And Then There Was Rain

Being back here up in North Wet Coast, rain goes hand in hand with the mountain and lakes. I grew up with it, and I am sure I will die with it too. I think of places where the land is dry, and hot, and then I look out my window up at the mountains (where I see them). There is a reason why not many choose to make the North Coast there home, if you have choice. We had a storm over the weekend. Not so out-of-the-ordinary; we get them all the time, even down in Vancouver. But what made this weather system note worthy was its timing according to my friends. It is the beginning of September, and normally the wet season arrives nearer October and November. Today the rivers are brown, with trees floating in them. In Kitimat, the next town to the South, they had fourteen people who were camping and fishing on the Kitimat River, and they had to be rescued from the flash flooding of the Kitimat River–in hours it rose nearly three metres.

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 For me, personally, I thought the rain was just that–normal–nothing unusual. Sure, it was heavy, and lasted the night, but then again, I left the land for over twenty years, so I am a new comer again–what do I know about the weather around here. Between my girlfriend and the weather, I was convinced to buy a winter rain coat, a wise investment for comfort during the wet winter weather. I have it now–go figure–and the Sun returns! 

The image is the Skeena River, right at the Old Bridge. You can see how brown the water is. Last week the water was a clean greenish colour. There was a lot of rain in a very short period of time.

October Rain

The weather has been acting up again, and along with that, so has my very unpredictable lifestyle. The weather has been a mix of rain, lots of it, and wind, suffering from a power outage on Wednesday, and a leaky roof from it. I have been trying to keep up with the cleaning, mainly leaves and tree branches, but work has been unpredictable too.

Last Tuesday-Wednesday’s storm was kind of weird in the way that I hardly heard any wind, but sure felt the rain come down. The rain kept coming in waves that would last up to an hour, then letting off with hardly a drop in between, lasting up to about two hours on average. One of my roof vents blew off leaving it wide open for the wind and water to start pouring inside. Thankfully I was home when this happened, so I was able to fix it in a matter of minutes. There was water damage inside from the gaping hole. I used good-old “Duck” tape to fix the problem until I can buy another vent covering–next pay cheque.

I missed getting a chance talking with my manager at my work for getting extra hours added to my next three week schedule. For now, my schedule only has me down for two days of work next week, and one day for the following week, so I will have to phone him up on my time off and see if I can squeeze some in more time. This is the slow season where I work, so everyone at work are trying to keep their hours as we head into the winter slowdown. With the economy still worsening, many are worrying about how hard this winter will get. For me, I am still playing catchup on a few bills from my last stint as unemployed. Thankfully with gas prices going down like they are, I just might weather the winter slowdown as my pay cheque shrinks. I would like to see gasoline back to $0.80 per litre again.

Thankfully there is the Halloween party coming up next week! I am really looking forward to that. Less than a week to go until then!

The Fraser River Up High

It is that time of the year, the annual flooding season that usually occurs in June and July, but all of this just seems to have started a little early this year. I noticed it last weekend when I spent the day in Fort Langley, but when I walked down to the river today, the water seems to have risen up at least 30cm since then. This is normal here in these lands along the river. The only question that gets asked is how bad will get this time. The last time flood was an issues was back in 2007, that I can recall. Even then, the water never to terribly bad, but folks along the the river did get wet.

Minor Flooding in the Flats from the Fraser River May 26 2014 - Weblog Image

I really was not going to blog about and flooding until I knew for sure that we were going into some higher than normal water levels, but seeing that were are getting more rainy days, mixed in with some good warm weather, well, these are the prime ingredients for a good flood around here. When the interior of British Columbia, Canada, gets the really warm weather, and melts the snow faster, it only takes a couple of weeks for it hit us at the mouth of the Fraser where I live. But I have observed the river as only less than a metre from the flooding point at Brea Island in Fort Langley, but anything is possible depending on the weather.

This morning is was cold and raining, and then by noon the sky cleared and warmed right up. I can only imagine what is going on further up stream?

While the Sun was out, I took a walk in the forest near my place, and captured a good photos of the trees. By lunch I was wearing only a t-shirt, and there was no threat of rain. It was a good day after that.

Maple Leaf - Fort Langley BC May 26 2014 Weblog Image

This leaf was blown off during the little rain storm this morning.

The Forest in Glen valley May 26 2014 - Weblog Image

You cannot have West Coast trees without at least one tree having fungus all over it. These were taken across from my place.

