Jack’s Walk

The Thames River, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Walking in town is still too treacherous for Jack and I because of icy sidewalks so we’ve been using the well-worn country trails frequented by lots of other dog walkers. This is the Millenial Trail by the Thames River and the path is mostly packed and roughed up snow which is a fairly easy walk. This is the place where the beavers live and I am 90% certain I know where their lodge is, but conditions are such that we can’t get too near until the snow melts. In the meantime, I’ve been reading about beavers and have discovered that they are mostly nocturnal and seldom leave their lodge in winter, so springtime at dusk or dawn would be an ideal time to see them out and about. Here’s my plan. I’m going to leave Jack at home one spring evening when the weather is clear and the moon is full and take a small camp chair to the site and set up my camera ready for dim light pictures. (I should practice first…I’m not very good at dim light photography.) Then, I’m going to sit very, very quietly and wait for the beavers to leave the lodge. They are very shy animals so I’m not sure how much my presence will affect their activity. I might need to sit there for a few evenings to allow them to get used to me. We’ll see. It’s an exciting adventure to contemplate and I promise I’ll keep you posted.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

We had quite the storm around here last night. First the temp dropped from +3 to -5º C  and then, just as the light was fading from the sky, the wind started to howl. It was a pretty steady howl too at about 40km/hr with big gusts of up to 120km/hr. And then, Cue the Snow. You gotta have snow, you know. Thankfully not much with this storm, just short bursts of that small, light snow that gets caught up in the wind and won’t settle on the ground. I couldn’t see farther than 2 houses down my street and when the wind gusted it actually looked as it the snow was falling sideways.

The wind is still howling this morning, but the snow has stopped and we only got a total of about 5cm of the stuff. There’s a lot of drifting, though, so shoveling turned out to be more challenging than I thought. It doesn’t help that our only shovel is too big for the porch steps and too small for the driveway. I keep meaning to get proper shovels, but I never seem to remember when I’m out. (aargh!) Jack and I did get out, though. We braved the cold and the ice and the wind and daydreamed about warm, green grass and the sun on our bare shoulders.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

The forecast is calling for warmer temps (+9º C!) over the weekend with rain. If it’s true, that should get rid of the rest of our snow and all the damned ice so that Jack and I can walk around our own block again. I don’t want to get too excited, though, because the warm is just a blip and not a trend. It’s supposed to turn cold again on Monday (-9º C!) and stay that way right through next weekend. Oh.

These photos were taken at Pittock Lake. The snow and the sand made these really interesting patterns and I thought I’d share a few with you. [Read more…]

Jack’s Walk

Nimble-footed, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Well, the sun has gone back into hiding and the world is all gloomy shades of gray again. It’s also a double gravity sort of day for me making our walk in the woods more of a slow plod than a walk. Not so, though, for the nimble-footed creature who left these tracks in the snow. I think he hopped, skipped and jumped all the way along with an energetic flourish and a twitching tail.

Jack’s Walk

Big Bob, the largest tree in our small forest, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Conditions in town are still too dangerous for walking so Jack and I set out for the forest again and had a quiet, contemplative walk in the sunshine. I can finally see that the sun is climbing higher in the sky and even though it’s still cold the air carries a promise of spring. This is the time of year that I get the most frustrated with winter. I’m fed up with heavy socks and leggings and just plain tired of hats and scarves, mittens and boots. Why is it that the shortest month of the year always feels like it’s the longest?

Jack’s Walk

Sunshine! ©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s a bright sunny day around here, but the weather remains cold, -7º C which feels like -12º C. I don’t mind the cold as much when it’s sunny, but I do mind all the ice that’s sticking around. We’ve had 2 ice storms in the past 2 weeks with snow in-between. We were supposed to have a few days of warming last week, but we really only had about 1/2 day of above zero temps and all that did was weld all those layers together to make thick sheets of ice that coat the roads and sidewalks. My city has done a poor job this year of clearing ice and snow and our side streets are coated with a 5 – 10 cm. thick layer of ice with deep potholes and grooves where the slush of car tracks froze quickly. They’ve been like this for over a week and the city is doing nothing about it. Driving down these streets is perilous and could easily ruin a car. As for the sidewalks, they are full of thick, slick ice that makes you fall down and go boom. I have cleats for my boots, but they’re difficult to manage because you need to high-step and stomp your feet with every step which is not easy for an old gal like me.

Our river path is also too slick for walking so Jack and I decided to visit our little forest path in the country to check out the conditions and we got lucky. There was packed snow, but ice in only a few places that we could go around. Also, the path has been roughed up by the dozens of people who walk their dogs there and all in all we had a pleasant walk. Best of all we found only minor damage to the trees from the 2 recent ice storms with just a few small downed branches. All of the big grandmother trees fared well. Hooray! I guess this is where Jack and I will be walking for the next little while because ice, ice baby turns out to be dangerous.

Jack’s Walk

Fresh Snow at the Lake. ©voyager, all rights reserved

Grey skies, grey light, trees in black and white. I’m hungry for colour and sunshine and maybe even just a break from frigging with the white balance on my camera. These softly lengthening days of February have been so dull this year that the extra daylight looks more like daylong twilight. It’s a good thing HappyJack™ has a happy tail to motivate me or I might not leave the house at all on days like this.

Memories of Snow 2

Right now temperatures change extremely between -5°C in the night and 15°c in the afternoon and the days, they’re getting longer. And all the hazel is blooming so I tried to claw out my own eyes because fuck allergies. So it’s time to for (hopefully) one last look at winter.

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved

 

Memories of Snow 1

With Winter nearing its end, at least here, it’s time to look back at the snow that we had.

© Giliell, all rights reserved
It wouldn’t be me without reflections, right?

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved

 

Oh, and did you know, there’s going to be Frozen 2

 

Jack’s Walk

A white quilt. ©voyager, all rights reserved

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass