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 - May, Week 4/2007
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Check out the Picture
of the Day.
The Best Time Of Year
a quick run into Nimpo today I looked around me and realized
it really is here! Spring...or summer. I'm not
sure which. If everything just turning green is spring,
then I guess that's what it is, although I associate spring
with mud. To me, the first, fresh green leaves on the
trees is summer because they'll only be there about three
months at the very outside before they turn a different
color and fall off.
Today's the last day of May and it's amazing that the
leaves are out on the trees already, even
though not fully by any means. That's a bit early for
this area, although I admit that the climate does
seem to be changing and spring is here a little earlier
Today was another beauty but this time with lots of sun.
A fairly brisk breeze all day as well but that was required
to keep the bugs down and the air cooler for working outside.
I forgot to check the temperature until a little later
this afternoon after it started cooling down, but it registered
around 20C or 68F. Tomorrow is supposed to be a
cooker with temperatures around the 30's for the
central interior. That will melt some snow!
The Fraser River is up about a foot and a half over
last night and I've noticed a drastic change in
the amount of black showing up on the mountains. In fact,
there's quite a difference in just the past week between
what the mountains to the north (second picture from the
top) looked like then and what they look like now. They're
no longer a pristine white by any means! I've put a new
picture from this evening up at the top so you can see
the difference. It's 9:30 at night though so the
light is poor and it's much more difficult to see all
the bare spots on the mountains.
Of course that's one of the best parts of summer is being
able to take pictures in the late evening and we still
have 21 days to go to the longest day. Right now we have
about the same lighting conditions on a cloudy evening
as we would have at 4:00 in the afternoon in the month
of December. A five hour gain in daylight just on this
side of the day. The downside is that it's starting
to lighten up at about 3:30 in the morning and if you're
not a morning person, that's nothing to celebrate!
Last week we finally gave up and taped black plastic to
the French doors upstairs in our bedroom so we could sleep
at night. I guess that counts as a first sign of summer
I attended the Spring Fair at the school in Anahim Lake
last night and got to take a look at some plants while
I was there. In fact, that was the main reason for being
there because I find it difficult to pass up plants anywhere.
Makes a lot of sense to buy more when I'm in the process
of moving the ones I have and am running out of places
to put them. But shopping for something you love isn't
supposed to make sense. Some people shop for shoes,
I shop for plants. Well, and tools. I really like
tools and hardware stores.
These plants had been brought up from the Tatlayoko
Valley and from the look of it, it was one heck
of a dusty ride up in the horse trailer. It was difficult
to identify many of them under the uniform layer of grey.
Many of the shrubs and trees that we would all love to
grow came up from the Okanagan, and although rated zone
three, their chances of making it here are pretty slim.
Still, they say hope springs eternal and I plunked down
some of my poker money on a couple of pretties who's dead
roots I'll be crying over by next spring. But as
Andy always says, "No guts, no glory!"
No Waves On Nimpo Lake
morning is one of those calm, muggy mornings where the
lake is glassy and grey. It's the age of the bugosaurs
and everywhere you look you can see trout doing a slow
roll for lunch. They certainly don't have to work
very hard for it. Bugs are probably easy for them to see
on the surface and there's a good variety at the buffet.
Lots of mosquitoes and we even noticed a mayfly in the
house last night.
Even though the lack of wind makes it easier on the bugs,
I like it when Nimpo is flat and every time a boat cruises
past, the waves look like molten silver. I'm not the only
one that likes it like that. Quite a few fishermen
in boats have headed out this morning in the hopes their
lures or flies will prove more attractive than the bounty
already flitting over the water.
Yesterday was a beauty with the temperature getting up
to 23C, putting it somewhere around 76 degrees Fahrenheit
with some overcast. It would have been unbearably hot
if there had been a lot of sun yesterday. There's an even
more solid ceiling over us today with heavy overcast and
the temperature is only at 16C or around 60F but it's
early in the day yet.