Pink Blossoms – A Good Sign

Finally, after being a few weeks late this year, the tree right beside my living room window sprouted its pink blossoms. When I first seen this last year, I was amazed at how much it lit up my living room during the mid afternoon period when the Sun is right over head.  The tree acts like a giant light reflector, changing the ambient light to a light purple colour inside. Today I thought I had to wear sunglasses when I was sitting in my living room because it was so bright.

Pink Tree Blossoms - April 26 2014 Weblog Image

Here is a shot of the tree, looking up, of the pink blossoms.

The tree beside it will turn red in about month too, so my living room have a orange glow from it when that happens. But then during the rest of summer there will nothing but green leaves in front of my windows. The apple tree by my bedroom window is also starting to sprout its blossoms, again it is also a little late this year from the cooler than normal start to spring. I can pick apples from my window there when they ripe–if I wanted to.

When I was taking these shots of the pink blossoms that was when I noticed how dirty my camera was. Tonight I will sit down with it and give my lenses and the camera’s censor a good cleaning. I will probably do a lens calibration on my newest lens, since I have not had time to do that since I bought it. Hey, I may get even sharper images from it?

Also, just looking at the long range weather forecast, Environment Canada is saying that we are in for glorious above 20C weather by next Thursday! That may just start the unthawing of my cold bones from this winter. I think I would welcome a good blast of heat for a week or two. This may play havoc with flooding this summer on the river, but I will cross that bridge when the time comes, but for now–give me the heat!

My Walk to West Creek (The End of My Driveway)

It was just a quick walk. The Sun is almost hitting that golden hour where the light is ideal for some great shooting with my camera, so I walked just down the road. I drive by this creak almost everyday, and some times I complain why I did not have a camera with me during those trips at certain times. Today, it cleared, with just a few clouds, and there was lots of wildlife in the swampy areas by the creek. So, here are four photos during my twenty minute walk down by the creek at the end of my driveway.

Fort langley Green May 16 2013 sm image

Swamp plants.

West Creek Fort Langley - May 16 2013 sm image

West Creek, or the Fraser River’s high water mark – above photo. Very Nice day!

Fish - West Creek - Fort Langley May 16 2013 sm image

These are fish right along the edge of my driveway. The Fraser River is nearing it’s spring run off, so the water level is really high. This is, technically, the Fraser River. I should note that my home is well above the flood level.

Tree Branch - May 16 2013 sm image

I like the above image becuase of the bokey, the light green background, and the almost translucent leave.

The day turned out great. I hope this carries on into the weekend!

Why Zippy the Wonder Slug is So Happy

I had a chance to venture outside with the camera to the “lower 40,” as my landlord calls it. The water has risen. The cause of the minor flooding is not from all the rain, but from the Fraser River slowly rising in its annual flooding season. What impressed me the most from all this water is the wildlife, including thousands of black slugs in the grass.

Zippy The Wonder Slug May 13 2013 sm image

There were a hand full of slugs crossing the road too, but this one was creeping up the bank, to the side of the road, so I shot him with the camera.

Glenn Valley 01 May 13 2013 sm image

The name of this creek is called West Creek, named after my landlord’s family. This sort of gives you an idea of how long their family has lived on this land.

Glenn Valley 02 May 13 2013 sm image

I am hoping that with all of this water, the mosquito population does not explode. I remember last year very well–Fort Langley was just one big swarm of these little pests.

So, to answer why Zippy the Wonder Slug is so happy; it is the moisture and warm weather that seems to make these guys go nuts, and travel along the road where the ground is nice and warm. I have only seen this many slugs in one area before in my life, and that was when I was living up in Terrace, BC. I just might have to keep a salt-shaker handy if they creep on my home.

Patio, or Swimming Pool?

I had some friends over for a lunch event today, but as soon as they got here, the rain got worse, so we called it off. The weather went from a week and a half of blissful very warm sunshine, to periods of pounding rain and water levels raising everywhere here in the valley since yesterday. I am not complaining as the temperatures, both day and night, have been very above seasonal, so, at least I can live with that, but the flooding is what is worrying me right now. Hot weather melting the snow inland, and now this, lots of rain, this could be a recipe of flooding here.

Soaked Patio Deck May 12 2013 sm image

At one point today, it rained so hard that leaves were getting torn from the trees.

