Fire to Ice

If it’s not one thing it’s another.  We went from Fire to Ice.

There was a dribble of rain, and the smoke slowly cleared.We began to get spectacular sunrises.Every  morning the helicopter would head west to staging, where it was ferrying crews to clear the equipment  from the large fires in the north.  Every evening, it would return home.But now, despite the brief pyrotechnics, we were struggling with cloud.  I still had to use the generator to charge my batteries every few days.

I was due to give a slide show to BC Nature Field Camp in the Tatlayoko Valley , and I and my volunteer decided to make a day of it.  The mountains were hidden as we drove down.  We first stopped at the Tatlayoko Lake Bird Observatory.  This is manned for 3 weeks in the fall and for a brief spell in spring.  The bushes around the centre were alive with birds.  The first catch on our visit was a ruby crowned kinglet.A Swanson’s thrush getting banded.There was a brief clearing of the weather at the lake itself.But then it started to rain.Later, it poured.  We drove home through a dark, rainy night, and in the morning, we woke to snow.We were heading down to the Precipice.  Dimly we could see snowy mountains in the distance.We took a detour to Hotnarko Canyon.  I had never been before.  Note the volcanic basalt columns on the left.It was such a private, peaceful world down in the canyon.A short walk took us to the famous Hotnarko Falls.  Not a lot of water in them right now!And so down the Precipice RoadThe fall colours have covered the ground that burned last year.Lee Taylor, the rancher was harvesting some of the Douglas fir logs.  They will be used to make a new bridge across the Hotnarko River.We went down to Fred and Monika’s (Fred is my co-author for the 2017 fire book.). Here is Monika collecting some creamy milk for me.She has several multicoloured chickens.It rained on the way home – and the next day it snowed again.That’s the second time this year I’ve had to brush off my solar panels.

For the fire book, I wanted to interview the helicopter pilot seen in an earlier picture.  Mike King of White Saddle Air.  It was still snowing when we left.More rain and snow was forecast this morning, but apart from a couple of showers, it hasn’t been too bad.  Mostly cloudy, but the sunrise was unusual.  Light in the east but raining overhead.This produced a very tall rainbow.If nothing else, this post was certainly more colourful than the last two!

9 thoughts on “Fire to Ice”

  1. It’s always fun to catch up with your “wilderness”life – and your beautiful pictures. Keep up the good work.
    No snow down here yet, but maybe next month.
    From Connecticut.

  2. Beautiful photos! thank you for sharing them.
    I was lucky to be invited to a friend’s sister’s home just outside of Tatla Lake this summer. I had never been to this area of our province before and I wasn’t disappointed in the beauty of both the land and the people. We drove to Tatlayoko lake for the day to watch the wind surfers. It was clear from smoke so we were able to enjoy the mountain views. Driving the back roads we visited a few of our host’s friends and learned a lot about living in remote areas year round. I wondered if the snow had found it’s way to you by now and have been thinking about the show of fall colours and how magnificent them must have been. Best to you and keep posting!

  3. Ditto here for the rain. Snow only on top of Mt. Washington on the Island and the high country behind us. The rain is good after all that hot dry weather in the summer, but I wish it would spread itself out a bit. This summer was better than last, we only got to stage 2 water rationing. And the lake didn’t get as low as the last two years. Lovely pictures with all the colour in the sky. – Margy

  4. Spectacular sunsets indeed–it’s your photographs that are spectacular, all of them! Interesting seeing the snow–living here in lotus land we’d forgotten that you’re already through fall with winter on the horizon.

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