particular “cutblock” I went to to cut firewood wood, was full of beautiful, straight knot-free birch just laying there waiting to rot.  The area had already been planted, so all these logs were just going to waste, all the logging activity was over. 
    I hate to see things wasted, especially if I can use them.  It is not easy however to get to this waste wood.  A pile of wood debris, blocked the trail that led into the logged area.  None of the downed birch were close to the trail, so after cutting the logs into pieces up (you can see them in the photo), I had to carry each heavy piece of birch 35 meters back to my truck.  It is hot and exhausting work, but I need the wood, and like I said, I hate to see it just waiting to rot and wasted.
    Its a schizophrenic situation for me.  I like to have the opportunity to go out and get the wood, but I wish the loggers would use more of the wood they cut down.

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Tuesday 13 May 2014

Downloading, Downloading, Downloading

    I am really tired of downloading Apple’s new operating system, Mavericks.  I have had to do it 3 times now.  I long for the days when you used to get a CD with the operating system on it and you could just put it in the computer and install it, but now Apple no longer makes their operating systems available on a CD, so they have to be downloaded from the internet.  This might be okay for those people who have access to really high-speed internet, but its a real burden to people who are on the slow lane.
    Mavericks is 5.3 GB in size.  Not only does it tie up the internet for a long time, but for many internet subscribers whose plan limits download time, it can be really expensive.  A friend of mine, has avoided updating to Mavericks because of the extra cost he would incur for going beyond his download limit.  Fortunately, so far my provider hasn’t hit me with additional charges.
    To stay current, I first downloaded Mavericks on my old computer.  When you click the “Download” button and the computer starts to consider the task, it comes up with a screen that estimates the download time.  (See photo).  The time jumps around a bit at the beginning.  I just about fell out of my chair when I read, “About 55 hours”.  That’s a pretty long span of time to be using the uninterrupted internet, considering all the times it shuts off around here.
    I think this first download took me about two and a half days.  The first night the internet stopped and so I had to start over the next morning.  In the evening, internet speeds really bog down as more people get online downloading movies, but eventually, I got the OS all downloaded and it was easy to install.
    Then, I bought my new iMac and discovered that it didn’t have the latest version of Mavericks on it so I had to do another lengthy download for it.  That too, took a couple of days of downloading.
    Since my old computer was still a very functioning machine I decided to give it to a friend who doesn’t have a computer.  That meant I had to wipe all my stuff off of the hard drive, and yes, re-install Mavericks.  Luckily, this time it took only a day and a half to download.  
    Hopefully now I will be good for a while and will just have to deal with small updates and not the whole Mavericks operating system.  It feels really good to be on this side of the ordeal.

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Monday 12 May 2014

The Dunster Mother's Day Yard Sale

    Every spring on Mother’s Day, the tiny hamlet of Dunster, BC has a big yard sale so that residence of the Robson Valley can circulate unwanted items among themselves.  It was a beautiful day, warm and sunny, so Joan and I headed east of McBride to Dunster for the event.  The yard sale is as much a social occasion as it is an economic opportunity, and since I didn’t really need anything, I was hoping to return empty-handed, but alas, it was not to be.
    As soon as we arrived Joan noticed a pair of brand new felt pack winter boots in my size.  They were only $10.00 and I couldn’t pass up the bargain, so I bought them and we continued on, surveying the wide array of items for sale.  Amazingly, Joan discovered some cooking books that she didn’t have and so she forked out a handful of change so she could add those to her collection.
    As we proceeded past tables piled of containers of nuts, bolts, old faucets, knick-knacks, VCR tapes, used cooking appliances and containers, bedding plants, and baked goods, up toward the Dunster General Store, we came upon Warren Jones and his offerings.  I always think of Warren as a cowboy.  He is usually wearing a hat and cowboy gear, and sports a really long handlebar mustache.   He works as a horseshoer, a cattle truck driver (the Bull Shipper), and a chainsaw repairer, so we were surprised at what he was selling--office chairs.
    It seems that Warren bought a huge supply of used office chairs, (I think he said eighty of them.)  He had a few sitting there on the gravel, and they looked pretty good.  The chair I have in my office was starting to deteriorate, so I tried out the ones that Warren had and decided to lay down $20 for the most comfortable one.  At $20, it too, was a real bargain.
    At another table the vendor gave me an old laminated Robson Valley poster I had made 20 years ago, so with our arms full of our new possessions, we headed back to our truck, knowing that we had utterly failed in our desire to to come home empty handed, but we are happy with our purchases.
    When we got home and Joan began looking through her cooking books she remarked about what good ones they were, and I am presently sitting on my new office chair as I type this blog.
    Dunster is beautifully situated in the Robson Valley, surrounded by mountains.  On our way home we passed a green pasture full of sheep and newborn lambs.  Below is a photo of the scene. 