Our warming trend is supposed to continue for another
couple of days and then temperatures cool for the weekend.
The areas throughout the Province in danger of
flooding may just dodge the bullet if this weather continues.
Obviously a long slow melt is preferable to a fast one
and that's just what has been happening so far this year.
In fact down in the Lower Mainland, the level of the Fraser
River is dropping rather than rising. I don't know if
that's a good sign or not. To me it would indicate that
the spring melt hasn't even begun at higher elevations
but the weather guys on television are putting a lot more
positive spin on it.
It would be ironic if so many millions of dollars
have been put into building up dikes this spring and then
Mother Nature pulls a fast one and the flooding never
comes. That would be quite a relief to a lot of
residents along the rivers in this province but I would
be very surprised if that turned out to be the case.
I apologize for no article yesterday. I seem to be doing
that a lot lately but as I mentioned before, if it's nice
outside that's where I'm going to be so fitting in work
that has to be done on the computer with what can be accomplished
outdoors often means no blog. That will continue to be
the case throughout the summer, especially from mid June
until the end of the month. I have good friends coming
out for a couple of weeks so I'll be wanting to spend
some time with them. Hope everyone understands!
Andy got our deck off the back of the house built yesterday
(Project number 6742...yep, the list continues to
grow faster than we can keep up with.) while I
mucked around with moving more plants. No easy task when
digging holes in cement-like clay full of rocks and roots
and moving plants that have developed surprisingly large
root balls in the same type of soil. I don't know how
they managed to grow so big in soil that must have zero
nutrients. Maybe that's why the roots have gone so deep.
Searching for food and headed to China to find it.
We're not the only ones with work projects. Everyone is
going great guns around the lake taking advantage of our
short summer season. Here and there you can still
hear the odd chainsaw while someone tackles their beetle
killed trees. Up on the hill you can hear a processor
cleaning up the trees near the carwash. The planes are
pretty quiet so far, probably because the tourist season
hasn't really gotten going yet. That makes the loons happy,
I'm sure. They hate those planes and set up a real ruckus
when one is taking off or coming in. In fact they'll start
up long before you see one on the horizon so they must
have great hearing.
Okay folks, I'm back to work now. Have a great day!
Fish For Supper
for rainbow trout on Nimpo Lake is just fabulous right
now. We went out this morning for a couple of
hours after the neighbour yelled up that the fishing was
good. Nothing like guilting your partner into taking you
fishing by publicly writing about having too many chores
to do. Actually, we're both guilty of working and not
stopping enough to smell the roses.
The water was just right this morning and the sky as clear
as a bell. It could be a little cool on the lake when
the breeze came up, only because it's picking up
the chill off a lake not long out from under the ice,
but the rest of the time, rocking in a boat with the sun
shining and good hits on our lines is a recipe for a perfect
Andy brought in all the fish while I was zero for zero.
None of them were really big but they sure were tasy little
critters. Every fish on our lines turned out to be fighters,
particularly the ones Andy landed. I had a couple on but
couldn't bring them in while Andy had lots more nibbles
than I. The trout really liked his fly today and it was
after noon before anyone really warmed up to mine. He
was using something that he normally never would, but
it just happened to still be on the line from when the
girls went out fishing the other day. I don't know
what the name of it is but I would call it a Disco Party
fly, that's how flashy it is. Kind of like John
Travolta on steroids. The fish sure liked it, though.
I stuck with my usual. Anything red and black with silver
ribbon along the lines of a Royal Coachman.
It normally does very well throughout most of the year
but perhaps not this early. That's okay because I didn't
really care whether I landed a fish or not. I was just
enjoying being out in the boat. I figure if you're in
a boat you can't be working and that's just cool.
We kept passing through swarms of those little flies I
mentioned yesterday that the fish really seem to like.
They're kind of annoying to deal with but there sure were
a lot of fish jumping for them today. There were
fish flopping around us the whole time we were out.
