Many people have commented favourably on the winter sun pictures ( – thank you – ) and several have told me to keep them coming. I wish! Apart from our two spells of glorious sunshine late November and over the New Year, it has been the gloomiest winter on record. This was one of the clearer days. I find it very difficult to deal with. A combination of gloom and short days means a major lack of energy for me. My solar panels are suffering, too. To conserve power, I am limited to a single LED 2-volt light on at a time. Fine to read by, but when I lift my eyes to the rest of the room I am struck by how dark it is – this of course adds to the general gloom. People often ask me why I don’t get a wind generator. But in this kind of weather, there is not a breath of wind. When I went to Tatla Lake to use the church washing machine on 13th Jan, the ladies of the knitting club were discussing Christmas. One woman had always wanted candles on her tree. She managed to acquire the special holders from Germany but was a bit nervous about putting the tree inside. So she set it up outside and lit the candles. The air was so still that not a single flame wavered.
It is hard to find beauty in this dreariness. One day we had a few more large snowflakes.
After I posted the last lot, a correspondent directed me to Snowflake Bentley, whom I’d never heard of. What an intriguing man! And take a look at his camera!
Here is a rare less-cloudy morning. The sky is clear in the north, cloudy in the south. As the sun rises, it meets the war of the weather. Will we get any sun?A lot of the gloom is ice fog so when we get a bit of hazy sun, the rime is evident on the vegetation.
The annoying thing is that the sky sometimes partially clears at sundown. This is one of the rare times that I have seen the mountains this month.The next day was back to gloom. The temperature has warmed although it has not gone above freezing yet. It ranges between -5C and -18C. Often it has been -9C both day and night.
A view of Highway 20.I have a new visitor to the feeder.He (she) is a redpoll, smaller than a chickadee. He has been around for over a week now but is still the only one. Some years I have flocks of 30 – 40. A friend from the Bella Coola Valley told me they had 115 in their yard yesterday. I have seen a couple of others feeding on the dwarf birch seeds in the bog.Once we got a bit of sun in the morning for about 30 minutes. I normally enjoy watching the progress of the sunrise and sunset points, but have not had much opportunity so far this year. On the shortest day the sun rises just to the right of these trees. So by rights the days should be getting noticeably longer, but it is so dark all the time, they seem to be getting shorter.
A week after the first colourful sunset, there was quite suddenly another. It didn’t clear until after the sun had gone down. That is the second time I have glimpsed the mountains this year.The fog was back in the morning. However, there was a streak of blue sky in the north.Even overhead there was a tinge of blue so I wondered if, by going higher, I might get away from the fog.
Higher up, the fog had been more persistent and the hoar frost was thicker.The tiny sliver of blue still showed right on the north horizon.A small gleam of sun touched the end of the lake across the road. (There are mountains behind it.)But it never came to me.Yesterday it snowed 5″ (2 – 4 cm was forecast ie. 1″). Today a fine-grained something is falling. It is close to freezing – I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t have the dreaded T-word later today. Thaw.
It is a good job I have the pine grosbeaks to put some colour into my world.