Wednesday, November 29, 2006

And so it hasn't really stopped snowing in the last few days. Over the weekend we had something like 20 centimeters of wet snow that fell, and for awhile Sunday morning, all you could hear in the forest were the rifle cracks of branches falling from the Douglas-firs and the odd alder plunging to the ground. I had to walk to Xenia on the weekend as we were snowed in and I was running a retreat there. Sunday morning was eerie. By Sunday afternoon, the temperatures had plunged to at least -10, which is cold for the coast and the snow dried out a little. It kept snowing though and all through Monday and Tuesday more snow fell.

Around our place there is probably 30 centimeters on the ground. It took us 3.5 hours to shovel and salt the driveway enough to get the car free today. We ran out of time though and drove a borrowed car to make the ferry. It kept on snowing today and is expected to turn to rain tonight. There have been some power outages on the west side of the island but we have only suffered the occasional flicker and a plugged bathtub drain which I suspect has to do with freezing. Other wise, we're just fine, having weathered the storms of November 2006 quite well.

This November has been the wettest month on record of any month. In Vancouver 350 mm of precipitation has fallen, and we have gotten more, maybe as much as 400mm. I'm not cure we have had a day this month that didn't have rain or snow. The salmon are happy though, with lots of chum returning to Killarney Creek. We're waiting for the coho to come in any time now I should think.

In other news, unrelated to the storm, Andrea and Mike have sold The Snug, which is very sad for us, but I understand the new owners, who are local, have the same loving intention for the place. Andrea and Mike, and their son Finn have been amazing, letting us play Irish music there for the past year, being insanely generous and kind and just amazingly inspiring as business owners. They are moving to Mexico for a while to try out living there, which will be great for them, although they will be deeply missed around here. And in other business news, Dr. Sue has opened her medical practice finally. She moved to the island with her family in 2004, partly because of this blog, and now she has become the first female doctor to open a full time general practice here, which is great news and long overdue. Hopefully, we'll soon see her return to blogging after her year-long hiatus. At any rate, we'll be playing some tunes for her official open house sometime next month, so look for that.

Friday, November 24, 2006

It's snowing out.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I am stuck in a meeting room in Chilliwack reading reports of the storm raging outside and down in Howe Sound. Notice this afternoon that the ferry was cancelled for the first time ever due to weather. Things must be bad. Unfortunately, no windows here so I have no idea what is going on out there. Hope everyone is okay...I know the power has been out most of the day.
From Environment Canada for tonight:

A low will remain in the northern gulf of Alaska. A second Low well offshore this evening will deepen to 978 millibars and track to northern Vancouver Island Wednesday morning and into the bc interior Wednesday afternoon. The associated front will move to central Vancouver Island Wednesday afternoon and onto the south Coast Wednesday evening.
Over northern waters strong to gale force west to southwest Winds will continue.
Over southern waters strong to gale force southeasterlies will Rise to storm force tonight with hurricane force winds around the northern tip of Vancouver Island. Winds will shift to strong to gale force northwest in the wake of the low and front Wednesday.

HURRICANE force winds off the north tip of Vancouver Island and seas running 4-6 meters. The biggest storm of the year is slamming the coast right now.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Fall is right back on track. There is snow on the mountains and the chum slamon have returned to Killarney Creek. There are dozens on the gravel beds in the lagoon by the causeway and several more in the new spawning beds in at the base of the fish ladder at Bridal Veil falls. The chum don't use the fish ladder, that's for the coho, and I've yet to see them arrive yet. They usually follow on later.

There is another run we are watching at Tunstall Bay on Explosives Creek. So far, there is a lovely deep channel that has scoured out the gravel on the beach but no one has seen any of the chum return there. There are seals in the bay, but that isn't unusual. It would be nice if the chum would return to that creek as it is one of the few creeks that can support a chum run on Bowen. Davies Creek, the one that flows into Snug Cove beside the picnic field, has too much water in it and it has eroded to the clay bottom with all the gravel washed into the cove. The Bowen Island Fish and Wildlife Society may look at building some obstructions in the creek to slow the flow down.

Good rains and colder weather over this past week. Ferry woes too, with one major breakdown that had the Cap out of service for a day and a smaller ding on a log that disabled part of the steering system. The Cap is due to go for her annual refit for nearly six weeks this winter which is sure to drive the single occupancy car coimmuters nuts as the smaller Howe Sound Queen comes on board. The wise ones will start now to make their ride sharing arrangements. I love the smaller boat, but I'm not a commuter. It's faster than tha Cap and cozier and, at 45 years old, a lot more rustic. It really reminds you of being an islander.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Whooosh! The Pineapple Express has finally arrived! Wind and rain and warm air has flowed into the Georgia Basin and the creeks are running and the forest is soaking and fir needles are everywhere. The power has been tempermental and we're having trouble keeping the tarps on the exposed parts o fthe woodpile.

But inside here all is warm and toasty, with a fire burning and the Leaf game on and after a couple of weeks of being anxious about the weather pattern, it seems like the fall has finally arrived in full spirit.

More rain expected tomorrow, with gale and ranfall warnings in Howe Sound. Oh joy for these storms! They are ennervating to say the least.