A blog about life in the Bella Coola Valley and the Central Coast area of British Columbia for anyone interested in an incredible and rich part of BC's coast. I hope to provide my thoughts about things as simple as weather observations and seasonal issues, to comments about life and the natural history in the Bella Coola Valley, the Central Coast and the west Chilcotin area.
Note: All photos on this blog were taken by the author unless otherwise noted. While the photos and written material are all the property of the author and protected by Copyright, I'm not a professional photographer and you can use the photos if a link or attribution is provided back to my blog. If you have a need to use a particular photo and you want the high resolution file, leave a comment with your email (I won't publish it) and we can discuss what use you intend the photo for. Grizzly
A resident of the Bella Coola Valley and observer of the natural history, geography, resources, regional climate and cultural history of the Bella Coola Valley, Central Coast and the West Chilcotin area of BC.
A little bit of a weather change blew into the Bella Coola Valley today. When a weather system change moves across the coast and we see such strong inflow or westerly winds this time of year it usually means a bit of good weather - at least for a while. That was the case today, when the afternoon turned out quite sunny and the evening a pleasant spring evening. Grizzly
A cool May has meant the Bella Coola River has stayed very 'tame'. You can see in today's photo the river is just flowing at a nice level, not too muddy and very little debris moving. All indicators of a nice controlled snow melt. Grizzly
It was a pleasant weekend in the Bella Coola Valley, not as warm as Friday, but very comfortable and only a minor shower here and there. We haven't had enough precipitation to seriously wet the soil and so perennial beds, blue berries and other gardens are all needing watering. Still lots of snow in the mountains, they look more like late April mountains than late May mountains with the amount of snow still showing. Grizzly
Did anyone else in BC have to put up with 26 C, balmy, warm, super comfortable temperatures today? It was almost hard to believe but that's what the official Environment Canada weather station put us at! Grizzly
It's hard to write a blog about the weather and natural history in the Bella Coola Valley when you have been away for a few days. From what I can tell the best way to summarize it is "below seasonal" in both temperature and precipitation. Not a lot of precipitation, but not a lot of heat. The hay fields are loving it though and the annual burst of new vegetation, flowering and fresh growth is peaking on everything (Douglas Maple seeds forming in the photo). The Bella Coola River is the best indicator of seasonality this time of year. It is still in a pre-freshet, slightly brown but not glacial green or grey stage -- meaning it's cold and the new snow and glaciers at higher elevations are melting very slowly. Grizzly
As in most of Canada I am certain, the May long weekend is the big gardening weekend. It's traditionally a time of 'frost freedom' with some certainty in most gardening locales and a time to get at it and get the soil ready and the less hardy plants in the ground. We've had a cool May so far this year in the Bella Coola Valley and I waiting till June to put out a few tomato plants - they always catch up anyway. I'll be fallowing and rebuilding soil mostly this year, as I'm recovering from a bit of a back injury and decided to focus on other yard and building chores to catch up. It's our first time in 25 years without a substantial most 'of our veggie supply garden, so we'll just have to support the farmers market this year. Grizzly
The Bella Coola River is in prime Chinook salmon fishing condition. The few warm days we have had have brought the level up and quite a bit of colour. I haven't been fishing or asked around much what's going on for fish though--sorry. Grizzly
Fresh spring growth is always pleasing to the eye after the winter 'dulls'. With everything in the Bella Coola Valley mostly fully leafed out, there is no shortage of fresh soft greens to take in. This carpet of ferns on the forest floor provided a pleasing eyeful the other day. Grizzly
We finally got some of the great May weather we have been missing. The temperature hit 20 C today, which is low for May but good for this year. Still cool at night so as you can see in this photo of the Bella Coola River from this afternoon it's running fast but not 'blown out' as they say. Grizzly
A big improvement on the Bella Coola Valley weather this morning. The cold and wet spring weather we had all week moved through during the night and by mid morning things were clearing up nicely. It turned out a clear blue day and much warmer temperatures. Might be the last day the Bella Coola River stays clear and low if the night time temps warm up a bit this weekend. Grizzly
The morning photo shows it all -- rain overnight in the valley and snow not very far up on the mountains. Most of the morning it was wet and cold and some nice sunny periods in the afternoon, but temperatures were far below nice early May weather. More snow in the mountains at higher elevations will mean either a higher freshet when it comes or a longer runoff if it stays cool. A high temperature of 9 C and a low of 3 C at 11 AM this morning are not temperatures to be proud of for the Bella Coola Valley in May! Grizzly
The black cottonwood in this photo is firmly anchored at the mouth of a very active creek. It has been battered by numerous floods of water, logs and rocks pounding it. As you can see there is not much too hold onto with all the bare rock, but this tree has managed to hang on and grow to a good size.
In the Bella Coola Valley we are having a slow start to the spring freshet. Temperatures have been cool and many mornings there has been fresh snow in the mountains. Until we get a good run of hot weather it will continue a slow melt, which is not so bad, but not typical of usual Bella Coola Valley May weather. Grizzly
While the cherry trees in the valley are in full blossom, I can't say that it is perfect cherry blossom weather because it is not overly warm and very few bees are out and about. Some more heat would be good, even though we have had plenty of sunny periods and not much rain. Next week's forecast isn't for much better. Grizzly
The week hasn't been overly warm in the Bella Coola Valley, with plenty of sunny periods but not much precipitation. All in all a slow start to a month that can be very warm and pleasant. The Bella Coola Valley is shockingly green though when you make the transition from the brown still coming out of winter West Chilcotin and the white of the deep snow pack along Highway 20 in Tweesdmuir Park up top.
Lots of plants flowering and exploding with spring growth like the flowers on this wild currant. Grizzly
I've been away for a few days and in that time, the Bella Coola river has started moving towards its spring freshet. It's still not very high, but showing some colour. The Atnarko River is still running clear though. A few hot days will change that quickly. Grizzly