Sunrises such as these presage warmer weather, and as so often happens in January, we had a big thaw.
First we had 10 cm wet snow. Even though my neighbour had been through with his cat, my road was still very narrow and I tried to widen it with the ATV.
I had a trail camera set up at that point. All winter there had been a lot of moose tracks on the road, and twice I caught this fellow.
Soon, the temperature was above freezing (just) both day and night. As far as I could judge, there had been 60 cm snow on the ground at its maximum. The thaw reduced it by 15 cm, but there was still a lot there. It did widen the road a little, and by squishing the edges with the truck I was able to drive out.
It was so great being able to connect with some fresh vegetables that friends bought from Williams Lake. I had not been to town myself since mid November. Almost everything except roots had been consumed. Avocados were but a distant memory. (I know, with my life style, I should not expect such things, but I really love them!) I was reduced to eating kale and chard I’d dried from the garden, and sprouts in jars. In this photo I have green kale, bok choy, and broccoli. All very nutritious, but my morning miso soup had the texture of a hay bale.
Just before it got warm, Pepita spend the night out. She was able to let herself in and out, and when I got up to stoke the fire at 2.00:am, she was not there. Nor did she turn up when called. It was -32C at that point, and dropped to -36C by daylight. I couldn’t do much in the cold dark and when it was light enough to see I was just about to start phoning the neighbours when she appeared on the deck, seeming none the worst for her excursion. Although I have had dogs for 40 years, they have almost all been neutered. I looked up Mr Google and phoned the vet for info. Usually big dogs do not come on heat so early – Pepita was not yet 5 months old – but apparently this can happen. So Pepita and I were sentenced to being joined by a rope for a month, which drove us both crazy. I use poles for snowshoeing and found the rope and poles too difficult to manage so we were restricted to tramping up and down the ploughed road four times a day. The thaw had turned parts to ice so I had to wear grippers on my boots – not the most comfortable way to travel. I had already booked the dog into the vet in March having no idea we would have to go through this ordeal.
To begin with, Pepita hated all vehicles. The start-up noise would send her bolting into the house. However, she is now used to jumping in and out of the truck and seems to quite like it. Ideally, I would like to have ridden on the ATV and let her run alongside. But the only relationship she will so far tolerate with the ATV, is to ride behind me.
At least, that way we could access the open road through the burn and walk in a different spot enjoying the sunshine on the rare occasions we had it.
Just a few days ago, I was finally able to let her off the rope. I took her onto the road and let her run loose. She ran way ahead of me and I thought she might just keep going past the ATV. But no, she simply jumped onto her seat and waited for me to catch up.
The thaw caused all the snow to crash off the roofs. At about this time, a friend from North Vancouver emailed me a picture of flowering aconites in her garden. So I retaliated by sending a picture of my garden. Hard to imagine anything ever growing there!
I went down to my neighbour’s to see if there was any damage but everything was OK. Here is the dog kennel.
Even though it got quite a bit cooler again, mostly it was dull.
Because of the cloud, it has not been possible to watch the sun’s progress as it set. One day I realized it was already clearing Finger Peak.
It was around that time that we had a couple of lovely sunsets.
My friends from Bella Coola wanted to visit. We were trying to pick a good day and in fact the one they chose was a miracle. Warm, sunny, no wind. Pepita was still on a rope and they found that if one person walked ahead a little distance, the dog would follow and keep the rope stretched out.
Katie bribed her with treats, hence the look.