One last Day of Fall

When I left for home, from my work, I looked over towards Western mountains along the Skeena Valley, and saw clear blue sky, and pure white snow caps, in the glow of the Sun. It was an amazing sight, after a week of overcast and rainy weather. Sadly, no photos, as I have been spending most of my time getting ready for impending Inventory that will happen next week.

While most get some sort of a winter holiday, myself, I might be working through some of the stat time off. I took on the extra duties, mainly for the money. On one of the scheduled days off, I will be making “triple” time, which I think will be either the 25th, or New Years’ Day. I have not received the final schedule yet. Do not feel bad for me, I am not religious; only tomorrow is significant to me, being the first day of winter, the rest is just time off for good behavior.

I will take my camera to work with me tomorrow. Like years past, taking photos on the shortest day of the year is somewhat tradition for me. Most often, I get really awesome photos, mostly of landscapes. So, hopefully, this year, December 21st will be a wonderful sun filled day, and there will be lot of unique shots to taken. Rumour has it, tomorrow might be clear, yet cold. We will see.

If the night is clear, I might try and spot the comet tomorrow, that will be near the Pleiades star constellation tomorrow. Sadly, there will also be a full Moon to compete with that will be nearly 30 degrees, making spotting the little green comet a challenge, even with a telescope. Hopefully Mother Nature will be on outside for viewing this.

The Low Snow Forecast

We are getting snow. Yes, sir…ey. It is falling, albeit this all depends on your location in the valley, as some places are getting as much as 4cm, while others are struggling with just 2cm. The bottom line: snow is falling. Now, if this was the Lower Mainland and surrounding Fraser Valley, then this little weather system would be labeled as “CHAOS” and the all the cities would be shut down. But no, not here, it is business as usual. We are getting some wind too, and that also depends on where you are living. Where I am, just a powdering of snow, but the wind is picking up. I am not sure what Suz. has in mind for tonight, but I hope she is driving. 

The work place is slowing down. I noticed that around the shop and office, the work load is becoming lighter. It was like this last year too, so I am not worried, but I can see into next year, January, and it is picking up again. Already, in four weeks, I can see over twenty work orders stacked up on the books. But for now, I can just sit back, kick the feet up, and relax.

The flu is all but gone now, except for the goo in my lungs that still lingers. Overall, my body feels a whole lot better. There are moments when a slight fever creeps in, or my nose starts dripping, but that is to be expected after a full on flu attack. I am just happy that it is over, or the worst part, anyway.

Still too weak to walk outside, and take the camera along. I think it is a combination of low self esteem and lack of enthusiasm that keeps me bind to my warm comfy home. So, me and the camera stay put, as I wonder the photos I could get outside–all those ideas, but then the coughing starts, and that is usually when the thoughts fade away. I think getting better, is the better choice right now.

Next week is the Solstice. I am excited about that. This year it is on a Friday, and we might go out and enjoy the longest night of the year. We might head down to the lake, and pay tribute to nature’s wonder of this astronomical event. We could very well be a super clear night, and the stars shine, making for a very awesome photo opportunity. But the best part is knowing that after the day is done, the days grow again, and with it, comes the warm weather once again. I am happy once again!

Over the Wednesday Hump-Dump

On the mend now. Today at least, I am feeling great. Almost all my body parts are in the green. I still get those pesky coughs that swell up from my chest, but remarkably, the pain is gone. Every once in while, my nose starts the drip-cycle, but some fast acting little brown pill kick in when that starts up.

The weather outside is currently raining, but there is more snow on the ground. The snow this year, is nothing to what it was last year. There might be 2cm on the ground, but it seems to be melting faster than is accumulates. It is quite mild outside: maybe plus 3C.

When me a Suz., went into town, I bought a LED Grow-Light for my plants. Being how dark it is, this time of year, I felt my plants need some extra light to help them out. I will set it up on a timer, and give them a 18 hrs photo cycle, daily. To this day, my little Air Plant is growing like crazy. I must be doing something right. I hope the Grow-Light gives them what they need.

We feasted on pizza at the Hut. It was nice to dine out, especially on a day like today. The down town was nearly dead, so driving around, sitting the restaurant, was a treat, if you do not like crowds. Parking was breeze, and the service was fast–I like that. Once finished, I dropped Suz., at her home and then I headed home. At nearly 10:00pm almost all of my neighbours were up, outside, having their cigarettes and booze. I keep forgetting that they sleep during the day, and play at night. Their chueques must be in the mail, I can feel their anticipation. I crept through my door, and quietly went to sleep, happy and content, burping on pizza.

