Sunday, March 16, 2008

Snow on Mt Benson

On the western side of Nanaimo there is a large tree covered mountain, Mount Benson. At about a thousand metres tall, or just over three thousand feet, it's a relatively small mountain. Having talked about it with friends and workmates, the anecdotal evidence keeps coming back that this is the longest Mt Benson has held it's snow cover for over ten years. The first two or three snows covered it down to around the two hundred metre mark in late November 2007. The snow is clearly still there in mid March.

Down here at more or less sea level, the buds are just beginning to break on Birch and most of the other deciduous trees, the Daffodils are out, as are Crocus, Snowdrop, and assorted other flowers. Various Birds have returned and are busily nesting, I've heard at least two species of woodpecker in the woods today. New life is burgeoning. Spring is definitely on it's way.

However, head another hundred or so vertical metres higher and it's still fairly wet and wintry. Another hundred vertical metres after that and you're more or less at the snowline. This is good, because these conditions will stop the Pine Beetle and similar infestations in their tracks.

Amazing what a sunspot minimum and La Nina event will do to the global climate. Makes you feel rather humble don't it?