is about a remote area in west central British Columbia, Canada
called the West Chilcotin. Surrounded by numerous glacial mountain
ranges, alpine lakes teeming with wild Rainbow Trout, and full
of wildlife. Living here goes from no running water or electricity
to spacious log homes with all the conveniences and without
Wilderness Adventures - West Chilcotin Blog
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Hot August Nights
been blazing hot for these past few days in the Chilcotin
and around the province for that matter. Apparently a
few temperature records have fallen over the last two
days around British Columbia with the little heat wave
we've been getting. Fortunately, today is supposed to
be the last hot day and while the rest of the week is
supposed to be sunny and warm, it will be closer to normal
temperatures. It suits me. We've been within spitting
distance of 30C or 85 degrees Fahrenheit for about three
days now and it was pretty warm for the week previous
other than one cloudy wet day.
It's tough putting in a day's work when it's this hot
which is why I'm sitting at my computer this afternoon
but the bonus is.... THE MOZZIES ARE GONE!!!!!!
Yep, burnt the little buggers right up.
There's still the odd one floating around here and there
in super shady, cool spots and probably the odd one in
the evening, but it looks like our summer can start now.
Yoo Hoo!! We were down at the north end of the lake for
dinner last night and even late in the evening with the
screen door open, there was nothing for mosquitoes and
the dinner company noted that there hadn't been any mosquitoes
down at the south end of the lake for the past week or
I think our place was probably last on the list to clean
up, again I think it's because of my garden and that we've
let so much of the brush grow up around our place, but
we began to remedy that today. Andy took the chainsaw
to several aspen, willows and other large shrubs along
the lakeshore down in front of the house, as well as took
some really low branches off of a big spruce tree. Voila!
Suddenly there was a breeze off of the water through the
hole he had created and I started cleaning up all the
cut down trees and shrubs. I've already taken four huge
dragging truckloads to the burn pile and the truck is
half loaded again, but I had to quit before finishing
it and at least one more truckload after it. Suddenly,
it just got too hot for hard labour and I had to move
onto something else. Hopefully tomorrow it will be cooler
and we can continue with the land clearing.
It's funny how you can just klutz along in life
and not realize vast changes that can occur in your environment.
While Andy and I have done some minor clearing between
the house and the cabin once before, and he's done it
previous to my arrival, we haven't done anything of the
kind in the last four years or more. In that period of
time we've seen three rainy summers and the undergrowth
has grown like crazy. Before we used to fight off the
beavers to keep them from taking our few aspen. Now, the
aspen grow like weeds. We have one in our lawn that's
grown nine inches high since the last mowing and often
where you cut one down, another will grow in its place.
We both commented just yesterday on how this part
of the Chilcotin always looked in most places in the past
20 plus years. Lots of pine with only pine needles
on top of the poor, thin soil, kinnickaknick, and sparse
soap berry bushes with the odd wild rose here and there
and wild lily of the valley in the shadier spots. Since
the pine trees are no longer soaking up vast amounts of
water, the understory is changing all over with more variety
and larger number of shrubs and plants. And the
water lovers like the willows and aspen have become ferocious!
With the ground saturation of the last two years, and
large ponds where there had never been any before, there
is just so much more moisture in this country and it's
beginning to change. I think I mentioned before that all
over both large and small aspen have fallen over, roots
and all, because the ground is too wet to hold the roots
anymore. There are lots of places where the small pine
trees have turned orange and will die now because their
feet have been in water for too long. Both winter and
summer temperatures are higher now than they were in the
previous fifty years and so I think that we are going
to see some amazing changes in flora and fauna in the
Chilcotin in the next ten years if this trend continues.
We'll be growing bananas before you know it! :-)
We have a pair of loons in the back bay that have
finally produced and raised a pair of babies that are,
remarkably, still alive and getting bigger every day.
It's been a real pleasure to watch the babies grow in
the past couple of months and even more of a pleasure
to know that they're probably too big now for the eagles
We're thinking that the loon pair at the back are actually
a new couple to the bay and are probably just younger
and simply more successful at raising babies and protecting
them from eagles. For the past two years the pair that
had been there had not even raised babies, and previous
to that, when they did, they would lose first one and
then the second while they were still quite small, most
likely to the eagles. However, the dinner company last
night did note that there seemed to be far fewer bald
eagles around the lake this year and now that we think
about it, it's true. There are way fewer around
this summer than in the past five or six years,
so it's possible that it is the same couple as before
but since they would be getting old, it makes sense that
a new pair took their place. There were some shenanigans
this spring between two sets of loons in front of our
place before the ice melted in the back bay so maybe the
original loons lost the power struggle for the prime space
at the back. In any case, it's wonderful to see a pair
of babies that are big enough to be left on their own
now and able to fend for themselves.
I've been afraid of writing about them before for fear
of jinxing the little guys but they should be good now.
The floatplanes have been going great guns this weekend
and it's nice to see both charter services getting people
out there. While this is a long weekend or statuary holiday
in Canada, it was busy last weekend as well, so perhaps
our visitors are coming back again, even with the global
economy still in such poor shape. This is still breathtaking
country to see from a floatplane and since our air is
so clean and clear right now with absolutely no forest
fire smoke at all, it makes for great photography opportunities.
Speaking of which....
Andy and some of the guys went up above 24 kilometer and
the Lonesome Lake burn to try and access the top of Repeater
Mountain so that Terry B could fix his radio repeater.
Only Andy and Terry actually made it to the top on their
machines only putting them on their sides in the rocks
while Logan actually rolled his several times in the attempt,
but Andy said the wildflowers up there were absolutely
amazing! I just wish he had taken the camera with him.
Depending on how late the spring is, July and August are
the months to experience the remarkable wildflowers up
in the alpine so if you want to book a hiking trip, that's
the time to do it. Some photos can be found at Alpine
I don't have photos of wildflowers for the blog, but I
am going to post some of my own garden that I finally
get to enjoy.
This is the start of a new week so you'll find last week's
blog at July
Lake Highway cam looking West.
The purpose of this web site is to draw attention to a
remote area of west central British Columbia. It is a
beautiful area that relies heavily on tourism. The search
engines don't know much about the West Chilcotin, Anahim
Lake, Nimpo Lake or any of the other small communities
in the region and I hope to change that! Even as large
as this site will eventually be, there just isn't enough
room or time in the day to fully describe this incredible
country but I am going to try scraping away at the tip
of the iceberg, so join me!
the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!