Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fun in the Sun and Snow

The dogs spent a lot of time Tuesday and Wednesday laid in the snow, chewing on bones.  This afternoon Jake tried to get Luna to play, but her bone was about 15 feet behind her and she is very protective of her food.  The only response she was giving Jake was a raised lip and a lot of teeth.  
He tried again a bit later, and had a bit more success.

I'm taking these pictures from the house, trying to dash from one window to another to get a good shot.  If I went out of the door, all play would stop.  Don't you hate it when you can't avoid getting the junky mess in the background.  


I bow, you bow, we all play together now


Jake heading down the driveway to run under the cedar hedge and the rhododendron bushes to frantically dig.  Just something he does when he gets all wound up when playing.  That was the end of Luna's involvement, next thing she was at the door demanding asking to come in.  Luna...demanding?...never:)


So Jake went back and started chewing on the bone Luna had.  I'll show her, he's probably saying.  He's in a blissful state, with his eyes closed...or maybe the sun was just too bright.


Are you talking about me?


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Three Day Snowstorm

Well the meteorologists messed up this time.  It was supposed to be raining yesterday.  Oh no, it didn't rain, it just kept on snowing.  All day.  At 5pm there was 13 inches, and it snowed for a few more hours, and then cleared off overnight.  That meant it froze overnight, and then we woke up this morning to this.


Time to take photos and try to capture all that glitter and sparkle.   Sometimes I was sort of successful.


Looking over our hay field and the neighbour's field.


And back at the house.  Look at that blue ski!  We don't often get those brilliantly blue skies.  Being not far from the ocean adds a lot of moisture to our air, and often there is a very thin haze or high cloud.


Jake and Luna had fun.  We didn't take Calli, it was just too deep for her back legs to handle.




It was good to have a trailbreaker with tall boots.  It wasn't very deep right here...


But other places were, and my boots were shorter, just like me, and of course I ended up with wet socks.


A race up the bush field


Looking over the back hay field towards the house.


An 'arty' shot


An icicle hanging off that branch.  The camera didn't like this shot, it didn't want to focus.  I finally seemed to get the settings sorted out, and the icicle fell off the branch right in front of my eyes:)  At least one shot turned out half decent.


The snow had flattened parts of the undergrowth.  Normally we would have been looking through the salmonberry bushes here, not over them.


It was just so darn pretty, although the wind had knocked a lot of the snow off the trees in the more exposed areas.


You called?


It was a tough slog though, I was wishing I could bound through the snow like the dogs.  I'll bet they were tired too, it was hard work, and they went much farther than us.  Some snow shoes would have been handy:)


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Snow Day!

We had an unusual weather system that came through and dumped a ton of snow on us yesterday and mostly today, while the temperatures hovered just at or just over the freezing mark.  This meant that the roads stayed  clear and wet, until later today when they eventually did get snowed over.  I drove home from White Rock just before 6pm, and it was a little slippery in spots, but I and the truck made it in one piece.

This morning by 11am we had 9 inches in the deepest spot.  The snow level was uneven because of the temperature.  Some spots were just that tad warmer, so the snow just melted on contact for the longest time, before it finally started to cover.

It was beautiful this morning, and I got carried away with photos.  We don't get a lot of snow compared to other places, so it's always a little bit exciting for us.  Here's a video to get you in the mood.  I think the dogs were smelling some coyote scent on the wind, Luna has her hackles up.  In the last little bit Luna looks like a short legged Corgi don't you think?

Catching snowflakes on her tongue?

 Helping to bring home the bacon firewood.



We went out to the bush, thinking that the snow would not be as deep on the trail, and would be easier for Calli.  It was, but the trail was covered with bent over, snow laden, salmonberry bushes.  Good thing I had someone to go ahead and knock most of the snow off!



Those chickens didn't do much free ranging today







After tromping through all that beauty we had to come back and do the mundane things like pulling all the heavy snow off the top of the pipe and tarp Costco shelter over our travel trailer.  It's been up quite a few years, and the tarp is getting old, but so far we've managed to protect it from collapsing under pressures that wind and snow have put on it.


