Thursday, September 16, 2010

SkyWatch Friday ~ "Not a Sky in the Cloud"

The calendar says it's summer but the weather definately has an autumn edge to it and in Tlell, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia the weather is in your face!  Located on the west coast of Canada our weather is wet and moderate with temperatures ranging between 0*C and 20*C year round.  Being located on the east coast of Haida Gwaii means you get the full force of our prevailing weather which blows out of the southeast.  As you can see "Tlellians" have a sense of humour when it comes to the weather.

View Tlell, BC V0T in a larger map, the blue thing is where the cabin is located.

Tlell(a Haida word meaning "where big waters meet") has no real town centre, it is a collection of homes and properties stretched out along Highway 16 for about 20 kms. There is a post office, a small store that sells groceries, liquor and rents videos, a bakery/cafe, three artisan shops, a prize winning cattle breeder/ranch/feed store/veterinary and a collection of about three hundred eclectic souls.
As you can see from the map it runs along the coast with the Tlell River and Skidegate Plateau covering its back to the west.  The road along the coast has been eroded away in places several times however there are no plans to replace it should it wash away.  The one thing you learn when you live on the coast is that you can not beat Mother Nature!
We are waiting for the tin roof for the cabin which has to come from "off" island so work is at a stand still.  This photo is taken from the beach overlooking the dunes.  The cabin  is backed by a mature spruce forest and nestled in the new growth or "regen" at the edge of the forest.  The weather comes in from where this photo is taken.  Yesterday morning there was a fog dome over the cabin!
Morning sun burning of the fog
The Tlell River is what is known as a tidal river.  We have two high tides and two low tides every day.  On the new and full moon we can have tides as high as 24 ft and low tides below sea level, known as minus tides.  Several times a year we have these extreme tides and this new moon brought 24 foot tides.  The picture above is the Tlell River when it is flooded by a big tide, which reverses the flow of the river for several kms up stream.  The actual river bed in this photo is right along the tree line.  If you look carefully or enlarge the photo you can see the fencing for the cattle and if you look at the map you can see where the flooding occurs on the river .  If these high tides occur when we are having "weather" surges can add several feet to the tides and cause homes to be washed away, extreme shoreline erosion and road loss.  Last big storm when that happened was Christmas Eve day 2003.
 The weather has been chaotic this week with a huge southest storm on Friday/Saturday that saw driving rains and winds gusting to nearly 90 kph.  With the winds come huge surf which tears up the bottom of the ocean and brings all matter of things ashore.  In this case it is seaweed which we will harvest for the garden.  This was taken Monday just after the big storm.
The clouds they are a building!
As the day wore on the weather moved in, bringing amazing clouds, sheets of rain
and amazing colours.  The previous photos are looking north along the coast.
Despite the weather fisherpersons where out in full force to try there luck at catching coho salmon.  This is the most people I have seen on this beach ever!  This is looking south.
More rainbows this week than I have seen in all my time on these islands.  Looking north.
At the end of some days there were these beautiful sunsets with amazing colour.

For more outstanding skies from around the world why not join us at


joco said...

Hiya Carolyn,

What a post!
One can drown in it.
In a good way:-)
I just love these voyages round your island. And your temperatures 0 - 20, sound perfect. No frost? I can hardly believe that.
Lovely read to wake up to this morning.

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful photos, Carolyn! The scene around your cabin is beautiful. The last shot is my favorite, love the pretty colors.

Susannah (Wanderin' Weeta) said...

This is all so beautiful! I love the fog photo ... and the driftwood photo ... and the pink sky ... and all the others, too!

aka Penelope said...

Carolyn, Your beautiful photos run the gamut of interesting cloud formations, from big puffy white to dramatic and ominous to mystic pink and rainbows. The wind sounds a bit frightening and the weather has been more extreme in your area than at the SW Coast of BC … although fall can be definitely be felt here, too. :)

Gaelyn said...

Those "cloudless skies" sure brought some gorgeous colors. Love the low arced rainbow and soft sunset.

Sylvia K said...

What an incredible variety of skies for the day, Carolyn! So much beauty to enjoy around your island! Superb photos as always! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Powell River Books said...

I loved the last shot. I am in Los Angeles for a week and it's hard to remember that it is cooler and raining back home. I lived here for 55 years (from birth) but am so glad I found my home in BC. I can stay a week, but I could never live here again. - Margy

Barb said...

I am sighing at your sea and sky shots. What a fabulous place to watch the heavens.

Kay L. Davies said...

That last photo took my breath away.
But the thought of your islands also takes my breath away. The islands, the Haida people, Haida art -- anyone raised in BC feels some of the pull of Haida Gwaii, some more than others.


Linda said...

Carolyn, these are stunning shots. They really drew me in as I was reading through your post. Now more than ever I want to visit your islands!

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. Still giggling over the sign...and loving a look at your skies, beaches and the map - interesting to know more about your world.

Luna Miranda said...

what an amazing place to live. but a 24-foot tide--that is a bit scary especially when you live by the coast. i love all the natural beauty of this place.

Greg Dimitriadis said...

The last photo is fantastic. I love the shades of grey and pink.

Judy said...

I love that sunset photo! I had no idea the tides could get that high! Wow!!

Marion said...

Oh.My.Gosh. This is SUCH a good post...I read it over and over and opened up the photos...they're really stunning!

I love the Cariboo; it's been such an adventure living here, but oh, how I miss those wild storms!

I think of you when the weather is forecasted. Your weather usually becomes our weather, without as much rain but plenty of wind.

Thank you, Carolyn!

Quiet Paths said...

Hope all is well in your corner of the world. I had to comment on that last photo - the pink beach. It is otherworldly!


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