Yet Another Dump of Snow

Yup, it was on the news that another dump of now was upon us, up here in the North Coast. And sure enough, it came to past. The white fluffy flakes came from the skies, like ashes from a bonfire, the land was covered on mere moments. When I awoke, the chaos was well underway. It was digging time!

This storm is going to be the first in a series of weather systems that are going to hit us over the next few days. Sadly, this might be a taste of what is to come.

The cool part about getting back into my driveway, from after work, was that some of my neighbours went out help me shovel the last car length of snow after I got stuck. I was getting worried when I was at work watching the snow fall. They said that there was no mail either at the apartments. I guess we wait until the driveway is cleared. Calling the landlord now. On the news, they said that almost 30cm of snow has fallen.

Getting Out On a Saturday Night – a Drive Down the Highway

It was the spur of the moment, a nice dinner at the Golden Star after we headed out for a drive going towards the ski hill called Shames Mountain. Our timing was almost perfect as the Sun was just setting, and the light was changing to the golden hour of the day (which is photography speak for one of the best times of the day to take photos in). The day had just peaked out at 1C, and 3C if you were parking out in the direct view of the Sun, so driving down the Prince Rupert Highway (HWY16 West) was a bit crisp on the roads, but I no issues driving on it. The scenery was just awesome as we drove through the narrow Skeena Valley.

The above shot was taken just before the town limits looking East into Terrace, BC. The first rolling mountain is Terrace Mountain, and to the right is the Copper Mountain. Of course, in the fore ground lays the mighty Skeena River. 

The evening was getting on with the Sunset around 5:00pm there about, but it is hard to tell when you are down in the narrow valley. It was time back to town. We went driving only because we had some time to pass until the restaurant was wanted to go was open. As we were driving West down the highway, we were seeing a whole bunch of cars heading East. Suzette figures that these were people who were skiing at Shames Mountain.

With the clear sky, came the view of the Moon. Sadly, a Pacific Storm has been forecast for tomorrow, so this would it as far a super clear weather, so I took a couple shots of the Moon with my 300mm telephoto lens, saying “goodbye” until the nice weather returned. We are fortunate, there is very little light pollution, and the pollution in the sky is fairly low too around here. Seeing the stars here is very different than seeing them in Vancouver, BC.

Of course, the night was young, and dinner at the Golden Star was awesome. It was time to wrap up the public portion of our outing, and head back home. This seems to be our new routine now, having movie night at home instead of the theatre. I think it is the winter time that has change our pattern for doing stuff on weekends. The nights are long, and the days very short, so you compensate with those fun to do activities that you put on hold during the summer. It has been a few weeks since we took off to a craft fair or public event.

Oh, and as I slowly discover more about my car, I see that I now have an alarm that I did not know about. For the longest time I was trying to figure out why the horn did not work. I thought it was a fuse, or disconnected wire, but it appears that it just started working. We were just wrapping the evening when Suzette said she heard the sound of a car alarm going off. So she looked outside to see. She said, “It’s your car.” I went over to have a look, and sure enough, it was. Apparently, while I was getting my jacket on, I must of pressed one of the buttons on the car key, because once I pressed it again, the alarm stopped. So when I got home, I pressed down on the bumper, and sure enough, the car alarm went off. The sales person that sold me the car never said I a car alarm installed on it!

A Lazy Saturday Morning – What Life Looks Like From My Front Door

Oh yeah, I am feeling extra lazy this morning. I had very little energy to become motivated enough to get out, like I usually do on a Saturday, so I just made some breakfast, did my usual ablutions, and then sat in front of the computer watching YouTube videos, and checking out websites. When that became boring, I got up from my chair, grabbed my camera, and stood at my front door to take some photos. It is still a little chilly out, a mere 3C, but there was wind, which cuts through you.

The above photo is looking East from my front door. That is the Copper Mountain in the back ground. I am about four kilometres from the base of the mountain.

