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Harry

Vancouver Diary XIV : Spring 2007

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Harry

Vancouver Diary XIV: Spring '07

Welcome to the fourteenth season of Vancouver Diary.

This Sunday we woke up and switched on the TV. What appeared on the screen was the movie Fly Away with (then) little Anne Paquin, who was flying her Canadian geese to North Carolina by escorting them with a microlight aircraft.

When the movie finished, I swithced off the TV, got up and opened the window. That was when I kept hearing the Canadian geese. I turned around to look at the TV, but it WAS dead. It was then that I looked up.....

HI-I-I-IGH in the sky were positively hundreds of Canadian Geese flying in a collection of very large V formations of around 50 to 60 each, heading east-northeastwards to Buntzen Lake* behind the foothills of the mountains. They were honking like crazy. It was just fantastic!

I hereby announce Spring 2007 duly arrived. ...at least, by 4:08pm today, it will have arrived.

QE2.jpg

It is also very clear that many other birds are back and they put up quite a performance in the early morning

*: While some Canadian Geese are resident here through winter in mild Vancouver, many do migrate.

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Harry

The cornerstone of this diary has been the photos I have posted. With the weather having been the most utterly pathetic that we've ever seen here, the opportunity of taking a shot of anything but a misty, foggy, grey object through the murk has been very near zero. I think my arms are becoming transparent for lack of sunlight! Certainly, some of our plants have started dying for sheer lack of sunlight...even just indirect, gloomy sunlight.

So, here's a picture of the mountains yesterday, before it all clouded over yet agan....for another week!

7-03-20snowpeak.jpg

I used to love Vancouver....until 1 November 2006. After that it has actually just been a rain/snow/fog/hail- besodden dump that I can no longer recommend to rational people. You have to have your darned head read if you come here between 1 November and 1 April.

I certainly hope that late Spring, Summer and Fall will make up for this utterly pathetic Season from Hell. If not, I'm going to consider retiring early just to get the hell out of here. I have never seen, read or heard of anything like this anywhere on Earth in my entire life. It would be better to be poorer elsewhere than richer in this freakin' sunforsaken sodden mudpuddle. I've had enough!..Kaapse Bakoond reën, aanmekaar vir vyf maande....dêmmit!! Die blêrrie barbers jaag die voëls in die seders rond!

Laat net nog een dom donder met my neuk oor Global Warming. Dis Global Wetting!...en hierrie plek het 'n nappy nodig.

THERE! That's my rant for today.

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Cathy
Kaapse Bakoond reën, aanmekaar vir vyf maande..

I'm far from Vancouver but I can also rant about the rain in BC. My container has been sitting on the banks of the Fraser River for a week waiting to be put on a train. There are rail delays because the rain has created mudslides leaving railway lines suspended in the air and so trains have to travel an alternate route.

The good news is that it was finally loaded on a train today so hopefully sometime next week I won't have to sleep on the floor any more.

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Moonstones

For Harry:

A newcomer to Seattle (Or vancouver :cry: ) arrives on a rainy day.

She gets up the next day and it's raining.

It also rains the day after that, and the day after that.

She goes out to lunch and sees a young kid and, out of despair asks, "Hey,

kid, does it ever stop raining around here?"

The boy says, "How should I know? I'm only 6!"

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Hendie
This Sunday we woke up and switched on the TV. What appeared on the screen was the movie Fly Away with (then) little Anne Paquin, who was flying her Canadian geese to North Carolina by escorting them with a microlight aircraft.
Toevallig dat ek net so 'n paar dae terug oor dieselfde fliek gepraat het né. :cry:

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Cathy K

Harry, daar is só n mooi Ingelse spreekwoord vir jou frustrasie met die weer, en nou kan ons dit nie eers hier gebruik nie. Hoe sê hulle? You're p----d off!" :cry: Ons ook!

Ons het gedog ons het 'n grasperk, nou't ons 'n mosperk. Die plaveisel is 'n sieklike groen en alles lyk vaal. As dit nie vir buurman se mooi kersieboom was nie, was ons moedeloos verby.

Cathy K.

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Ann
Dis Global Wetting!...en hierrie plek het 'n nappy nodig.

Just in case anyone thought that we haven't got enough rain already, this is the rainfall warning for the next couple of days: :ilikeit:

A STRONG FRONT WILL REMAIN STATIONARY OVER SOUTHERN BRITISH COLUMBIA ON FRIDAY. THE FRONT IS EXPECTED TO DEPOSIT 50 TO 80 MM OF RAIN OVER GREATER VANCOUVER AND HOWE SOUND AND 100 MM OVER WEST VANCOUVER ISLAND. THE RAIN SHOULD EASE BY SATURDAY MORNING AS THE FRONT MOVES INTO WASHINGTON STATE.

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Harry

Even the most dyed in the wool Vancouverites are now at the end of their tether.

When the BCTV crew tried to do the weather forecost this morning....the sound engineer kept playing Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Who'll stop the Rain?" over the voice of the announcer.

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Marli

Sun goes missing in rainy Vancouver

Vancouver has lost nearly three months of sunshine because of all the rain this winter, says a meteorologist at Environment Canada, who warns there could be more gloomy weather ahead.

David Jones said Vancouver has had 130 fewer hours of sunny weather since November than normal.

Click the link above for the rest of the article..

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robert
Sun goes missing in rainy Vancouver

Vancouver has lost nearly three months of sunshine because of all the rain this winter, says a meteorologist at Environment Canada, who warns there could be more gloomy weather ahead.

David Jones said Vancouver has had 130 fewer hours of sunny weather since November than normal.

Click the link above for the rest of the article..

We will bring raincoats :unsure::D:D

Harry: we will bring you some sun and a sunbed :D

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Harry

I hear you , Robert.

This soil is utterly saturated. Where the rain falls, the lawn just shimmers! My cement tile area next to the house has started sagging from having the sand literally washed away systematically underneath. The water coming down the hill has now formed permanent streams over the lawn on the way down to the road.

The barbels are now fighting the birds for seats at the top of the trees. :D

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Harry

A river runs through it....err...TWO actually !

So I went off to see our friends Shilowa, who live about 80 yards from the Seymour River here on the North Shore of Vancouver. The River had been higher the previous weekend when we also had tremendous rain, which, on top of it, had melted the heavy snow-pack on the mountain. So here is the river in a form that is still a relative piekanien compared with last week.

The view from the road bridge looking towards the mountains. Our friends live on the same level as that house on the left, but across the road from that house:

7-03-25river1.jpg

A view from the street infront of their house, looking right through the backyard of the neighbours. See the river jumping in the background?

7-03-25river2.jpg

The area is still landed with the damage from the December windstorm...the worst in recorded history. This shot was taken on the bank of the river.

7-03-25river3.jpg

Folks in SA would probably find this hard to believe, but this is ANOTHER RIVER, the Lynn Creek, which is only about two kilometers (likely less) west of the Seymour River. It drains another valley between the mountains, but the two rivers mouth out into the sea close to each other. As is clearly obvious, it is badly swollen.

7-03-25river4.jpg

Finally, as Vancouver is wont to do, the sky started clearing at the end of Saturday and the first little bit of sun appeared. This morning started with thin cloud, but the sun has appeared as I am typing

7-03-25river5.jpg

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boeg

And here in Joburg, the dearth of moisture has got the hands, knees, feet and elbows cracking. Three months sans rain and it is the end of the 'rainy season'.

Every morning blood in the nose and in the throat. It will take a while for this dessicated body to get sick of rain.

But I did go a bit green at the sight of that water hurtling past that living room window. Ulp!

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Harry

Boeg,

that water level was higher last weekend when another downpour melted the snowpack!

Part of yesterday, and most of today so far, have been pretty OK. Some high level could about, but I even got a slight pink colour in the face from going walking yetsreday. The entire BC was outside, when the sun came out!! It certainly looks as though Spring is indeed here....weatherwise...alsojudging by the birdsong and so on. However, we did wake to lots of frost, which melted VERY quickly.

