Yay, It’s May!

Well, the first day of May is here, and with it, not too shabby of a day. It is sunny, warm and hardly any clouds to worry about. In all, the makings of a great day. Though rumour has it, we are going to get overcast, and some possible sprinkles are expected. Right now, I am just happy that it is May. I am so looking froward to the warmer days ahead.

I was looking at the weeds outside at my work, and noticed that the dandelions were out in fool bloom, while the flowers in the planters were just sprouting. Funny how the weeds do great, while the flowers you plant suffer. Maybe we got it all wrong, and we should be growing those weeds instead. Anyway, the trees have leaves on them, and the grass is green, what more could you ask for!

The Sun is beaming over the mountains now as I drive into work in the mornings. I keep forgetting that the days are a lot longer here than they are in the Lower Mainland. Here, on the North Coast, it is one extreme to the next; either lots of day light, or just dark. Here, during summer, you can see outside all day, as the sky never turns dark. Now that is a summer.

Yay, it is May!

Catching Up From Last Week – Pelicans In Northern British Columbia

Since this is the last day of April 2018, I though I would get this out of the way before too much time passes. During the first leg of our vacation last week, we drove through a town called Vanderhoof, as we made our way along Highway 16 heading to Prince George, BC. We stopped off at a park, of what I am assuming was a small wet land area, not to far off from the down town core. There were lots of people, and beside the park was a small lake, (or river) with a bird lookout near the shore. We went up it, and I took some shots of the birds, and you are not going to believe what I found on the other side of the lake!

In this shot (above) you can see water, snow and winter brush, but also, you can see some big white birds with really long beaks. And if you really look closer (I know, small image) you can see a knob at the end of their bills. Yes indeed, these appear to be American White Pelicans sunning themselves on that patch of mud bank in the spring sun. Yes, you heard me correctly, “pelicans.” I could not believe my eyes, or in this case, my camera’s 300mm telephoto lens.

Once we got back, we consulted Suz’s parents, who have birds books, and are somewhat “birders” in their own right. We saw that it is very possible that these could be, in fact, pelicans, this far North. I also checked on line, searching on Wikipedia, and found that these birds in the shot, look very similar to what the photos of American White Pelicans look like. And their habitat range does make Vanderhoof a viable place for these birds to live. I guess I am used to seeing these birds in the far South of the United States, not up here in snow covered Canada, let alone Northern British Columbia.

I snapped about thirty shots, and this was one of the good ones that showed the knob on their beaks. Hey, a photo is worth a thousand words, and is proof of what I saw, right?

It Is Official: Spring Has Sprung In Terrace BC

Hold the presses, I have photographic proof that spring has finally sprung here in the Skeena Valley, or at least between Terrace and Thornhill, BC, anyway. We are quite thrilled that the weather has turned for the better, and the trees are showing their green for the first time in 2018. I for one, am quite happy to see this event unfold right before my eyes, as well as many others. Though certain trees and bushes have been showing signs for about a week now, today and yesterday have been, what seems to be, the starting point for the leaves to pop out and create the sea of green in the forest throughout the valley.

A little over a week ago I noticed the “pussy willows” forming on some types of trees, but today, everywhere I looked, green was taking over the landscape as all the tree were budding. For the last week now, the days have been nothing short of awesome, with more sunshine in the weather forecast still to come. I can honestly say that the cold days of winter might be a thing of the past now. Sadly the creek and rivers are showing the muddy waters of the spring run-off. If we get lots of super warm weather in the next few weeks, it could spell local flooding in some parts.

Me and Suz., were walking down the path along Highway 16, just past the Chill Soda ice cream shop, to take these photos. Already the flower beds on the parks are erupting with activity. I missed some of the spring flowers that were out in Terrace from last week, but I can still catch them at the higher level parks on the hills around town. Not sure what these yellow flowers are, but they nice and fresh along the walking path.

Not sure what these green plants are either, but these were only a few centimeters high, and were also in the flower bed. I took all these shots with my 30mm Macro lens at f2.8, on my Sony A77 camera. These green shrubs look like a small forest of big trees. LOL

It felt kind of weired just walking around in a t-shirt, and not taking a jacket with us, but just to give an idea of the day’s weather: plus 17C with clear sunny sky. Yes, nothing but blue from one end of the horizon to the other. Who needs a jacket on a day like today!

So here is the photographic proof that spring has indeed sprung here on the North Coast. Now get out there and enjoy it!

The Mini Vacation to Prince George BC

We made it! Safe and sound, we just got back from the road trip that took us three days and two nights from Terrace, to Prince George (PG) British Columbia, and back. We drove all around the City of PG, we stopped at many restaurants and specialty stores, and took in the sights. It was awesome, especially with the super nice sunny filled weather that followed us from Terrace and back. There were highlights, and destinations that we found along the way too. It was a well deserved trip!

It was not just traveling to PG that we wanted to by itself, but some stops along the way too that we had our eyes on. Stopping at Smithers, Burns Lake and Vanderhoof, British Columbia were places that we did “pit stops” at on the way there, but on the way back we Checked out Huston and Smithers again, just to enjoy the weather and sights. In the above image, I took at around 11:00pm at the park at UNBC just after me and Suz, saw The Avengers – Infinity Wars at the Cineplex – Famous Players 6 Cinemas (7:30pm), down town PG. That was truly awesome in itself (both the film and this night shot – above).

Yes indeed it was a rough winter in all of Canada, especially here in Vanderhoof, BC, one of our stops before we landed in PG. We think this was the first week of super sunny spring like weather they have had this year. The flag says it all. I am happy to report that Terrace is ahead of inland Northern British Columbia in terms of the trees starting their leaves and flowers. It is completely green here in Thornhill and Terrace, while everywhere along the trip we saw was still trapped in winter.

This “Moon through the trees” shot was taken the night we arrived in PG at the park near the Nechako River, in PG. This was just after sunset, and should give you an idea of how nice the weather was in PG. At about 10:00pm, it was still 17C in the city. We walked for another hour before we headed back to the hotel.

Anyway, I will post more. I took over 8G of photos, so there is lots of material I want to tell the world about our trip. Stay tuned.

Tuesday Morning Wakeup – Day Two – Vacation

As weird as it may sound, I woke up just about at my normal start time as if I were just starting my work day, but remember, I had only three hours sleep. Perhaps psychologist would argue that my body is fixed to the daily rhythms, and all that stuff, but I think it was just gas. LOL I got up and washed, figuring that I should at least do something, now that I am up and sort of a wake. So off I went.

My first stop was the tire shop. I decided that I would keep the one set of rims, and just swap over the summer tires on the rims, and just take the winter tires off and store without rims. I wanted to buy another set of rims, so all I would do next season is just change the tires, but my car has these air senors on each tire, which are about sixty-five dollars a piece: a little pricey right now for me. So I will just keep everything on the one set of rims I have now, and deal with it next time.

The brain is slowly running out of steam.

Next I went to the Post Office. I was looking for rates to ship about six kilograms down to Vancouver, BC. This was something I thought I could do more efficiently at the facility in town, but that affirmed that doing it at home over the Internet was what I have should done in the first place. Anyway, to send something that heavy was a little price. I may price out some other carriers this week.

Brain, down to a crawl. Just enough brain activity to drive home.

Nice – coffee. Slurping away on some Dark Roast beans I picked up yesterday. I am thinking about doing a short nap since my appointment time at the tire shop is 2:00pm, and Suz., will be busy until 1:00pm, I might as well log in some horizontal time on the foamy-bed. After all, I am only living on a few hours of sleep. This coffee sure is good.

Brain just started running at normal speed now. Must be the coffee.

Heck, I might as well just watch some You Tube videos while I am up, after writing this Blog Post. Who can sleep with this much caffeine coursing through my veins. LOL

Vibrating. Coffee induced coma. Bra….

Missed Earth Day

Yes, I had completely forgotten about Earth Day until Suz., brought it up while we were driving through town. Normally I am on top of these events, but this year our vacations started this weekend, so I was completely preoccupied getting ready for the week, so Earth Day was the farthest thing on my mind. However, I am happy to report that we saw a few people collecting roadside trash in Terrace, BC., so there were volunteers doing their part on this day. Also, at the Junction of highway 16 and 37, we saw a largo mound of trash filled bags siting on the side of the read waiting to be picked up. There were people at other locations on side streets and boulevards, but the main highways through town seem to have the largest amount of trash per kilometre.

Sadly, when we drove out to Rosswood, BC, highway 113 there was lots of garbage strewn along side the roads. I saw everything from disposable diapers to car parts, but the most common items were paper coffee cups from the two main drive through restaurants in town. I will not mention names, but you do not need to be a scientist to figure out who they are, and to fair, it is their customers who are at fault, not the makers and vendors of the beverages. The likelihood of this stretch of road getting any attention on Earth Day is rather low, so the garbage will pile up more than likely.

When we came back into town, we saw the muster point, with marshaling station, at the George Little park for the roadside trash collection volunteers. So it appears that this is a well organized event. I have never been to one here in Terrace, so I have no idea how they operate. Perhaps next year! Suz., did say that the next major hike we go on, she is bringing a garbage bag to collect other people’s littler on the hiking trails we got on. She is right, Earth Day should be celebrated everyday, not just once a year. And Earth Hour, should be practiced 24/7.

The “Meh” Moment

Yes, I am having a “Meh” moment, but in a good way. I was sitting back in my comfy-cozy chair wondering about what I am going to do for the next ten days, when it finally dawned on me that I am in “Vacation” mode from my work. I will not have to get up on Monday morning at the melodious sound of my alarm clock going off, waking me into oblivion, as my muscle memory instincts propel me out of bed, and off to my place of employment–all while still in deep sleep. Actually, it will be the lack of routine that will disrupt me the most, come to think of it. Added to that, it costs so much in Canada to go on a “real” style vacation, the kind where you leave for a tropical paradise, and drink from a coconut with hallucinogenic properties in it. So, thus born the poor-person’s “Staycation” where you simply do day trips, or stay at home to either save money for the mortgage, or you have no where to go because you have no money to travel with. I am sort of in between these two extremes, as far as money goes.

So I figure, this “time off” from work will be a kind of a hybrid of “time off,” when I will do a little of both: travel, and stay at home. No doubt I will spend some money, but not locally. In fact, I have no plans on making any huge purchases. I would rather save my money for that rainy day that might greet us here in Thornhill, BC. That was a joke, by the way. There is that dilemma of a lack of services that directly manipulates the “cost of living” in a very small community becuase you are fairly isolated from the rest of civilization. Thankfully, we have the Internet, and with it E-Commerce, to help us through this situation.

This is tire changing season up here in the North Coast, so I need a set of summer tires, now that the winter like season is over. This is a double edged sword that most people of the North have to obey if you need to drive on the highways–it is the Law of the land to switch from one type of tire of another based on the changing season. Sure, if I live in town, a set of All-Seasons Tires would do, but you do it at your own risk. You could even do the “Lower Mainland” life style and just drive with summer tires on, if you live and commute in just the town limits, but that would just plane stupid, and silly with forty centimeters of snow on the ground. And oddly enough, I was hard pressed to discover that I could NOT find any Summer type tires around, this after going to four tire shops and inquiring. So when in a market where Laws determine what you can and cannot have, expect a level of gouging from one region to another. All you have to do is go on the Internet to price shop to see this. So, not summer tires are available, just all seasons and winters. I just heard a cash ring somewhere out in the Great White North. LOL

Back to my “Meh” moment. I am fortunate to have a partner to be with. Most probably, and ultimately, this is highest level of gratitude one could ever have while living on this planet Earth. To have a friend to share this time with at the most finite level, is truly the highest point-of-being we humans may ever have. And to go even further, life no longer lingers at the level of “boring,” but becomes exciting, with new discoveries, and enlightenment, emerge from where once ashes were piled. Perhaps one of the greatest lessons learned from all of this, is to share, and by that I mean, every dimension of your life: space, time, concepts and one-another. There is peace to all of this; where uncertainty and chaos abound, calm and passiveness now exist; no longer challenging it all, but accepting everything as it is. Where Kingdoms and Religions lay claim to this, they only distort, and diminish it, while they pale by its power. Where tragedy and comity are separate on stage, in real life this friendship encompasses it all as a whole. The mountains, trees and lakes, never looked so great when sharing that view with another. In a nutshell, this is truly awesome. So this is what ascension in life feels like.

Now time to start my day. I have no idea what is on a agenda, per se. I do know, I would like to have some ice cream at the Chill, our local ice-cream parlor. The root-beer float flavour seems to tickle my taste-spuds at this very moment. I will put in a request for that as part of our itinerary for today. Other than that, the great tire hunt for my vehicle. Yay, vacation-here we come.

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.