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Sunday 11 May 2014

Up on the Roof

    Yesterday I got up on our roof to sweep away the twigs and branches that  accumulated there over the winter.  It was a beautiful day, and being up high gave me a nice panoramic view of our garden.  We have a fence around it to keep the deer out.  
    At the far half-side of the garden you can see where I planted the potatoes.  The stakes in a row hold the fencing that my peas will climb up on.  I still have to build the “teepees” for my pole beans and plant the corn in the untilled half of the garden that are in the foreground.  Standing beside the greenhouse in the trees, you might be able to make out our out house, which we use during emergencies.

    It is so nice to have all of the greens providing the base color for the land around us.

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Saturday 10 May 2014

A Mouse's Ear

    Like the cartoon says, there is an old folk saying that when the aspen leaves get to be the same size as the ear of a mouse, then you should plant your garden.  Well, the bright light-green aspen leaves have now reached mouse-ear size, and yesterday I planted my potatoes.  Weeks ago I had planted peas, lettuce, and kale, all plants that like the cool days and sometimes freezing nights and they have now all poked there heads through the soil.
    This is the May long weekend in Canada, (Victoria Day or the Queen’s Birthday).  It is the traditional time for planting gardens in the Robson Valley.  I usually manage to plant my garden a couple of weeks earlier, but it has been a bit cooler than usual this year.
    Below is a photo that I took from our balcony yesterday that show some of the aspen leaves.

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Friday 9 May 2014

Art Nouveau

    Art Nouveau was a style of art that developed in at the turn of the last century.  It was an effort to make buildings, furniture, graphics and other objects reflect the lines, and curves that are seen in nature.  This of course meant a lot of images of plants and flowers.
    Plants and’s easy to see why art nouveau might appeal to me, because one of the joys in my life is exploring the beauty of nature and especially plants.  One of the plants that always remind me of art nouveau is the waterlily.
    They have been pushing up from the bottom of my pond, growing through the water, and now, their leaves are beginning to emerge on the surface.  The waterlilies I have in my pond are native to BC and sport a yellow flower.  The flower is not as spectacular as some of the domestic varieties, but I am always happy to see them.  I did a painting of one of these waterlily flowers, if you want to see what they look like.

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Thursday 8 May 2014


    The hummingbirds have returned to the Robson Valley.  I made this quick composite photo to show the two types of hummers we have around here.  On the left is the Calliope hummingbird.  It is the tiniest bird in North America, weighing only 1/10th of an ounce (2.3 grams).  As you can see, the rusty colored Rufus hummingbird on the right is a bit bigger.  It is not apparent in the photo because of the way the birds are turned, but when they reflect the sunlight at a certain angle, they both sport an iridescent ruby-colored patch on the neck.
    Both hummers migrate up here to breed.  A local man who tags them has had his birds come from as far away as Texas.  I always worry about them, arriving up here when the temperature still drops below freezing at night, and there are not many flowers yet for them to get the sugars they need to survive, but I guess they know what they are doing, because they keep showing up.
    Both Joan and I were surprised on our first spring in Canada to see hummingbirds.  I always associated them with hot summers in Indiana and Joan, who grew up in Germany, had never seen a hummingbird and thought they could only be found in South America.
    Like bears, hummers are something we look forward to seeing each spring.

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Wednesday 7 May 2014

First Bear

    One of the things people in the Robson Valley ask each other this time of year is, “Have you seen any bears yet?”  Yesterday, Joan when to walk Skye at the airfield and saw a bear with a cub out in the grass.  In the evening, when I was driving to our music jam, I stopped along the Fraser River, got out of the truck to take a photo of the light on the Cariboo mountains, and as I was walking back to the truck, I heard some crashing in woods on the other side of the road, and spotted my first bear of the year.  
    Now that I look at the crumby photo I took, it doesn’t even look very much like a bear, but as it took off I was sure that was what it was.  
    Yesterday, when I was out getting some firewood, I saw this hare hiding in the bushes.  While not a very exciting sighting, at least you can tell what it is. 

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Tuesday 6 May 2014

May Snow

    Last night when I was in my bed, I could hear the rain pattering on our metal roof.  I was surprised this morning when I saw that it had changed to snow overnight.  While it did seem like a step backwards when we are supposed to be well into spring, it did create an opportunity for some nice photos.

