Equinox

1 mucky seasonThe Equinox has brought us more dreary weather.  And now it is the mud season.One sinks ankle deep into the surface mud; the water has nowhere to go as the underlying ground is still frozen.puddle bestIn the last couple of weeks we’ve had two sunny days. (And bits of sun here and there)5 rare sunshineSun or gloom, it is difficult to walk anywhere unless I leave early while the frost is still hardening the ground and snow.  The dishes get abandoned until later.   On this day I hiked up to the south bluff.6 blue river

7 top of bluffThe south-facing slopes are now all bare of snow.8 bare slopeA pair of Clark’s Nutcrackers was casing the slope.  You do not often see them feed on the ground, but they stash seeds in open places, and this is probably what these two were looking for.9 clarks nut 1

11 clarks nut 3Back comes the gloom.3 murky sun gleamAnd it keeps snowing.12 fresh snow (tracks)A rare and very beautiful pink sunrise.13 pink misty sunriseAfternoons often have storm clouds.15 stormy cloudsThe colour is mostly found on the birds.18 testosterone 2About 30 redwing blackbirds now, and, although there are no females yet, the testosterone levels are rising.21 bb display bestThis is what they look like from the back.20 MY feeder backOne afternoon we had a wild blizzard.22 windy snowAfter these snowfalls, creature-tracks are obvious.  Spruce grouse (the ruffed grouse have not arrived yet.) 24 grouse tracksAnd wolf.  The smaller prints belong to one of my dogs.25 woolf tracksEvery day I check the forecast.  Two sunny and several partial sunny days were promised – in a couple of days’ time.  This is the way the forecast has gone all winter.  Always the sun will shine – in two or three days’ time.  But by the time that day comes, the sun has been pushed forward another two days, or has disappeared all together.

Unbelievably, this time the forecast looked as though it was going to be correct.  The temp had dropped to -16C and the sky was cloudless.  Unfortunately, on that first day I had to go to Nimpo and missed that early walking window.27 cariboo flats 1That night, a week before the equinox, the sun cleared Nogwon and this immediately makes for much longer days.28 sun clearing NogwonI excitedly planned the next day’s hike.  But even before I had left home, the sky had greyed over and the edge was taken out of the light.31 losing sunI hiked onto the north bluff.  This patch of bare ground showed deep moose tracks, obviously made when the sand was thawed.30 n bluff moose trackThe sun was now accompanied by a storm ring.  (Although no storm eventuated.)32 storm ringThe following morning was warmer – about -6C.  I went to the warmest spots I could find to see if there were any dandelions showing yet.  I salivate at the thought of those first wild spring greens.  The likeliest place was along the river.33 riverThe sunny banks are the first to show signs of growth, and I did find grass shoots, but no dandelions yet.34 First green bestThat morning’s fresh ice clung to some of the river stones.35 ock and iceFog graced yesterday morning.37 greyIn the forest, pine needles write strange messages on the snow.39 needle calligraphyMistletoe does it’s reproductive thing at this time of year.  (No good saying: “Burn the affected branches.”  Here, you would need to burn the whole forest.)40 mistletoeYesterday, on the way to Tatla, when I crossed the Klinaklini river, I saw the first geese.42 geese

 

 

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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5 Responses to Equinox

  1. Cathy says:

    Your comment,
    “Every day I check the forecast. Two sunny and several partial sunny days were promised – in a couple of days’ time. This is the way the forecast has gone all winter. Always the sun will shine – in two or three days’ time. But by the time that day comes, the sun has been pushed forward another two days, or has disappeared all together.” prompted me to send you this link. Made me laugh. Enjoy!

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wkDvqQKGgDA

  2. susanlpasserello says:

    The picture are just lovely of the birds. I have never seen a Clark’s nutcracker, just lovely. I have a lot of Hairy Woodpeckers, here in the Sebago Lakes Region of Maine they are grand, I’m a definite bird watcher. I have recently picked up a Bird tamer’s book and as soon as the weather gets warmer I plan to treat myself and the birds to hand taming. Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures.

  3. Jen says:

    I love your pictures, your posts and comments and admire your life immensely. Every time I come to this site I feel happier. You inspire me!

  4. Anya says:

    Chris, there’s no way those are moose tracks. Wow those are huge though.

  5. Leslie says:

    A slow spring here too-too many dun-coloured days along with unseasonably mild temps. More snow this am-just when roads were dry and walking secure, no ice. Hope you find some edible greenery before long! All blogs are welcome Chris. Seems all is well here.

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