Those flies aren't the only thing the warm weather and
that rain the other night has brought on. Mosquitoes and
black flies were out in force today. We decided it was
probably because the weather has been so cool for so long
that now that it's warmed up, everything is coming out
at once. The bald eagles are out in force as well,
cruising above the lake and checking out the loons.
I'm assuming they're on a reconnaissance mission mapping
out where all the loons are nesting, since loon babies
are one of their favorite snacks and pestering the adult
loons seems to bring them particular joy.
The attack of the dandelion has occurred as well.
'Tis the season. I went out with my tree spade and bags
in hand after spotting a good crop blooming down in front
of the dock. It's always up to me to spot them, and dig
them up because there is no way Andy will tell me about
them. He likes them and gets a kick out of discovering
a new patch and letting them go to seed. Then
he shows them to me. There are few things in this world
that I really hate with a passion but dandelions are definitely
one of them and I'm determined to stay on top of them.
However, it doesn't help when your partner is blowing
seed heads on the wind at every opportunity. One
of the few things we disagree about. I'm still trying
to figure out how to teach the dogs and cats how to spot
them and dig them out but I'm not holding my breath that
it will ever happen. It's difficult for most of our animals
to raise enough energy to make it to the food bowl much
less do something constructive.
Bugs and dandelions aside, I still can't think of a single
solitary place I would rather be on a pretty day. Come
never paid a lot of attention before to the local hummingbird
population when it came to mating season. I always thought
that the Rufous Hummingbird, which is all we have around
here, had a red throat all the time. I'm used to seeing
the Ruby Throated Hummingbird over in Saskatchewan and
its throat always seems brightly colored
on the males.
I've decided we either have one of the laziest hummers
that ever existed and it lives here, or I'm seeing
a male trying to attract a mate. This hummer likes to
hang out in the top candle of a small spruce tree just
off the balcony on our house. Although I've often seen
Hummingbirds sit still a lot more than you read about,
I've never seen one that will sit in the same place for
an hour at a time with only the odd break to go grab something
to eat at the feeder.
For the last two nights this little guy has been spending
time on his perch, turning slightly every few minutes.
He looks mostly orange brown with markings from the back
and side and most of the time his throat looks like it's
covered with black feathers. But every once in a
while when he would turn in our direction, you would see
this amazing flash of fluorescent red that looked like
the old signal lanterns on ships. The colors would
flash for only a moment and then be gone. For the longest
time it looked like it must be just the direction the
hummer was facing, but after watching this for two nights,
I'm beginning to wonder if the feathers can be ruffled
or turned either by the bird or a breeze to display the
red for a mate.
It's funny because, this guy looks like a little miniature
lighthouse sitting up on his perch turning a quarter turn
every once in a while until he's gone full circle. That
or else he's a sightseeing Hummingbird and he's just taking
in the view. I don't think so, though. By tonight
he was starting to get a little teed off at me trying
to get a picture of that flash of red and even chased
a chickadee into a bush. Probably decided I was too big
to go after and decided to take his ire out on something
smaller. Unfortunately, the only good pictures I was able
to get were of him at the feeder rather than on his perch,
but you can see from the top pic that he's humped up like
an old man on a branch surveying his kingdom. The last
picture isn't very clear but it still shows the brilliant
red he can display on his throat.
Today was very breezy and even though the sun was shining
all day, that wind was cold! It ran mostly
out of the north today, which is a little unusual but
it can happen when a high is moving in. Those couple of
really warm days and then yesterday's rain brought on
summer in one fell swoop. The leaves are actually breaking
out on the aspen and lots of the little shrubs, and the
kinnickinnick is standing up and glowing a bright, waxy
green. The sudden change in the trees was quite noticeable
when we went for a walk yesterday evening, and we had
to take the bug spray with us. Besides the mosquitoes
there's been a good hatch of the little black bugs that
look like mozzys but aren't. I think the trout in
Nimpo really like those and there's certainly
been some movement on the lake to indicate it.
