Tag: snow

I’d Rather Be… Here than There

March is a strange month.

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.
― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations –

I’d rather be here where it is warm:

Warm and sunny Arizona

Than there where it is cold:

Cold and snowy Alberta

This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is I’d Rather Be…

These same photos with a Cartoon Filter are at my other blog, Almost Artistic.

Where would you rather be?

Land of the Left – Santa is Being Relocated

Here in the ‘Land of the Left’ (Canada) our Government is attempting to cut our 1.69% of the world’s Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Though our emissions are as you would expect for one of the coldest, largest countries in the world, our Federal Government is doing everything it can to let the world know they simply don’t want warmer winters (the season that has experienced the most warming in Canada).

Our government is even willing to sacrifice the ‘North Pole is Santa’s home fable’ in order to advance their cause. They published this document on its Policy Horizons website this past December:

Is it Satire? An attempt at humour? Virtue signalling?  Whatever it is, it misrepresents the basic facts about the North Pole (which isn’t on a land mass) but is a location in the Arctic Ocean where the water is usually covered with drifting ice 6 to 10 feet (1.8 to 3 m) thick and where the annual mean temperature in the winter is minus 40F (minus 40 C).

Does the Canadian Government really believe that Canadians, or the world for that matter, think that Santa can be dislodged from the North Pole by the ‘on again, off again’ vagaries of Arctic Ice and a couple of Ice Breaking ships that pass by now and then?

Consider this: Santa’s mode of transportation circles the globe in 24 hours and makes billions of stops. He has stealth capabilities and all weather traction. He has an intelligence network that Google would die for. He can enter and exit any building without tripping alarm systems, and he can eat millions of cookies and drink gallons of milk in a single night without feeling ghastly sick. Would Santa (who has maintained a residence there since about 1866 when an American illustrator, Thomas Nast, declared it was so) agree to being labelled a climate change refugee and consent to being shipped off to the South Pole? I think not.

What a wasted opportunity for a better message. The Canadian Government could have announced they were in support of a global initiative to establish the S. Claus Marine Life and Sea Ice Research Station

… or better yet, they could just leave Santa to the children.

 

Frozen

It was very cold here in Alberta in late December 2017 and early January 2018. The overnight low temperatures were below -20C (-4F) for 7 days straight during the holiday season. The lowest temperature was -31C (-24F). January 2018 was briefly milder before sinking into another 4 day stretch of extreme cold. When it finally warmed up to a balmy -8C we packed the Jeep and made a dash to warmer climates for a while!

As Alberta was plunged into extreme cold warnings on Boxing Day…  Alberta was about as cold as Mars’ Gale Crater, the home of the Curiosity rover. Mars is subject to pretty violent temperatures shifts, and Curiosity regularly encounters temperatures below -80 C. But this week, the highest temperature experienced by the rover were -23 C. A Calgary Boxing Day shopper, therefore, might have found themselves getting into a car that was literally colder than a Martian spacecraft.
– Tristin Hopper, National Post, Dec 27, 2017 –

Snow Flakes, sharpened and color corrected

We spent a lot of time indoors in December and January. Inconveniently, it snowed regularly. I did a lot of snow shoveling, but only for short periods of time. It was just too cold. As for The Car Guy and the tractor – neither would start on several occasions…

Canada is one of the coldest countries in the world, having an average yearly temperature of about -5C. Viewed through this lens, it is no wonder that by the New Year we start to forget that we ever had summer…

By January it had always been winter.
– Annie Proulx, Shipping News –

How has your winter been so far?

Temporary – Blog Posts, Laundry and Hair Cuts

It is my 8th Anniversary of Blogging. Is that long enough to say blogging isn’t a temporary pastime for me? My blog posts, on the other hand, are only of temporary interest to the blogging world!

Other temporary things in my life:

  • laundry – if I ever get ‘caught up’, it will only be for a few hours…
  • hair cut – if it is perfect, it won’t be for long; same with fingernail length
  • cuts, scrapes, bruises, a cold
  • weather, seasons
  • batteries
  • ripe fruit, ice cubes in a drink, gum flavour
  • shiny copper or silver, empty dishwasher
  • new car smell, full tank of gas
  • fresh-cut grass, perfect flowers
  • family vacations, Christmas Spirit
  • bubbles

  • Fall leaves and the berries from the Mountain Ash Tree

  • Snowflakes

What things would you put on your list of temporary things?

