Tuesday, January 12, 2010

British Columbia, Canada

Where Winter is the Real Thing

A good friend who lives in Prince George, British Columbia - way out on the west coast of Canada - sent me some breath-taking photographs taken by Jim Callanan. Jim lives way north of Prince George which is itself 400 miles north of Vancouver. When I asked about putting his photos on the blog he kindly sent more. 

I visited this area two years ago in the middle of the summer. Prince George had the feel of a western pioneer town and that is exactly what it had been until about 25-30 years ago when wanderlust hit and people from all over the world began to trickle in drawn by the promise of work in the lumber industry and the paper mills. Now, all that has been developed is quickly disappearing due to the destructive work of the pine beetle. Normal winter temperatures that go to 30-40 degrees below zero F have kept this pest at bay for centuries. But now global warming has made those low temperature too rare to kill the beetles year after year. In some of these photos the mountians will look a strange color under their coating of snow. Usually the dark green of the pines would underlay the pure white snow. Today that snow sits on trees bereft of all green. First the needles turn brown. Then they drop and there is nothing left. Whole forests have been completely cleared in an effort to stop the spread of the pine beetle. All efforts have proved useless.

But the mountains are still there and the cold too. This is what Jim caught with his camera and what he agreed to share with you.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

They don't call it Beautiful British Columbia for nothing. I have visited B.C. a number of times and find it so scenic, but have never been as far north as Prince George. Thanks for sharing these pictures.

The area around Whistler (where much of the Winter Olympics will play out) is gorgeous as well.