We are currently experiencing a historically unprecedented heatwave here in BC. Records are being set daily, including Lytton giving Canada a new all-time high of 49.5C/121F. Here at the cabin we’ve hit 41, which is the hottest it’s ever been here. The heat is supposed to break tomorrow, with thunderstorms. This brings up another problem: lightning. We already have two large, out-of-control wildfires burning not too far away. The smoke cast a haze in the air here this morning. Welcome to Hell.
In fact I’ve only been able to work a couple of hours in the morning before it gets too hot to do anything. I’ve not been going out unless absolutely necessary, and we don’t even let the dogs stay out for long. It’s a case of “just get through this”.
Some bad news: two of our cats have gone missing and the outlook for them is not good. There is water and prey out there if they can find it, but …
Few photos being taken, due to the heat. But here are a few.
Beyond the immediate area many things are happening. BC’s state of emergency will finally be lifted July 1, and many rules relaxed including mandatory mask requirements. I will wait until my 2nd shot (on Friday) has had time to take effect before I doff the N95. Unless I have to keep wearing it against wildfire smoke. *sigh* I’m used to that.
We are finally at the cabin together. It wasn’t easy. Along the way the road bumps took a few casualties among the packed goods, such as reducing a dozen eggs to half a dozen. The jostling alone did the damage, and it took me a couple of hours to clean up the mess once we got here.
The place is far from done. It’s just usable. But my poor wife hasn’t been able to stay out here since 2018 due to one thing or another or even more. The cats are very unhappy about being here, growling and hissing at each other and the world in general. Two of them have “left home”. They should return once they’re hungry. The dogs are fine. They love adventure. I’m not so keen on it myself.
This was the big ‘sticking point’ for being able to fully occupy the place. Fortunately a couple of friends dropped by and help me lift the top piece on to the base. Three old guys that took. Many thanks to Wally and Danny ’cause otherwise I’d have had to build a crane or something. I swear the top alone is 200 lbs.
Of course with the dogs around the wildlife has taken off so no more deer. Probably no more bear or woodchuck or other sizable beasts. Fortunately they are smarter than the dogs, who’d try to play with a wolverine if they found one.
The mosquitoes are still here. They seemed to disappear Saturday when the temperature got up to 97 (sorry Celisus; you’re no good for daily living). It’s expected to be 108 tomorrow and Tuesday. This is highly unusual for the area. Inside the cabin it was only 75. Now this morning it’s 60 outside so the windows are open to let the temperature drop. Once it starts climbing again I’ll close up and keep the heat out. It works and it’s cheaper than air conditioning.
We’ll be out here now while I continue working. Not sure what I’ll get done, but there sure is a lot left to do. Going to go slow during this heat wave of course, and not planning on going back to town for anything until next Friday.
Note the lack of “photographs, photographs, photographs”. It hasn’t been suitable in any way for that.
I am making progress on the cabin, but every step just reveals more that needs doing. It’s like painting a huge bridge – that just keeps getting longer the further you go. A Mobius project?
Once again there is further evidence I’m too old to be doing this, as I seem to be breaking out in spontaneous bruising. Unexplained subdermal haemotomas. It seems effort alone is enough to burst the blood vessels. That’s not good. Especially not when moving large amounts of heavy furniture around.
By the way, the last trip out here I managed the road at the breakneck speed of 34 KPH (21.5 MPH). Yeah, it just keeps getting better. Not. The additional rain we’ve had since then probably hasn’t done it any good either.
It seems I have a deadline of this weekend to make the place habitable as the Mrs. wants to come out and stay – for the first time since 2018. I can’t say I don’t blame her. Unfortunately she’ll bring our zoo with her, and that means certain projects have to be done ahead of then as the animals will get in the way. It also means the wildlife will vanish for the most part.
Unfortunately mosquitoes are not one of the creatures that will leave when the pets arrive. Oh well. Back to work.
I was surprised to find the game camera at the cabin stayed working over the Winter. It took some pictures of interesting visitors. The first one was the very next picture after I had left with my last load of wood (albeit in the next month).
Some of the visitors were more “ordinary”.
Some were totally unwelcome!
Some came by night!
I’ve been trying to get a good moose picture for years! Lots of them about, but they are elusive.
Baby bears aren’t uncommon either. Other shots showed he was traveling with a sibling – and mama!
I’m not exactly certain, but I think this is a wolverine! Never seen one here before. Possibly a fisher.
This morning I was visited by three otters, which also are not usual here.
In fact even the birds have been unusual this year, with first the Barrow’s Goldeneye …
And then a pair of surf scoters:
Meanwhile work progresses. I won’t bother with any of those photos until I get to the point where it looks like something.
It seems everywhere I look on WordPress these days there is a resurgence of complaints about what they are doing. Some people have apparently lost the Classic Editor entirely, while others are struggling with some bastardized version which is nearly as bad as the Blockhead Editor abomination. I guess they really don’t want us around anymore. Someone should mention to them that killing your customers is not a good business plan.
They aren’t alone at this: several places I do business with have been changing their rules in an effort to … what? Cope with easing COVID restrictions? Or just drive people crazy? The recycle center has now twice sent little notes of disapproval for using “the wrong bag” on returnables. The first time it was for the same type of bag I’d been using for nearly a year. The second it was for using exactly the type of bag they said I now have to use. If you want people to recycle, you make it easy for them to do so. Not more difficult than filling out the tax forms (and boy has that been a nightmare this year for everyone).
So while there is still no chance of even getting on the waiting list for the vaccine we don’t have enough of and I’m still waiting on test results that will tell me what direction my health goes in next (odds are it will be ‘downhill’), I present a few images made now that I can get about a bit again. Providing I don’t slip on the ice or WP doesn’t shut down the only usable editor they’ve got on me, I’ll keep snapping away in the hopes it will brighten someone’s day.
Incidentally, I’ve discover the Pentax’s kit lens does not focus properly at distance. It is pretty small change between 7′ (2m) and infinity, and with age it has become too sloppy to be correct. The only way around this shortcoming is to either focus manually (which is difficult for me) or use a small aperture to compensate with depth-of-field (which is less than ideal too).
Anyway, having sorted out that camera as much as possible I have switched back to the Olympus E410 for my walk-a-rounds. It has the longer zoom on it (150mm max – equal to 300mm) in case I spot a bird. I find much of my photography is done telephoto so why fight it? Still wish I could get the longer zoom for this camera, but that is not yet to be.
After replacing the dead batteries and defective SD card in my trail cam here at home I got a few interesting pictures. And of course hundreds of uninteresting ones. Not everything that triggers it is worth looking at. There seem to be a lot of images of cars going by, for example. Also dogs. Lots of pictures of the dogs. Funny, that.
Here we have something more interesting than a dog: a buck mule deer traversing the driveway in the night. The infrared imaging isn’t the best, but it’s good enough to see what’s going on. The exception to this is the traffic it picks up which, owing to the low light conditions, tends to be just blurs of light.
An interesting blur of light is this meteor shower. Okay, it’s actually snowfall and that’s just as well as it’s enough to shovel that – I wouldn’t want to try it with meteorites!
Ah, here’s some old guy clearing the snow. Thank you, old guy!
A truckload of logs zooming past. This happens quite frequently at all times of day, so logging is active at the moment. There have been times this year with absolutely no logging truck traffic due to total shutdown of operations over the pandemic. This is better.
Here’s a machine on its way to somewhere else. Looks like a feller-buncher. The cab is tipped down to ease transport. Or maybe it’s broken and going in for repair.
I said there were lots of dog pictures, didn’t I? This is one of them.
It’s been a week of the weather forecasters being wrong every day. They’re so good at that. It now appears that their guessing “sunny and warm” is finally coming true (at least for a while), but the past week has been wet and cool. It interfered greatly with the work because solar panels don’t produce power without sun and paint doesn’t dry when it’s cool and damp. I managed to do things, but my Wednesday deadline came and went without success. Still, nearly there.
The ol’ infirmity, whatever-the-hell-it-is, returned causing me to lose sleep and be even more tired than usual. I wondered how long I was going to get away with running on adrenaline. I tell you, waking up with your hands clenched so tight the pain goes up to your elbows is not fun. I’ve had to take more muscle relaxant, which leaves me “hung over” the next day.
The other visitors I had been threatened with didn’t come, so that worked out okay. You really can not get things done with people in the way. They aren’t/don’t help. Even if they were/did, some jobs just don’t go faster with more people working on them. Anyway I finished the stove platform:
I went back to town Friday and returned Saturday and have almost got the bedroom completed. That is to say as completed as it needs to be. This is a house: nothing is ever finished with a house. You just keep working on them.
The visitors I did get were welcome:
Today, Sunday, I will tackle many more tasks, with an aim towards getting the Mrs. out here by the end of the week for her first stay since we were stuck here during the wildfires of 2017.
I haven’t been doing much photography lately as it’s been raining and I’m really ramping up the work to try and get the place usable. By Thursday. That’s when the kids are coming for their vacation. I don’t know what “vacation” means but apparently some people enjoy it. The weather is about to go against me in a different way: it’s going to get hot. So I’d better get busy.
I’ve had some visitors. A few of them human but they don’t matter. *LOL*
The upstairs bedrooms are usable but not finished. Nothing is finished. Nothing is ever finished with a house!
From no walls to studs to half-covered with the doors in. Now if I can just get the kitchen floor tiled and the rest of the place tidied up I can go home and mow the lawn.
What can I say? It rains and it rains and it rains. Today, Monday, it is not raining. But it did last night and probably will again tonight. Lots of thunderstorms too. And some sounds of crashing in the woods that probably indicate trees falling due to the saturated soil. Likely they’ll go down across the road.
Oh, that road. They were trying to grade it when I came back out on Thursday. It was raining. All they succeeded in doing was churning up mud. Luckily I have 4WD and managed to slog through the first 12 kms slowly. Then it was back to hard potholes. I hate to think what it’s like now.
I’ve made progress. The entire drainage system is back together and working. I tested it twice before closing up the massive hole in the kitchen floor. Then I started in on the upstairs.
I didn’t panel the walls and ceiling or put the new windows in; the contractor did that in 2018. Now it’s up to me to finish the divider walls and do the floor. This is sort of ‘secondary’ on the importance list. First priority now is to finish the kitchen floor. That needs more material, which I’m hopefully going to get on Wednesday, and a lot more hard work. Oh boy.
Some visitors stopped by today. I don’t know if these are the same deer I took pictures of at the end of June or not. If they are, those little ones sure grow fast.
Nothing much else going on here photography-wise. I had plans, but they all involve sunshine which I don’t seem to be getting much of.
Not the only creature I’ve seen in the past couple of days, but the only one I managed to get pictures of!
Canon T100 struggling with overcast/bright sun in forest area. Rapidly changing light, rapidly moving deer. ISO 400 in program mode with a bit of attention to some shots to bring up the colour and contrast when needed.