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.
While we were on holidays we passed through Highway 16, west of McBride BC. The forests in this area are classified as part of the Interior Wetbelt. You recognize it as soon as you start to see the large trees and dense forests. A local group has worked to reserve an area which they call the "Ancient Forest". It has lovely 2.3 km trail and is easily accessed off the highway. It has a very definite coastal feel and the Red Cedars are as impressive as any on the coast. The forest floor is dense Devil's Club as well, in case the cedars don't make you feel coastal. The example in this photo is of a large branchy cedar, but there are many that are tall and straight. It's well worth the visit if you are in the area or just missing seeing a coastal type forests that is common on our part of the coast. Grizzly
I haven't posted for the last 10 days because Mrs. Grizzly and I were on a holiday - a bit of road trip through BC and southwestern Alberta. We had great weather nearly the entire trip, warm sunny days, light traffic and great views as we traveled through the Rocky Mountains.
From all accounts the Bella Coola Valley has enjoyed the same great weather, September really redeemed itself this year as the best month.
Often with clear days in September the nights can be cool, but not this year. Our basil plants in the garden are happier and healthier than when we left them and they don't tolerate any frost, so we have been frost free it appears.
The forecast is for a few mixed days and some more good weather - a great way to start October. Grizzly
The annual Pine Mushroom harvest has started up around Anahim Lake BC, but not much is showing in the Bella Coola Valley yet. It's been too dry and we have only had the one brief rainy period, but there is still plenty of time for the crop to come on.
At least 'Perky Percy' seems to be in business up Anahim Lake way! Grizzly
Driving across the Chilcotin Plateau on Highway 20 at any time of the year has it's hazards, but during range season and especially in the fall when the cattle are starting to move closer to their home ranches they spend a lot of time along or on the highway. They really mean what they say on this sign near Tatla Lake. Grizzly
With the fabulous September weather and the mid 20's daytime temperature, once the sun is down the air has that remarkable fall coolness and freshness to it. By the morning the lawns are wet and the dew is hanging thick - the morning light on this spider web highlighted it well today. Grizzly
In 2010 not long before "The Great Flood of 2010", I wrote the post "September - The Best Month". I gave all my reasons why in my nearly 30 years in Bella Coola it was the best month. It was barely 3 weeks later that we had the worst flood in recorded history in the Bella Coola Valley followed by a near repeat in 2011 almost on the same day. I've been very discouraged about that for two years now, but I'm happy to say that I'm back officially declaring September - THE BEST MONTH! Re-read my 2010 post, all the reasons I gave are stilll perfectly valid. The blue of the sky this week has been stunning and the air crystal clear.. This photo was taken this week from the mid valley area looking east.
It's tough to beat a forecast like Environment Canada is providing for the next week for Bella Coola.
Have heard from people who have been drifting the Atnarko River that there are very few pink salmon - someone had asked me in a comment if the pink run materialized after the 2010 flood which would have destroyed the vast majority of the spawn in the Atnarko River. It appears to be a wash - it will take multiple generations (cycles) likely 5 or more (10 years) to rebuild the Atnarko pinks to their historical run size. The Atnarko Pinks have recovered from disastrous floods before, but it takes time and good management. Grizzly
The mountain ash tree's annual berry crop has been in full ripening mode the last week or so. These tree's are native to the area and wide spread - birds and bears spread their seeds just about everywhere and they grow well in many sites. The robins and black and grizzly bears love the berries, although it's hard to see what the bears get out of them when you look at the piles of droppings they leave.
The trees in this photo have been worked over by a couple of grizzly bears in my yard this week, they bend the trees over until they can either get the berries or the tree breaks - some of these stems were 3" in diameter. The ash trees respond the next year by putting out twice as many shoots and every year the trees seem to be just as full of berries and everyone is happy, just a little cleanup before the snow comes and we are set for another year. Grizzly
After a super nice spell of weather and a great Saturday, the weather turned on Sunday. We had a 'lawn greening' rainfall Sunday of around 20 mm of rain. It was nice and refreshing, but cool. All the mountains have fresh snow tonight above 4000', always a slightly shocking sight when you are still enjoying the end of summer. More good weather to come in the next while according to the forecasters. Grizzly
A goal of mine has been to see the end of the Rocky Mountains in British Columbia which occurs in northern BC west of Muncho Lake. From a recent trip to this area, here is Terminus Mountain (6259') taken during a 'fly by'. North of this mountain the Rocky's sort of just end. The mountain range in the background are the Cassiar Mountains. Grizzly
I've been gone for a couple weeks - gone on a hunting trip, hunting in the Northern Cassiar Mountain Range in northern BC with my son. It was a good and refreshing trip to spend 10 days in the mountains. I'll post a few pictures later.
I didn't miss anything major in Bella Coola, by the sounds of it - some good weather and a few rainy days. Right now we are having fantastic fall weather. The Bella Coola River is a deep bluey green colour, with a slight whiff of rotting chum salmon and lots of happy eagles, gulls and piles of 'healthy' bear droppings. The chum run was good thanks to the hatchery production, but I haven't got much information on the pink salmon, which were hit hard by the 2010 flood. The few times I was out, it looked pretty bleak for pinks. Gardens have all had a happy July and August as well and people are reaping the corn and tomato harvest now. Grizzly