White, Wonder and Wimpy

Short post. Still very much under the flu’s grip, laying in bed, using the laptop. I took a quick look outside, wondering why the ambient light coming through my blinds was so bright, and to my surprise, there on the ground was a layer of snow and ice that was melting. I would mark today as the first official snow of the year — and we are well into the first week of December. That is in contrast from what we were getting last year. The great news, the snow will be gone in my guess by tonight.

As for the Flu, well, I am still dealing with congested lungs, a pounding headache, and fever. I am getting better, though you would never know it by looking at me, but I can sleep better, and I am not coughing as often as I was last night. I am still in bed, only leaving for water, or to get rid of it. This is my weekend.

OK, weak now, back to sleep.

Home: Nice to have the Car Parked at the Airport.

Made it home, great flight, 7:00pm and nice to just drive home without having ti wait for someone. There is no great advantage of going to, and leaving from an airport, then to drive up to it, and then away from it, at your own free will. It is just an awesome feeling. And that is what I did. I stepped off from the plane, walked through the departure area, straight outside, and drove away. Terrace, BC, yes; Vancouver, BC, no. I could not have done this in Vancouver with out just as much hassles as waiting for a Taxi. I would still be there–waiting. Anyway, I drove right to Suz’s house, and we had dinner.

During the flight, there were no could in the sky. Along the horizon, all I could see was a band of deep red, stretched along the ocean. It was pretty much pitch black out, halfway through the flight, but the weather was identical to Vancouver’s, except the temperature, which was cooler by a degree or two. It was awesome to see a sunset like that from twenty-thousand feet in above the Earth.

Sadly, I sat in by the isle, so there was no point in bringing out the camera. I think the fellow sitting in the window seat would not of approved a 300mm lens stuck in front of him. This image I will have to keep in my memories.

Oh, This is East Surrey, BC, Not Cloverdale.

If you really want to have some fun with people who call Surrey, BC home, just tell them they live in Surrey, not Cloverdale, or Newton, and so on. Anyway, I should not pick on these people, as most of them are fine folks, just like the rest of us. So, here I am, standing at the corner of 176 Street (aka Hwy 15, or Pacific Hwy) and 64th Avenue, in what is known as East Surrey, or more commonly know as, Cloverdale–looking South West at my hotel. It is weird standing here, looking at the traffic, knowing  that just a mere few hours ago, I was standing in Terrace, BC, seeing the same thing, but with no traffic. The sunset was awesome however–a worthy photo.

The flight in from Terrace, BC, was eventful–in that it was noisy. Among the aircraft’s noise, nestled inside the cabin were at least eight very young kids, with their parents of course. As the we ascended into the air,  and the air pressure thinned, their tiny eardrums were causing much pain. As we leveled out, the chorus of at least three screaming voices in unison called out, to stop the air from pushing out their ears, although they could not speak, the cries were deafening to the point. One child, did this throughout the trip. It sounded like a torture chamber inside. The poor kid.

As I got into the YVR terminal, and out to Departures, my ride was at little late, but I waited only a few minutes. We drove into the Surrey, making it in good time, for the Lower Mainland standards, and I got to my employer’s head office. From there I booked into my hotel, and then I went off in search of a place to have a meal. This is when I took the photo, above.

I headed off to bed early, knowing that tomorrow was going to be action-packed, full of training, and meeting people, kind of day. Good-night!

Still No Snow, and it is December in the Skeena Valley.

Continuing off from my last post, me and Suz, were heading out to see some of the various craft fairs in town, and I took this shot from George Little Park in down town Terrace, BC., looking towards the Sportsplex, up on the hill, to show that not one flake of snow has fallen on the ground. So we made it to December, and still no sign of snow. They say (Environment Canada) we will get a arctic outflow starting in the new week, but it will be clear up and give us sunny skies. No snow in that forecast, just some freezing temperatures. I will take it!

Now, for the record, I am not complaining one bit. These are posts are full of “joy and happiness” that I do not have to shovel. I know the wildlife, and the trees, will suffer if this continues, but for having such a “cushy” season, hey, I am not complaining one bit. But you do need to wear a toque if you my kind of hair style–near shaved off.

Not One Snow Flake.

