Snow Storm Continued: Is It Over?

Since writing my last post, the snow kept on falling, sprinkling us with almost the same amount as the day before. We easily surpassed the 30cm mark. The snow plough guy came a second time, early this morning, to whisking away the fresh fallen blanket of the while stuff to the other end of the parking lot. I am grateful for that–awesome. Now, it has warmed significantly–the question is, will this all melt?

It is still very overcast out across the valley. I took a short walk to see how bad the roads are, they appear to be cleared and very drivable. If you need to use the access roads right now–forget it–they are not ploughed. But, everyone is doing their thing, not missing a beat, it is a typical Sunday morning, with one exception: the highway seems very busy. At least fifty vehicles drove by me in the short time that I walked to road and back. So a little snow does not slow anyone here down, even 32cm of it.

For someone who has not seen this much snow in a very long time at one time, this made for a very pretty sight. I will probably go out again later this afternoon when there is more light to take some more photos. If you are into skiing, then you found utopia. Yup, a skier would go mad if you locked them up in room with this view out side.

To put this into perspective, this is a garage dumpster, there are millions of these around the world, and this should give you an idea of how much it has snowed since Friday night. Even now, as I type this, more snow is falling, albeit at a far less rate than last night–thank goodness. But more snow is expected, even though it is warmer, say just above freezing. At least Monday it is looking good for the morning commute to work.

First Major Snow Storm This Season

The one thing you will not hear around here are the cries of “Sowmageddon, and Snowpocalypse,” mixed in with “Climate Change,” and “Natural Disaster.” Not even the electric power has flickered, as the silent storm rages relentlessly outside. I measured it, I got 21cm over night. People are out and about, and even driving in it, as if nothing has happened; a stark contrast to my days of living down in the Lower Mainland. I must say, we were pretty pampered while living down there as far as weather goes in Vancouver. But up here, this is normal, and brings with it a sense of peace and quiet that only can be seen outside of the major populated areas–it is both satisfying and pretty, and very normal.

The weather reports say that this storm will only be with us for a few more hours, then as the temperature warms up, and all this will melt away, brining with it rain by Sunday. But the funny thing about weather, it changes, and Mother Nature never lets out her secrets all the time. (Praise nature)

For me, this is a “stay at home” day, as I do not like driving in this. I have a small car now, and although it has been said that it does really well in the snow, I will forgo the driving in it. Today is a good day to catch up on all those things that need to be done indoors. With warmer weather on the way, I will wait until then, since this is after all, the weekend.

Hockey Night in Terrace: Guns Vs Hoses

Me and Suz, went to the Terrace Arena last night to see the game between the RCMP and the Fire Fighters. This was a charity event with a few half time events featuring a small game between the “Tim Bits” players (very young hockey players), along with various other charity events along the side, such as a 50/50 draw and Puck Toss. We had a lot of fun, even though the first official snow storm of this fall and winter season was raging outside. We made it safe home feeling great.

There were quite a few people at the game. I could not tell you how many, guessing, I would say a couple of hundred? But there were enough to make lots of noise. Also, from this charity, seeing the Police and Firefighters play was the apex of this event, as ticket sales sky-rocket for this game. Perhaps many people have their favourite side for whatever reason, but all the money raised goes to charity, and this event pays out a lot of money just for this game alone–it is very popular. No idea how much is raised, but tickets are only five bucks, and then there are all of the other events in between that you can participate in for a small fee. A very worth while event to see.

During the first intermission, we saw the very tiny Tim-Bits players go, as they play a short game out on the ice. It was cute to watch, and there were some good goals. Those young hockey players really gave it their all.

During the last intermission, there was the Puck Toss, where the idea was, you buy a puck to toss out onto the ice, and the winner is the puck that makes it as close to the middle of the centre line (centre face-off point) as possible. So, the announcer calls the start time in which you can throw your puck out onto the ice, then after a few minutes, all the pucks have to be thrown. So there is some strategies at play here. Being close to the centre line helps a lot for that critical toss, and waiting for the all the puck to land help too, as a lot pucks get bounced away by other pucks tossed afterwords. The fellow sitting beside us won the Puck Toss.

The game itself was action packed; however, one sided on all accounts. The Hoses, or Infernos, ruled the game with a shut-out victory of six to nothing, with the first period scoreless. For some reason the RCMP could not get their game together, as they seemed to have great plays, but shots on goal was not in their favour. They played good defence in the first period, but after the second, it was all down hill from here. The Hoses kept the heat on after scoring four goals in second, and their final two goals in the third period.

The winners! The firefighters from Terrace, Thornhill and Kitimat, British Columbia, as they have their victory pose with the trophy.