I haven't had a chance to ask anyone but I'm assuming
the fishing was good today. That or else the fishermen
out there were a very determined lot because bouncing
around on those waves all day can't be a lot of fun. Heck,
there were even a few whitecaps out on the Main Arm off
and on today. There's good weather forecast for tomorrow
so I look forward to that, as long as it isn't too windy.
Maybe we can get some fishing in.....naah....probably
not. Too much to do.
I've come to the conclusion that if you really enjoy camping
or fishing, do not move to a lake! Just
visit. It seems once you move there, you'll never get
the chance to fish or camp again because there's always
too long a chore list.
actually been getting one little rain squall after another
since yesterday evening. Which is actually a good
thing. There was lots of moisture deep in the ground but
the surface was as dry as a bone. A wild wind came up
yesterday and with all the dust blowing around, for a
moment I thought I might have been dropped into the middle
of a dust storm in the Sahara desert.
We've been watering for the last couple of days both to
keep the dust down and get some lawn going, but there's
nothing like a good rain. Mind you, today it might being
going a little overboard. A gentle rain is one thing.
A torrential downpour is quite another. However, in view
of the approaching fire season we'll take anything we
We've been in pretty good shape around here so far but
I was told that there's been some fires around
Alexis Creek and a nasty slash and burn that got out of
control just east of Williams Lake needed some serious
attention. You know forestry considers a fire
to have the potential to spread fast when they use bombers
and retardant on it right away.
If nothing else, the rain will definitely encourage the
mosquitoes to come out en masse. I'll try to look at that
on the positive side and consider that the tree swallows
will be knee deep in food. If swallows have
knees. I do admit I like that unearthly luminescent green
displayed by the needles on the pine trees just after
a rain and I'm glad we still have a few young trees around.
Hopefully, this rain will bring on the fishing. There
have been a few fishing boats out on Nimpo Lake and a
personal float tube but I don't know how those folks are
doing. Our neighbour said last night that he tried
several different flies and kept getting nibbles, but
no takers. Andy said the same thing happened this morning
with a couple on the line but nothing that would stay
on. I don't know if the fish have soft mouths right now
or they're just not that hungry yet. They just came out
of a long winter with cold, cold water so maybe they're
just like me with mornings. They just haven't woken up
yet. Suits me. I don't mind if they don't start feeding
until about the middle of June. We've got friends coming
out around that time that are avid fisherwomen and I'd
like to see the trout fishing really hot for them then.
I've been slacking off on the computer work lately and
sneaking outside because the weather has been so nice
for working but I don't really have that excuse today
so I guess I better quit this and accomplish something
that constitutes work. Have a great weekend everyone!
Good Weather Continues
we hit the jackpot this week when it comes to weather.
We're enjoying yet another magnificent day in the
Chilcotin while places like Calgary got snow.
Gotta like it! It's certainly a nice change.
Our temperatures have been hovering around 20C midday
or pretty close to 70F and that's in the shade. In the
sun it's hotter than Hades with not a cloud in the sky.
It's nice to see a few people out fishing on Nimpo
Lake and the odd floatplane goes out. The leaves
are actually trying to come out on the trees so maybe
that will happen before the first of June after all. We're
seeing an amazing number of birds this year but not much
in the way of butterflies and such. Although the bugs
seem to have arrived suddenly so it will be time to break
out the bug dope. We'll try to delay that
routine as long as possible!
Well, this is a little annoying. I had a
whole article done and my computer froze up. I didn't
save constantly as I usually do, so I lost it all. Since
I'm not keen on rewriting everything, I think I'll quit
here. Oh, except to tell you to check out the picture
of the day. Although the osprey has been back and hunting
Nimpo Lake for fish for a little while now, he's usually
too fast or too far away for me to get a picture. That's
him up on the right as well. They sure are a pretty bird.
