Archive | February, 2013

Winter’s Frigid Back Has Broken. Or Has It?

19 Feb

It seems as though now it is only cold, not frigid. Ground hog day passed long ago with 6 more weeks ( or is that 6 more months?) of winter to come. The snow is a metre high in some places. It’s funny how things are relative. a -3 degree temperature seem more like a heat wave. Snow on the roof actually melts. Fortunately, no ice dams. But another deep freeze of -40 windchill is forecast. Hopefully not a long one.

One thing about a long winter though: it helps one become a profound philosopher. Important questions come to mind, such as when does a country driveway become a lawn (or weed patch, more appropriately), or when does a driveway become a glacier? What are the significant phase-shifts in these things? Does having a lawn mower help me resolve the former question; does not having a snow-blower hinder my quest for an answer for the latter? Does the length of winter and the cold affect one’s sanity? Do I need a new hobby or need to get a life? So that’s as profound as I can get in February. That’s OK, since it’s my blog. Maybe I can now go to lesser things such as the theory that the mass of the newly discovered, possible Higgs boson might determine the end of the universe as we know it due to quantum vacuum. One has to have priorities on a winter’s day.

Now for the mundane and practicalities of country life. Consider that at least with the depths of snow the chances of a water-line freezing are reduced , I hope. I wonder how much standing water there will be this spring and summer. Enquiring minds want to know to prepare for mosquito season. The last few years in Gimli have been blessedly spared the onslaught. Will the veggie garden produce beets that don’t look like string this year? How will the flowers cope with hungry deer that so dearly love to decapitate the blooms? Life is so full of unanswerable. Yup, I think a new hobby.

Ah well, as I paint I only need three colours: white, black and blue. Speaking of painting, a relative and his class have a website to display their watercolours. Check it out at www.palanukspals.ca . Not much opportunity to paint on the deck, especially in watercolour at this time of year. Anyhow, the days are getting longer. Just over a month until the spring equinox.

Hibiscus Blossom

Hibiscus Blossom

This is a random colour shot to remind myself that there is colour in a currently monochrome world.

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I Don’t Mow Snow

1 Feb

Wow! I missed January! Did January actually happen this year? Oh well, I was sunning my buns in Mexico while the driveway lay under a metre of snow in – 40 windchill weather. Maybe that has something to do with it.

The truth is out. I am a fair-weather driveway mower. Yup, I don’t do driveway snow mowing, especially when it’s endlessly repetitive, as this year seems to be.

Ice Fishing Shack

Ice Fishing Shack

For the first time there is an ice-fishing shack on the lake near the house. Never seen that before. With the temperatures this year and no protection from the wind it must get brutal in there. They must have to auger down beyond the usual two metres of ice. Last year the ice was gone from the lake in late April. I wonder how late it will be this year?

The snowmobilers have been out in force. They are ecstatic. When I go to the gas station to fill up the car I am now usually lined up behind a convoy of them: summer lineups behind cottagers and tourists; winter lineups behind snowmobilers; always a lineup. The country life is busier  and more crowded than most people think.

So I do appreciate palm trees, blue sky and water, and +29 C. There seems to be a lot of that in Puerto Vallarta.

Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea

Roadside Flower 1

Roadside Flower 1

Roadside Flower 2

Roadside Flower 2

There is colour everywhere in Mexico. Here are some examples. Anyone who knows the names of the unknown blooms let me know.

You see these flowers everywhere just growing on the roadside. and this is only a small sample.

Come Spring back home we do not get as any flowers due to the snow depth and coolness. The poor things have to struggle to get through an icy crust. With the micro-climate next to the lake our Springs are cooler by a few weeks than the highway two kilometres away. Crocuses and Daffodils are normally some of my favourites but not for Manitoba. Come June there will be Irises so those pics will come at a later time.

So let’s see how February shapes up this year. My mantra for the month will be “No mow snow,” (pun intended.)