New Year at Ginty Creek

sunrise by the bird feeder, ginty creek

Weather at Ginty Creek

winter morningWhat else should we talk about for the New Year at Ginty Creek? We were promised cold sunshine. They were half right. We got cold, but very little sun. Temperatures were usually in the mid -20s at night but never got above the mid minus teens in the day.  Often the mountains were hidden; sometimes there was a glimpse of them above the fog.

fog hiding Finger PeakOnce in a while the sky cleared.middle mountain

chickadee and Middle Mountain

mountain chickadeeand we once had a colourful sunset.sunset over Finger PeakTwo days later we had a bit more sun although it started foggy.  A gleam hit the cottonwoods beside the river.
sun gleam and fogAnd the mountains behind the internet tower almost appeared.internet towerThen it snowed.bird feeder in snowBadger in snowEach fall we’ve had has been about 4 inches.  Because it is so cold, the flakes are pure fluff.  After each fall  I must start the ATV (with difficulty – it doesn’t like cold starts) and plough the road.  I cannot let the snow accumulate too much.  It is a pretty chilly job that takes 2 and half to 3 hours.

I still need to charge the solar batteries with the generator every 3 or 4 days.  When I went to town before Christmas, to buy the ATV, I also took the generator in to have the gas leak fixed.  So now, when I want to heat it up, I can bring it closer to the stove.

After the snow we had another partial clearing of the skies.  The snow is too fluffy to stick well on the branches of the trees.stormy light middle mountainIt was sunny enough to entice me on a snowshoe trip.  Although it has remained cold, the river has opened up a bit.  It rarely freezes solid and can never be trusted.river partially openTatla Ski Trails

A friend, Renata, was driving from Prince Rupert to Bella Coola and I met her at Tatla Lake.  The community maintains a really great network of cross country ski trails.  Tatla Lake ski trailsI am a terrible skier and in fact prefer to snowshoe – I fall less and it is easier to get up again!  So we didn’t stick to the trails but headed down the middle of a big shallow lake behind the gymkhana grounds.  It was chilly, but gorgeous.Martin LakeI have not walked on a frozen lake since I left Nuk Tessli and it was a wonderful feeling.  Renata took this picture of me.Me on Martin LakeAnd this really great shot of Harry.Harry on Martin LakeThe next day we hiked on the dunes near Ginty Creek but it was cold and grey again.renata on dunesA light snow started to fall.  It was the kind where every flake is a jewel and I took these shots on Renata’s dark jacket.snowflakes #1

snowflakes # 2The following day we had another 4″ snow.  There is a bit over a foot on the ground now.  It is so fluffy that it will sink down a lot, even before it thaws.  We really need at least twice this amount, although because 2016 was so wet, we might get away with a low snow winter.

Cold Again at Ginty Creek

After the snow, the sky cleared completely, and the temperature dropped into the -30s again at night.  It has not been rising above -18C during the day, but this time we have glorious sun.morning -30CI re-broke the trail to the viewpoint on the south bluff.south bluffIt is harder to take interesting pictures when the sky is cloudless (but I’m not complaining!)  The snow, however, blocks out the background and reveals tiny vignettes.Although it was not windy at my elevation, it must have been blowing a hurricane on the high ridges.blowing snowAs the sun set, the mountains were rimmed with fire.mountains rimmed with fireThis is what dawn looks like at -33C.-33C dawnThe afternoon was quite pleasant, though, and off I went up the dunes, where Renata and I had been a few days before.  But it was very different.river from north bluffnorth bluffThe sun still has a low trajectory.sun from north bluffDespite the forecast’s Extreme Cold Warning, with threat of frostbite in minutes, there was no wind and we could enjoy the sun.  It was cool enough, though, that Badger did not have to seek the shade!Harry and Badger enjoying the sunDaylight is still very short, and the sun was getting low as I headed for home.forest winter eveningAnd there is my house to welcome me.  (The green tree is the now defunct Solstice tree – I stick it by the bird feeder to give the little guys extra cover.)my houseThere has been no thawing, even on a warm afternoon, since early December.  In Williams Lake on the 20th December, the snow was a big, slushy, muddy mess, but as I drove west the temperature rapidly dropped ten degrees, and it had obviously stayed below freezing at Ginty Creek.  We are supposed to get another night in the minus thirties but then it is finally slated to warm up.  Everything takes longer to do when it’s cold. Any trip outside, to the woodshed, outhouse or bird feeder, necessitates piling on the clothes.  There are extra chores, like bringing the dogs’ metal food dishes into the warm room before I can give them their dinner.  I think all of us are looking forward to easier temperatures – I just hope it doesn’t thaw.

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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3 Responses to New Year at Ginty Creek

  1. Margaret says:

    Enjoyed the pics, as always. And the snowflakes, wow! Tiny spectacles of wonder!
    Wish I would have thought to try to get a pic of one last week when NC had snow.
    Today it’s spring like, making the idea of snow seem like a dream. Your house
    must be lovely to come home to. (Another nice photo)
    I know I appreciate mine whenever I return.
    I, like Merryl Streep in “Out of Africa,” always say ” Hello the house!”

  2. Margy says:

    Beautiful pictures. This time of year we often say “sunny means foggy.” There are days in a row that our airport shuts down because there’s aren’t approaches that can get the planes low enough to land. – Margy
    Margy recently posted…2016 Top Ten Float Cabin Living PostsMy Profile

  3. R. Gary Stollenwerk says:

    GREAT pics. New camera? Good to see Badger and Harry happy. Tell Harry I’m more than ready for his new book. Hard starting ATV………..yeah, I have a J.D. tractor that is the same way. You might try buying the BEST gas you can just for the ATV, then think about a heat up arrangement. Possibly a heat pad they use in Alaska. I know power supply. Maybe generator for an hour?

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