I have discovered something. The flashing can be extreme if you have the curser over the pictures. Make sure the curser is at the edge of the screen and it is hardly noticeable.
I have never spent a summer on the Chilcotin before. Although I have been over 30 years in the area, I have always been at either Lonesome Lake or Nuk Tessli at this time of year. They both have very different ecosystems. True, last year I could not fly into Nuk Tessli until June 14th – it was the latest spring ever. Today is only June 5th, but because of the extremely mild winter, everything has happened at least 2 weeks earlier and so the season is in fact more advanced.
For three weeks we had very little but gloom and rain. We welcomed it at first – everything was so dry. but we soon got tired of it! So did the ants. They had to make little volcanoes around their ventilator shafts to keep from getting flooded out.
I have now graduated from crutches to hiking poles for my bush walks, but I still have to creep about very slowly, particularly on rough ground. Still, I cover more than a kilometre most days and am beginning to visit my favourite viewpoints.
Should you wish to comment on this post, click on the title and scroll to the bottom of the page.
Since Fred moved into the Precipice a few years ago….
And this year I saw a white-fronted goose for the first time.
I misses last year’s cattle drive, but have been to many in the past, and this was the first wet one.
To comment on this page, click on the title and scroll to the bottom.
At the end of last week, the surgeon who gave me a new knee made his spring visit to Bella Coola. It was a good chance to see what he thought (he admired his carpentry work!) and I also visited two different physiotherapists and got a lot of homework to do. Thankyou again to everyone who has offered encouragement. I can now walk slowly across the room with no sticks, but I still use poles or crutches outside – partly because it is faster and I am less likely to be eaten alive by blackflies! I still can’t quite manage without pain killers, but I am obviously getting there.
As usual, I stayed with my friends at Stuie, about 80 km up-valley from Bella Coola. (This is Melican, one of the mountains seen from their backyard.)
Should you wish to comment on this post, please click on the title and scroll to the bottom of the new page.
Just this last day or two, spring has arrived. The hummingbirds were the first sign.
And against the mountains it made a rainbow.
To comment on this post, click on the title and scroll to the bottom of the new page.
Two great friends drove me north. Len (who took the picture – I have none of him) drove my van and I rode in Alan’s car. My van is stuffed with item’s from Doreen’s mother’s condo – that is why there are chairs tied to the roof.
I have been driving to and from Vancouver on and off for over 30 years. It was only about 6 years ago that I realized you could see Mt Baker from the freeway.
Near Williams Lake we picked up a young volunteer from Austria. He will be my driver and gofer for a while. I had a good two hours’ shopping to do in Williams Lake. Thanks to everyone’s help, I survived it!
Max, who had been looking after the dogs while I was away, had to leave a couple of days before I got back. So two more friends drove up from the Bella Coola Valley to fill in for him – and clean house and provide us a lovely dinner when I got home.
So a total of 10 people have been involved in helping me through this operation. What would I have done without them! Thankyou everyone.
If you wish to comment on a post, click on the title and scroll down to the bottom of the page.
Thank you so much everyone who has asked me about my new knee. As far as I know I am doing fine, but it is so hard to find answers to questions here in the big city. One gets pushed from one answering machine to another. Yesterday I found I was overdosing hugely on the pain meds. They gave me two prescriptions with ardent instructions that I must take the pain meds in order to do the exercises required to rehabilitate the leg. (Knee replacements are very painful.) I read the instructions on the bottles and kept to the dosage on the labels – but should have taken one or the other – not both. Misinformation abounds. Every day it seems as though there is a new crisis to deal with and it takes hours on the phone to get nowhere. And people wonder why I don’t want to live in a city!
Of course, living in the bush has its problems. I will be driving north 2nd and 3rd May – but I have had to organize 4 drivers and interim dog-sitters for this time – my current dog-sitter needs to leave before I get home. I have also arranged a baby-sitter for me as I need a gofer to fetch and carry – I am still on crutches – and will not be able to drive for a while.
I left Ginty Creek with new snow on the ground and encountered two lovely sandhill cranes beside the road.
At 108 Mile, the aspen catkins were showing.
