Sunday December 23rd, 2001
The forecast continues to promise nothing but sun. I have been hoping for some good dumps of snow, but the weather continues to be nice.
So far, it has been a wonderful year for wintering bees. We have had very little wind and the weather has been mild. Anything can happen though. Often our coldest weather is in February. I can recall more than one February with at least a week of minus forty weather in years past.
Normals for the period: Low minus
16. High minus 3
I notice the normals have slipped one degree colder on the low end -- even though the shortest day has passed and the sun should be warming us more every day, and climbing back up into the sky. Currently it is only about 16º off the horizon at mid-day. Soon it will giving more warmth and longer days, but the daily heat gain will be less than the heat loss until another month or two pass. The increasing day length will make things more cheerful, though. Currently we have less than 8 hours of daylight.
Saturday December 22nd, 2001
We stayed home today, but went to town for groceries in mid-afternoon.
The gas company came by today and dug in a new service. We're planning to add some gas heat in the building. For the last 33+ years, we have used our faithful Kirks coal stoker. It has given us good, economical service, but requires attention daily in cold weather and creates dust and soot.
Dennis and Paulo did odd chores around the place and left a bit early. They have been working short days in spite of our suggesting that they put in longer hours and work fewer days. We decided that we will take the entire period off between now and the day after New Years. We're hoping to have the new lid design set up and ready to produce, so they can work unattended. Supervising staff is hard work.
Thursday December 20th, 2001
We left The Douglas Fir Resort this morning and spent a few hours in Banff looking around, then headed to Canmore. After a light lunch, we looked up Mike Meilicke at his mountain sport shop. Mike was a well-known Alberta commercial beekeeper a few years back. I served with him on the Alberta Beekeepers Association board of directors about ten years ago. In the winters he worked at Sunshine Village as a ski instructor, and a few years ago, he decided to live in the mountains full time and moved to Canmore.
After a visit, I left my snowboard with Mike for a tune-up and El & I headed into Calgary to look at gas fireplaces. Then we returned home to be greeted by our three happy cats.
Wednesday December 19th, 2001
We spent the day at Sunshine Village. The snow was great and the weather not too bad for December. The wind was a bit chilly on the ridge as we rode up Big Angel, but on the ground it was okay. Zeke had been complaining about a sore throat for several days and it was getting worse, so he and Fen left around 2 to see a doctor. At 3, clouds moved in and El, Laura Lee, & I decided to leave a little early since, with the poor visibility, it was impossible to see well enough to have much fun, and the danger of hitting a compression or drop-off became a concern..
Tuesday December 18th, 2001
We left around 8:30 for the mountains. Zeke, Laura Lee, El & I wanted to get out to Banff early enough to ski, or in El's case, shop. We stopped at the Douglas Fir Resort to check in, then and headed up to Norquay, dropping El downtown along the way.
We had a good time at Norquay, but found it cold (it is on the shady side of the mountain at this time of year) and icy. Most of the runs were closed as well. Zeke managed to get into a little trouble for skiing into a closed area. Several years back he and his brother and several others were thrown right off the hill for going out of bounds, so I guess it is now a tradition.
We returned to the resort and the others arrived. We spent the evening in the hot tub and on the waterslide
Banff is the location of the upcoming Canadian Honey Council annual meeting (Jan 31-Feb 3rd), at which all beekeepers from anywhere are welcome. The actual meeting location will be at the Banff Centre, which is just outside of Banff and about a mile from the Banff Hostel ($21/night)
Monday December 17th, 2001
It's very windy again this morning . Not a great day to work outside.
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