A soggy day in Kitimat harbour as the spring migration comes north

On Thursday, April 19, was a soggy, to say the least, with wind-driven, cold, pouring rain when I went down to Kitamaat Village and Kitimat harbour to photograph the spring bird migration.  The highlight were the snow geese I saw both at MK Bay  (above) and at the Kitamaat Village soccer field. (Robin Rowland)

A bald eagle, drenched in the pouring rain, at the mouth of Whatl Creek near MK Bay Marina. (Robin Rowland)

A crow takes off from the sea grass in pouring rain near Kitamaat Village. (Robin Rowland)

Snow geese feed at the Kitamaat Village soccer field (Robin Rowland)

A snow goose at the Kitamaat Village soccer field. (Robin Rowland)

Snow geese fly past MK Bay. (Robin Rowland)

An Oregon junco on the waterfront. (Robin Rowland)

Mallards take to the wing as a bald eagle passes overhead (Robin Rowland)

 

A gull passes two bald eagles in the low tide puddles of Whatl Creek near Kitimat Harbour (Robin Rowland)

Two bald eagles in the low tide puddles of Whatl Creek near Kitimat Harbour (Robin Rowland)


Raindrops fall on the head of an American robin who posed on a log beside my car just as I was getting ready to leave. (Robin Rowland)

 

The calm after the storm: Kitimat River in flood

Tuesday, October 25, 2017 was a beautiful sunny afternoon after four days of storms, snow on Saturday and three days of heavy rain which reached more than 200 millimetres (about eight inches).  The late fall sun was out but the Kitimat River was higher than usual. (Robin Rowland)

Super tide on the Skeena

"Super" low tide on the Skeena River at Telegraph Point, Sept. 28, 2015 (Robin Rowland)

“Super” low tide on the Skeena River at Telegraph Point, Sept. 28, 2015 (Robin Rowland)

I had great plans for shooting the super moon and the eclipse blood moon on Sunday night, September 27. Unfortunately the ideal shot of the moon rising over our iconic Mt. Elizabeth (which I have captured in the past) was impossible, there was a storm blowing in, and the overcast was so heavy that dark moon wasn’t even visible.

But today, I captured the related super tide –at low tide–which is the shot, I am sure, no one was looking for. To be honest, I was trying to shoot fall colours on a gloomy day where the Skeena lives up its original in name in the language of the Tsimshian First Nation, K-shian, “water that falls from the clouds,” also translated as “river of mists” and now is colloquially called “the Misty River.”

I was amazed at the Skeena was so flat, and so low at a time when it had been raining for the past couple of days and should have been much higher.

A few hours later when I was driving  back from Prince Rupert, in a pounding rain and wind storm, the river was actually higher than I had ever seen it before.

I didn’t realize what I had until I was watching  the weather segment on the CBC National, and the Weather Network presenter mentioned there was a super tide.  Google checks confirmed that a super tide accompanies a super moon.

supertidetelegraphpoint1

 

Telegraph Point, on the Skeena, taken at 1135 hrs on September 28.

Telegraph Point is about 44 kilometres (27 miles) inland from where the Skeena reaches the Pacific Ocean, and the tides do reach even further inland than that.   Low tide at Prince Rupert  was at 0811 on Monday. There aren’t tide tables this far inland (not needed for sailors)
supertidetelegraphpointhi1

As I arrived for an  appointment in Prince Rupert, it started to rain. By the time I had completed my appointment and had had lunch, I drove back in a wind driver rain storm. I stopped briefly at Telegraph Point and grabbed some quick shots.

This shot, roughly the same angle as the first low tide shot,  was taken at 1457, just after high tide at Prince Rupert at 1426.  You can’t see it in a still image, but  in the river the water was moving rapidly upstream.

supertidetelegraphpointhi2

This was taken at 1512 from the same spot as the first low tide shot.

supertidetelegraphpointhi3

Another angle from Telegraph Point taken during the storm at 1512.

(All images above taken with Sony Alpha 55)

memorialsitelo1

This was one of my first shots of the day, taken about 25 kilometres further upstream at 1101. (taken with Sony Alpha 6000)

Related

Shots of fall colors along the Skeena, October 16, 2014.