Eight Years of Blogging

This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is Temporary.

Windows – Watching a Fall Snow Storm

snow storm

A lacy pattern of ice on the window.

The first snow storm of the winter season, except it is supposed to be Fall…

Oh, the weather outside is frightful!
But furnace heat is delightful.
With the roads closed we can’t go,
Stop the wind, stop the cold, stop the snow!
– Margy, with help from the Christmas Carol ‘Let it Snow’ –

Here are some other Window posts I’ve done and a Gallery of Window Photos I’ve taken:

Reflections in a Window

Seeing Through Windows and Doors

Paths – Water on a Window

Cleaning Windows

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Windows (again).

Has the weather been unseasonably anything in your part of the world in the past few months?

Shadows on the Snow – a Mystery Shape

I call them Crystal Days. When the morning sun falls on the right kind of new snow, each snow flake glitters like a crystal.

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This photo was taken on a Crystal Day, mid December, a few years ago.  The overnight snowfall had turned our yard into a series of snow mounds, each sparkling in the morning sun. The snow pattern in this photo was particularly interesting. What had been a grid, was now a geometric series of hills and valleys, with each hill casting a shadow into the valley. Nearby objects added splashes of shadow too.

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Here is a closer look at one of the valleys. Now you can see the sparkles of the snow crystals on the hill surface.

Unfortunately, I can’t remember what was under the snow. Whatever it was, it had to have been a nearly horizontal surface. It was something in my yard and it was apparently familiar enough that I didn’t bother to take another photo that put this one into context. I didn’t even see the need to change the name of the photo from P1060359 to something a bit more useful. Drat…

Here are some more shadow photos. Click on any of them to open a slideshow.

If you have any suggestions as to what created my snow shadow mystery, please leave a comment!

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Shadow.

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Whatever Floats Your Boat – The Magic of Water

H2O – Water as Snowflakes
Autumn in Alberta. Like any other season here in the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the weather can be unpredictable. The first snowfall of the season can be early, or it can be late, but it is rarely welcome for adults. It often causes a delay in harvesting. It invariably results in highway accidents – road conditions deteriorate before  winter driving skills kick in.

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Our first snowfall was a few days ago. A foggy, snowy photo is not a cheery sight, so I made it more presentable by applying a ‘Colored Pencil’ filter.

H2O – Water as Ice
A few days later the sun returned and the garden was transformed into a wonderland coated with ice. You can see these photos at my other blog – Frozen Leaves Encased in Ice.

H2O – Water as Water
You could also wander over to my other blog and meet the incredibly cute Northern Cardinal that took a bath in my sprinkler: A Wet Northern Cardinal.

So why a new blog?
I could tell you it started, as these things do, with minor annoyances. Unaddressed, these became regular disagreements, then acrimonious arguments. When all parties were pettily pissed off, The Birds started tweeting their displeasure with being housed with Politicians. The Flowers unfriended all The Car Guys Vehicles. They all declared they were going to move out.

That is mere fantasy, of course. The simple answer is, I had enough material to create specialty blogs for the things that interest me the most.  So I moved a bunch of posts to a new home.

As moves go, it has been quite straight forward, though time consuming. The exiting parties wanted to take all their belongings with them, including all the nice comments that have been made about them. WordPress provides an ‘Export’ tool for that. Unfortunately, the export is hit or miss in the media department, so it has taken a bit of time to move the missing photos.

The Birds, Flowers and Insects  built their nests and beds at https://birdsbloomsbugs.com/.

Last but not least, The Quotations, fearful of forever being associated with the mundane topics of weather, pots and pans… and dreadful puns – moved to The Quippery.

Do you have more than one blog? If you were going to split your blog up, what interests would move to a new home?

All the water photos were my contribution to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge which is H2O.

