2 junco snowingTypical of the Equinox – the weather doesn’t know what it wants to do.  A lot of the time, the ground is pretty much bare around the house, but it keeps snowing.  We’ve had several skiffs, and two bigger falls.  When the ground is open, the birds mostly seek food elsewhere.  When it snows, they flock to the feeder.  Juncos have very long feet.

3 junco printsBut the stars of the performance are the redwing blackbirds.

5 blackbird fruit jpgThere are now about 30 (still all male), and their testosterone level is climbing, so they fight!

6 blackbird fight 1

7 blackbird fight 1a

8 blackbird fight 2

9 blackbird fight 3I must have a sadistic streak, because I enjoy this!  Other birds are tumbling in on the warmer days. Flicker, savannah sparrow, crows (only ravens around in the winter) and hawks.  Robins and varied thrushes appeared a few days before they started to sing.

49b robinAnd in the trees was a ruffed grouse.  In winter sometimes I see spruce grouse, but the ruffed grouse arrive with the spring.

9a ruffed grouseA few days ago, I thought I’d better check when the time change was going to be.  I found out that it had happened nearly two weeks before!  The battery in the watch I keep around, without really looking at it much, had died.  If I want to know the time, I have to switch on the computer.

The mountains play peek-a-boo with the clouds,

12a bit of middle mtDespite this somewhat cooler weather, the snow is going.

10 goat barnThaw patterns are happening.

11 thaw patternThe river is filling and turning brown.

12 riverOn cloudy, moonless mornings, the bare ground around my house makes the world seem very dark.  Only the frozen pond and the slab of snow under the spruces across the wetland gleam faintly, like the Cheshire cat’s grin.

However, spring is definitely on its way.  On the sunniest banks, new leaves are poking through the winter debris. (This is jacob’s ladder.)

12b jacobs ladderAnd the biggest prize of all, on the very warmest spot – Dandelions!

12c dandelionsMy very first wild salad!

Then, one morning, it was sparkling clear.  This has been a rarity for weeks.

14 sunriseIf I wanted to walk easily, I would have to leave early while the frost made the snow hard.

The creek flowing into the pond was full.

15 blue creekSpring open water always looks so beautiful against the ice.

16 open creek

One group of willows always turns marvelously red.

16b red willows

The forest still has quite a bit of snow in it, and in places it is still a foot deep.

18 deep snow in bushI want to put a trail through here, and thought I’d better flag it while I could still find my snowshoe tracks.  Along the route, there is a viewpoint.

18a my house through treesI don’t know if you can see it, but my house is in the middle distance, almost completely hidden by pines.  If you look at the second aspen from the left, you will see 3 short, parallel branches near the bottom on its right hand side.  My house is half way between the third branch and the fourth.

The trail comes onto my neighbour’s road.  The ploughed areas are drying up pretty well.

19 road

Then I turn up onto the south bluffs.

19 river and mtsA little further on, I can look down onto my other neighbours’ house.  (In the middle distance, close to the river.)  It is also for sale.

20 neighbours' houseBut that was the end of the really good weather.  Cloud built up by the end of the day, and this morning, it was raining.

13 rainbow




3 thoughts on “Equinox”

  1. Lovely to see all the wonderful photos and your blog, always enjoy looking at them …. thank you so much

  2. Wow- beautiful photos, Chris. I went to see a production re ‘Cougar Annie’ in Armstrong this week – excellent. I went looking thru’ my ‘stash’ for the article in Westworld about her and got severely sidetracked. I have several Beautiful British Columbia magazines from the 1980’s and just finished reading the article about the Freedom Highway to Bella Coola. Have you seen it or are you interested – I’d be happy to copy and send you it. I have yet to figure out how to scan to my iPad. The weather here in the Okanagan can’t figure out what it wants to do either! It’s been rainy this week but looks like some clearing in the West. Regards, Marge Bomford, Vernon

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