Tuesday, February 24, 2009

V0G 2B0

Canada's postal codes are in the form A1A 1A1 with the first letter denoting province or territory, extending east to west. Out here in BC our codes begin with V. People who live in cities typically have a range of numbers in their postal code. The Ontario street where I grew up was N2H 4N4. However in rural parts of the country the postal codes all end in zero, and often the remaining digits are zeros and ones, leading to codes that can be said like words. Our code here is V0G 1S0, pronounced in our household as "vojisso." We pick up our mail at the post office in New Denver. If you live in a Silverton, you'll pick up your mail here, where your postal code will be V0G 2B0, or "vojtobow," which I remember as "vegetable." Mailboxes are the place to post about late-breaking community events, like a Giant Garage Sale on Saturday.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Big birch

Some locals claim this is the world's biggest birch tree and over a hundred years old. Most such trees grow live fast and die young, within 20-30 years. This mammoth takes the arms reach of three and a half children to span the circumference of its trunk.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Back lane

Not an active Imperial Oil Service Station. Just an antique sign salvaged and installed on a back lane by someone's garage. Silverton no longer has a service station. The place that sold gasoline until 15 years ago is now a Healing Arts and Wellness Centre. Times change.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Silverton Gallery

The gallery building itself was once a schoolhouse. It is now a multi-purpose community arts and culture space. Outdoors it houses the mining exhibit.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mining tramway

Part of the outdoor mining museum exhibit at Silverton Gallery. The towers are reproductions, the hardware mostly original. Mining is what opened this area up in the late 1890s. Old mine workings are in the mountains everywhere.

A few years ago a crop of marijuana was discovered growing in the buckets of the tram. It was an interesting juxtaposition of historical and contemporary Slocan culture.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Rare ice

Slocan Lake doesn't freeze. It is so deep that no matter how cold the air is, unless the wind is incredibly still for weeks on end, the 50-degrees-Fahrenheit water hundreds of metres down is continually mixed with the surface water. At most only the still edges of the lake freeze. While the occasional small lakes that are up near mountain passes do freeze, the snow falls heavily there, and in amongst the peaks the winds are not sustained enough to blow the ice clear. So it's unusual to get a clear glassy surface on lakes around here. But it happens once in a while and when it does it's absolutely magical.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fire hydrant

Linda at Occasional Scotland asked for a fire hydrant photo. It took me a while yesterday to find a hydrant -- most were still buried. But this one had been properly dug out, probably by the village's bobcat loader, before the most recent snowfall and is therefore still partly visible.

Many towns affix long vertical metal poles to their hydrants, with small yellow octagons at the top, to aid in locating hydrants in the snow. We have few enough hydrants here that I guess the three or four village employees who do the snow-clearing just know where they are.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Frost porcupine

Really just a log frozen into the ice near the edge of a lake, coated in magnificent hoar-frost.