It Is Official: Spring Has Sprung In Terrace BC

Hold the presses, I have photographic proof that spring has finally sprung here in the Skeena Valley, or at least between Terrace and Thornhill, BC, anyway. We are quite thrilled that the weather has turned for the better, and the trees are showing their green for the first time in 2018. I for one, am quite happy to see this event unfold right before my eyes, as well as many others. Though certain trees and bushes have been showing signs for about a week now, today and yesterday have been, what seems to be, the starting point for the leaves to pop out and create the sea of green in the forest throughout the valley.

A little over a week ago I noticed the “pussy willows” forming on some types of trees, but today, everywhere I looked, green was taking over the landscape as all the tree were budding. For the last week now, the days have been nothing short of awesome, with more sunshine in the weather forecast still to come. I can honestly say that the cold days of winter might be a thing of the past now. Sadly the creek and rivers are showing the muddy waters of the spring run-off. If we get lots of super warm weather in the next few weeks, it could spell local flooding in some parts.

Me and Suz., were walking down the path along Highway 16, just past the Chill Soda ice cream shop, to take these photos. Already the flower beds on the parks are erupting with activity. I missed some of the spring flowers that were out in Terrace from last week, but I can still catch them at the higher level parks on the hills around town. Not sure what these yellow flowers are, but they nice and fresh along the walking path.

Not sure what these green plants are either, but these were only a few centimeters high, and were also in the flower bed. I took all these shots with my 30mm Macro lens at f2.8, on my Sony A77 camera. These green shrubs look like a small forest of big trees. LOL

It felt kind of weired just walking around in a t-shirt, and not taking a jacket with us, but just to give an idea of the day’s weather: plus 17C with clear sunny sky. Yes, nothing but blue from one end of the horizon to the other. Who needs a jacket on a day like today!

So here is the photographic proof that spring has indeed sprung here on the North Coast. Now get out there and enjoy it!

Tuesday Morning Wakeup – Day Two – Vacation

As weird as it may sound, I woke up just about at my normal start time as if I were just starting my work day, but remember, I had only three hours sleep. Perhaps psychologist would argue that my body is fixed to the daily rhythms, and all that stuff, but I think it was just gas. LOL I got up and washed, figuring that I should at least do something, now that I am up and sort of a wake. So off I went.

My first stop was the tire shop. I decided that I would keep the one set of rims, and just swap over the summer tires on the rims, and just take the winter tires off and store without rims. I wanted to buy another set of rims, so all I would do next season is just change the tires, but my car has these air senors on each tire, which are about sixty-five dollars a piece: a little pricey right now for me. So I will just keep everything on the one set of rims I have now, and deal with it next time.

The brain is slowly running out of steam.

Next I went to the Post Office. I was looking for rates to ship about six kilograms down to Vancouver, BC. This was something I thought I could do more efficiently at the facility in town, but that affirmed that doing it at home over the Internet was what I have should done in the first place. Anyway, to send something that heavy was a little price. I may price out some other carriers this week.

Brain, down to a crawl. Just enough brain activity to drive home.

Nice – coffee. Slurping away on some Dark Roast beans I picked up yesterday. I am thinking about doing a short nap since my appointment time at the tire shop is 2:00pm, and Suz., will be busy until 1:00pm, I might as well log in some horizontal time on the foamy-bed. After all, I am only living on a few hours of sleep. This coffee sure is good.

Brain just started running at normal speed now. Must be the coffee.

Heck, I might as well just watch some You Tube videos while I am up, after writing this Blog Post. Who can sleep with this much caffeine coursing through my veins. LOL

Vibrating. Coffee induced coma. Bra….

Missed Earth Day

Yes, I had completely forgotten about Earth Day until Suz., brought it up while we were driving through town. Normally I am on top of these events, but this year our vacations started this weekend, so I was completely preoccupied getting ready for the week, so Earth Day was the farthest thing on my mind. However, I am happy to report that we saw a few people collecting roadside trash in Terrace, BC., so there were volunteers doing their part on this day. Also, at the Junction of highway 16 and 37, we saw a largo mound of trash filled bags siting on the side of the read waiting to be picked up. There were people at other locations on side streets and boulevards, but the main highways through town seem to have the largest amount of trash per kilometre.

Sadly, when we drove out to Rosswood, BC, highway 113 there was lots of garbage strewn along side the roads. I saw everything from disposable diapers to car parts, but the most common items were paper coffee cups from the two main drive through restaurants in town. I will not mention names, but you do not need to be a scientist to figure out who they are, and to fair, it is their customers who are at fault, not the makers and vendors of the beverages. The likelihood of this stretch of road getting any attention on Earth Day is rather low, so the garbage will pile up more than likely.

When we came back into town, we saw the muster point, with marshaling station, at the George Little park for the roadside trash collection volunteers. So it appears that this is a well organized event. I have never been to one here in Terrace, so I have no idea how they operate. Perhaps next year! Suz., did say that the next major hike we go on, she is bringing a garbage bag to collect other people’s littler on the hiking trails we got on. She is right, Earth Day should be celebrated everyday, not just once a year. And Earth Hour, should be practiced 24/7.

The “Meh” Moment

Yes, I am having a “Meh” moment, but in a good way. I was sitting back in my comfy-cozy chair wondering about what I am going to do for the next ten days, when it finally dawned on me that I am in “Vacation” mode from my work. I will not have to get up on Monday morning at the melodious sound of my alarm clock going off, waking me into oblivion, as my muscle memory instincts propel me out of bed, and off to my place of employment–all while still in deep sleep. Actually, it will be the lack of routine that will disrupt me the most, come to think of it. Added to that, it costs so much in Canada to go on a “real” style vacation, the kind where you leave for a tropical paradise, and drink from a coconut with hallucinogenic properties in it. So, thus born the poor-person’s “Staycation” where you simply do day trips, or stay at home to either save money for the mortgage, or you have no where to go because you have no money to travel with. I am sort of in between these two extremes, as far as money goes.

So I figure, this “time off” from work will be a kind of a hybrid of “time off,” when I will do a little of both: travel, and stay at home. No doubt I will spend some money, but not locally. In fact, I have no plans on making any huge purchases. I would rather save my money for that rainy day that might greet us here in Thornhill, BC. That was a joke, by the way. There is that dilemma of a lack of services that directly manipulates the “cost of living” in a very small community becuase you are fairly isolated from the rest of civilization. Thankfully, we have the Internet, and with it E-Commerce, to help us through this situation.

This is tire changing season up here in the North Coast, so I need a set of summer tires, now that the winter like season is over. This is a double edged sword that most people of the North have to obey if you need to drive on the highways–it is the Law of the land to switch from one type of tire of another based on the changing season. Sure, if I live in town, a set of All-Seasons Tires would do, but you do it at your own risk. You could even do the “Lower Mainland” life style and just drive with summer tires on, if you live and commute in just the town limits, but that would just plane stupid, and silly with forty centimeters of snow on the ground. And oddly enough, I was hard pressed to discover that I could NOT find any Summer type tires around, this after going to four tire shops and inquiring. So when in a market where Laws determine what you can and cannot have, expect a level of gouging from one region to another. All you have to do is go on the Internet to price shop to see this. So, not summer tires are available, just all seasons and winters. I just heard a cash ring somewhere out in the Great White North. LOL

Back to my “Meh” moment. I am fortunate to have a partner to be with. Most probably, and ultimately, this is highest level of gratitude one could ever have while living on this planet Earth. To have a friend to share this time with at the most finite level, is truly the highest point-of-being we humans may ever have. And to go even further, life no longer lingers at the level of “boring,” but becomes exciting, with new discoveries, and enlightenment, emerge from where once ashes were piled. Perhaps one of the greatest lessons learned from all of this, is to share, and by that I mean, every dimension of your life: space, time, concepts and one-another. There is peace to all of this; where uncertainty and chaos abound, calm and passiveness now exist; no longer challenging it all, but accepting everything as it is. Where Kingdoms and Religions lay claim to this, they only distort, and diminish it, while they pale by its power. Where tragedy and comity are separate on stage, in real life this friendship encompasses it all as a whole. The mountains, trees and lakes, never looked so great when sharing that view with another. In a nutshell, this is truly awesome. So this is what ascension in life feels like.

Now time to start my day. I have no idea what is on a agenda, per se. I do know, I would like to have some ice cream at the Chill, our local ice-cream parlor. The root-beer float flavour seems to tickle my taste-spuds at this very moment. I will put in a request for that as part of our itinerary for today. Other than that, the great tire hunt for my vehicle. Yay, vacation-here we come.

The Rock Face On the Skeena

We were walking along the banks of the Skeena River (near Terrace, BC) when we came upon this rock, a funny looking rock that when you first look at it, has a “potato head” looking head, according to Suz. I saw the funny face too, but it kind of reminded me of an over sized “bubble head” face, like what you see on a political cartoon. Me and Suz., thought it warrant a photo. So I thought I would post it here, and ask you, what do you see? Do you see a funny face, or just an oddly shaped purple rock?

It was Suz., who first seen it. It made her laugh, and I came over to see what she was laughing at, she pointed to this. It made me chuckle too. If it had a pipe sticking out one side, I would say this looks like Popeye (the guy who loves his spinach, and his wife Olive Oyl). The other weird thing, it is purple. Yes, we have purple rocks here on the North Coast of British Columbia. Now how cool is that!