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Wishing for Weather – I Said Rain – not Snow!

snow pink flower

Towards the end of our stay in Arizona, I saw a TV commercial that made me long for a rainy day. An off road vehicle was driving up a winding mountain road. A light rain was falling. I remembered how fresh the air could feel and how wonderful the forest could smell after a rain!  In contrast, Phoenix Arizona was dry desert heat that could possibly fry an egg on the hood of the neighbour’s car.

gnarled trees blue sky

A few days later, we were on our way back to Alberta. Our first stop was the Grand Canyon. We arrived late in the afternoon, and spent several hours walking along the rim taking pictures.

storm clouds

Dark clouds to both the east and west hinted that a storm was brewing. My rainy day was very near!

I woke the next morning (my birthday) to a steady drizzle. I marveled that The Car Guy was able to deliver such a great present on my birthday. As we drove back to the Grand Canyon, I got whiffs of fresh air and fragrant forest.

We parked the car, put on rain coats, and walked quickly over to the rim.  Surprise! The Canyon was, for all intents and purposes, gone… I was really glad I had got my vista pictures the previous day.

snow blizzard

There was no reason to stay at the Canyon, so we drove east along the rim road. The rain turned to snow. As we dropped in elevation, the snow became rain. Eventually the rain stopped for a while – then we drove through a heavy hail storm. Apparently my birthday present was a gift of all the weather I had NOT had in Arizona for several months!

snow pink flower

The QuipperyDays later in Alberta, we were greeted with an early blooming season thanks to a warm, dry spring. I threw caution to the wind, and did a rain dance…  We got snow.

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Wish.

A rainy day – do you carry an umbrella? Do you put up the hood of your rain jacket? Do you just get wet, because, after all, rain won’t make you melt into the puddle.

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Macro Photos – Vaguely Familiar Abstracts

Spruce Needles Snow

Can you guess what these ‘abstract photos’ are – from the hints in the quotations below the photo?

Arizona golden barrel cactus

There was a rough stone age and a smooth stone age and a bronze age, and many years afterward a cut-glass age. In the cut-glass age, when young ladies had persuaded young men with long, curly mustaches to marry them, they sat down several months afterward and wrote thank-you notes for all sorts of cut-glass presents…
– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Cut-Glass Bowl –

hood side vents

…we live on the edge of the abstract all the time. Look at something solid in the known world: an automobile. Separate the fender, the hood, the roof, lie them on the garage floor, walk around them. Let go of the urge to reassemble the car or to pronounce fender, hood, roof. Look at them as curve, line, form.
― Natalie Goldberg, Living Color: Painting, Writing, and the Bones of Seeing –

 Spruce Needles Snow

The pine stays green in winter… wisdom in hardship.
– Norman Douglas –

Spruce Sap

Deciding whether or not to trust a person is like deciding whether or not to climb a tree because you might get a wonderful view from the highest branch or you might simply get covered in sap and for this reason many people choose to spend their time alone and indoors where it is harder to get a splinter.
― Lemony Snicket, The Penultimate Peril –

Here are what the photos are:
The first is a close up look at a cut-glass bowl.
The second is the side of the hood of a 1934 Ford custom roadster – sold at Barrett-Jackson in 2016 for $60,500.
The third is a close up of spruce tree needles peeking out of the snow.
The last is a drop of spruce resin (sap).

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge – Abstract

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Christmas Greetings – 2015

The Car Guy is in the kitchen making S’More Pinwheels; the snow is gently falling; NORAD is already tracking Santa’s progress; we have no place we have to be until tomorrow morning – Life is Good.

I don’t mean to sound like a Grinch, but if we are going to be ‘entertained’ by Christmas Carols for almost a month, don’t you think they could play this one now and again?

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
No crocodiles or rhinoceroseses
I only like hippopotamuseses
And hippopotamuses like me too!
– Written by John Rox, sung by Gayla Peevey in 1953-

To the member of our family who got my name in the Christmas draw – you didn’t ask me for a Christmas Wish List. Did you finally get me a hippo?

To my small group of faithful readers – and to the thousands of followers of this blog who might stumble onto this post by mistake – Have a very Merry Christmas!

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Snow in September – Responding to Adversity

Snow in September – once the shock and sadness wore off, I  took my camera outside to see if there was an upside to this! There is also an Adversity Story to tell.

