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.

Pussy Willows Buds are Out

For the record, these are what my mother told me these were–pussy willows. Actually, I have no idea what their scientific name is, or what the locals call them, so, for the purposes of this post, I will refer to them as pussy willows. During my youth, a long time ago, seeing these pussy willows here in Thornhill meant that this was a sure sign that the full on spring season has started. Now, you can throw your winter gear back into the closet, and whip out the (warmer) summer clothing, with rain gear too, as spring also signals the Rainy season. On a supper nice day, with nothing but clear skies, seeing these pussy willows popping out among the trees is a sight for sore eyes–winter is behind us now–for good–until next year.

According to Suz., the Mason Bees really loves these pussy willows. As I was photographing this shot, above and blow, the tiny bees were all around me, taking as much pollen as they could carry with them. As for the true name of these little baby bees, I am not sure either. Some call them Mason Bees (though I am not sure they eat cement, are members of the Free Mason Society, or just hide among cracks in the bricks of your house), or call them orchard Bees, someone please tell me?

Anyway, enjoy the day! Must go now–Suz., has arrived!

Kick’n Back On A Friday

Regardless if it is Friday the Thirteenth today, it is, and I am happy that it is just Friday, the end of the work week, and I am ready to start my weekend with full anticipation of a great couple of days ahead. The week past was just as typical as the week before, with a few hick-ups that caused some excitement, but for the most part, I would call it a routine and typical one. Work was good as well, with about the same status as my private time, the same amount of excitement, but that quickly went into the “normal” class of “typical,” on the scale of “normal.” But the past week did have a moment of discovery. 

Going through my year end taxes, that evil part when the Government asks you to calculate all the money that says you owe it, and to make sure it balances out, I discovered an “investment” error from my former employer’s RRPS company that handles its “extended benefits” for us employees. The mistake came in the form of how much it took from my income as its allotted amount that is says it took for my long term “investments.” Sure, for most of you, 0.4 per-cent does not sound like a lot, but in the business of Corporations who are nickle and dimming their consumers, this is a billion dollar money machine game they play. As for my former Employer, I am sure they are in on it too. As far as my Government is concerned, who cares, it is not their money–I over paid. I phoned them on Thursday, only to be railroaded with long waits on hold, and the endless run around from the human voices on the other end.  Am I ashamed–yes–I am sorry I worked for these people now–they are lairs.

On a happier note, I got to see a natural spring, right near where I work, in an area where you would never suspect to see one.  I swore to the secret location, never to reveal it because it is on private property, and the owner says that the City has no ideas it is here. But it was amazing to watch it, as the water gurgled away into a little pond. The property owner says the water runs all year around, and never freezes completely in winter. This place, the Skeena Valley, is a geological treasure trove. It is unreal what lurks below our feet. To bad it was not a hot spring–free and natural hot tub! 

The main intersection of Highway 16, and Highway 37 saw some changes that people took notice this weekend. They are starting to clear out the trees along the main road and the Old highway, to make way for the “Round-about” being built for 2019. I asked one the Construction guys that works where I work, why cut the tree now? He said that it is due to clearing them with no nesting birds in the trees. They cannot cut down trees with nesting birds on them. So now is the time to do that. As a side effect of all these trees being cut down, are the people who scooped in to collect the wood for firewood for themselves. Apparently, no one was allowed to touch that wood, as that area is an active construction zone. Perhaps when people who live in Terrace see free useful items, everyone lays claim to it regardless of the legal issues–firewood being one of those. Anyway, enjoy the free firewood.

The weather is slowly becoming like what spring weather should be. This morning I did have ice on my windshield, so the nights are cool, but the days are getting nicer. I suspect that this weekend will have an ice-cream stop in it too, like last week. Wearing shorts, is back too–a good sign that winter is long-gone. Overall, I think during my holidays, I will swap my winter tires over to summer’s. Sigh.

Well, time to do some real work now. Happy Friday the Thirteenth everyone—err TGIF, I mean! LOL

Pieces of Bornite

Today I am going to talk about Bornite, and not just the mineral, but the Mountain, and the Bornite Range too. But first I bought some small chunks from a booth at last weekend’s Terrace Wellness Expo at the Terrace Sportsplex arena, called “For the Love of Rocks.” A catchy name for a rock proprietor, I must say so myself. I guess I am a sucker for things shinny, like quarts and Bornite. Anyway, on with the story.

But while I was digging around on the Internet searching as to what Bornite is, and where to find it, I was amazed that just a hope-skip-and-a-jump from where I live, there is the mountain called Bornite Mountain, which is part of the Bornite Range, just less than eight clicks (Metric) North from me. It remains to be said if there are deposits of Bornite in it or not, as no one definitively said yes, or no to that question. I am going to assume that where you find Copper Ore, so too Bornite be lurking in with the rocks. From my research, Bornite is from Copper Ore, so it could be quite possible that there is indeed Bornite in these hills. Perhaps a hike is in in order?

I bought these from a lady at one of the booths at the Wellness Expo last weekend. Her business is located at a place outside of Smithers, BC, called Telkwa, BC. She does not have a store, yet, but runs from with in her home. The company’s names is “For the Love of Rocks,” and with some on-line sleuthing, I am sure she can be located with her rocks. I bought these from her for a few dollars, so I thought to myself this is a good price. There were not many left, so I grabbed the three common colours she had left, Purple, Green and Gold one each. Anyway, they look sparkly neat with their colourful shine.

Sorry – all I could find of her, is her FaceBook Page. I guess she has no proper Website yet.

The End of a Great Week, End.

I dare say that spring has sort of sprung, albeit the weather is still on cool side. The year’s accumulation of snow is melting fast, as our temperatures climb higher. Rain is in nextweek’s forecast, so will accelerate the melting of the snow. For example, to hit 15C in down town Terrace, BC, and we had high clouds with periods of Sun light poking through. So getting out was on everyone’s mind, and with that, the country side was loaded with people as they ventured around. 

So last week was a busy one, as it was a short week for most, I worked the holiday, as my employer does not recognize a few of religious holidays. Once Friday rolled by, it was sweet pure relief to start this weekend. Last we were getting periods of snow, this week appears to be the warm up. However, since this is the North Coast, once there is full on spring, there is full on rain, what I call the deluge season. Once the rain starts, then spring has kicked in, and behind that the torrents of mosquitoes. But enough of all this bad news, lets talk about the a good stuff…

Saturday was the 2018 North West Wellness Expo Workshops, where Suzette helped here friends out at the “Peace Infusion” booth. This year, it was held up at the Terrace Sportsplex Arena, where there were fifty other society’s, groups and businesses set up. Suzette loved it. While she stayed at the booth, I watched a moving on meditation, which was about an hour long. It was good. And I think Suzette had a great time at the booth too. I have a great photo of her there, but I want to get her permission before I post it here.

Today, (Sunday) was more of a casual day for us. We did not meet up until 2:00pm, as we both had our morning chores to do. One time on today’s agenda was a strip to the Ice cream Building. Not sure what the name of the company that operates it, but it sure was nice to have a slew of awesome flavours on a waffle cone, on a nice 15C afternoon. We did a bit of shopping to. Suzette bought some more seeds at Canadian Tire like potatoes, onions, more flowers and we hit the Dollar Store too.

Looking forward to the news week, and spring. I have holidays soon, so looking at deciding what to do with the time off from work. I have plans, but nothing scribed in stone yet.

April Fools, or Just Fools?

Listening to all the news on the United State wanting to drop out of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), or at least awing it in their favour, got me thinking about what lays in my future as a Canadian. And to be fair, I am only referencing this on my own personal life–a life that is almost spanning five decades now. So I think I have some experience under my belt. I remember a time before NAFTA. There was a time long ago, that Canada only had bi-lateral agreements with other trading nations, and it worked. But people wanted bigger, better, with more profits, and the ability to grow at more accelerated rates, and at the time, this was the Automobile Market that launched it. But this was far from the utopia of free markets that the businesses wanted. There will always be outside forces that could bring down, or at least distort, the economy, and as corporations grew mightier then the countries they lived in, so to were the negative effects of the market shifts.

When listening to the U.S. president say he was pulling out of NAFTA, or at least change it into his favour, I thought to myself this must be a April Fool’s Joke of some kind. Could this be true, or just another one of his “flip-flopping” agendas he is so famous for? Changing his mind through an early morning Tweet on Twitter, like a teenager on social networking. The ramifications of all of this is the Markets bouncing up, then down, reacting to every tweet, like a farmer in his fields watching storm clouds pass by.

Sure, it is nerve-racking, as the media plays on every and tweet the US presidents throws out into the Internet. But remember, you can only cry “Wolf” so many times before no hears again.

