Boxing Day 2016

snowflakes-1I had intended to write a Solstice post, but I have been so busy it has turned into a Boxing Day post.  (Did you know why it is called that?  It was England’s Queen Victoria who started it.  She deemed that on the 26th of December, boxes of food should go to the poor.)

The last post dealt with the -30s temperatures – the coldest it reached was -32C.2-33cThe afternoons would warm to about -20C and that makes for lovely hiking weather.1-sun-in-forest-badger

3-river-from-sth-bluffBut inevitably, the sun came to an end.  You can see a front coming in on the above picture.  There were clouds hovering at sunset.4-sunset-weather-change

5-sundown-redAnd the next day it was warmer, but the mountains had gone again.6-mts-gone

7-sun-gleamI made another trip to town.  Snow was forecast so I left an hour earlier than usual – 3.30:am – but saw moon and stars all the way.  I had thought that, with my earlier start, the road might be more empty, but I have never seen it so busy.  I must have met 50 logging trucks and a few other assorted vehicles in the first two hours.  The wet year has meant that a lot of the hauling had to be delayed because the bush roads were undriveable.  The mills in Williams Lake had almost run out of trees.  So now the trucks are hauling like mad.

It did snow a bit in Williams Lake, and it got quite warm – only a few degrees below freezing, and what with the salting, the roads became a sea of mud.  I don’t normally drive to Williams Lake so often in the winter, but this year I had stuff I wanted to do.  I have have received enough money from the property sale to enable me to buy a few toys!  I finally have my ATV!8-atv-trailerI also bought the trailer.  I used to be able to back a trailer quite well – but that was 50 years ago.  I did not think that the cramped yards in Williams Lake were good places for me to practice, so I left picking up the toys to last, and got the various vendors to point me in the right direction for home!

Both the morning and most of the afternoon journey (4 hours each way) were in the dark, so I couldn’t take pictures.  This was a pity as shortly after leaving town we had the most spectacular sunset.  However, with the excessive traffic on the road (throwing up walls of mud until it got a bit cooler as I travelled further west), the lack of places to draw off (one must be leery of the road sides under snow; the plough makes a nice flat edge, but the flatness often overhangs the lip of the ditch.  More than one motorist has come to grief that way), and the extra concern for the trailer meant that I did not dare stop.

I could see the ATV in my rear view mirror.  As it grew dark, whenever I touched the brakes, red light flushed against the trailer and the ATV’s headlights glowed like slanted devil’s eyes.

An ATV was not the only toy I bought.  I also got a plough for it.9-atv-ploughAlthough I had a lot of instructions from the dealer, it still took a bit of time to figure out how to put everything together.  More time was needed to get used to the controls and find the best angle for the plough.  Up to now it has always been a problem to find someone to plough me out, and I will still need to pursuade a heavy machine owner to come if we get a big dump of snow, but for now I have ploughing independence.10-ploughing-independenceYet another present to myself is a new camera!  I now have a Canon SX60. The view in front of me when I first put it together was the interior of my living room.  People have often asked to see more of where I live so I thought I would include it in this post.12-cabin-interior

13-cabin-2I love the new camera and can play with the really good zoom.  The weather has stayed mostly fairly mild and dull.  Sometimes, at the end of the day, there is a hint of what it might have been.glimpse-sunsetThe same camera is pretty good for close-ups.snowflakes-2The day before the Solstice, it was clear enough to see the sun go down.  How wonderful to think that it’s resting place will now travel back north again.solstice-sunsetUsually by this time of year, my bird feeder is full of pine grosbeaks.  Their lovely red plumage brightens up the winter.  But this year there is not a sign of them.  The cold snap must have encouraged them to go elsewhere.  All the birds that come are clothed in various shades of grey.  We have the chickadees, downy woodpecker, and grey jays.suet-feederLatterly, a Clark’s Nutcracker has also been visiting.  He is much the same size as a whiskeyjack, but has a shorter tail and much longer, stronger beak.clarks-nutHe is most interested in the bones I am feeding to the dogs.clarks-nut-boneOn warmer days the squirrel tries to sneak a few treats as well.squirrel

 

About wilderness dweller

I have lived for more than 30 years as a Wilderness Dweller. Most of that time was in cabins I built myself far from the nearest road, high in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada. My "retirement" home is accessible by a bush road but still far from neighbours. I live off the grid, and operate this blog by solar-powered satellite internet.
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4 Responses to Boxing Day 2016

  1. Cathy says:

    I guess a dog living with you is bound to write a book eventually. I look forward to it. That sure looks like quite a muscle machine you have there. And yes do be careful using it.

  2. Margy says:

    I love my ATV. It’s my second. The first didn’t have 4×4 but was so small I could take it almost everywhere. But with the 4×4 I can even do more and go in more challenging areas. The plow is perfect for you living in an area with snow. I’m not sure I would like driving the roads to and from town in the dark. Doing it often makes it easier I guess. – Margy
    Margy recently posted…The Night Before ChristmasMy Profile

  3. Bonnie says:

    Forgot to mention, the passenger was a teenager and she managed to hop off the machine as we were tipping over backwards. Oh to be young and agile again.

  4. Bonnie says:

    Well … Merry Christmas to YOU and all your new presents. I bet your new ATV will come in handy for you, but I’m also sending a reminder to please be careful. I tipped mine over once just creeping along on a side hill just watching turtles in the brook – I failed to see a ditch in front of me where my front tire was heading and over I went. Those machines weigh around 600 pounds … believe me I know as it was on top of me.
    That accident was scary, the second one was worse, I was carrying a passenger behind me and attempted to come up a steep incline that was muddy, started to slide and applied my brakes which was a mistake. The added weight of the passenger .. plus the brakes cause me to tip over backwards onto the rocks in our brook. Broke my cheek bone, split my face open and almost lost an eye and was badly bruised for weeks and weeks. When you hear about being between a rock and a hard place – that’s where I landed. Went to the Emergency Room holding a bloody dripping towel on my face. Got stiches and also got a ticket to appear in Court because I was carrying a passenger and neither one of us had a helmet on. The accident happened in our own back yard … didn’t realize all the rules I was breaking. P.S. I am in my mid 70’s so you know I wasn’t driving crazy like a teen-ager.
    On the positive side. Enjoy your new camera too. Great photos of your living room.

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