Fort Langley Alder Acers May 12 2013 sm image

I wish I had my telephoto 400mm lens with me when I took this shot (I only have my 30mm). Way back, up against the hill, there where hundreds, of what seemed like seagulls, flying in swarms. I could just make them out, but the noise they were making was unbelievable.

I took the bottom photo looking across the property called “Alder Acres” which is just down the road from my place, looking South. The first (top) photo is my patio deck during one of the downpours of rain which kept coming in waves all day.

Pineapple Express Number Two for 2013

The second winter storm (a.k.a. The Pineapple Express) is currently passing through, dumping rain and blowing wind outside, while I sit inside listening to the massive rain drops pound away on the roof. Unlike the last Pineapple Express, this storm is stretched out over Four days, and the rain hits us in “pulses,” using the weather office’s terminology, usually lasting a few hours and subsiding to just drizzle for hours on end. Most of the rain has occurred while I have been out, away from home, at work, so I really do not get that sense that we have been getting a lot of moisture on the ground. Tonight, our list day of the storm, I am hearing it, as the rain sheets across the fields along with the wind.

The mess from the storm along the road I live on has returned from the storm. This is giving me an idea of just how much rain has fallen in the last couple of days when I see the sand bags along the side of the road holding back the rocks and mud that are being swiftly taken down from the hill behind me. My landlord is says that tonight we may have a repeat of what happened Three weeks ago and the road got completely covered with mud, and the Township (Langley) had to come out and dig out the road.  He even has started parking his cars in my driveway today, to keep them safe just encase the hill gives way and takes out his driveway at the top of the hill.

Who says that we do not get any excitement around here. Fort Langley is chock full of excitement–super wet weather is one of those moments to write about!

I can feel the warmer air, and it feels so nice (minus the rain). The reason why they call it The Pineapple Express is becuase the air comes directly from Hawaii, and I can smell that tropical smell in the air as we get that warmer that usual temperature outside. I have yet to hear of any actual pineapples floating in the water in Vancouver harbour–but that would be wilds if they did.

The Ditch Runneth Over

I was raking up the twigs and pine-cones that littered my driveway from all the wind and rain, the ditch the follows the street I live on had just a trickle of water flowing down it. Within the span of One hour’s worth of downpour, the ditch was almost overflowing its banks. The rain drops were bouncing off of the ground by at least 30cm! This marks day Three of the Pineapple Express.

Rain Storm - March 2 2013 a

I have so much mud and tree-branches laying on my driveway that I may have to call out for the bigger guns—the tractor with the dower/bucket attachment for this job. I started this morning, thinking that the worst of the storm was over, but just as I dumped my first wheelbarrow load, a wave of wind and rain picked up like someone turning on a faucet way up in the sky. I would say that this storm will go into the record books as a nasty one for flash flooding. The city workers put sandbags along the edge of the road to stop further erosion, but the ditches are not doing so good either as the water ends up spilling out onto the road.

Welcome Aboard the Pineapple Express

Yesterday when I heard on the news that we were in for some rain, our famous Pineapple Express, I thought, “hoo-hum, another little sprinkle of rain…” like we what usually get, “…oh well.” And hearing the rain through the night did not sound any different than the rain we get this time of year, but waking up this morning, and seeing my driveway covered with dirt and gravel from the washout just metres past my place up on the hill, was shocking. And when I drove past the little creek to get to the main road, that little creek was a lake ready to flow over the road.

The Pineapple Express has lived up to its reputation this time. And to think that we have One more night of it until it clears. So, Twenty-Four more hours of soaker time.

The Pineapple Express is a storm system that pulls air from over the Pacific, mainly starting over the Hawaiian Islands, and streams the hot air (with moisture) up to Canada, into the West Coast of British Columbia. With these storms, we get very high temperatures for this time of year, along with super amounts of rain and wind. This storm, we are expected to see of upwards to One Hundred Millimetres of rain in Seventy Hours. This storm, the rain comes in waves: clear-calm-quiet one moment, then a torrent of rain lasting anywhere from Twenty minutes, to none stop, full-out, lasting for hours.

When I got home from work, the road crew had just finished clearing the last bit of mud and rocks from the road. I could see where the washout was, just a little ways up from my driveway, so I was lucky that my section of the road was speared, or I would have called in a Storm-Day at my work. Tomorrow I will walk to it and take a bunch of photos. We are still flooding, so lots of flood photos too.

Hey, at least it is warm out!