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Monday 5 May 2014

Aspen Roots

    As the weather warms (the last two days ignored), you can begin to see a clumps of light green creep up the mountainsides.  These clumps are aspen trees.  The reason you see clumps is because the aspen spreads itself through its roots, and so while you may see many trees, it is actually “one tree” with many trunks, all with the same genetics.  That is why they all start to leaf out at the same time and we see slumps of leafing aspen standing besides other clumps of aspen that have not yet started to leaf.

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Sunday 4 May 2014

Snow Line

    Spring took a step backward in the Robson Valley yesterday.  We even got light snow flurries in the afternoon.  Higher up in the mountains however it is much colder and so the snow that fell there didn’t melt, like it did on the warmer valley bottom.  In the photo you can see the snow line, above which the temperatures are freezing and below which they are not.
    Quite often in BC weather reports they will announce something like, “snow above 800m” which means in elevations above 800 m (2,600 ft) above sea level the precipitation will fall as snow.  The assumption is that below that elevation there will probably be rain showers.   My house is sitting at 24,000 ft (730 m) above sea level.

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Saturday 3 May 2014

Spectacular Cloud Day

    Spring is a season when the Robson Valley gets a lot of weather systems moving through.  With this weather we often get some pretty amazing displays in the sky.  A week ago when we were walking the dog down the runway at the airfield, the sky was putting on one of its dramatic shows.  Here are a few shots I took of the event.

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Friday 2 May 2014

Saved By Ingeborg

    Thanks to some international help, I am happy to report that my new computer hell is now over, my backlog of blogs has been saved, and I am able to now use my new computer to do all of those things that I did on my old one.
    Yesterday after lunch, I was laying down for my daily nap (one of the perks of retirement), all of a sudden, I started hearing the ring-tone from my iPad.  I was getting a video-call on Facetime (an Apple version of Skpe) from our good friend, Ingeborg, who lives in Belgium.  (That is her on my iPad as she was helping me out.)
    She was reading on my blog about the trouble I was having trying to retrieve all of my old blogs on iWeb, the old program I use to do my website.  She took mercy on me and wanted to help me solve my problems, and she sure did.  
    Although she hadn’t really gone through exactly what I was experiencing, she had experience with iWeb, and a lot more “techy” knowledge of Macs.  With her there, walking me through the help information on the internet (things I had tried to do, but misunderstood), she patiently got me doing what I needed to do, and after about 45 minutes, and cutting into her Belgium bedtime, she had my iWeb showing all those files I couldn’t get it to connect too.  It is sure nice to have knowledgeable friends.
    So I now have updated       
and will be able to continue there as I have done in the past, only this time using my new computer.
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Ingeborg.

Thursday 1 May 2014

The Hell of a New Computer, Part 3

    I used an old Mac program called iWeb to create and update my website and blogs.  I have been using it for my blogs since January of 2011, so I have a lot of blogs out there.  Like a lot of programs I like and depended on, Apple did away with iWeb several years ago, but it still worked on my old computer and I continued to use it.
    I was overjoyed when I discovered that I had successfully moved the iWeb program over to my new computer.  I was not so overjoyed when I opened it.  It showed a virgin front page--None of my blogs or the rest of my website was with it.  It was like I had just opened the program for the first time.
    I got onto Google and discovered that for some reason, the iWeb files are “invisible”, and I tried to follow the instructions to make them appear.  I was somewhat successful in doing this and was able to come up with a folder that was 950 MBs in size.  This I assumed, was all my blogs and other website information.  Too my dismay, even though I have all this stuff presumably in a folder and moved to the correct place in my hard drive, there doesn’t seem to be any way to get it to open up in iWeb, despite trying all the things suggested in my internet searches.  
    So here I sit, iWeb works on my new computer, it just doesn’t show any of my previous 3 years of work, and if I do a new blog and send it to my website, it will get there, but all of my old stuff that sits there will be erased.  Fortunately I can use this Blogspot site to continue my blogs, and in the meantime I am slowly trying to rebuild my website using iWeb, rebuilding the whole site, and some of my favorite blogs.  
    It is a lot of time consuming work, and it threatens to overwhelm me, but I don’t know what else to do.  I don’t want to lose all of my old work, so I will try to re-do it.  
    Getting a new computer seems like it ought be fun and exciting, but so far that thrill has been overshadowed by all of the frustration and hours work that it has caused me.  Slowly over time, I hope to be back where I started from.

You can still see my paintings on my website: