Festivals of the Season

I am a pagan so put my tree up for the Solstice.  I decided to use a bonsai tree this year. (That ugly ceiling lamp will go when I finish the inside of my house.)

1 tree

The tree came complete with its own mistletoe.

pine mistletoe

It may not look much like the plastic mistletoe normally associated with Christmas, but this is the native Northamerican species:  The European one has green leaves and white berries.  Both are parasites.  The deformities of this tree are partially caused by the mistletoe.

On Christmas Eve the Tatla church had its 15th annual Carol service and church supper.

2 church

Although I am a pagan, they fed me anyway.

My second turkey dinner was at the Precipice on the following day.  I drained my plumbing (the first time I ever had to do that: I did not expect the basement to freeze but the upper room  would ice up for sure.)

Rosemary and Dave neads

This is Rosemary and Dave Neads who are often mentioned in my books.  The last time I went for Christmas down there was mentioned in Ginty’s Ghost – the time I had to be pulled back up the hill by snowmobile.  Dave and Rosemary have reluctantly decided that, due to aging and health reasons, they will have to sell their beloved property in the Precipice Valley. Click here for the listing. They built their house themselves using horses to log the trees and a sawmill owned by the neighbouring rancher to make the lumber.  It takes an hour to drive the 30 km from Anahim Lake in the summer, and usually, in the winter, the only access is by snowmobile.

On 26th December, I climbed back up The Hill to Highway 20 then continued west towards Bella Coola for my third Turkey dinner.  The road climbs a little in elevation to the top of The Hill.  (I visited everyone at once so I would have to prepare the house for winter only once!)

Heckman Pass, Highway 20

There have been major fires in recent years around there.  The burned trees were striking in the new snow.

burned trees in snow

The road drops 4,000 feet in 20 miles.  It clings to the side of the mountain with some spectacular narrow spots and hairpin bends.  You can see bits of it disappearing into the distance.

The Hill to Bella Coola

halfway down The Hill

At the bottom is a different world.

Stuie trees

Here is my friends’ driveway.

driveway at Stuie

Their house looks at two spectacular mountains: here is Mt Melican

Mt Melican

Clouds rolled in fast so it was dull when we walked along the Bella Coola river.

Bella Coola river

And yesterday I drove back up The Hill and home.  it was still plus 3 C in the basement and the stoves soon warmed the living area of the house.

If anyone wishes to see a more detailed account of the year’s activities, check out the newsletter page on this blog. Click here. I still have to finish some details on the new blog – mainly the shop part.  It requires a lot of fiddling with photos!  It will keep me busy for a while.

Thank you everyone for your comments over time.  I will take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year.

 

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