Down in the canyon, spring was burgeoning.
At first, the weather was gorgeous.
(I could take this photo as there is massive construction on the freeway and the traffic was stopped!)
I have several friends in greater Vancouver, but Doreen’s condo was my choice due to the lack of stairs! Doreen, like so many of my current friends, was originally a hiking client at Nuk Tessli.
Some of the grounds are communally groomed
The cherry blossoms were at their prime.
Doreen does the garden at her end and had a great display of tulips
The garden is not all that is nice about the condo. It has a great view of the Port Mann Bridge
And also the north shore mountains.
And I am doing physiotherapy in a jail! Many of the buildings along here are part of the penitentiary. This one is a restaurant now, but the physio building is similar. We get our exercises in the basement so it has a real dungeon feel…
Almost all previous trips to Vancouver have been in November to promote books. It has been a bonus to be able to enjoy the spring. But oh so noisy! Song sparrows and robins sing in the garden, but a junk yard across the river bangs and crashes heavy metals, trains go by endlessly, planes stack overhead when waiting for space at the airport, and the freeway has a constant roar.
I could not have wished for a better (and very long-suffering) host – she has been absolutely marvellous! – or a better place to stay – but I can’t wait to get home!
We had our spring in the middle of winter: now we are getting chilled, gloomy, wet snow.
The birds at the feeder had begun to scatter, but they all flocked for treats when the ground was covered.
A rare visit from a crow.
And a new migrant, whose song greeted me on my return from Bella Coola: A song sparrow.
In the mean time, Max was sanding the beams in the house. My bed is under the tarp on the left so you can imagine what a mess the place is in. I knew it would have been better to sand the beams before they were in place, but at that time I had no time, nor did I have a power system to run a sander.
Nico taking his turn. (He is smiling!)
Nico and Mareike are building a deck. I do not have boards for the top at the moment, so we are using scrap stuff lying around. At least I should be able to sit on it while I am recuperating from the knee replacement. In the pre-surgery material I am reading, it advises the patient to imagine themselves in a favourite place. In my mind I will be on the deck in the early morning sun listening to the song sparrows in the wetland. (I’ll try not to think of the mosquitos who will start soon no doubt)
I want to plant a few alpines I collected in the mountains last summer. Max and Nico fetched a pile of rocks.
And I now have a new rock garden
(I will be leaving for Vancouver on Sunday. The surgery is next Thursday, the 18th. Please forgive me if I do not answer email for a few days.)
To comment on this post, click on the title and scroll to the bottom of the new page.
This time we went right down to the waterfront.
Mareike and Nico wanted to go out kayaking. Janice, who owns the boats, said they were the first tourists of the year.
Away they go!
Max and I continued along the coast a couple of miles to the small waterfall that drives Bella Coola’s hydroelectricity.
The water makes lovely abstract patterns on the sculpted rocks.
From there, we could look across the inlet to the old cannery, which was the kayakers’ destination.
Here is a close-up of the buildings. We could see the kayak on the beach but it is very small, even in this magnification.
Despite the cold weather, Bella Coola is far more advanced in their season. The skunk cabbages were already out:
And the salmon berry flowers.
Back home, we had to make bread. These volunteers are big bread eaters. Max on the left, Mareike, and Nico.
If you wish to comment, click on the title and scroll to the bottom of the new page.
I have been incredibly busy!
Two weeks ago when I last wrote, the snow still lay thick on the ground. I took ashes and scattered them onto the rhubarb patch. The building behind is all that’s left of the Packrat Palace.
Then we started to get incredible weather. Long, hot sunny days with little wind. The snow started to go.
I made my second shopping trip to Williams Lake. Here is my favourite view near Tatla Lake on the way home.
A few nights later, we had a full moon.
Here it is just about to disappear. Like a ghost.
When I was in town I picked up some volunteers. I am ripping out the temporary kitchen I have lived with since I moved into the house.
So life this last week has been a nightmare of living in dust with everything piled wherever their is space: and I am cooking for 3 others beside myself.
Here is Mareike from Germany.
Nico from France,
And Max from Germany
And here, not quite finished, is my new kitchen.