Bowen Island Journal

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March 29, 2002
Well the snow is gone, the weather is a little warmer and the birds have resumed their spring songs. We still have juncos hanging around, but they should be gone soon. For some reason there has been a bald eagle circling over the house.

Other signs of spring include daffodils and a hyacinthe that has blossomed under the protection of a rose bush, which means the deer haven't clipped it to the ground. Down at the hatchery they are getting ready to release coho fry this weekend, and a big Easter egg hunt is planned for the picnic ground in the Cove. I get the sense that Easter picnics are somethign that have always gone on on Bowen, and I recall seeing pictures at the library of Edwardian women in long dresses doling out crustless sandwiches from wicker hampers.





March 20, 2002
Since 7:00am yesterday morning the snow has been falling. The hints of spring we have received over the past few weeks are distant memories now. Altogether we got about a foot of snow. All day there have been fog horns coming up from ships in the Channel. Today is sunny and cold with another Squamish wind battering the island.

We have had strange weather here this week. Over the weekend a Squamish wind veered a little east and ended up getting us. The cold literally blew through the house. The Squamish winds are caused by the high pressure air in the interior flowing out to the low pressure regions off the coast and that low pressure arrived yesterday with no winds, heavy snow and temperatures around zero.

We have a humming bird visiting us these days along with the little seedeaters who continue to feed off the front porch. With the snow today itís been a rare treat to see all the birds, calling with their spring songs as they dipped in for a bite.

The temperatures are supposed to warm up over the next few days, ending this blast of winter. The old saying about march coming in like a lamb and out like a lion speaks to the really changeable nature of weather during this month, but with the snowfall and cold records that we have set this week, we have exceeded even the limits of that old saying.




March 06, 2002
Man is it cold here today. -3 with wind chills down to -20.

Here's what Environment Canada said happened this morning:

WWCN20 CWVR 061417
STORM WARNING
STORM WARNING ISSUED FOR THE COASTAL WATERS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA BY
THE PACIFIC WEATHER CENTRE OF ENVIRONMENT CANADA AT 6:17 AM PST
WEDNESDAY 6 MARCH 2002.

STORM WARNING ISSUED FOR
HOWE SOUND.

A STRONG ARCTIC OUTFLOW ON THE BC COAST THIS MORNING WILL DECREASE
SLIGHTLY IN INTENSITY LATER TODAY AS A STRONG ARCTIC RIDGE OF HIGH
PRESSURE BEGINS TO WEAKEN OVER THE BC INTERIOR. NORTHERLY OUTFLOW
WINDS HAVE REACHED SPEEDS UP TO STORM FORCE 50 KNOTS THIS MORNING
THROUGH HOWE SOUND. WINDS WILL EASE TO GALE FORCE THIS AFTERNOON.


Winds EASING to gale force. You get that? EASING. To GALE force. That's how windy it was here last night. A strong gale is a welcome relief. The water in the Queen Charlotte Channel looks like a river flowing south full of rapids and everything. There were some sailing cancellations on the Vancouver Island ferries this morning, but I've seen a couple go by recently.

No rain at least. Sky is turning blue now and the colour of the sea is following.




March 05, 2002
All day I have been watching the winds on the water in the channel. This morning, under a clear blue sky, the water was calm and blue and serene. Later a Squamish wind picked up and the water stayed blue but started churning, rolling great white waves southward to the Strait. This afternoon, the sea has calmed down and turned grey, under a sky of puffy cumulus clouds. There are only a few whitecaps out there at the moment.

We are bracing for another Squamish tonight which will affect us, if not because of the wind, then at least because of the windchills which are expected to drop as low as -20. All that cold interior air is being pushed down and out of the Shuswap by a big high pressure system. This conspired this morning to create an "Arctic outflow warning," which Environment Canada describes this way:

ARCTIC OUTFLOW WARNING FOR:
HOWE SOUND
SUNSHINE COAST
CENTRAL COAST - COASTAL SECTIONS
CENTRAL COAST - INLAND SECTIONS
NORTH COAST - COASTAL SECTIONS
NORTH COAST - INLAND SECTIONS.

OUTFLOW WINDS 50 TO 90 KM/H THROUGH THE INLETS COMBINED WITH
COLD TEMPERATURES WILL GIVE WIND CHILL OF MINUS 15 TO MINUS 25.

THIS IS A WARNING THAT COLD TEMPERATURES COMBINED WITH STRONG
WINDS TO GIVE HIGH WINDCHILLS ARE IMMINENT OR OCCURRING IN
THESE REGIONS. MONITOR WEATHER CONDITIONS..LISTEN FOR UPDATED
STATEMENTS.


As of right now that warning has been downgraded to a wind warning for Howe Sound, with cold wind chills, but more danger from the 70 km/h gusts themselves rather than the cold. Up the coast from us, in the Central Coast region, these winds have reached storm force, which translates as 50 knots or 93 km/h.

Spring is coming as evidenced by the crocuses in full bloom in the pots on our deck, but this wind, and the way were are going through our new pile of mill ends, suggests that winter still has us in its grip for now.




March 02, 2002
What a glorious last couple of days. March came in like a lamb, and not just any old lamb, but a really soft snuggly one that wants to be your friend. The days are brilliant sunshine, and getting pretty warm. The nights are clear and still and there has been a gibbous moon floating over the sea and shimmering on the water.

Today the kids and I went over the the beach at Bowen Bay and tasted the first flavours of summer. It was warm enough to be in lilght sweaters, and the sun beat down into the protected cove. I feel tonight as if I have been suntanned. We ran into a bunch of other families who all had the same idea as us, so it was a relly nice afternoon.

This followed on the heels of gigs last night at Doc's and then again this morning at The Breakfast Cafe with friends Dave Marshall and Andy Hillhouse.

I finally ran out of firewood, and without missing a beat this morning we received about two tons of mill ends dumped at the head of our driveway. This stuff is great: kiln dried chunks of hemlock in all kinds of dimensions, 2x5s, 4x4s, 2x4s and so on. Some of it is too long for the stove, but most of it fits in there, and it burns really nicely, hot and long. We have about three cords or so, which I've started piling under the house. We should be good until fall I would think.

Got a visit from a Red Tailed Hawk yesterday that cruised over the house calling with its distinctive shreik. Other signs of spring include blooming crocuses all over the island, and the emergence of the daffodils I planted in December, which seem to have got the right idea.