Friday, September 24, 2010

SkyWatch Friday ~ A Day in a Life

 araneus diadematus or common garden spider with a body the size of my thumb nail! 
Ferry gull, not sure who he/she is meant to scare off.
This 47 foot Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) washed up on the beach last Friday(more about him next week)
Six jets flying in formation at over 30,000 feet heading south...the noise was deafening.
(click on any of these photos for more detail.)

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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.

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Thursday, September 09, 2010

SkyWatch Friday ~ Autumn evening

I was sitting at the window table answering emails last evening when I looked up and saw a beautiful sunset evolving.
It was a beautiful evening for a walk, 18*C and calm.  From the dune the northeast sky was just starting to colour and a loon was calling from the ocean.
I walked through the forest to the road to witness the last of the setting sun.
From the dark the sound of geese and sandhill cranes lingered on the air....migration has started.
A walk back to the dunes through a neighbours property offered this wonderful view and the view below is the view in front of the cabin.  (For more detail click on photos, especially the bottom one, to see the whale eye!)
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Friday, September 03, 2010

SkyWatch Friday ~ The tin is next

The Yoga Retreat is over so cabin building started again however the weather has been a little wet and stormy.
We did get the sheathing on as the weather started to change.
We never got the rain but we got the wind and rainbows!
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