Away, back to post on my Saturday laziness. As the morning roared on outside in the real world, I was peacefully sitting back in my nice warm comfy chair deciding on whether I should write a post or not. It was the photos I just took that inspired this. But then I got an email. It read, “Hey Tom, wondering if you want to go into Vancouver next week to see a presentation on the latest, greatest, home security seminar at UBC? Allen.” I was like…, Allen, did you not get my memo from last July that I was moving out of Langley? I emailed back right away. Allen responded, “Of course I knew that, but I thought you would want to go… This is the latest security tech against hackers and Governments, and home security. Can you make it?”  I politely threw in the towel on his invite.

The need for more food crept into my mind. It was the lure of those ham and cheese scones I bought the day before. Damn, they were tasty. I will pay for that, as my pants get tighter in the near future.

I just heard on the news that we will be able to see the “Blue Moon” this Wednesday, at 4:30am, lasting until the Sun pops above the horizon. The greatest factor around these parts for anything astronomy is the atmosphere itself, those pesky clouds. The question is, will the clouds part enough for us to see the Moon through them on that morning? The odds are against us.

Well, it is almost eleven o’clock. I guess it is time to get motivated. Maybe a shower to pump up the blood and get the day moving?

Happy Saturday!

A Shot of Terrace, Close Up

It was our day out, getting a coffee to go, then taking our beverages to a place to where we could sit and watch the small town go about its business. We first decided on parking over at the arena, but that was dashed as there was a hockey tournament going on. We decided on heading up the Kalum Bench, the look out park, where you can see town through permanently mounted binoculars. This is a great spot for taking photos. But the point was, getting out and enjoying the day, so this was our starting point.

The day was not to bad weather wise. It was overcast, but the clouds were high, and there was some wind, but not a constant breeze from the North. When it blow, you needed a hoodie over your head, but when it was calm it was nice. In this shot, taken with a 300mm zoom lens, is Terrace, BC. When using a telephoto lens, you get the “compressed” effect, and it turns a three dimensional landscape into a two dimensional one. You would be hard pressed into estimating the distance of the Skeena Mall (Very top of the photo) to the bottom row of houses. I guess two kilometres, or more.

This is our Saturday ritual now, or it seems. We take turns driving, usually starting out at noon, and depending on the weather, we either go window shopping, or do a hike on one of the many walking trails in the valley. Today was a window shopping kind of day, though we could have gone out for a hike. It was great just being together no matter what sort of adventure we embarked upon.

Anyway, the day ended with buying a couple of frozen pizzas at the food market in the old Skeena Mall, then going back to Suzette’s place to watch a movie from off the Internet. In all, an awesome day, all around. I was so late getting home, way past my curfew, I will pay getting all my Sunday stuff done on time. LOL

Added Some More Photos!

I spent the morning today cleaning up my Weblog. It needed it, and non too soon, I must say. I cleared about 1.5GB of old photo files that I felt have out-lived their time, and perhaps should be left in the archives, and presented another time and day. Plus, I fixed up my photo galleries–that in itself was a monumental task as well–gobbling up three-quarters my morning from that alone. And the rest of my time was spent doing cosmetic work, and basic editing in places where it needed it.

The photos I uploaded onto my Blog are from just a few weeks ago, on the last day of the 2017. Me and Suzette went out to Lakelse Lake and took a walk out on the ice. I put the slidewhow of it here in the post, but if you want to see in a lager format, look to the side menu, and find “North Coast Terrace British Columbia” under “The Photo Gallery,” and from there the photos should be about 900 x 600 pixels in size.

A huge problem I had was having to relearn how my Photo Gallery plug-ins worked…, again. I am kind of kicking myself becuase I had forgotten how most of the functions worked. Also, terminology, and the software’s semantics, used in some of the help files threw me off. I got through it, laughing a little, keeping it all in good humour.

The Winter Sunset that Brings Winter Back into Perspective

I just got home, about 4:00pm, and the Sun’s light was shinning everywhere at my apartment as the day was ending. Normally this would not be a huge event, but when you are living in an area where the days are a lot shorter, the light becomes important. From where I lived before, the difference of daylight compared to Thornhill is almost 45 minutes less a day during the winter Solstice. So you can see my enthusiasm.

This shot was taken from my bedroom window, as this is only one of two windows that I have that are facing South. But you are asking yourself why I would go and take effort to take this shot? Simple, the Skeena Valley gets very cloudy, especially during the winter months, so when you get a awesome stretch of clear weather, you get out as much as you can to enjoy it. Even though the Sun was low in the sky, everywhere was above freezing, even drying up the dampness outside in some parts.

The greatest attraction of having a wonderful winter day in the Skeena Valley are the mountains that tower at every side of this tiny valley. Seeing the snow covered peaks shine with sunlight is in itself an awesome sight. But when the mountain are bathed in the pink light of the setting Sun, the world changes, as you are surrounded in golden to purple shades of light at ground level. It is like being on a different world in a Science Fiction story. For a half an hour, your world becomes changed; something that a camera cannot capture as you need all your senses to experience it at once. This is what makes winter on the North Coast awesome, but do not tell the Southerners this.

What Keeps You Up All Night On the Lily-Pad

For the last four days, sleeping has been a bit of a challenge. Mostly, I wake up in the middle of the night, usually around 3:00am, then drift off around 4:00am, then an hour and a half later, it is time to get up for the work day. This is stress induced from mostly from my work, as inventory is this week, and partly from the weather, as it is freezing out, and very dry. So, add these all up, and sleeping becomes impossible.

I envy the Sleeping Mermaid I bought a few weeks ago, she sleeps through anything. She does not care about anything, as she sleeps on her lily-pad, so peaceful and happy. To sleep like that, I can only dream about it, well maybe not dream, but I envy her nonetheless.

Anyway, hopefully after Friday, it was all change, and my life will go back to normal, and I can sleep again without any stress. Most of my paperwork is finished, and to my knowledge, most of the outstanding issues are corrected at my work. And for the record, almost all of these corrections are what I inherited when I took on this job.

The best part of the week was when I had dinner out with Suzette. We went out yesterday for dinner, and of course, I took her out, but we went in her car. Nonetheless, it was awesome to spend an evening with her, not worrying about anything else in the world, including the dishes. We did Chinese, stuffing ourselves full, and believe it or not, I was still full the next morning. Must be the weather.

Maybe I need my own lily-pad to sleep on…

Mom Says Don’t Eat Yellow Snow. But Multi Coloured Ice?

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR! This is technically the first true post of 2018. So as always, in keeping with my Blog format, I just skip all the 2017 reflections and 2018 resolutions. So, with that, let me jump into this post, on multi coloured ice. I first saw this last year, just before New Year’s in fact. It was a no-brainer to wait a bit and get a photo of this. Regrettably, the Sun was blocked from the low overcast sky, but I still think the defuse light made the shots just as good.

 I laughed when I first seen the painted icicles on the rock faces of Terrace Mountain. Obviously, another artist was busy at work creating this. I sort of felt like I was steeling the artist’s work, but this is after all this is in the public domain, so it is fair game for photographers. For the record, I did not add the painted colours on the ice. Please do not accuse me of public vandalism or causing harm to the environment–assuming this is some form of lead based paint, or something toxic–this is someone else’s doing. I am just a bystander with a camera who happened to drive by, and stop, to admire it.

I also took some other shots of the non-coloured ice on the same stretch of road. I am surprised the people, or person, did not squirt paint on all the other ice chunks along this road. Anyway, I hope you like it; I thought it was neat.

Yay, it is 2018: What We Did On The Last Day of 2017

It is fun to mark events in our daily lives, and New Year’s Day, and Eve, are probably the biggest in my calender year. So what better way to celebrate it, than being with family and friends, and heading out to lake. Yup, that is what we did, we spent the last day of 2017 on the lake, just walking…. on it. Of course, I could not leave my camera at home when there was such a beautiful day calling out to me, saying, “take my photo.” And that is exactly what I did–over four gigabytes worth of them.

To our surprise, there were a lot of people at the lake. Me and Suzette went out to Lakelse Lake, near Terrace, BC, about a ten minute drive from town. When we got to the lake, there were already about fifty people on it, doing everything from basking in the sunlight, skating, walking and some were even ice fishing on it. So we were not along by any stretch. The above photo was the very first photo I shot when we got there. As you can see, lots of people on the lake, enjoying a nice crispy cold winter day, albeit a chilly one at -11C, with a light breeze coming from the North.

We decided to walk as far as we could on the ice. We were kind of amazed that we were walking the lake, as opposed to driving around it, or swimming in it. The time that we decided to return was almost at Furlong Beach, walking from the Lakelse Lake Park, at the North end of the lake. In all, the round trip was about one hour from the time we got the on ice, to when we left back to the car. A good walk to burn off the holiday turkey dinners with. In the above photo, a shot looking North towards the mouth of Williams Creek.

So here is the last shot of the year I want to leave you with on my Blog: The setting Sun over the ice and snow of Lakelse Lake. On such an awesome day, it was almost magical as we headed back to the comfy warm car. We were seeing the orange and yellow light on the mountains in the Skeena Valley around us as we drove away. As great way to end the year with: sitting in the car at the lake, warm coffee in hand, and the beautiful Suzette with her pink and purple toque on, sipping on her Latte, beside me. Magical.

What to Do On a Nice Sunny Day In Terrace, BC

Well, what do you do on a nice sunny day in Terrace, BC? Simple, if you are like me, you go on a drive, and take your camera along becuase days like this, when you have it off from work, you go out and enjoy it. Off I went, camera in hand, stopping at very rest area I could, and start shooting. When I was done, and feeling the cold, I headed back home, and started going through them all. I picked these three becuase they best represent the view of the landscape along the highway I saw.

I guess I should point out that for the last week, the North Coast has been under an Arctic Outflow Alert, which is weather speak for, “You will freeze your begonias’ off if you are not dressed for it.” We are hovering around the -10C to -9C mark getting down to -15C during the night. But the days have been nothing but sunshine, so “ya”. OK, the above photo is a classic shot of Thornhill, BC, or as the locals like to call it, “Lower Thornhill.” This is looking North, at the Northern Motor Inn, and the Copper Mountain, that big piece of rock sticking out in the back ground.

This next shot is along the Old Skeena River Bridge, but on the Terrace, BC side, right along Terrace Mountain. These are the little water falls that trickle down the rock faces, but being that it is so cold, they turn into icicles, or just blobs of ice. These ones are small, but the good ones to photograph require me getting out of my car, and hiking up trails to get pass the trees. I stayed very near my car becuase of the cold, so shooting only the small ones near the road was as far as I wanted to go. Nonetheless, they look neat, especially when they are clean, white, rather than full of dirt and yellow.

At the end of my drive, I went back towards the Copper River Subdivision, and took this shot. This is looking North, along the Skeena River, just passed Thornhill. By this time the clouds started to move in, so I headed back home.

In all, I took about seventy shots. Later on I will post some more from this batch because there are some really good shots along the highway going towards Prince Rupert, BC. So the whole trip was, starting in Thornhill, then the Rupert Highway, then back to Thornhill towards the Copper River.

With what little time I have left of this looong weekend, I have to cut it short, and call it a day–it’s late. Sadly, I must head in to work for Wednesday, so tomorrow is the last day off freedom. It has been a wonderful, awesome weekend; a must needed time off–I must enjoy these last twenty-four hours of it, right down to the second.

I had x-mass dinner over at Suzette’s folks’ place, where we had the feast, and then watched a movie. It was really nice. A very action packed day.