Category Archives: Life In The Wild

February Cold Snap

We finally began to get some real winter.

At the beginning of the month, my neighbour Jade and I met our Bella Coola friends for some skiing near the top of the Bella Coola Hill. Lots of snow up there!

Sunshine was promised but dull prevailed.

Bell Coola Hill

Snowflakes drifted down gently all day, but they were the most beautiful of the year. Best photographed on the dark hood of Jade’s car.

Jade skied above the treelike and became enveloped in freezing fog. The others snowshoed partway up the trail, but it was steep and awkward in my gigantic snowshoes so I walked along the road for a while. A sneaky wind kept things cool. A half cup of tea left in the truck froze.

Colder weather was forecast, but first we had another dump of snow. It’s getting quite hard to plough the road wide enough with may ATV.

At least we got some sun.


Then Environment Canada promised us a February cold snap.

Their month-long prediction was this.

It should be noted that these colours do not represent temperatures but whether or not the area is colder or warmer than normal. It is unusual for Canada to be cold coast-cast – mostly if it is cold one side, it is warm the other. The oceans and Greenland (!) are supposed to be warmer than “normal”.

Another look at the weather pattern is this global view of ocean, wind and weather patterns.

If you go on line and clock on a spot, the temperature comes up in the bottom left had corner. But I don’t know where they get that figure from because my place was -38C,

the weather station recorded -46C, and the world site gave -28C. Still, the patterns are fascinating. It showed the “warmer than normal Greenland is -21C. But it would be afternoon there, and our temp reached -22C that afternoon.

It was colder last year – down to -43C here.

Ice crystals in the sky produce interesting lighting effects. Sundogs (there is another the other side of the sun but my lens is not wide enough)

And pillars of light.

As I write, the southern States, particularly Texas, is in the grip of unprecedented weather, exacerbated by their poor power systems. Not only did their natural gas generators freeze, I also read recently that the area is the world’s worst for leaking huge quantities of natural gas – which is in fact methane, our worst atmospheric pollutant.

All good things come to an end, and temperatures are now “normal” for the time of year. Down to -16C or so at night but a degree or two above freezing in the afternoon. Tomorrow, we are promised +10C – that’s 45 degrees American. But after that, it’s back to “normal” again.

The weather restricted my movements somewhat, but I started to paint. This is the one I like so far, based on Perkin’s Peak.

And if I want to get away to the sun and sand, I can always answer this ad on the CNN news site;-

I will finish by commenting on the vaccine roll-out on the Chilcotin. There are 5 communities along the 7-hour drive of Highway 20, including Bella Coola. Four have extensive First Nations reserves. No First Nation residents in those communities were also offered the vaccine. Anahim Lake has already given second doses.

But my community, Tatla Lake, has no reserves. So we have not qualified yet for the vaccine. It is in such short supply throughout Canada at present that we have no idea when we will receive it. I even drove to Anahim Lake (an hour away) in the hopes they had a spare dose, but no. It is frustrating as many of my friends are getting this boost to immunity, but I will have to stay isolated for the foreseeable future.