Spring is just around the corner – but which corner? Seems like we are living in an octagon these days.
Even before I left for Galiano Island to take part in the Literary Festival, the first pussy willows were poking out. There are two bushes within my orbit that always open long before any of the others. The first redwing blackbirds had arrived. (These are immature males so a bit spotty.)
They are a little smaller than the grey jays, but they beat them up!
The pine grosbeaks continue to do their thing.
While I was away, My dog-sitter enjoyed mild, mostly sunny weather, just as we had had at the coast, so I was surprised to find that, in the open space in front of the house, in full sun, 14″ (35cm) snow still lay on the ground. The minute I got home, the weather deteriorated, and we had a week of winter. The temperature dropped to -22C at night and sometimes did not climb above freezing during the day, fresh snow fell a couple of times…
And I was reduced to sweeping off the solar panels once again.
Reluctantly, it cleared a little.
I walked down to the river and found it wide open.
Then one night we finally got to view the sunset point – something I have rarely seen all winter. (On the shortest day, the sun sets to the left of Finger Peak.)
During the night, the sky cleared completely. A pregnant moon lit the snow, and in the morning, the mountains were displayed in a way I have hardly seen for months.
That was a day I was not going to spend inside. Off I went to the North Bluffs.
Worn trails could be walked on without snowshoes, but open snow was still a bit traitorous for me, although the dogs ran around on it OK.
Shade temperature was still below freezing, but the sun was hot. Badger feels the heat!
Tiny bits of bare ground were starting to show.
And on to the spider tree!
I ended where the biggest cliff of all swoops down to the river.
At some point the snow had avalanched off it. It must have blocked the river.
There are a lot of moose around this year – there always are in a big snow winter. You can see their tracks on the above photo. On the way home, we saw one. It has just heard the dogs barking way up on top of the cliff, and is lifting his foot ready to run.
That was our only really good day. That evening, the next front was already swallowing the mountains. It stayed cold for over a week. We had some sun, but a lot of gloom. Then last night, the wind changed, and the temperature rose dramatically. The coldest it became last night was -4C. Now, mid afternoon, it is +8C! Supposed to get even warmer in a few days. There is a strong gusty wind and patchy sun; if this keeps up, we should see a few changes around here soon.