Unnatural Nature

So, tell me again how “It never snows on Vancouver Island”

Just to punish me for my smugness in telling my prairie friends that my spring bulbs were already up, it snowed again last weekend.  About eight inches.  It wasn’t quite what I’d been imagining when I’d heard other women brag, “I got eight inches last night.”

But I’m not going to complain too much about the unnatural weather.  It really is almost spring here – I saw some varied thrushes poking around in the yard last week and I’m hoping they have the inside scoop. I keep telling myself the snow probably won’t stay long; and it’s actually very pretty.

Not only that but it’s warm(ish) outside, so walking through the winter wonderland is a joy.  I snapped some photos that couldn’t capture all the beautiful sparkles, but I tried:

Hoarfrost on top of snow: It looks like sparkly polar bear fur.

 

More hoarfrost

 

Snow hanging off our pagewire fence in delicate scallops

 

Snow-laden cedar

I also enjoy the snow because it reveals the tracks of all the little critters that we don’t get to see very often during daylight hours.  I’ve only seen a rabbit once, but the snow reveals that there are several around… or else one very active one.  There’s also a rat or a very large mouse; or possibly an extremely well-hung squirrel:

I’m guessing “rat”.

But as I was strolling through the woods reading the tales of the footprints, I came upon a trail where a rabbit had crossed the road… and was apparently surprised by the ditch embankment:

Watch that last step – it’s a doozy.

Standing there looking at the skidmark, I started to laugh as this popped into my mind:

Rare And Majestic Nature Scenes

Happy winter!

36 Comments

Filed under Cartoons, Humour, Life

36 responses to “Unnatural Nature

  1. Funny I just read this today…we were just talking to one of our daughters in Seattle the other day and she was saying they had more snow (and they “in theory” don’t hardly ever get snow)…thought of you and the fact you never get snow on Vancouver Island…well there you go!! Love the pics…have to admit it is pretty! Our oldest and her husband are spending their 7th wedding anniversary on Vancouver Island…albeit southern tip…Victoria this weekend and early part of next week….snow aside…you do live in a beautiful part of the world!!

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    • We really do! Even when the weather isn’t exactly as advertised, it’s still beautiful. Victoria should be lovely this weekend – it’s been sunny; and I bet they have lots of flowers blooming. My first crocus bloomed yesterday! No; I’m not complaining about the climate at all… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. And, yes! I definitely want to be first on that list of Chow’s!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The image of Scotty holding an Apple mouse like a microphone and saying, “Hello, computer,” will live forever. Perfect.

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  4. Okay, last thing. Honest. Awhile back, Diane, you posted a link to an article on a technology similar to Star Trek’s transporter. The ‘digital conveyor’ in Galaxy Quest was mentioned as well.

    Well, surprise. If y’all haven’t heard about it, transparent aluminum actually exists now. It’s called ALON, for aluminum, oxygen, and nitrogen. And yes, it’s just as tough and bulletproof as you’d expect the material from Star Trek IV to be. Search YouTube for more info. The line between fiction and reality appears to be shifting, no? I wonder if Chow’s hiring for the weapons lab…

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    • Funny, Hubby and I were just discussing that discovery last night. We were wondering where the Enterprise might be sitting around cloaked. I still giggle at the memory of Scotty’s, “A keyboard. How quaint.” 😀

      I’ll let you know if I find Chow’s job posting!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay, one more thing. I noticed an earlier post was highlighted above, The Happy Hoer. I glanced back at it and laughed all over again. After the guffaws ceased, I realized I can offer enlightenment…of sorts.

    The protrusions on that type of fence post are there to offer a place where insulators for electric fences (and other fence-type accessories) can be attached so that they’ll stay put without sliding out of place or falling off completely. I’ve used that kind (they’re actually called T-posts because of the shape of their cross section), plain round rod (generally 1/2″ or 5/8″ diameter) and even lengths of concrete rebar (usually 1/2″).

    Of the three, plain rod is the easiest to drive into the ground (obviously). Likewise, it’s the easiest for the fence-builder to remove. Also likewise, it’s the easiest for the livestock to remove. The best that can be said of plain round bar is that it is the ideal fence post for temporary use with livestock who lack the ambition to get out of their own way.

    Rebar takes but little more effort to drive into the ground, surprisingly, Hardly any difference at all in that respect. The up-side is that, after the ground has settled around it for a day or two, it’ll pretty much stay put. (It’s the texture, of course.) On rebar fences that have been in the ground all summer, I’ve had to use a bumper jack to pull them up. They’re no stronger laterally than plain rod, not surprisingly, so rambunctious cattle can bend them over flat, but the good news is that one can bend them back straight without too much trouble, and you’re back in business again.

    T-posts pretty much are in a class by themselves. They’re strong, resist bending very well, and they’re extremely well behaved when used properly as multi-wire or heavy net/mesh fencing supports. When driven deep enough and placed on, say, 8-foot or 10-foot centers, with six strands of tightly-stretched heavy gauge barbed wire (with two of ’em ‘hot’), they’ll hold some impressively bad-tempered critters where you want ’em. The first generation T-posts, the enamel painted ones, lasted for many years. An awful lot of them are still in service, in fact. But the current generation will last for DECADES. The ones I’ve seen of late are powder coated and pretty close to bulletproof.

