Springtime in January

rce_1769The creek bottom. Red willow and mountain tops.

Such a nice day, Willow and I decided to spend the afternoon at the river. The snow is mostly gone from the valley bottom. It hovered around 3°c. I parked myself on a log. Willow carried sticks around. Dropping them near me and then standing in the river wanting me to throw them for her, which I did. She has me trained well.

rce_1772Willow packing her stick over the tracks. She always brings one back with her.

We watched a train go by. In honour of Jim from Iowa I counted the cars, 124 and two engines. Some of the cars had snow on them from coming through the Revelstoke pass. It has been a long time since I counted cars. It was a favourite pass time when I was a kid. Sometimes, I’d lose interest mid-train. Looking back I guess my attention span wasn’t too long. Or perhaps there was just so much to do on those tracks beside the river that I couldn’t wait to get at it.


Plenty of birds. I heard a woodpecker drumming, a Kingfisher rattling, a flock of Waxwings chirping, cleaning up rose hips in the wetlands. I saw none, but a lone Water Ouzel, dipping on the opposite shore, undisturbed by Willow and our juvenile stick antics.

rce_1764My log by the river, cleverly disguised with bad focus and light leaks.

The water was clear. I looked for fish. Perhaps they are still on schedule, considering it’s only January.

rce_1756The old pontoon bridge. A long ago used drunken shortcut from The National in Radium to home in Wilmer.

If this keeps up there will be pussy willows by February. Very fine day/

rce_1760It still looks snowy up Forster.

9 thoughts on “Springtime in January

  1. larrymuffin

    The weather is strange, today in Charlottetown it is the same temperature as Athens Greece 2 C. and Ottawa is 4 c. I don’t mind a mild winter but I wonder about the climate and the effects.


    1. underswansea

      Hi Larry, yes strange weather indeed. I read an article today on CBC.ca that the soot from last years forest fires in BC have darkened the mountain glaciers. Being darker they will now absorb more of the suns heat and melt faster. Strange days indeed.


  2. Jim R

    It was a beautiful day here in Iowa with 51˚F and sun. I still suspect we will have our share of cold and winter. It just might come late and make March seems really long.

    I’m glad you had a nice day. I didn’t get to watch a train go by or count cars. Thanks for the mention. 🚂🚃🚋🚃🚋


  3. mountaincoward

    Very uplifting post – I needed that as I’m still with a horrible winter ‘lurgy’ after 3 weeks now 😦

    Amazed at how long your freight trains are – ours are pretty standard at around 26/27 trucks here and one loco. Ours are generally moving quarry stone, logs or nuclear waste – what are yours mainly shifting?


    1. underswansea

      Hi Carol, the trains that go by here are mostly hauling coal. It gets taken to the coast and then shipped to China. Some of yours are hauling nuclear waste, damn! There is a big debate going on now if trains should haul crude oil to the coast. Pipelines are dead in Canada so the debate is how to move the oil produced in Canada safely.


      1. mountaincoward

        I would have thought pipelines would always make more sense if something needs to be moved all the time. Fascinating that you send coal to China as, since our coal-mining industry was disbanded, we get all our coal from China!


      2. underswansea

        Yes pipelines make more sense, however our government has decided there will be no new pipelines built in Canada. They even bought a proposed pipeline (Trans Mountain Pipeline) from a company (Kinder Morgan) that had approval to build to effectively kill the pipeline before it was started. The cost to Canadian taxpayers for this non-existent pipeline was 5 billion dollars. However, the government allows shipment of as much oil as possible by truck or train, much less environmentally friendly as a pipeline. For our government it is all about optics. Pipelines are deemed as bad. Our government walks a tightrope between environmental consciousness (which is good) and blatant stupidity.


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