So here is how I look at it. And I have lived through a bunch of rescissions in my lifetime. We may have our cars and oil increase in costs, but these are commodities that will not bring down our neighborhoods and governments. Sure, it will sting as a small portion of the work force will have to adapts into new industries, but there basic needs that can be met to keep our nation running as long as we have the will to do so.

We can produce our own basic needs like food, building materials and modes of transportation. Unlike some other countries, Canada has the ability to move forward at both the micro and macro levels inside our borders with self sustaining ease. We are, after all, an exporting country, thought not as efficient as China or the U.S. due to our small population, but we can pick ourselves up and run with it. We are fortunate that we are not reliant upon service industries, and raw resources, we have kept a sizable manufacturing sector alive.

So it is far from not being the end of the world when the U.S. president tweets the end to free trade. In the end, he will only hurt the people he leads–his own country. Sure Canada, and Mexico, will under go a transformation too, but both nations will pick up where they left off, and continue to grow, as we all look for more stable markets to trade with. And with the changing world dynamics through tools like the Internet, and digital money, it is quiet possible the U.S. will be left behind if they stagnate.

We need to eat, and we can grow our own food. We need homes, and we can build them. The only thing that will hurt us in the current market economy, is the mountain of debt that the average Canada carries–this we must get under control. But perhaps we need this market shift to correct the economy after all? Homes are out of reach for now for many people, so a good shake up might be what we need.

Stuff On the Skeena River

So after the shock of seeing the snow on the ground, the Sun came out and melted it all back to its liquid state, leaving us with an awesome day to spend as we wished. We went on a hike over at the Old Skeena Bridge, but on this hike, we went under it in stead. The goal was to see if we could find a way to get to the Northern sandbars, but from years of shifting sands from the river, the old routes were washed away. We opted instead to just stick around the base of the river, checking out the rocks, water and anything else we might find. There were even other’s doing the same walks too.

With the river so low this time of year, I saw more “pot holes” carved away from the water than what I normally see. I could walk right up to the main part of the river under the bridge, which is normally not done from the high water. It was quite awesome to see the carved granite at this level; I figure I saw about twenty more carved holes in the newly exposed rock.

The Sun was poking its way through the clouds enough that it balanced out the Northern wind which seemed to cut through you when it gust over 10k/hr. There was a fare breeze, but with the good fleece jacket on, hiking was was great. Could not argue that the day was not a good one for March–spring is on its way. We trek on wards.

We just happened to noticed this Surveyor’s Marker drilled into the rock on the South side of the bridge. It appears to be made of brass, and although beaten by rocks from years of floods, we could make out some of the markings on it. We must have walked over this many times with out noticing it. The Sun was hitting it the right way when I seen it. I took several shot with my macro lens so we could see if we learn more by blowing the image up later on. Here is what we found so far.

We know it is a Survey Marker commissioned by British Columbia with the year “1960” stamped on it. It has an image of a crown, and possibly the cardinal points of a compass showing North. It could also be a coordinate marker too, but the centre of it is badly damaged. The numbers “87,” along with “IEBAL,” and “E(V)ALT(K) and “RES” are also stamped on it. I have sent the larger images to some people that might know who and what this is for. Another mystery to solve–yay!

Anyway, the brass marker is about ten metres South of the bridge on the rock bluff where the pines trees are growing. Like I said, we must have walked over this many times before we actually seen it. Thus year it is exposed on the bare rock, but still hard to find.

As the day wound up, we have yet one more task to do before we called finished–it is movie night. Going to see Tomb Raider (2018) at the cinemas.

What The….. Snow in Late March?

On the calendar it says spring, but up here in the Great White North, winter still has its grip on daily life, and this morning when I awoke to look outside, this is what I saw. Snow, and a bit of it that came down last night. I guess it got cold enough that the snow flakes stuck and stayed on everything. I was hoping that I would see any snow on the ground at this elevation until next fall season.

I keep forgetting that we here in Thornhill, BC only have two seasons: winter and (springish) summer. The springish part is the rainy season which take up about three-quarters of the summer portion of the year. Anyway, after so much of my life down in the Southern parts of Canada, seeing this at the end of March was a little bit of a shock. But then I have to remember, I am only a short drive from the Alaskan, U.S. Border–cold is a fact here.

Hovering at 4C, the day quickly changed over to being nice, with sunshine. Me and Suzette will probably go out hiking later today. We have plans to see the new Tomb Raider movie tonight, as it opens at the Cinema–should be a good night out. I am hoping that this is the last time we will see the snow this far down in the valley–again–this year!