Temperature – 8C (45F). Fierce, bitter wind. Dumping rain. At Nimpo Lake, 40 minutes west, kids were making snowmen yesterday. Almost the whole month has been like this. It has been more like November than June.
Three weeks ago we had the annual summer craft fair at the Eagle’s Roost Resort near Tatla Lake.It was bitterly cold. It kept raining and blowing. At one point we had a furious hailstorm that sent everyone diving for cover.As I drove to the fair in the morning, I noticed a small crack in the top left of my windshield. After the hailstorm, it was right across. It will have to be fixed on the next town trip.
Now we have an extra driving hazard. At the beginning of the month, the range cows were turned out, which in our unfenced area means they roam along the road.Because of the initial early spring, logging was also started at that time. Often it is mid June before they let the trucks on the road.
Sometimes we have had a brief flash of sun when it first rises and can shine underneath the cloud layer. Note that the main mountains are hidden.
Often we are complaining about the heat and drought at this time of year. The land is certainly benefitting from all this rain. We’ve had about 6 decent falls since the snow left. But it has been so cold.The garden is struggling.The kale that wintered (at the back) has shot up into flower stems and they are delicious to eat but I wanted to put something else in there. I felt pretty mean hauling them out when the little wild bumble bees loved them so much.Occasionally, the sky would halfway clear overnight. The resulting morning mist made it look more like Fall than June.And when the sky cleared like that, we got hard frosts. Lettuce.Italian parsley.Strawberries very belatedly putting out the first flowers.And kale. It becomes very stiff. I eat it in my morning miso soup. Picking it in these conditions is like snapping icicles.We did have four warm days in the last 3 weeks. They ran consecutively. On one, the temperature reached 30C! (85F).But the cloud was never far away.And back came the rain.
I could have stayed at the Precipice for the 2016 cattle drive overnight on the Friday, but I love mornings and I elected to go down early on the Saturday. The Precipice is south of Anahim Lake and a little over 2 hours’ drive. I left just after sunrise, which is around 5.30 by the clock right now.There were two groups of pelicans on Nimpo Lake.We’d had two days of cold rain – a few flakes of wet snow at one point – so this morning’s un was very welcome and the light was spectacular. Drawing closer to the Precipice, the cloud lifted off the mountains revealing settled snow on the higher trees.The above picture shows the logging road: soon I was plunging down the rough, narrow, steep Precipice road. Fred, one of the residents has a hobby of building stone people. Over the few years that he has been there, they have bred indiscriminately and multiplied to thousands!I was in good time for the start of all the activity. First was saddling up. (The Precipice is lower and wetter than Kleena Kleene, hence the lusher growth.)
The cows were already in a fenced pasture, and they were rounded up. They were inconsiderate enough to stay in the trees and shade – very difficult to photograph!Lee, the rancher, likes to walk in front of the cows and call them up the trail. He is the man in the dark blue/grey shirt and red suspenders in the middle. Jade and Ryan, my new neighbours, elected to walk with him. They have their kids, extra clothes, and lunches on their backs.I stayed behind to photograph the riders.I complained to Lee that he should go back to having red cows. They make much better pictures!
A few hours later, everyone was home. The youngest cowboy was introduced to the horses (which his aunties were riding.)Then everyone relaxed….…until it was time to barbecue the steaks.Afterwards, it was music time! (Lee used to play in a rock band.)The seated musician is Clint. He needs to read the score all the time; when the wind blew the pages over, the music stopped!The sun went down and the fire became our source of light.
Next morning was a pancake breakfast.
As I left the valley, I disturbed a large black bear. It is the fourth bear I’ve seen this year, but the others ran off too quickly to photograph.A couple of days later, Fred came by on his way to the Coast. I had a couple of great stones flanking my road at the edge of my property and Fred hauled rocks up the hill with him and built me a couple of stone people.Thank you Fred!
I still can’t get used to the new spring green. The Chilcotin is never green for long – by August it has usually dried up and turned brown.
Crazy beetles are whizzing about on the pond.Most of the cut-leaf fleabanes around here are rayless: in other words they do not sport the white “petals.” One bank hosts rayed flowers; they have pinkish undersides and are very pretty. (No, they are not the introduced garden daisies.)It keeps raining a bit on and off, and we are getting typical thundery lights on the mountains.
Some of the showers are bringing hail.Others are bringing the snow well down the mountains. Generally the weather has been somewhat cool. The rain we are having today (again! – it’s the third decent rain!) is welcome, though, as there is already a “fire of note” within 100 km of us.
The garden is loving it, too, although it is too cool for it to make much progress at the moment. Most people plant at the end of May but I have got most of my seeds in already. In the foreground are various kales and collards. They were planted before the drip hoses were placed so here the hoses lie on top of the ground. In all the rows behind, the hoses are buried. It remains to be seen how well those will work.Right at the top of the above photo is a green strip of the kale that wintered. It is currently producing more than I can eat.The cold frame in the greenhouse has been providing a daily salad for over a month, now, and the cold frame I planted outside is also doing really well. Despite assiduous efforts at growing sprouts and microgreens, one can never get enough leafy veg in winter. (It is a 3 and half hour-drive to the nearest supermarket – often longer in winter.) Having all this abundance, fresh-picked straight into my mouth, is a gourmet feast!
Things have been happening on Internet Hill: here is an update. (You can just make out the big fir tree at the top – an anomaly in this country of pine and spruce.)
A few days ago, the concrete base was poured. ( The following three ph0tos, were taken by John Kerr.)A couple of days later, despite a rare rain, the frame for the tower went up.
Now, when I walk on the dunes, I can see it. (Just to the right of the fir.)Next stage will be to put up the solar panels and dishes to relay the signal.