The above image is all of the players who played in tonight’s game from both teams. If I fined out later how much money was raised, I will post it here. In all, worth the five bucks to be there for the entertainment. Awesome night!

In Quiet Reflection

Today is Remembrance Day here across Canada. This is the day set aside to remember those who served in wars and conflicts, and those who are now veterans defending our values and freedoms, from today, to long ago. Sadly, I am not feeling that well, so I stayed at home. Mainly it was the weather that is keeping me inside today. So I watched the ceremonies on line while nursing a mild cold, while the snow fall rages outside. The temperature is right at the freezing mark, and a storm is moving in, not a good day for me to watch the parade. 

The above shot was taken from my front door at 11:15am, shooting with my Sony A77,  across Highway 16, with a 300mm telephoto lens. You can easily see snow streaking across the lens as I stepped the aperture down to F11 to get this effect. A long with the snow, is the wind, making for a good day to stay inside and do inside kind of things.

For those who have read my blog over the years will notice that I am not using an image of a poppy in this year’s post. This is sort of a protest, but more in respecting the Royal Canadian Legion, who have a Copy-Write on the Poppy. I do not want to go through the hassles of litigation with them, so I will forgo the Poppy from here on in. I will try to find new symbols of Remembrance Day that are Royalty Free, and free from litigation.

Right now I have a warm cup tea in hand, and Cream of Mushroom Soup simmering away on the stove. It is sort of that nice comforting feeling on a early winter’s day here on the North Coast of British Columbia, as I type this out. The smells and warmth inside, while the cold and white of the snow is outside. Perhaps a nap is on order?

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! 🙂


First Snow Fall of the Year

Well, it happened–the skies opened up, and let loose their rage with big fat, fluffy flakes, and by morning, lay over 5cm of the while stuff on the ground. When I saw the brightness through my windows in the morning twilight, I knew it; there was snow on the ground. There was panic, as being from the Lower Mainland, any form of snow collecting on the ground was bad for any driver. But all was good, as my little car motored through it with ease, as the snow tires did their job.

On my way to work, the car was awesome as it drove through the un-ploughed roads. Being that I work so early, I was among the snow ploughs as they were getting the roads ready for the daytime drivers.  The car just went, over snow drifts, through snow banks, and on the ice. I pulled into my work well on time, thinking that I would be late driving so slow, making sure I would not get stuck.

With the storm slightly easing a bit, the air warmed, and some of the snow melted by mid-day. About 2:00pm, the snow flakes started falling again, and like this morning, I though, “OK, here we go again.” But, in all, the roads were cleared, and the car handled even better in the slush and snow drifts.

Sunset in November

Just thought I would post this really quickly becuase it looks so cool. The sunset from today was awesome, and something that me Suz., viewed together on our way for a night out, and dinner. The sunset was something unexpected for me becuase I did not think that it would be that spectacular without clouds, but I was wrong, there were enough clouds along the horizon down the Skeena Valley that made it great. The colours were just sweet.

Also, tomorrow we get to sleep in, as our clocks fall back an hour. For the record, I am totally against Daylight Savings time. I hope one day soon Canada drop this ridiculous practice with our daily lives, and leave time alone.

Getting Use to the Car: Ford Focus Under the Microscope

We are nearly at the two weeks mark of ownership now, and  still on the same tank of gasoline by the way, so, so far the car is doing great. I am getting most of the “gadgets” figured out, and slowly getting used to driving it. There are still some things that I am learning, but slowly checking off that check-list. Overall, the car starts, handles and rides smoothly. I guess I can say that I am not used to driving a vehicle as new as this one, even though it is already threes years old. But that is me, I am pretty cheap when it comes to buying and owing vehicles.

The above image is from last weekend, just off of Queensway Drive in Thornhill, BC, just metres from the Old Skeena Bridge.

I figured out a bunch of stuff, mainly on the dashboard, with all the functions. I got the trip indicator down pat. That took a bit from lots reading of the owner’s manual. It is pretty cool, as it can calculate my trip usage, gas to distance and estimate how far, and how long a trip could take. Of course, the calculator is always updating itself as you drive. This happens especially when you drive up on lots of hills. The headlights I leave set to automatic. I took the advice of my co-worker, and just leave the knob set that way I never have to worry about it. This is kind of nice. I also set the lights to automaticity shuts off twenty seconds after I leave the vehicle–another nice feature. And the biggest feature, and once that I was totally happy with, is the multimedia panel. I have the Bluetooth Hands-Free phone going, voice commands and the USB media all figured out. Now I have my own music playing from a USB stick, while able to talk on the phone while driving–legally. The stereo system is awesome!

