Gloomiest Winter on Record

1 gloomMany people have commented favourably on the winter sun pictures ( – thank you – ) and several have told me to keep them coming.  I wish!  Apart from our two spells of glorious sunshine late November and over the New Year, it has been the gloomiest winter on record.  This was one of the clearer days. 2 clearer than mostI find it very difficult to deal with.  A combination of gloom and short days means a major lack of energy for me.  My solar panels are suffering, too.  To conserve power, I am limited to a single LED 2-volt light on at a time.  Fine to read by, but when I lift my eyes to the rest of the room I am struck by how dark it is – this of course adds to the general gloom.  People often ask me why I don’t get a wind generator.  But in this kind of weather, there is not a breath of wind.  When I went to Tatla Lake to use the church washing machine  on 13th Jan, the ladies of the knitting club were discussing Christmas.  One woman had always wanted candles on her tree.  She managed to acquire the special holders from Germany but was a bit nervous about putting the tree inside.  So she set it up outside and lit the candles.  The air was so still that not a single flame wavered.

It is hard to find beauty in this dreariness.  One day we had a few more large snowflakes.3 smowflakes

4 more ice crystalsAfter I posted the last lot, a correspondent directed me to Snowflake Bentley, whom I’d never heard of.  What an intriguing man!  And take a look at his camera!

Here is a rare less-cloudy morning.  The sky is clear in the north, cloudy in the south.  As the sun rises, it meets the war of the weather.  Will we get any sun?5 fog warA lot of the gloom is ice fog so when we get a bit of hazy sun, the rime is evident on the vegetation.5a almost sunny frost
5b aspen twigs frostThe annoying thing is that the sky sometimes partially clears at sundown.  This is one of the rare times that I have seen the mountains this month.10 sunset 1The next day was back to gloom.  The temperature has warmed although it has not gone above freezing yet.  It ranges between -5C and -18C.  Often it has been -9C both day and night.

A view of Highway 20.11 hwy 20I have a new visitor to the feeder.12 redpollHe (she) is a redpoll, smaller than a chickadee.  He has been around for over a week now but is still the only one.  Some years I have flocks of 30 – 40.  A friend from the Bella Coola Valley told me they had 115 in their yard yesterday.  I have seen a couple of others feeding on the dwarf birch seeds in the bog.13 birch seedsOnce we got a bit of sun in the morning for about 30 minutes.  30  min sunriseI normally enjoy watching the progress of the sunrise and sunset points, but have not had much opportunity so far this year. On the shortest day the sun rises just to the right of these trees. So by rights the days should be getting noticeably longer, but it is so dark all the time, they seem to be getting shorter.
14 colourless barn

15 messy forestA week after the first colourful sunset, there was quite suddenly another.  It didn’t clear until after the sun had gone down.  That is the second time I have glimpsed the mountains this year.17 sunset 2The fog was back in the morning.  However, there was a streak of blue sky in the north.18 blue sky in northEven overhead there was a tinge of blue so I wondered if, by going higher, I might get away from the fog.

Higher up, the fog had been more persistent and the hoar frost was thicker.19 frost painting20 on dunes needle treeThe tiny sliver of blue still showed right on the north horizon.21 on dunes zA small gleam of sun touched the end of the lake across the road.  (There are mountains behind it.)22 on dunes lakeBut it never came to me.23 on dunes yYesterday it snowed 5″ (2 – 4 cm was forecast ie. 1″).  Today a fine-grained something is falling.  It is close to freezing – I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t have the dreaded T-word later today.  Thaw.

It is a good job I have the pine grosbeaks to put some colour into my world.24 grosbeaks

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.
This entry was posted in Life In The Wild and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Gloomiest Winter on Record

  1. susanlpasserello says:

    Sorry to hear about your gloomy weather. I like gloomy weather sometimes. I curl up with a good book. Your gloominess is a ladder to me because it is a window of sorts to another place and person living a life that most people like to be just a tourist, unable not only to commit but also cannot do. Of course I wish you sunshine. If the rain falls, I say dance in it. There is solace in gloom, that quiet place or when the snow falls snowmen are waiting. The glass is always half full to me but it does get half empty, at times. Nature has put a pause button on your cabin life momentarily. I find blogs for so many interesting persons and life styles; I travel the world sipping my coffee here at home and your one of the many stops. I enjoy your stories and what you see and share. Like I said gloomy weather is good for curling up and reading a good book like Lonesome.LOL. Your view always looks good to me. I wish you sunshine for your solar panels and snowflakes falling through your blogs from your wilderness for all us readers.

  2. Bonnie says:

    I agree with Barbara … even without the sunshine you still live in a beautiful world. I’m so glad you enjoyed learning about Snowflake Bently. Our local weatherman had a question on the news the other night … asking if snowflakes always have six sides???
    I enjoyed counting the sides on the snowflake vide0.

  3. Caroline says:

    We are so blessed here in Northern Alberta, it’s been sunny just about every day. The sun stays low but is bright. We’ve had a lot of hoar frost this winter and pared with the sun it just makes for a gorgeous winter wonderland.

  4. Margaret says:

    Wow, that’s a lotta dark to deal with. Michigan folk are in the same boat with you. I check out a webcam there. They’ve had one sunny day since Christmas.
    As for me, I’m snowed in – North Carolina! Maybe an inch of snow at the most, sandwiched in ice has kept these southerners inside. Today the sun is out bringing sparkle to droplets of ice on the tree branches.
    This winter seems to be a test of everyone’s patience.

  5. Barbara says:

    regardless,the images are still beautiful.
    it “looks” quiet too.
    Barbara recently posted…Did You Know?My Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge