The Ever Growing Rock and Crystal Garden

I added some more quarts crystals to my collection last week, along with some other mineral rocks. The quarts, I only paid about ten dollars for a couple of large pointed crystals, and the big chunk of Iron Pirate, I bought for twenty, so I have about just over a hundred bucks sitting in this bowl. The small blue round rocks are just polished glass that I got at the Dollar Store, to add as filler. There are pieces of Bornite (aka Peacock Ore) and one large piece of Galena, or Lead Sulphide in the centre of the bowl too.

I always wanted a good size crystal collection, with other various minerals added, and now I am well on my way. Sadly, none of these pieces I have collected myself out in the wild. Hopefully, as I get more settled into the Northern lifestyle, I will travel further to remote places, where I can get to go exploring for interesting rocks. The near by places have been picked over, so you do have to hike in those hard to get to locations to find the good stuff. But I am happy buying the odd crystal that looks awesome, for now from the rock shops in town.

Suz., tells me that each type of crystal and mineral has metaphysical value as well. Perhaps with all of these rocks so close to me, maybe they are helping me, or I am getting lead poisoning from the Galena, (I leave them in the bowl). Their shiny crystal sate is enough for me. I like shiny crystal rocks, they make my happy–enough said.

Pretty Lights In the Snow: A New Years Day Walk

It was like magic; the pretty lights in the snow along the Terrace Grand Trunk Pathway that stretches beside The Yellow Head Highway 16. I waited for the right time to walk this, to take photos of the LED coloured lights along the path. Of course, it had to be dark out, and not foggy, and above all else, it needed to be a non-work day the next morning. So, New Years day, was the perfect choice. So me and Suz headed down the path, snapping photos as we went.

What was neat about some of the lights, was that they were half buried in the snow–adding for that extra light effect. The above shot was one of my favourites. The other weird thing about shooting LED lights with a digital camera was that you can see the lights fade in and then out again. The light oscillates from bright to dim, and back again.

As for the path, it was icy, so you had to watch your step. At one point, I found it was better to walk off the path, than on it. Of course, I have water proof runners on, which did not help the grip on ice problems I was having.

The weather was even weird too. It was 7C at my place overnight, and tonight, it was hovering around 3C. It was actually raining out when walked the path, and snow was melting at a good rate. The roads were perfect to drive on throughout the Skeena Valley, both in Terrace and in Thornhill, BC.

I sort of screwed up when I took these shots. Normally, I set the ISO to 100, and adjust my shutter speeds accordingly. But this time, I had the ISO to “Auto,” and the camera left the shutter speed a 1/125 per sec., and adjusted the ISO for me. In most cases I hate images with lots of noise from the high ISO values, but I did some good shots from tonight, so I will keep them.

I hope you enjoy the light show. Have a great New Year!

When Snow Melts, You Get a Mess

Sitting at 3C, cloudy, but no rain, or snow for that matter, the day is looking pretty good. However, the snow is melting at a fast rate, and the puddles in the parking lot are growing just as a fast. Funny how that works. Rumour has it, our parking lot will get snow removal is the next hour or so, hopefully taking care the newly developed lakes outside my front door. This will be nice, and I cannot wait becuase I have a million things to do up town today. 

We only had about 6 to 8cm of snow fall back on Friday, but the lower valley was sitting at above freezing, making the snow heavy and slushy. As soon the snow fell from the sky, it was melting. Below that thick layer of snow was water. If you shoveled it, it was heavy to move. When you drove through it, it splatters everywhere. This is the type of snow I would not want to walk in out on the roads.

The good news is, the roads are clear, and getting around was never an issue. Now, where to put all this water?

Update on My Plants – See, They Are Still Alive!

After nearly a year, my Air Plant and Cactus, are still growing nicely today. I have not killed them; they are still alive. Even I had my doubts on whether or not I could keep plants with my busy lifestyle, but to my amazement, I have no troubles at all. My recent addition to help out the plants was a small LED Grow Light I bought at Canadian Tire for $20.00. I knew the plants needed light this time of the year, as the nights are so long up hear in the North. The plants seem to love it!

That extra light really put life back into the Cactus, while the air plant seems OK, but he was doing find anyways. The purple LED light seems weird, but the plants appear to love it.

So what I did was bought a digital timer, on sale for ten dollars, and then a LED Grow Light. I set the timer for an eighteen hour day, more suited to my schedule, and waited a few weeks to see how the plants responded to it. It a matter of days, the cactus seemed to bounce back to life. I also water them more frequently too.

One observation I did make about the Cactus, was that one side of him was flourishing facing the light, while his backside was flat, so I start rotating him so all sides get light equally. Within one week, the flat side filled out, and now he is almost fully round again. Of course I only have the one light, so maybe setting up two or more lights maybe a thought for the future?

But yes, I am not a plant killer–I do have a green thumb–the hidden thumb I never knew I had.

Mother Nature Tried So Hard…

It snowed out last night, seemingly looking like it was going to be a major dump, but it was all show, and short on result, as only 6 cm of snow fell in the end. Mother Nature tried so hard last night, but all she could muster for us was a minor dump of snow. But it looked awesome. The temperatures have been to warm for the snow to stay on the ground, and what falls from the sky is mostly rain at the bottom of the Skeena Valley. There is no doubt that there is an above average warming trend this year. But seeing what little snow fell last night, was a welcomed sight. My fear of snow is almost gone now.