I am just reminiscing here, thinking about this time last year when we were hip-deep in snow, and minus five to ten census was a normal day for late fall here in Thornhill, BC. Today, not one snow flake has stayed on the ground, and for that matter, I have not seen one fall to the Earth during the one storm we had so far this month. Even the snowline, across the mountains that make the Skeena Valley, seems unusually higher than normal. In fact, Copper Mountain, right now, has no snow on it that I can see, while Thornhill Mountain, connected to it, only the very tip has snow.

Down here, closer to river level, we are enjoying eight to ten plus degree weather each day. Even with our rainy days, the downpours are nothing compared to last year when we a couple of days of flash flooding occurred back then. The local news paper put out a story on how low the Skeena River is, citing that this year has seen the lowest level of the river, since records were kept starting back 1928, (The Terrace Standard: “Skeena River Levels Still Below Seasonal Levels,” November 30, 2018). 

Tomorrow will be the first day of December, and with the shorten days, and with less than three weeks until Winter Solstice, the question is: will a proper winter season set in for this year?

However, none of us are complaining too much about the snow drought. With not one snow shovel deployed since last year, and snow removal equipment sitting idle, I have not heard too much, other than the people who make their living on removing the snow. Our streets sit clean and free of the white stuff, and commuting to work is like driving on a summer’s day. And with even lower that usual amounts of rainy days, I think people are generally more positive this year.

Smile

It is Friday, and on top of that, a long weekend ahead. The day is going smooth, with no real issues, and the people around me have been awesome. The office phone only rang twice today, and no messages were left when I started the day. Outside, it is weirdly warm for November, here in the Skeena Valley, a whopping 10C on the building thermometer. It is overcast, but the sunlight pokes through often.

Tonight, the plan is to spend the evening with Suzette, have dinner at her place, see a movie, and get lots of hugs from her two cats, Neesa and Oreo. Also, we make do a walk through the Mall and check out some other stores in town before they close up for the day before dinner. The sleepy little town of Terrace, is pretty much asleep after 9:00pm on Fridays.

I did more back-ups on my 4TB hard drive that I was having trouble with last year. For some reason, I managed to get it to format. I run Linux on all my machines, so usually I have more luck with getting hardware to work, than I do with those other “U Pay For it” operating systems. However, this time I tried formatting with FSNT, and the drive took. I was formatting with EXT4, witch is  Linux format, and I could not get the drive to work. Oh, by the way, to transfer 4TB of back-ups, is a 18hour operation.

Well, the day is moving into evening, and it is time to get ready for Suzette. I bid you all good evening!

Getting Ready for Season of Ice and Snow

In less than six weeks it will be officially winter, according to the calendar, but in reality, winter is upon us now. This morning, only the second time so far this year, I had to scrape off my windshield before I embarked on my morning journey to my work. Although it was only a light dusting of frost, it still took a couple of minutes to do the task before it was safe to drive. But this got me thinking, winter is here, no doubt about that.

My neighbours are busily stapling plastic sheeting to their appartment’s windows. How of that will the land will appreciate, is anyone’s guess. But they are preparing nonetheless. I had my car serviced, for a winter tuneup, on Monday. Checking coolant levels, and other devices for winter safety. Snow tires are mandatory for the highway roads, as of October first here in BC, so those were changed several weeks ago. This weekend I will be buying a winter jacket that is more with today’s North Coast style. I am good for the winter boots, both at work and here at home. So all is good.

It is hard to say how bad, or what type of a winter it will be this year. Last year, we had a cold one, with lots of snow that stay around until April. With the summer we just had, we could be in for a Green winter, as the snow line on the mountains is still really high. However, never get to cozy with the weather, as it could all change in a moment’s notice. We have only had one good storm so far this year, and that only brought a couple of days of heavy down pour, so it is hard to tell.

One thing that I can say about our current weather here: it is still dry. The Skeena River only crept up about 30cm since the rain storm a week ago, but that is still a far cry from what it is normally at this time of year. We need a super good snow pack on the mountains for the spring run-off, and a few more storms to get us back on track, so this winter season will be critical. No snow could be a disastrous spring season for the rivers.

As of now, no snow has hit the ground and stayed, here in the Lower Skeena Valley, this year. In fact, some are saying that it is still too warm, and with these clear skies, and wind from the North, this might not help. The next weather front to come over us, for the end of the week, might not have that much precipitation to give us.

So, time to bundle up, and have the ice scrapper handy.