Mt. Nusatsum

Mt. Nusatsum

Friday, December 4, 2009


No big arctic outflow as of this evening but it's starting to gust late tonight and the weather people are talking about it developing with some really cold temperatures in the next few days.  Throughout the day it was only 5-10 km from the east in a few locations  and not for the entire day.  Was generally a pleasant day, reached +2 C and tonight is down to -2 C.  It's presently gusting to 50 kmh ENE down at Cathedral Point (Burke Channel, east side, just north of Kwatna Inlet), a real bell weather spot for watching outflows and a place you want to be far away from in an east wind.  That level of gusting at Cathedral Point is a good indication of the special weather in store for us.

The plant in this picture has developed a nice strategy to protect itself from arctic winds and the drying conditions they bring.  These are the buds of the Alpine Fir (Abies lasiocarpa) which is a very common tree around Bella Coola when you reach around 1200-1500 metres (3500-4000') in elevation.  It is essentially a high altitude tree and is easily seen along Highway 20 at Red Hill and beyond on The Hill, where they develop beautiful forms and blue green colours.  As you go higher they become more and more dwarf until at high altitudes above tree line they form what is called Krummholz, which are mats of low very dense trees.  The buds in this photo are typical of their survival strategy which is to secrete a heavy pitch coating in the late summer over the entire bud (that's not ice in this photo - it's all pitch), essentially sealing the tender buds inside and prevent the 'freeze drying' of the buds in the winter which can kill a lot of different trees and shrubs in the Bella Coola Valley during an arctic outflow. Grizzly

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