You’d like to eat on the patio? How about this nice table for four. So peaceful and quiet you can hear a pin drop. No mosquitoes.  No chance you will get a sunburn.

You think it is a bit, well, white out?

Here – some greenery… and pinkery too.
________________

I got a phone call from a friend today. She wanted The Car Guy’s advice about how to deal with a dangerous snow laden tree branch that was hanging over her power line.

She had phoned her hubby first (he’s out of town) and told him she wanted to knock some snow off the branch with a broom or something, and maybe even remove the branch, but she didn’t want to become an electrocution statistic.

Her husband’s response to her story was not very helpful – that is why she called the The Car Guy. The Car Guy gave her a list of actions she could take, and asked her to phone him back later so he knew she had survived the procedure.

He also offered to do the job for her. But my friend is a ‘do it myself’ person, so she proceeded to turn off the power at the pole, knock a bunch of snow off the tree branches, remove the most offensive branch and get the power turned back on.

But that was the easy part. She also had to spray WD40 on the lock on the box that housed the power switch; then use bolt cutters to cut off the lock because it still wouldn’t work; employ miscellaneous tools to straighten the thingamagig that got twisted when she cut off the lock; and clean up the pot of dirt that got smashed on the floor when she was rummaging through the garage trying to find one of the six or seven tools she needed to get the job done.

When she finally phoned us to confirm the task was successfully completed, she said, “If I had a blog, this would sure be one of the stories I would tell!”  I smiled, and thought that she would probably have to edit out a few expletives before her grandchildren could read her “Overcoming Adversity” story.

At the end of my adversity story about Hail, I said “Do you ever ask yourself why you live where you do? What roots keep you tethered to a place that seems so determined to make you want to leave it!?”

One answer is – family and friends keep us here. But it is also the adversity that makes us stay.  Each time we face another weather challenge, and we are wildly or moderately or slightly successful at coping, we are re-energized.

By trying, we can easily learn to endure adversity.
Another man’s, I mean.
– Mark Twain –

The flower I captured is a Hollyhock. I take good care of my hollyhocks, yet they struggle to survive and usually flower just before the first snow takes them out of the game. My ‘do it myself’ friend was the source for these hollyhocks. She ignores hers, and they grow like weeds at her place. I guess Hollyhocks thrive on adversity too.

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Sunflowers Face a Snow Storm

The first snow of the season is more than mildly inconvenient. It is often accompanied by below freezing temperatures, and that brings an end to the growing season of the tender plants. After that, the weather generally goes back to normal, and we get weeks of beautiful fall weather.

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Still recovering from the beating they took from the hail, my intrepid sunflower plants have not even started to bloom.

Last year, the sunflowers in my yard looked like this!

Canada’s Birthday – 145 Years Old

Happy Birthday, Canada!

The Canada I know best has big mountains, and on a clear day I can see them from my back yard. (But not this big. I have to drive for about an hour to see them up close and personal.)

My part of Canada has clear, fresh running water in uncountable lakes, streams and rivers.  (Except right now, which  is flood season here in Alberta. The water is pretty muddy, and we’re hoping the cabin doesn’t get flooded.)

My Canada has  four distinct seasons.  This is my yard in the winter when everything is coated in a blanket of snow.

Until I came to Canada I never knew ‘snow’ was a four letter word.
-Alberto Manguel-

I could go on and on, but instead, go to these two posts to find out more about Canada and Canadians:

144 Years Old and Going Strong!  –  a glimpse into how our family celebrates Canada’s birthday.

If you don’t know any Canadians, but would like to,  be sure to read my 52 Friends Plan. A Canadian in your home for one week a year – it is just that easy!

We have the mounties, they have the FBI. Can you imagine the FBI doing the Musical Ride?
– Dave Broadfoot –

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Winter of 2011-2012: Last Snow Day?

Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we’ve no place to go,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
– Lyricist Sammy Cahn, composer Jule Styne – 1945

Calendar – May 4, 2012 – The Car Guy mowed the lawn for the first time this year.
Calendar – May 5, 2012 – 4 inches of snow.

Also on May 5, the Hibiscus bloomed. It is an indoor plant with brilliant red flowers.

Green grass, Red flower, White snow – felt very Christmasy!

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