There are two things that I still have to buy for the car. I need a spear key and antenna. The key was a bit tricky becuase a new one with the Thob and key would set me back about five hundred dollars and having to drive to a Ford Dealership to get it “programmed.” So, again, having talked to my co-workers about this, they suggested that I get just a “dummy key” instead, something that will cost only a fraction of a whole new key would cost. So I have one on order. The antenna is something that would be nice, but not critical. But I think the car would look nice with one. Playing the radio would be more inspiring, but here in town, it plays nice. 

Floor mats was another buy I had to do. When out at my work, and with a gravel driveway, it amazes me at how much stuff collects on the floor of the car. So with winter on its way, I decided to them right away. As it turns out, this was a very good investment. Within one week, I dumped quite a bit out. So, floor mats a must for a small car like this.

The ultimate achievement after buying this car: Suz is very happy to be a passenger in it. She loves it. The heated seats would be near the top of her list, and a near second, you can ride in it with style, as opposed to my rusting 1995 Pathfinder. This is a vehicle that she is happy to sit in, be driven around town in, and be seen by her peers while in it.

Walking Along the Lake

Me and Suz., decided to take trip out to Lake to check out the storm damage, and a great excuse to take the new car out for a drive. Just like yesterday, we had awesome weather again today; not a cloud in the sky by mid noon. The day was a bit crispy cool, but I think we got up to 11C, or something like that. It was good enough for Sun Worshippers, who set up their lawn chairs at the Lakesle Park in full view of the Sun. They had their blankets over their legs, and were soaking in Sun on their faces, catching the vitamin D. We even saw some boaters with their little one man boats ready to set sail. There were lots of people out probably doing what we were doing, just enjoying the day.

Judging by the wood and sand scattered along the shore, we figure the lake had risen about 40CM during the rain storm last week. The lake was down today, but there were still places where it was still flooding. It looking like the park workers will have their work cut out for them this spring.

Even the water in the lake looked a little silty. And way out, about fifty metres or so, you can see floating barrels and other types of man made garbage in the lake. Along the lake, the cottonwood trees were pretty much bare from leaves as the wind in some place was strong. No doubt the fall storm season  cast its might here.

No, swimming was out of the question, but the dogs love it. Hardly anyone around, we had the lake basically to our selves. Sadly, all the park’s facilities were shut down. You have to do your bathroom excursions the old fashion way; find a secluded spot in the forest, and do it quick.

To end the walk off, I took a bunch of photos of the sky. This shot really took me back to when I was living in Vancouver, becuase where I lived, we had lots of these red leaf trees growing near by, and photographing them against the pure blue sky was awesome. It was nice that I found this tree with the right conditions. Hopefully Suz. can paint this, as I would think this would be an awesome painting.

Anyway, time to go home. Time to get ready for tomorrow. Another day and weekend comes to an end.

Bye Bye Couch on the Skeena River

An update on the couch I first blogged about a couple of weeks ago: it is now gone. Probably, it was washed away down the river, no doubt floating on it’s way towards Prince Rupert, BC and beyond in the Pacific Ocean. The odds that someone hauled it back up the bank to dryer ground is unlikely–I checked. Needless to say, the couch is gone, and probably for good.

Anyway, the day was awesome. We are getting a wonderful stretch of sunny weather. They say (Environment Canada) it will reach 11C up at the airport. This means that we may see highs of 15C or even 16C tomorrow here in Thornhill and Terrace! YAY!

The Rock Face Known as Baldy

I see it nearly every day when I drive to work, and every time I drive over the Old Bridge to get to down town Terrace. As a kid, I remember it, though it had different writing on it back then. Today, it is cleaned up a bit, and by that I mean, it has most of the old graffiti painted over. What you see today, was done not to long ago, and I think it is more pleasing to the eye that someone’s graduation year. We call it, “Baldy” because of it’s round bare cliff face on the Thornhill side of Terrace Mountain. 

What is cool about this shot is that you can see two female hikers, and the Canada flag that was put up during the summer, along with the Kermode Bear painted on the rock face, which was painted long before I moved into town. You can also see some of the garbage left behind that graffiti artistes used over years. And this is one of the main hiking trails on the mountain that is used by a lot of people. It is sort of a favourite destination spot that people like to view from, like these two hikers.

I have been up there several times as a youngster, then when I lived there in early 90’s , and just a few weeks ago albeit the weather was not as nice as it is today. I was standing on the shores of the Skeena River, on the Thornhill side, using my 300mm telephoto lens for this shot. Makes me wish I owned a 500mm, or 1000mm lens.

It was a perfect day for a hike, although I stayed at town level, it was unbelievably clear and warm out, with the odd gust of wind. OK, there was a lot of wind, but that did not slow me down.