Tag Archives: tatlayoko lake bird observatory

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!