One last thing. The owners of the resort that was supposed
to go on the Property for Sale listing have left it up
to their Realtor to list on this site. That doesn't seem
likely to happen so just to let anyone that's interested
in knowing more, you can contact the owners at Stewart's
Lodge and Camps on Nimpo Lake at 250-742-3388.
finally seeing some splendid spring weather at Nimpo Lake
and it's well deserved, I might add. I don't know
how long it's going to last which is why I've spent the
last few days outside and the reason why there was no
article last night. By the time I dragged my heiny in
the door last night I was just too pooped to pop much
less write. Being outside without a cap on the day before
may have had something to do with that. We haven't been
seeing a lot of sun or heat, and when you suddenly get
blasted with both, it kind of takes the stuffing out of
you. That, and I've had the dubious pleasure of
being on the wrong end of a maddock for two days, which
is much like being on a chain gang.
Unfortunately, I have to move all the plants in the 'garden'
over to another 'holding' pen so that we
can get the Bobcat in there to place some big rocks for
a rock garden/wall sort of thing. The ground that I'm
moving the plants to was only recently occupied by several
large pine tree stumps and all their rotten little roots.
Many of said roots are still there and chopping through
them and hardpan clay to make a hole big enough to put
a large perennial root ball in brings back memories of
home. And I don't mean the good ones either. I mean the
ones where you couldn't wait until summer was over so
you could go back to school for a rest.
Summers where I was raised meant clearing land the
hard way. After blasting the stumps out, (which
was the best part) you still had to spend the rest of
your young years picking roots and rocks in summer because
frost would push up a fresh crop of rocks every spring.
Tree roots still attached had to be grubbed out with a
maddock as did those ever endearing wild rose bushes.
I swore after those years that under no circumstance would
I ever live where I had to dig or pick roots or rocks.
I don't know what happened to that promise!
Meanwhile, poor Andy has been trying to get a water pump
working that we can drop into the lake for watering, especially
during fire season. Fall came on us fast and hard
last year and a surprise frost cracked the casing on a
pump we still had out. I had to interrupt him
in that important business to do some carpentry work because
I couldn't move plants to a different spot until some
lattice was put up.
I know none of this stuff seems all that important, but
the working part of spring and summer is very short and
out in this country the term, "Make hay while
the sun shines." applies. Besides, until
those plants are moved we can't move the monster pile
of dirt that came out of the ground when the porch was
built last year. Once the dirt is moved then a friend
will be dropping off a truck load of rock and a few loads
of manure in exchange for Andy doing some driving for
him. But the manure can't be moved until the road bans
are off and the rock can't be moved until the area it's
in dries out enough so that an excavator can be brought
in. So my 'garden' area continues to look like a
dog's breakfast until all this stuff falls into place.
In the meanwhile, I've fallen behind in computer work
in the last few days so I'll have to keep today's article
Our guests over the weekend left yesterday but at least
they got one really nice day for weather. They left
behind some very nice gifts and I would like to thank
them here for that, and just for being really
nice people to know. We both hope to see them back here
when the weather's a little better and the fishing great.
Five otters were doing the dipsy doodle through the water
from our back bay and around our point over to the other
peninsula this morning. Boy, did their presence ever cheese
off the back bay loons! Otters must eat the eggs or something
because the loons definitely considered them a major danger.
I know one thing, those otters sure can swim.
They would surface for air, making a funny snuffling noise
then dive again. I would have the camera pointed as I
waited for them to come up some distance from where they
dove. I was always way off because they had covered at
least three times the distance I expected them to and
they were gone again by the time I got the camera refocused.
Something sure set off the loons last night just before
midnight and I wonder if the otters were swimming around
then. I don't think I've ever heard the loons make such
a ruckus, and it wasn't just the closest ones. Loons
all up and down Nimpo Lake were in on the sing along and
it was fantastic listening to them.
is the start of a new week, so you can find last week's
articles at May,
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!