The end of October traditionally signifies changes to the demographics around the lake.
Seasonal residents have winterized their cabins and said their goodbyes until the spring. Year-round residents are winding down their fall projects and preparing for the winter season of rest, relaxation, discretionary projects and – of course – winter play.
For those absent homeowners, there is considerable comfort knowing the many retired residents, by their presence alone, provide a level of security during the quiet winter season with their watchfulness of unfamiliar vehicles and pedestrians on local roads.
The big black bear continues to seek out food along Boultbee Road, with both evidence of his presence and non-confrontational sightings occurring almost daily. His focus seems to be on garbage cans and bird feeders, all of which he has found empty, thanks to thoughtful neighbours. Although there are still plenty of rose hips in the area, it is hoped the bear will soon give up his local search for food and head into the mountains with hibernation on his mind.
The contractor working for BC Hydro is continuing his work around the lake, taking down trees that could potentially fall on electrical lines.
The BC Hydro arborist pointed out the current focus in on aspen trees that show signs of age or disease. Years of infestation by the leaf miner has taken its toll on the deciduous forest and residents can attest to the fact that even the healthiest-looking tree will fall over unexpectedly and reveal a bulb-like base which has no remaining root structure to support it.
Trees felled on private property are cut into firewood or eight foot lengths and left for the owner to dispose of while limbs are processed immediately with a wood chipper.
Evidence of increased beaver activity around the lake has been observed during the last month.
One resident has enjoyed watching one, and sometimes two, large beavers swimming by the front of her house daily. While the eating habits of beavers are annoying to property owners losing saplings along their shore, beavers’ destructive behaviour can be much more serious.
New beaver dams near the outlet of Gold Pan Creek are putting a developed house lot at risk of flooding. The homeowner has, once again, enlisted the help of a local trapper to eradicate the beaver family before the water level reaches his ancillary buildings.
Residents still wondering “where the animals are?” need to be reminded of the presence of wolves and cougars, which are keeping many of the moose and deer away from the area.
While actual sightings of these predators are rare, there have been many stories of encounters by neighbours all year and the sound of wolves howling at all hours has become quite commonplace.
Nature’s life cycle is expected to run its course, and as the predators move to new locations in search of plentiful prey, the ungulate population should be restored. In the meantime, residents spotting deer, moose and other wild critters in their yards should enjoy the rare view.
Water quality testing of the four lakes in the Lac des Roches chain is completed for the year.
During the past 24 weeks and in ice-off conditions, volunteers have collected data at least 12 times, which will be sent into the BC Lake Stewardship Society for analysis and historical environmental reports by the Ministry of Environment. Once again thanks go to the dedicated volunteers who take the time and use their own resources for this valuable and appreciated exercise.