It continued to snow until this evening.  The forecast is for warmer temperatures, sunshine and  up to 14C or 57 F by Friday.  Hard to imagine at this moment, but in a day or two the snow will be nothing but a muddy memory.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Rock Slide

British Columbia is a province of mountains, the most mountainous province in the country.  You may be able to drive in a river valley for a while, but usually to travel any great distance a person has to cross one mountain range or another.  On the way to Oliver, we travel though the Similkameen River valley between Princeton and Keremeos on Hwy 3.  Not long after our January visit to Oliver, the road was closed just west of Keremeos for a few days due to a rock slide.  We were just pleased that we weren't planning a trip that way just then, although we do have the option of taking the Coquihalla (Hwy 5) which is a four lane freeway through the mountains.  It's not our route of choice, though, we find Hwy 3 much more interesting. 

Well wouldn't you know, on our way to Oliver last week, just 20 minutes before we arrived at the rock slide area, some more debris came down, and they closed the highway.  To find that out I walked Jake and Luna to the head of the quarter mile lineup, and had some conversation with the flag girl.  She said they were going to wait another 15 minutes to see if anything else came down, and then it would take another 15 minutes to clear the road, and then we should be good to go.
As I walked back along the line-up a few people rolled down their windows and asked me what I knew, and I was glad to be able to fill them in.  I had a good conversation with the guy driving the truck carrying the fence posts that was stopped in front of us.  He rolled down his window and said what a nice red border collie Jake was.


I got back in the truck and we sat and waited.....and glanced nervously up at the mountain that seemed to rise straight up next to us.


This is the view across the valley to the southwest, with the Similkameen River flowing through the middle.
About 30 feet below the edge of the road was a house and outbuildings.


A little while later, a fellow walked along, and we asked him if he had an update.  Turns out he was the owner of the house below.  He said that now they were saying that it was a 50/50 chance of them NOT re-opening the road.  To turn around and take an alternate route was a three hour trip, and where we were stopped was less than an hour from Oliver.  There is a gravel road that goes up the mountain and across to a ski area, but considering the time of year, fading daylight, steepness and our lack of four wheel drive, we didn't even consider it.  Two people that had done it the first time the road was closed said it was not a pleasant drive.  Some people had already turned around.  What to do, what to do.  Thankfully we made the right decision, and stuck it out, and not long after than they opened the road and away we went.  There wasn't much to see, other than sagging power lines, a berm of debris piled in the two westbound lanes, and a generator and some powerful lights.


On the way back yesterday, it looked just the same, but as least we didn't have to stop this time.


Right near the end of Hwy 3 as we are heading home, we pass/drive over the Hope Slide.  It came down in January of 1965, that big snow patch on the mountain is where the whole mountain side slid away.  The highway was buried under hundreds of feet of debris.  Four people died.  Two were never found.  The new highway is built on top of the debris field.  Nature is very gradually healing the scar.


Google street view even goes into the viewpoint! 
Here are a couple of photos of the slide just after it happened.  Looking east.  Notice how high the debris is above the highway.

At the east end, looking west.

Most of the time I do think about the slide as we drive through that area, and am glad to be past it.  A person just never knows where the next one might come down.
Here's a little more info about the Hope Slide.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday

In November of 1963 we left Williams Lake and moved to the southwest corner of the province, and the little seaside town of White Rock.   Florrie and Frank, and their daughter Jean, who my mother had been friendly with on the ship coming over from England, had moved there.  Florrie kept in touch with my mother, and must have convinced her that she would feel more at home in White Rock.  Our belongings were all packed into the old Pontiac, and away we went.  We travelled down the Fraser Canyon, and the road was narrow and perched on the edge of the cliff in places.  I  can't imagine what my parents must have thought of it.  It was nothing like the highway it is now.
We rented a little house, and Frank made a table and some stools for us, and somehow we rounded up enough furniture to get by.  My dad had trouble finding work at first, and things were a bit difficult.  I remember going to the beach and collecting driftwood to burn in the fireplace.
Spring of 1964, stood on the boat dock at the end of the White Rock pier

I think there was an event at school that I decorated the doll's pram for.
Stanley Park and Lumberman's Arch, in Vancouver

Sorry for the lack of posts recently.  We have been in Oliver for the last nine days, and are heading home on Friday.  Right now, since I don't have a laptop (yet), and only have an ancient flip phone, my internet access is limited to an hour a day, five days a week, at the public library.  Kind of a nice change in a way, but awkward for doing posts, and I'm never organized enough to get posts written ahead of time.  This post I did manage to upload the photos ahead of time at least, so finally managed to add some text to it today.
I did get five books read though!