Sources

DFO tide table for Prince Rupert, Sept. 28

Supermoon means supertides

Supermoon 2015 to cause highest ‘super tides’ for 19 years (Independent UK)

 

Kitimat blizzard and blackout February 5 to 9, 2015

Digging out in Kitimat

Attempting to dig out in Kitimat, as the blzzard continues, Saturday morning, Feb. 7, 2015. (Robin Rowland)

A “Pineapple Express” brought a major blizzard to the Kitimat region last week, dropping approximately 180 centimetres of snow from the morning of Thursday, February 5, 2015 until the skies cleared late on the afternoon of Saturday, February 7. In my neighborhood, the power first went out at about 3 pm on Thursday, came back at 11 pm. It went out about 11 am on Friday and didn’t come back until about 2:30 pm on Saturday.

Power was also out at Kitamaat Village from Thursday until late Sunday.  Early Sunday morning, the Haisla Nation Council ordered a voluntary evacuation, with two convoys of vehicles heading to Kitimat. While many people stayed with friends and families, about 20 people took refuge at the Riverlodge Leisure Centre. Other members of the Haisla Nation stayed in the village, gathering at the Haisla Recreation Centre.

The clean up continues in Kitimat.

Images from Thursday night until Wednesday afternoon. A mixture of photos and frame grabs from video.

This gallery does not include the images I fed to The Canadian Press.

Here is a link to the CBC News photo gallery of my CP images.

CBCgalery

Thursday, February 5, 2015,  approximately 6:15 pm

 

feb5treesinblackout2

At this point, early into the storm, all the power was out in Kitimat, with the exception of the street lights on Haisla Boulevard, which illuminated a few trees as I shot this on Albatross Avenue. Sony Alpha 6000, ISO 3200, 1/30, F3.5 from my window. (Robin Rowland)  (Higher ISO images were too noisy)

Friday February 6

Trees in park

The same view, from ground level, the next morning. Framegrab (Robin Rowland)

branchessnow6

Heavy snow on branches (Robin Rowland)

Heavy snow fal;s

As the power goes out again on Friday, heavy snow continues to fall. (Robin Rowland)

Trying to dig out

Trying to dig out in the early afternoon. Framegrab. (Robin Rowland)

trucksnow

A pick up tries to make it through the heavy snow. Framegrab (Robin Rowland)

Dokdigout1

A District of Kitimat crew digs out the fire hydrant in front of my house, Friday afternoon. (Robin Rowland)

 

womaninwhite1
A woman in white makes her way through the blizzard, Friday afternoon. (Robin Rowland)

snowclearing6_1

The snow was really heavy near sundown on Friday. (Robin Rowland)

pedestriancrossing

Trying to dig out as night falls. Note that is supposed to be a pedestrian crossing. (Robin Rowland)

 

Front end loader

Friday night

This front end loader was called in late Friday evening. Framegrab (Robin Rowland)…….

Fire truck

….so a Kitimat Fire and Rescue pumper could get back to the fire hall. Framegrab (Robin Rowland)

Saturday morning

Lights come on

About 3 am Saturday, some lights came on in the Kildala neighborhood, while much of the rest of Kitimat was still in the dark. (Robin Rowland)

Buried Kitimat

On Saturday morning, much of Kitimat was buried under about 170 centimetres and the snow was still falling. (Robin Rowland)

digouttrees

Digging out begins again as the blizzard tapers off. (Robin Rowland)

 

Raven

A raven flies overhead as the snow stops falling. (Robin Rowland)

walking isn snow

As the storm ends, two people walk on the heavy snow on Albatross Avenue. (Robin Rowland)

 

Snow scene

With the storm ending, the beauty of the trees and snow. (Robin Rowland)

View of the channel

A view of the snow covered Kitimat estuary and Douglas Channel after the storm. (Robin Rowland)

Sunday, February 8

haislacoks3Volunteer chefs hard at work in the Riverlodge Leisure Centre kitchen during the voluntary evacuation of Kitamaat Village. Framegrab. (Robin Rowland)

