2015 Book Tour

IMG_9376There have been some slight changes for my 2015 book tour.  I will no longer be going to Stewart.  So I will leave home on 13th October, stay a little west of Prince George with a friend, then drive to Hazelton for my first speaking engagement on 14th.  15th I will be speaking in Prince Rupert.  16th – 19th I will be staying with friends in both Prince Rupert and Terrace, and performing in Terrace on the 19th.  20th will be Smithers.  22nd Burns Lake, 23rd Vanderhoof, then home.

I have no new book out this year – Harry was too lazy about writing his memoir last winter.  So the slide show will be much the same as the one I gave through the lower mainland last fall.

For full details see the Book Tour Page.

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A Last Burst of Fall

Despite quite a bit of rain, the ponds remained dry.  Harry is sitting in the bottom of one of them – hot after a run.

1 hot harryThen we got a real rain that lasted all day.1a finger peak rainIt put more fresh snow on the mountains (the Kleena Kleene post office.)2 KK POAnd finally, water came back into the ponds.3b pondImmediately, they were full of ducks.  Mallards mostly but I think the smaller ones are teal.3 new water ducks 2They were upending and feeding like mad – why does the sedge taste so much better when it is covered in water?

When it is dry, frost is hardly noticeable but the rain and frost combined produced some very pretty effects.  4 frost leaves 2

5 birch and xmas lights

8 planets and willows

6 frost leaves 3

7 frost leaves 1Mother Nature’s Christmas lights.9 xmas kights

10 wetland colourThe day after the party was the full moon.  I kept an eye on the eastern sky in the evening, waiting for it to rise, and it seemed later than I anticipated.  Then, as the last of the daylight left the sky, I saw what appeared to be a very dull moon – was it cloudy?  But elsewhere there was not a cloud in the sky.  The moon was red, too, as if seen through the smoke of a forest fire.  Surely not after all that rain.  It was quite a while before I realized it must be an eclipse!  The following morning the moon set round as a pie plate over the western hills.10 moonsetThe fall continued somewhat drably.  Sunrises were, as always, beautiful.10a sunrise finger peak

11 another sunrise

12 fog trailing finger peakThen suddenly, the cottonwoods flared into a blaze of gold.  it was the last burst of fall.13 perkins peak white snow

14 river by cabin

15 KK river


dark cloudsAnd I rushed up onto the north dunes….19 cottonwoods and sand bluffs

20 cottonwoods and finger peakFog over One-Eye Lake

21 fog oneeye lake

23 cottonwoods from dead tree lookoutThe next day I went down to the river.  Even as I took this picture, a strong wind was starting.24 wind blowingThe leaves whirled into the river like golden snow.25 leaves in riverAnd this morning, the fall has almost gone.26 drab treesAll we have now are the colours in the sky.27 colours in sky


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Housewarming Party at Ginty Creek

9 party 1 stop signThe friends who came bear viewing with me had to leave before the actual party, but we managed to fit in a hike before they departed.

It’s been a funny fall.  There was a blaze of colour more than 2 weeks early, photographed when I took Jimmy to town, but in a couple of days it faded.pastel frost coloursThe aspens turned greyish – one might expect the severe infestation of leaf miner to be a party to that, but the dwarf birch also lost its colour.black leafThere were a few pockets left, however, when we went for our hike.party walk 1Squirrels are busy storing food for winter.  Here is a mushroom stuck up in a tree to dry.2 mushroom dryingSoon we were up on the dunes.3 on the dunesJacob’s ladder in its fall finery.5 jacobs ladderThe mountains behind the lake across the road were hidden.6 clearwater lakeElizabeth is a keen birdwatcher, and she spotted an eagle on its nest eating something.

7 eagles nestThe storms broke that evening to give a spectacular sunset.8 finger peak sunsetMy remaining guest and I drove along the 4 km road to hang balloons on the trees.  I was astounded to see, right by the highway, a brand new stop sign.  (See first picture.)

I was too busy at the party to take pictures  Only this one of my brother and his wife on my new deck.  The wind was bitter cold and soon we all had to move inside, bulging my little house at the seams.  Maybe friends will send pictures I can add here.  My brother has visited me a couple of times in Canada, but it is the first time Julie has been here.  I have not seen her for 35 years!

10 M and JIt was a great party.  People came from all over the province – it was lovely to think I had so many friends who were prepared to drive such a long way.  Only problem is, the house is still not finished!

But there is no peace for the wicked.  Now I must prepare for my fall book tour.  More about that in a day or two.




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Bear Viewing on the Bella Coola River

21 river 8 stupendousIn the previous post I mentioned being away for a couple of days during the yurt’s construction.  It was because the first housewarming party guests arrived – 5 days earlier than the main date – but they could not stay very long.  We wanted to hire a drift boat to take us down the Atnarko river to watch for bears.