    The downside with T-posts is, as you discovered, the effort required to drive them. It’s hard to push that much cross-section and surface area into the ground. Every professional installer and most ranchers (and a good many farmers with lots of ground devoted to raising cattle) use tractor PTO-driven post drivers. Folks who drive them by hand use a tool designed specifically for that task. You can buy them at any ag-supply store, but most people make their own. It’s a section of plain ol’ 2″ – Schedule 40 plumbing pipe about 2-1/2 feet long with a thick circle of steel plate welded to cap one end. You can even get by with threaded pipe caps for a while, if necessary. For handles, most use something like two feet of 3/4″ inch pipe bent into a narrow, flat “C” shape with the ends welded to each side of the ‘driver.’ Basically, it’s a heavy slide hammer, and the heavier, the better. Stand the post where you want it, facing the direction you want it (orient the T-shape advantageously, if needed), slide the pipe over the post, and have at it!

    And yes, it’s harder than it looks. But it’s LOTS easier that trying to do it with a hammer. ANY hammer. And with that, you now enjoy the same level of ignorance and confusion on the subject as I do. You’re welcome. 🙂

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    • Funny you should mention all this. We ended up using T-posts for the pagewire deer fence we installed around our property. Since we were enclosing a few acres, we wimped out and hired a fencing company to do it, but after seeing the quality of their work and their bill, we almost wished we hadn’t. (Almost, but not quite. After all, it was 35 degrees (95F) outside, and they were pushing through thick forest.) They used exactly the kind of post pounder you’re describing.

      So far the T-posts have held up well, except when a tree falls on them. Oddly enough, they bend quite readily when that happens. The deer have stayed out, except when the fence is downed… and the story of us chasing the deer out again is another blog post in itself. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow it looks like that snow followed you! Yes that will teach you for all that spring flower bragging. I’m in Saskatchewan this month with my Mom and the record thus far is -43 with windchill. That should make you feel better. 🙂

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  7. I love the way you have fun with sorts of realities. I wonder how you would make light of the attempted house break-in that happened last week while we were on vacation? Including cartoons…

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  8. Good for you for finding the beauty in it. I struggle to do that beyond the first snowfall. Love the comic!

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  9. Poor little bunny. I keep reading about this funny word you people up north use: snow. Seriously, frozen water falling from the sky? Go on, tell me another story.

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  10. jenny_o

    Oh, wow! Those pictures are wonderful, Diane. I actually like the look of snow – I mean, who wouldn’t? it’s bright, dazzling, fluffy – but shovelling it, driving in it, and dressing for it, I could do without.

    Love your cartoon! Judging from the number of “animal fail” videos on the internet, it’s not just people who are graceless 🙂

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    • I’m glad you got a chuckle! I would have loved to have captured our hare on video in mid-slide, but my imagination was probably more amusing than the actual event.

      I feel the same about snow – for the first couple of days I love it, but the love affair fades by the third day. It’s still snowing, and likely to continue off and on until Monday. I’ve had enough now. Spring can come back anytime…

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  11. drae

    Love the pictures and am glad we haven’t gotten a snow like that around here. It looks like it really is a “wet” snow which would have taken down power lines. However, our co-op is very efficient and we are only without power 9 times out of ten for several hours.

    To me a perfectly beautiful snow is one with great big flakes that melt upon landing. I won’t brag about our mid to high 70’s weather this week. The humidity feels like it is mid summer.

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    • Wow, that temperature sounds perfect! *tries not to turn green with envy*

      We fully expected the power to go out as soon as the snow started – I even had a thermos full of hot water so I could make tea without having to turn on the generator. Earlier in the year the slightest flake of snow caused power outages, but I guess by now all the weak trees and/or power lines have already succumbed. Win! 🙂

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  12. Up here I haven’t seen snow in July, but even that happened the summer before I moved here. At least yours will melt quickly. Squirrels aren’t the only ones that have their stunts fail. Bears, chipmunks, woodchucks have failures, too, but I have never seen a hare screw up in front of anyone. When it does it usually ends up as food.

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    • Yes, I suspect s/he was glad that the only loss was dignity (assuming hares are capable of dignity and/or relief). The footprints vanished safely into the woods, so that particular hare got away with its little escapade.

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  13. Snow on Vancouver Island? Yep. Global warming. Clear proof at last. 🙂

    On a similar note, we had a tiny bit of freezing rain last night. One or two of the small towns around here announced late opening for their schools and such for today. That’s about the only winter we’ve had so far. I wore a coat to work once last month. Today? Nope, sweater. That’s plenty.

    Love your photos as always, and the cartoon, too. I totally get that, but I can offer no proof of my reasoning. The bruises have faded. Just sayin’… 🙂

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    • LOL! I’ve left my share of skidmarks in the snow, too, so I shall maintain dignified silence on the subject.

      And yes, I notice they’re calling it “climate change” these days. Warming, it ain’t; at least not around here. But the locals assure us that every eight years or so they get a cold snowy winter, so we’re due. I think they’re cheerfully ignoring the fact that last winter was cold and snowy, too.

      Regarding your coatless condition, I have only one extremely polite and restrained response: “Pbbbfllllttt!” (Can you see my extremely polite tongue sticking out?) 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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