After the incredible rain and humidity of the past 14 days, however, my deck surface has expanded YET AGAIN, and pushed the deck railing! SO I had to saw like crazy again yesterday. If you look back a year in the diaries, you'll see I suffered with this a year ago.

Yesterday the deck furniture was uncovered...probably the best sign that Spring is weatherwise upon us.

7-03-26deck1.jpg

The evidence that folks probably actually want is this...in front of the house:

7-03-26deck2.jpg

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Harry

Sun! Sun! Sun! Here it comes!.....the late George Harrison

SO, we had our first total sunshine day in what feels like many months. This is how it ended.

7-03-27blue.jpg

However, another weather system is on the way over the North Pacific :)

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Harry

Canyon Creek Park in the Sunshine...sort of!

We've now had our third sunshine day in a row, and the temperature hit 14.5C. We had coffee on the deck this afternoon with friends. I think that really means Spring is here. On the other hand, I spoke to a local friend today, who has lived here for nearly 30 years. He commented that this last winter has been the worst of his entire life here, and that the lack of sun finally depressed even him...and he knows miserable London weather intimately...he's a Brit.

On to better things:

On Sunday, when the sun showed for a while, we decided to go walkabout. The plan was to drive to all the little green parks that dot North Vancouver east of the Seymour River and to walk through them. Most are really just play parks for kids with a walkway to the nearby houses and streets.

However, at Hyannis Point, at the northern end of Berkley Avenue, one can actually access the formal Seymour River conservation area via the Canyon Creek Park...the "Canadian Wilds", so to speak. The Baden-Powell Trail from Deep Cove also goes through that point. So we set off there after munching a chocolate to restore my sugar level.

The following pictures capture the feel of the place. It was well worth the walk:

Picture 1: Dead Cedar stump near the start at Hyannis point

7-03-27forest0.jpg

Picture 2: The forest really takes over....totally

7-03-27forest1.jpg

Picture 3: It was cascade after stream after brook after cascade...so I did a time exposure.

7-03-27forest2.jpg

Picture 4: The water was dripping off the cliff face in the gorge of the Seymour River. The River itself was quite scary, but difficult to see.

7-03-27forest5.jpg

Picture5: In some places the waterfalls fell out of the top past us into the river bed. One could see neither the top, nor the bottom.

7-03-27forest4.jpg

Picture 6: To get out of the gorge, we took the Baden Powell Trail. This is what it looked like after the rain!!

7-03-27forest3.jpg

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Moonstones

Love your picture 1 and 3 ;)

Thanks for sharing!

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Minette

Harry, these are beautiful!

I love hiking in the mountains, and can't wait to experience the scenery in Canada :)

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Harry

IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR!

7-04-03cherry.jpg

Taken at work yesterday!

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Harry

"As the Stomach Turns" returns

Allright! Our deck is now ready for Spring and summer! It has been chlorinated to kill the mold. Then it was pressure washed. Then the stains were treated with rhubarb acid (oxalic acid) and pressure washed after an hour or so. It was quite a job this time, because we've had 5 months of almost permanent murky weather in which green mold settled on everything.

7-04-08deck.jpg

Close up and personal, the mold looks like this, with an area where I treated it with chlorine to remove it

7-03-29deckmold.jpg

Meanwhile the maples in the forest are budding furiously. This shot was taken on 29 March:

7-03-29maple.jpg

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Harry

I'll be gone for a week, sampling the pleasures of the Fairmont Hot Springs area. Finally, after a struggle of almost seven years, our old South African time share has been extracted from the terrible scheme we had injected it into in the early 1990's, our RCI membership transferred to North America, and we now get to use it for the very firsttime ever over here.

I'll come back with photos, as usual.

I just hope Hendie keeps the white stuff on his side of the mountain! :D Just two days ago, we still got 6 inches of snow on the mountian behind the house.....and it is almost May!! So much for Global Warming over here.

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Harry

Hmmm...that was the last time that I take a week's holiday to go anywhere in Canada in April!