Little Storm Passing Over Town As We Travel Home

This was the last leg of our day trip. This shot was taken while going over the Sande Overpass in Terrace, BC, looking West. I was the passenger–not driving–while I took the shot. What you are looking at here is a small hail storm that was just leaving town, heading West, the direction we just came from. As we traveled through it, we only got maybe a one kilometer stretch of storm, then it was over, as it moved westward. So, it was a good end for a super sunny weekend. After the storm passed, it cleared up again, so all was good.

We never stuck around for the sunset, becuase we had dinner, then I needed to get to bed for an early start tomorrow, but I am sure it was awesome. The rain stopped, and by the time I got home, the Sun was out again. It was then I realized just how long the days are here up North–it is still light out by 9:00pm! Crazy! You do not like the weather now, then just wait five minutes, it will change.

 

Car Wash Rock

There it was, with water dripping from the rocks onto the road, the famous Car Wash Rock on Highway 16, on the Terrace to Prince Rupert, BC stretch, not to far from the rail tunnel we were just at. It was just water running down from it, not ice, so we only experienced just a sprinkle on the windshield. You could say, we have the car washed, for free, at Car Wash Rock. There were crows too, drinking the water on the road, that was dripping down–that was weird. Thankfully it was to warm for any ice to fall on us–I have heard the stories–but nothing the wipers could not handle. 

This was a “drive by shooting” as it would have been hard to pull over and get out to get this shot. You can see the reflection of Suz.’s green frog (on the dashboard) from the off the windshield–lower left. The traffic speeds through here quite fast, so you do not want to be on the road, with a camera, while on coming traffic are watching the water from the rocks too, and navigating around the conner at the same time. Being hit is a good possibility if you stop and photograph this from the road.

The Forest of Moss: On Ferry Island

These look like “sprouts” when I first seen the image in my photo editor. I was quite happy with these images, and I think I took about ten shots of this clump of moss on a tree stump just off the road that goes North to South, on Ferry Island. Ferry Island in on the Skeena River, just East of Terrace, BC; a great place for a small hikes. The moss was a brilliant green colour, rather fresh, obviously this spring’s growth, and quite thick, which is why I stopped to photograph it.

I used my Sony 30mm Macro lens, and took these shots at about one to two centimeters away. This is why I love this lens so much, its min. focal length is around five millimeters–very close. With all of sun light, this was the perfect time of day to do shots like this. I think my shutter speed was one thousandth of a second, with my aperture set at f2.8.

You see why I like this tiny cheap lens so much! Shots like this are awesome, and I think the lens was about $100.00. Next to my 114mm lens, this is the only other prime lens I own now. The world looks so different when you are this small.

The Shadowy Trail of Ferry Island

With the Sun hovering pass late noon on the service access road on Ferry Island, I took this photo, thinking that it looked neat the way the Sun casting its light through the trees on the road. By this time, the temperature was a blustery 15C, and I felt I had to undo my jacket from the spring day warmth. It was hard to get the shot too becuase of the amount of people who were also out hiking, as I did not want people in the photo. But with time ticking by, and I needed to get to a bathroom, this was the time to get the photo, with people out in the distance. The other folks were far enough away, it did not mess the composition of the image too badly.

I have seen many shots taken from this vantage point, but none had shadows like this in them. So I felt quite lucky with the timing. Once the leaves are out, this place is always in the shade, but with the Sun so high in sky, the shadows seem sharper and more pronounced than usual this time of year. Sadly, you only get to see this image as a 500 x 300 pixel image, you should see it as a 6000 x 3000 pixels.

Hole In The Wall

After several trips down the highway between Terrace and Prince Rupert, BC, we finally found the very small train tunnel some locals call, “The Hole In the Wall.” It is hard to find due to the bushes and tree growth along it and the highway. For the record, the tunnel is about a half hour drive from Terrace, BC, if you drive the speed limit, and is after the level train crossing and Car-Wash-Rock, another famous land mark along the road. With the sunny skies, we picked the perfect time of day to shoot the tunnel.

ADDED: Quote from Suz., “Heading from Terrace, this is after the Kasiks overhead rail crossing on the highway and the turn-off for the Kasiks Wilderness Resort.”

I was using a 144mm lens, so fairly wide, to show you just how close to the road this is to the highway. Actually, in this shot, you are looking at the “old” road, as it was before the 1980’s. The main highway is about twenty metres further away. Behind me are thirty years of tree growth, so hard to see if you are just driving down the road.

Also, the tunnel itself is not very long, perhaps fifty metres in length, as you can see the light from the other side where the sun was shining.The question I ask is, why build it, when you can either go around it, or blast more rock away to make it less of a corner. But, they did it, it looks neat. As far as I know, this is the only train tunnel along this stretch of highway between Terrace and Prince Pupert.