Yes, there was a time, only just a year or so ago, when I dreaded snow on the roads. Living in Vancouver, BC for nearly thirty years, put that fear into me, only becuase we did not have the proper winter tires that you needed, and by law, up here in the North, you need them on your car. Today, with my car fully decked out for winter, driving in 15 cm plus snow on the roads is like driving on a spring day out in the country. Good tires make the difference.

Work goes good. I am almost caught up with the Inventory Cycle for year’s end. Since I am the only one there in that department, the challenge is making sure that everything is done right. So I did a lot of rechecking, countless times, before I sent off my work. Yes, there were headaches, and there were some frustrating times, but I got through them all. On Monday, I am very confident that my final tally with be perfect; in other words, all the Inventory Counts will be accounted for.

The remanence of the flu still lingers. Although I feel fine, but in my lungs, at the back of my throat, the cough still lets loose its flem from time to time. The frequency is becoming less and less, but it still lingers to this day, after nearly three weeks. Once in a while I get a fever, or sleeping in an issue, but I am almost back to my healthy self.

I am just looking at my thermometer, and it reads 3c outside, plus it is looking like it is clearing in the skies. Whoa, I think I see shadows on the ground from the Sun? The winds are a little breezy, but that is normal around here.

A Few Thoughts On Winter, One Day Into it.

So here we are, in the winter season, and compared to last year, this year feels like the damn tropics. I mean, it is a lot warmer this year than it was last year, this time. But do not get me wrong, I am not complaining. After all, not once have I picked up a shovel to clear snow out of my way, yet this year. But I am worried about if we are in for a major dump in the fore-see-able future this season–I mean–is that way luck plays out?

Now that winter is here, and I wonder if the big freeze will start soon? Seriously, it never fails. You have an awesome start to the season, then “BAM,” the mother of all snow falls hits the neighbourhood. And you ask, “What happened”?

Well, today is generally a good day, for this time of year. It is clear out, although partly cloudy, the Sun does shine through it part of the time. We are sitting at plus 3C, according to my car. I headed into town to do a quick shop for some food, and the snow that was on the ground was melting on my car. It is a mixture of mostly rain with some snow, and this has only been going on for at last fifteen minutes, or so. But mostly clear out, so far for today.

Down town is fairly quite right now. Not what I expected. I thought I would be fighting the holiday madness of traffic on the roads, and in the parking lots. Even the store was nice and relaxed, while I did my shopping. This was totally unexpected, for this time of year. Something I find eerie, and hard to comprehend, having come from the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. We will see what tonight brings!

For now, I have my snacks, and I am curled up to the computer and monitor, as I bask in its blue glow. A piping hot cup of tea is sitting beside me, and some grapes sit on a plate by my PC’s mouse. What more could you ask for on a day like today.

Oh, a lot, you could say. I could ask for more! LOL

The first day of winter–yay. Here we come! Enjoy…..

Happy Solstice and the First Day of Winter

As the tail goes, in the North, on this day, the Sun shines brightly over the land, and for one moment all will see it through the clouds. No matter how stormy it is, the clouds will part long enough to let in the light, to signal the return of longer days. Today, was no exception. Driving to work, I saw the Moon casting its light through the clouds, to the West, and what a sight that was. The Moon rays were like curtains of light fanning out over the mountains, and through the valley. And later on in the day, the Sun happily rose into the sky, just enough to see it over the trees, as its ark-path through the sky will be it lowest of the year, a mere 26 degrees above the horizon.

Oh yes, the photo of the day, like all the times before, on Winter Solstice, I take photos. Here is my pick of the day. It is cool out, around minus 2C, so everything outside has a frosty coating of ice crystals on it.

Today should mark the beginning of the year. Why I say this? Because the days get long after today. I never understood the logic of placing our calendar start date in January. But hey, when you standardize the calendar, fitting it to your morays and myths, then you clinch the culture that follows it. I say we should adopt Sidereal time from now on, so that no government or organization can tamper with time, at anytime!

The Moon shines bright tonight. It is damn near a Full Moon tonight. For an hour, my bedroom was flooded with moon light, as the clouds parted for a few hours in the early night. Like this morning, tonight’s Moon, is almost full, and hangs high in the sky. I can easily see the snow caps top of the mountain from my window, and the clear outlines of the hazy clouds streaking through the sky.

So Happy Solstice, and may your happiness grow with each progressive day until summer Solstice.

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!

Flying Away – A Very Short Migratory Trip

A fully sponsored, work related, trip to the Lower Mainland for some training is in order, for me. I am going back, albeit for only twenty-seven hours, it will like a life time, as I see the old neighbourhood again. I can only predict what it will be like, but I am sure it will be the same place I left only fifteen month ago. I am looking forward to the trailing, but not to going back.

Let us just say that I have grown accustom to the clean air, little to no traffic, and the sound of nothing, except maybe the odd truck or two here in Thornhill, BC. The Shock of going back, to Surrey, BC, might be too much for my body. It has grown soft with living with less pollution and stress. Oh, and I am sure the water is going to taste the same too.

I guess I will be leaving on Tuesday morning, and then coming back the next night.

The Photo: A bird’s nest in a tree at the North West end of George Little Park in Terrace, BC on December 1st, 2018.

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.