The unrelieved heat and dryness of the summer has led to the outcome predicted by those of us who have lived in this valley for a couple generations of memory, or more. Here is my filbert, ten years old, learning it.
A hot dry summer is not about heat, but about timing. When spring is 3 weeks early and the land goes through Autumn in mid-July, 3 weeks early as well, then winter will come hard and fast, bringing the missing water, and also 3 weeks early. It can bring prolonged drought as well, but usually when the cycle is shifted the other way: late frost in the spring, monsoons in July instead of June, and then the summer’s drought through the winter. Right now, though, catkins in the ice.
I was in the south of the valley yesterday, and looked north. The wind was eating off the tops of snow clouds, and rolling them over themselves. That’s not weather that is passing by but weather that is opening out of the pressure of the air. “Weather’s coming,” I said. “CBC reported flurries,” I was told. But I already knew. Am I predicting the arrival of spring? No way. It’s too early for that, but the day will come that I will know what I have already known because I have already experienced it, and it will find voice. This is what it’s like to be home.
Look at Okanagan Lake project itself into the sky, as a cloudless space. Storm is trying to move in from the west (and from the northeast), with no luck. Terrace Mountain, in the distance, is pushing the energy of the incoming front into a projection of its own shape in the centre of the image, projecting the storm within the cloudless space as a mountain-sized fall of rain.
The pressure driving at the mountain from the west, causes smaller projections to form in the projected lake space between the mountain and the mountain of rain in the sky. One forms every five minutes, and then drifts into the negative space of the lake.In this climate, in the negative space of the Coast Mountains to the west, negative space makes our weather. Notice as well how as a result of the projections of the earth into the sky when the rain falls it doesn’t fall on Terrace Mountain but at the head of the watershed in the centre of the image below, which then carries it down to the lake.
The forces that made this deep inland fjord through such underground water pressure systems are still at work. This scene is their projection on the sky.
For a week now, a hole of air, either empty of cloud or filled with it distinctly from surrounding cloud, has formed over the city of Coldstream, close to the eastern end of Kalamalka Lake. It’s faint, but unmistakeable. The images below were taken over the previous three days, at different times of day. The area in question is in the middle of each image.
The changes happen rapidly. What is empty can fill in a few minutes, and empty again in one, or the space can remain stable for hours. Is this the city projecting heat? If so, why just there? Is it a confluence of air patterns, meeting over the mouth of the lake? Is it a reflection of energies deep under the earth? How long has this been going on? Is it new? Is it old? Does it matter that the area beneath this hole in the sky was an ancient syilx village? Am I seeing a language that others can read easily? I don’t know. As I was wondering, this faint sun dog appeared, to the north…
Look at the cloud around it. It’s like the Aurora, made of ice. It lasted for two minutes, then was gone. It did not have a twin. Pretty amazing cloud we’ve been having! Don’t you love the sky?
Canada geese always push their ability to withstand weather by coming back from migration wayyy too early in the spring and then toughing it out. That come-too-early thing is what Canada geese are all about. For the past twenty years or so, a goodly flock of them just haven’t bothered to leave. Local governments pay people to go around and shake their eggs in their nests, so their numbers don’t increase — this is considered a humane way of keeping beaches, so important for tourist dollars, free of goose poop. Here they are, childless, on the ice at Minus 20.
The sun is going down. Night is coming on. But don’t you worry about them. Other humans come by in their cars, dozens every day, and feed them, which is all strictly forbidden. These humans consider this feeding of hungry animals to be humane. Pushing the weather, or humans, that’s who geese are. I love the way they encourage people to come outside for even five minutes in the cold and be the weather. Honk.
The reading apparatus is less the eye than the skin, and the body that receives the skin’s reading, but the eye locates the reading and gives it expanse. It follows that if you want to read the water, look up:
That lakes and sky appear profoundly separate is a ghost of mammalian consciousness. If you want to see the weather, look away from yourself. You will find yourself there with a non-mammalian consciousness. Or here.
The Sinlahekins used to cross over to this valley from the Colville Indian Reservation to read the coming weather, here in Conconully, the land where one hears into the thunder’s country. Then they rode back. They knew what to do with the information they had gathered.