 

trailerparkdig1

Digging out the trailer park. Framegrab.  (Robin Rowland)

Roadblock on Village Road

BC Hydro contractors at a road block at the entrance to the Kitamaat Village Road. Framegrab. (Robin Rowland)

 

Monday, February 9

 

Clearing a roof

 

Clearing a roof Monday morning. Framegrab.  (Robin Rowland)

Heavy snow on roofs
The snow was clearly a heavy load on one roof. Framegrab. (Robin Rowland)

 

snowystreet

On Monday morning, side streets were still clogged with snow. Framegrab. (Robin Rowland)

 

servicecenterdig

And the Service Centre was still digging out. Framegrab  (Robin Rowland)

District Snowblower
While the District of Kitimat snowblower was still working on main roads, like Nalibila. Framegrab (Robin Rowland)

Tuesday

 

Snowblower

A snowblower clears the sidewalk behind my house. For those not familiar with Kitimat, as part of the original Garden City plan, sidewalks are generally behind houses. (Robin Rowland)

Wednesday

hydrantdig

Heavy equipment digs out the fire hydrant in front of my house. As seen above it’s usually two guys with shovels. I estimated there was at least three metres, perhaps four metres, of snow on top of the hydrant, put there earlier by the snow blower clearing the street. (Robin Rowland)

Harvard Yard in the Boston blizzard of 2003

Old Burial Ground Cambridge

Headstones on The Old Burial Ground, Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts during the blizzard on Dec.6, 2003 (Robin Rowland)

Boston, like Kitimat, is buried in snow.  I was in Boston, staying in Cambridge for a conference, when the region was hit by a blizzard in December, 2003.

According to the Boston Globe, the area has received 196 centimetres of snow so far this winter (77.3 inches).  Kitimat got about 180 centimetres  (70.80) inches during the storm between Thursday morning February 5 until the afternoon of Saturday February 7.

So here, from archives, are the images I took while stuck in that blizzard of 2003.  (Note: I am still working on the Kitimat blizzard photo gallery)

 

Old Burial Ground, Cambridge, in blizzard

The Old Burial Ground, Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts during the blizzard on Dece.6, 2003 (Robin Rowland)

John Harvard in blizzard

The statue of John Harvard in Cambridge, during the blizzard of Dec. 6, 2003. (Robin Rowland)

Old Burial Ground, Cambridge

The US flag at a headstone on The Old Burial Ground, Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts during the blizzard on Dec.6, 2003 (Robin Rowland)

Storm warning on the Skeena

Storm over the Skeena River

Menacing clouds over the Skeena River, looking west from near the Khyex River (Robin Rowland)

On Thursday, October 3, I drove to Prince Rupert for an appointment. With heavy cloud cover on the way into to Rupert I didn’t get much of a chance to shoot the fall colours which are just beginning to peak on some parts of the Skeena (but not everywhere, due to micro-climates you can drive through bright yellows and then a few kilometres further on it’s all still green).

Appointment over and after a hearty seafood lunch at Cow Bay, I headed back to Kitimat, listening on the car radio to the storm warnings and wind warnings from Environment Canada for yet another major early fall storm approaching the BC coast. It was soon apparent from the darkening skies that you didn’t need an Environment Canada weather warning that a storm system was moving in.

 

Storm over Kaien Island

Stormy weather at the Port Edward turnoff on the east side of Kaien Island, looking west. (Robin Rowland)

Prince Rupert is on the northwest corner of Kaien Island. Highway 16 skirts the the west end of the island until you come to the bridge to the mainland where the highway will either go east to Terrace or south to Port Edward. At the viewpoint just before the bridge, you could see the gathering storm. (By the way there was no rain at all during the time I was driving back and stopping at various points to shoot).

 

Storm over the Skeena

Storm over the Skeena, looking east at Basalt Creek. (Robin Rowland)

Stormy weather on the Skeena

Stormy weather on the Skeena, at Basalt Creek, looking south across the river. (Robin Rowland)

Just a few kilometres further on, despite the dark skies, the Skeena was flat calm. Those pictures in the next blog.