Boil, Boil, Boil!

Great excitement this morning. A warm light bathed the maple trunks on the hillside below our house. I hadn’t seen sunshine in days and days and days. I grabbed the camera, took this quick snap of the trees and came back in the house.

Moments later, as the sun rose higher, the light changed and I had to go out on deck for another picture.

The brightness extended to the bay on the left and lit up the water.

Ignoring the ugly hydro line, do you see the colour difference right about where the line crosses the photo? We’ve had so much rain lately that the small silt-laden rivers that empty into the bay have turned the water brown near their mouth.

Flooding and excess run-off have necessitated yet another “Boil Water Advisory” for the town. I’m so thankful to be living outside of town and having our own well that is very, very, very deep, with clear, wonderful water.

The townspeople must be thinking of the lines of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” where he says, “Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”

Do you have boil water advisories in your area? Flooding? Any sunshine?

High Boats

The boat that brings in the most fish is “high boat” for the day. But here in this photo, are many high boats. The wharf is in a back eddy of the river near the estuary, in an area locally referred to as the slough.The tide is almost as high as the road and as we drove along beside the floats, the boats seemed to be level with the road. Normally you would only see the masts and trolling poles as you drive by.

I took the picture from inside the car. It was too miserable to step outside.

You can see the long black snake of tubing at the edge of the road. Whatever is in that long bag of something is meant to stop the river from backing up over the road. The area is no stranger to flooding.dscn7555

I have rarely seen the boats so high that they are almost on street level. The Comox Valley has seen a lot of flooding this fall. A combination of high tide, heavy outflow from the flooding river, and gale-force southeast winds backing up the tide are responsible for this odd situation. It’s really unusual to have so much wind and rain so early and so frequent. It’s just one system after another.

*****

A reminder once again that you have only a few days left to meet the Nov. 30 deadline for the writing contest. It’s fun and easy. Please visit annelisplace for details.

 

Turning Seasons

The colours of fall are amazing. As we drove through Montana on our way back to the coast, the brown hills near Missoula impressed us with their brilliant deciduous growth in the valley bottoms.

Even before learning the name of the huge trees with almost black bark, I have loved the look of the black cottonwoods. In Montana’s ever-present breeze the leaves whisper soothingly. It does the soul good just to stand quietly under one of these trees, close your eyes and listen.

I don’t know what the red shrubs are that don’t mind getting their feet wet in the creeks and rivers, but I saw the same shrubs growing in the small waterways of southern British Columbia as we drove home. dscn7290If I were a painter, I wouldn’t hesitate to set up my easel here.dscn7288Or here! I love the white bark on the trees below. Are they birch? Poplar? I don’t know, but they’re beautiful.

Notice how yellow and brown the grass is. It’s usually fairly dry here.dscn7296

Now see how green the grass is in the photo below. We are on the coast and the wet weather reminds us that we’re nearly home. That tree floating in the bay is a Douglas fir that was washed away from the banks of the river and has floated all the way into the estuary. It was a very tall tree, although it may be hard to tell from the photo. I later saw this same tree in a video clip someone posted to the weather network.

dscn7388

Just a couple more miles to home. We’ve driven past flooded fields and a cresting river. So glad we live on high ground.

dscn7375

Flooded Farms

Another shot of the Milk River very high and overflowing its banks.

dscn6703a

It pours into the nearby fields.

dscn6696a

I felt sorry for the cottonwoods sitting in so much water.

dscn6695a

The ditch must be fairly deep here. I wouldn’t want to accidentally drive off the road here.

dscn6692a

But here is the saddest part of the story. Much of the work of the season’s grain harvest was a waste of time. The hay is soaking and will likely not dry out before the cold weather comes.

dscn6668a

Some of the hay that was stacked high might be salvageable but the loss is still devastating to the farmers who worked so hard. The flood waters almost look like snow but it is definitely water – this week, anyway. Soon the fields will be covered with snow too.

dscn6687a

Some of the buildings in this area were also flooded but as we were driving I couldn’t get the photos taken in time. News reports say it is the worst flooding in this area, from Hinsdale to Glasgow, in 30 years. I feel very sorry for the people affected.

Water, Water Everywhere

As we got near the town of Hinsdale, Montana, I got my camera ready to take pictures of the Milk River, the tiny creek that flows under the highway there. It’s always such a picturesque sight and perhaps  I felt some affection for this coffee-with-cream coloured river because I’ve seen its northern reaches in Alberta.  But what a surprise to see the Milk River looking like one of our Great Lakes.dscn6647a

Past the bridge, the ditches were filled with water and the black cottonwoods that I love so much were soaking their feet in the muddy floodwaters.

dscn6650a

Fields were flooded so high that the water nearly threatened to cross the highway at one point.

dscn6646a

In the higher elevations the precipitation stuck to the hills as snow. Even this was unusual for early October, but I would rather see the moisture up there than flooding the fields.

dscn6622a

In my next post I will show some of the devastation the flooding has caused.

Comox Glacier

 

We’ve had an awful lot of rain lately. It’s almost as bad as last year at this time. I went back to the news report from Dec. 9, 2014 when the city of Courtenay had unusually high flooding in the city park next to the river. Usually it’s just flooding over the baseball diamonds and some of the kids’ play areas, but last year was bad, as you can see from this photo by Julie Nichol, with widespread flooding over the fields and roads nearby. That’s the Courtenay River on the left and Lewis Park on the right.

Courtenay flooding 2014

This year in December, it has rained a lot again, and almost to the day there was flooding in the low areas of Courtenay.

BUT! At higher elevations, all that rain came down as snow. The owners of the local ski hill on Mt. Washington must be ecstatic to have this dump of snow just in time for their official opening today.

Those of us who did not get up to the ski hill could still enjoy the results of all this higher elevation “rain turned to snow” just by looking up at the Comox Glacier. It has been losing mass year by year, but today, even though it received only a superficial coating of snow, it looks the way it did many years ago when it was still a substantial glacier.

013

Several legends are told about the glacier, and one that seemed plausible today says that this mountain is a “Sleeping Princess.” I can see her lying there with her head on the right side of the glacier, chin in the air. But then I took another photo and discovered that the prince may also be lying there to the right. Do you see him there? He has a fat belly.

012

It makes me happy to see the rain turned into snow in such a beautiful way, fit for royalty.