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Cathy K

I was wondering about that. :holy: South of the border s the place to be at this time of the year. Maybe Hawaii next time?

Cathy K.

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Harry

Cathy,

Let's put it this way....we had our SA Timeshare transferred to North America and we finally got a chance to use it ( or we'd lose it!). The wife tried repeatedly to select a spot, but it was always "taken". She finally asked them where they had a spot, and they came up with Panorama resort near Radium Hot Springs. At the last moment, she landed a decent contract and had to pull out...so I went with my son and my mother!! We should have pulled out altogether.

Here's how it panned out:

1. Everything except the condos at the place was shut down, with only a coffee shop, a general dealer (double prices) and the one grill being open ( never tried it...het gly gekry). We could not even rent a tennis racket! All the winter facilities were shut...they would not even run the ski-lift to take us to the upper viewing spot. SO we had CNN for entertainment. It was 18km to the nearest town, Invermere. :D

2. Our first day there was the only day with actual sunshine on the entire trip, but we were tired of two days of driving. So we wasted that day finding out the place was largely shut down.

3. We drove to Fairmont Hot Springs, only to find it 100% shut

4. We drove to Radium Hot Springs, to find the hot pool shut and the cold one open with tepid water.

5. We drove the 130km to Bannf to find the main street dug up and the place a huge great traffic jam. It rained AGAIN...IT ALWAYS RAINS WHEN I"M THERE... :holy::angry:

6. I could not even find my family a toilet between Golden and Revelstoke, because the Parks Board had locked them all the way through Glacier Park!!

7. Arriving in Revelstoke, we found that even the Information Centre was closed!! SO we drove for Sicamous!

8. At Sicamous the restaurant had a sign that said..."Shut after Lunch". By that time we were so utterly "freaked out" that I insisted on hearing the manager say that they were open and were willing to feed us.

9 . So we drove for Kelowna and Penticton, in the hope of finding an end to the rain...no such luck.

10. We finally slept in disgust at Peachland and were home two days early having stayed at Panorama only four of our paid seven nights. It took two to get there and two back.

11. On the way there we hit snow just outside Manning Park through the Cascades and again, heavier near Castlegar and worst on the Kootenay Pass. On the way to Bannf we had it on the Rockies. On the way home we hit it again through Rogers Pass outside Revelstoke and we got utterly rained off the road through the Coquihalla.

12. We thought we'd stop by Harrisson Hot Springs, but even my son was fedup when we got there and did not want to get into the darn thing. SO we thought we'd at least walk to the eye of the spring and take a look. Only to find that it is a 10minute walk in the torrential rain. So we kissed the last useful idea of the trip goodbye and drove for Deep Cove, realising that every single thing we had tried had failed miserably.

I think this is pretty much the anatomy of a disaster holiday. I'll NEVER EVER EVER DO IT AGAIN. I'm not going anywhere in Canada again in April...to hell with that! They don't deserve my money. I never wore anything thicker than a simple track suit top...so temperatures were OK...it is not Canada that is shut down...IT IS THE DARNED CANADIANS! I'm unimpressed!

No single decision we made on the trip ever worked out. About the the best I can claim, is that I made the right decisions on timings through the passes to avoid the coldest parts of the day each time so that the cloud base was higher and the freezing level with it....I did the whole trip with regular all-season tyres. Oh yes, I was also right to go fill up with gas on the reserve east of Mission....$1.07 instead of $1.25/gal.

As for photos; this remains a beautiful country; I'll be posting the pictures later.

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Cathy K

Harry, it reminds me of our trip to Skagit Valley last Easter. We were going to see this fields and fields of beautifully blooming tulips, only to dodge downpour after downpour. And when we returned to Canada in disgust, the border guys at the Peace Arch confiscated our measly "bokswyn" and bottle whiskey. :D (We didn't stay in the USA long enough to bring it back and were unwilling to pay treble the original price in duties).

You have our deepest sympathy. We've also noticed this notion of Canadian resorts to shut everything down after September. They rarely open up before the middle of May.

Cathy K.

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