It was sunny when we left home, but the forecast was not good and we could see clouds draped around the mountains.

1 road to bella coolaCloud shadows over the burnt forests below the rainbows were dramatic.2 rainbowsSnow lay beside the road at Heckman Pass but was melted on the road.

3 snow on passThen down the Bella Coola Hill we went.  Our first stop was at the Belarko bear viewing platform.6 bear viewing stationAll we saw was a sow named Cocoa and her 2-year cub.  Both were at a good distance so I got only a fuzzy picture.7 cocoa and cubNext we drove further down the valley and visited the petroglyphs.11 petroglyphs 4 doreenA sheen of dampness added a patina to the carvings.8 petroglyphs 1These carvings were almost hidden under a big spruce root.  The rock probably had more underneath the tree.9 petroglyphs 2

10 petroglyphs 3It started to rain while we walked around the big trees.13 big trees 1The following morning, we presented ourselves at the Belarko boat launch just upriver from the viewing station.  It was pouring rain.  Bent Ear, whom I’d seen on my last trip, was slurping up salmon roe.14 bent earWe got zipped into our life jackets,15 river 2 ifejacketAnd wriggled ourselves into the raft.  (Bent Ear had been feeding just where the river turns to the right – naturally, he wasn’t there when I took this picture.)16 river 3 raftMy three friends all lived in the lower mainland at the coast and were used to the wet.  I dressed as best I could, but my two coats and rain pants leaked.  The trip was to last 4 hours and I viewed the ordeal with some apprehension.  However, the experience was absolutely beautiful.

16a river 2a afloatI’d walked along the shore of much of the route we took over the years.  It was wonderful to view it from the river.

18 river 5 gullsA large number of the salmon were now dead (they die when they spawn) so the smell of rotting fish was pretty strong.

17 river 4 rotten salmon 1Bear tracks decorated the sand bars.19 river 6 bear tracksWe saw no bears, however.  Soon our lenses started to fog up.20 river 7 foggy lensRight at the end of our trip, we finally saw two more bears – Once more Cocoa and her cub.22 river 9 cocoa

23 river 10 cocoa 2This would have been a nice shot if….24 river 11 bears in riverThat afternoon, we climbed back up the Bella Coola Hill.  It was a sea of sloppy mud!  (The fog is in the air this time, not in my camera.)

26 up the hill 2 hairpinAnd at the top we drove back into sunshine.27 jack fence



29 cariboo flatsAt home, my road was dry!

30 nearly home








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The Yurt

A week before the housewarming party, my new neighbours, Jade and Ryan, arrived with the yurt.  the whole thing fitted into the back of a short-box pickup truck.

yurt 1 in truckThey might have started to put it together earlier, but we had an unexpected day of heavy rain.  More rain fell in 12 hours than has come down all year. That evening it cleared enough to start work.  (Like my greenhouse, the structure started with the doorway!)

yurt 2 walls

yurt 3 starting roofIt was very cool the way it all fitted together.yurt 4 more roof

yurt 6 b finish roofThe following day, they started on the cover.yurt 7 on top of roof

yurt 8 coverI had ordered a 3-season yurt.  It came with a white lining attached to a silver insulation layer.yurt 9 cover 2The outer cover was then placed on top.yurt 10 outer coverEverything was tied or slotted into place.  No nails or screws were used except around the doorway.yurt 11 sky holeI then went away for a couple of days (more of that in the next post) and arrived home in time for the housewarming party.  A recently received an email stating that the writer was sure I would put my party guests to work – and I did.

First to arrive was Betty.  She helped Jade install the stove and the chimney.

yurt chimney 1Unfortunately, I had been told that the hole in the cupola that sat on the roof was for a 6″ chimney, and that is what I had.  However, it was 8″ wide, so we had to adapt the 8″ cover to provide a support.yurt chinney 2

yurt chimney 3It was tricky getting the pipe through the top of the roof. Jade has her feet hooked in the straps that rope the yurt down in case of wind.yurt chimney 4yurt chimney 5And there it is.IMG_6857Betty was, very deservedly, the first person to sleep in it!  (The floor still has to be finished.)yurt interiorHowever, Betty was not the only worker/guest. Regular readers of the blog and my books may remember the post: Super Sarah, Wonder Woofer.  She has worked with me several times, right from the age of 19, and her father, Bert Gregersen, did the original wiring of my house.  Who better to hook up the solar panel that Jimmy and I erected, and install lights in the yurt?

Bert and battery

super sarahThank you, everyone!

finished yurt

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