Mt. Nusatsum

Mt. Nusatsum

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Views from "The Hill" #1

A couple of posts this week of views as you climb the switch backs on Highway 20 in the winter time.  Grizzly

Monday, February 27, 2012


Approximately 40 km east of the town site of Bella Coola is the small settlement of Firvale, BC.  There are a little more than 1/2 dozen homes and acreages.  It's a pretty little place with some lovely farmland and fantastic views of the valley. Salloomt Peak is a prominent feature in this view looking west. Grizzly

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Blue Sky and -3 C

This was just one of 100's of possible viewscapes you could have enjoyed this morning in the Bella Coola Valley, with deep blue skies, a light dusting of snow overnight and -3 C temperatures -- doesn't get any better than this in February.  Grizzly

Friday, February 24, 2012

5-15 cm

Environment Canada had it forecast right on for the Bella Coola Valley.  After midnight the snow started and by noon the valley had received 5 cm in the town site and 15 cm further east of Hagensborg.  The temperature is holding around 0 and was generally a pleasant day.  Grizzly

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Decent Day

A pretty good day in the Bella Coola Valley, even a few brighter sun patches in the afternoon, between claggy clouds clinging along the sides of the mountains.   Snow in the forecast for the overnight and morning period.  Grizzly

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Signs of Spring

In spite of the utter lack of colour and dreary brown appearance to the landscape, the slowly lengthening days are having their effect on plant growth.  At a distance the stands of red alder (Alnus rubra) are getting the first hues of red as buds and the catkins begin to show signs of growth.  One of the earliest catkins that comes out is from a not native to Bella Coola tree, the hazelnut (Corylus cornuta).  It is native in Hazelton BC area and the southern interior of BC.  It's a very hardy tree because soon it will be a showy yellow mass as the catkins pollinate even with a lot of snow and frozen ground around.

On the valley weather front, it hasn't been a nice week in the Bella Coola Valley, with lengthy periods of cold rain, and more snow in the mountains. Grizzly

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Back to Some Weather

February is a hard to predict weather month in Bella Coola, some years it can bring a lot of snow, other years some nice weather.  So far we have not had significant snow, what we had was the easy come - easy go style of snow.  Last night brought valley bottom rainfall in good quantities and lots of mountain snow.  Now Environment Canada is forecasting the return of cold weather later this week.  Once we hit March my strategy is to ignore the snow that falls by not plowing the driveway because you know winters days are numbered, but we aren't quite there yet.  Grizzly

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Calm Weekend

The weather was uneventful this weekend in the Bella Coola Valley, a few snow flurries on Saturday, a  few sunny periods and day time temps in the positive and gentle freezing at night.  Nothing extreme in any direction.  Grizzly

Friday, February 17, 2012

Two Worlds

One of the things that makes the Bella Coola Valley an interesting place to live is the variations in local climate.   If you live West of Hagensborg, then the photo above is what you can expect your yard to look like today.

If you live East of Hagensborg in the slightly more snowy zone the photo below is more like what your yard will look like today. It's all about the mountains and coastal/interior influence.  It works both ways though, because in the summer time and in the rainy season it's cooler and wetter west of Hagenborg than the drier and warm environments east of Hagensborg which are further through the coast mountains and  more exposed to interior influence.

While the Robins are showing up west of Hagensborg, residents east of Hagensborg are still prepared to shovel.  Grizzly

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Little Snow

Like a lot of areas in British Columbia the weather system that moved onto the coast last night gave the Bella Coola Valley anywhere from 5-10 cm of snow.  It was pretty much over shortly after daylight and by the end of the day with a few brief sunny periods it was mostly gone off anywhere that was previously bare.  The best kind of snow to have in February.  Grizzly

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Red Dogwoods

With the longer days starting to have an effect on plants, the colours in the Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) , a smallish shrub very common on the coast starts to really show its red bark.  It was nicely contrasted against a Willow shrub that is doing the same but only developing a nice deep green as the winter grinds along.

Another nice day in the Bella Coola Valley, but clouds moved in and some change in weather is coming.  Grizzly

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Becalmed on the Bella Coola

If you were a dedicated fishermen and wanted to go for a drift down the Bella Coola River today to test the waters for the legendary Bella Coola River cutthroat trout, then today you would have had a slow lazy day.  It was a near perfect blue sky and no wind.  The backwaters of the Bella Coola River were calm, no cutthroat were seen, but it's the time to get out when conditions are like this.  Grizzly

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I was away for part of the week, but the neighbor said it was a good week in Bella Coola.  No new snow and a pretty good melt of some old.  The Bella Coola River is nice and clear except below some of the bigger tributaries which are contributing their usual silt and mud when there is a mid winter thaw.  Grizzly

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Birch Bark

The Bella Coola Valley has enough interior influence (cold winters, warm summers and less precipitation) which make it ideal for paper birch (Betula papyrifera). There are no large contiguous stands of it in the valley, but it's just about everywhere intermixed with the deciduous forest and young conifer forests.  It's a beautiful tree for shade, just to look at, for firewood and lumber for cabinetry.  I enjoy the bark because they have lots of colour variations between different trees and as they age.  Grizzly

Monday, February 6, 2012

Risky Business

Near Heckman Pass on Highway 20, about 4 km off the highway via a winter trail (ski, snowshoe or snowmobile) is the small community ski hill with a handle bar tow run by the Tweedsmuir Ski Club.  There is a lot of snow this year, a 230 cm base so far.  It's making for good winter activities , but can be risky using the outhouse.  Grizzly

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Two Good Days

We had a great weekend in the Bella Coola Valley and the West Chilcotin.  It was good for getting outdoors and doing some winter things, and even nice on the ocean I heard. Hope we get some more.  Grizzly

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Return of Sun

It's been such a dull winter, that even people who have winter sun in Bella Coola (not shaded by the high mountains on the south side) would not have had many days this winter to enjoy their sun.  Today was a good one though, the sun really hung around for awhile and felt really good the temperature was up to 5 C. Grizzly

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Key to Bella Coola

Passing through the 'gates' to Bella Coola in Heckman Pass recently made me wonder if the Bella Coola Valley has ever given anyone the "Key to the City"?  In our case if they had it and chose to lock it, then we are plain and simply locked in or out!  The only road has a gate at a strategic location - which is at the top of "The Hill" on Highway 20 in Heckman Pass to shut down traffic on the hill during periods of bad 'events'.  It used to be only closed for bad weather and road conditions, but with the 2009 and 2010 wildfires and some construction problems last year we now have to include more than just weather and maintenance.

Crews are busy 'widening' the road in the pass as there is nearly two metres of snow this winter and space was getting limited.  Grizzly

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Valley Views

The mountains views say it all for the type of day it was in the Bella Coola Valley.  Grizzly