Heatwave Continues

1 tempThe heatwave continues. Day after day.  Too hot to work in the afternoon.  Too hot to sleep.  But during the night the clear skies allow the temperature to drop almost to freezing.  For a brief time, until the sun gets up, it is deliciously cool.  But when the sun clears the trees, the heat climbs at once.

I took Erin and Ben to Bella Coola.  Ben was going to catch the ferry to his new volunteer place, with renowned wildlife photographer  Ian McAllister.  See his video and read his stunning book, Great Bear Wild: Dispatches from a Rain Forest.  Lucky Ben!

A slight haze of smoke had built up with the heat so on the whole photography was disappointing.

2 cannery

On Walker Island, the big cedar trail offered some relief.  As always I was fascinated by the tactile tapestry caused by the sun and shade.

3 abstract forest


5 forest 2

6 forest 3

7 forest 1This still living tree had a dead centre that had been burned out.

8 holloe tree 1Inside were more fascinating colours and textures.

9 hollow tree 2Small things are always of interest, too.  The thimbleberries were ripe.

10 thimbleberryThis leaf miner had a convoluted journey.  Perhaps there is something in thimbleberry leaves….

11 leaf miner

The temperature hit 35C again as we drove home.  The heat is exhausting.  Even the hummingbirds make me tired!

12 g1 hummers crazyEverything in the garden has bolted.
IMG_4539 IMG_4542This delightful mild-leafed plant, which appears to be some kind of spinach, bears no relationship to any pictures on my seed packets or in the catalogues.  Worth growing, though.  I will have to try and save some seed.

IMG_4540I have radishes as big as apples.

IMG_4543Before I took Erin to the airport, we picked the first batch of kale and dried it.

IMG_4537The endless heat has produced amazing butterflies.  But now the caterpillars are coming to the fore.  These have devoured my lovage plant.

caterpillarsWhen I inadvertently got too close with the camera lens, they shot up these horns!


I have no idea what they are.  I built a cage around them and enclosed them with mosquito netting but they seem to have disappeared….

With all this hot weather, the fire danger has become extreme.  Many areas of BC are suffering badly.  (See the BC Forest Service Active Fire map.)  So far we have been lucky – the nearest out-of-control fires is about 80 km east.  We have not even had as much smoke as some.  But these last 2 days, the winds have been fierce and the smoke has thickened.  The sunrises have been red.

20 smokey sunImagine my delight – and relief – to have a 20 degree drop in temperature today – and rain!

21 raindrops

f22 rom dunesAfter such a long hot dry spell, the greyness and the soft, scented air is beautiful.  It is expressed so well by the Ladysmith Soweto Gospel Choir: Rain, Rain, Beautiful Rain.

The forecast is for rain every day for at least the next week! No doubt I will be sick of it by then.  Especially as I am going to Nuk Tessli to guide in a few days.  My next post will be from there.

Added a day later:

It has been suggested, by a reader, that the caterpillar might be the black swallowtail butterfly, also known as the parsley worm.


Here is the description: it is sometimes called the parsley worm, as well as – Eastern Black Swallowtail,Parsely Swallowtail,Dill Worm, Parsley Worm, Celery Worm,Carrot Worm, Fennel Worm.

The common name depends on what plant someone sees it feeding on.
Larvae feed primarily on plants of the carrot family and some in the Rue Family . It is usually found on Dill, Parsley, Fennel, Carrot, and Rue in gardens, and Queen-Anne’s-Lace, Poison Hemlock, and Lovage in the wild. The caterpillar will stick out smelly orange “horns” to prevent predators or us from picking them up.
It overwinters as a pupa.


Picture and lots more from


7 thoughts on “Heatwave Continues”

  1. I think that might be Malabar spinach (Basella alba) in your garden (which is lovely, btw).

    Glad to hear you’ve gotten a break in your heatwave.

  2. Wow, what a vigorous garden you have this year. Glad to hear you are not affected by the forest fires and hope it stays that way. We all need to be doing the rain dance. Cheers!

  3. I love the forest pictures. Looks like what Emily Carr would have painted. I have been wondering about fires in your area. I’m glad there’s no fires close by. Your garden looks very lush. The hummingbirds and butterflies must be a joy to watch.

  4. I appreciate your links to other websites, books, etc. because they are always of interest to me. I loved the book about the Siberian Tigers — at the part of the book where they are closing in on the tiger my heart actually began pounding. It was as frightening as if I were there. Best Wishes. Martha

  5. Those are pretty extreme temperatures that you are experiencing.
    I was thinking of you and the fires that you’ve written about when our skies went all hazy because of the fires in Saskatchewan.
    The rain would be welcome, I’m sure.
    Barbara recently posted…Singer FeatherweightMy Profile

  6. That was a spectacular video about the Great Bear Sea – the colors of the underwater species are as bright and vibrant as your wildflower photos. Mother Nature can really outdo herself at times.
    So disparaging that the West Coast is so hot and dry at this time, and our East Coast has suffered with more than our share of rain. Too bad we couldn’t equalize it so all of us has just the right amount.

  7. I was glad to hear the fires are not too close to you Chris.
    Nice that you have some garden this year.
    Enjoy your Nuk Tesli time.

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