some icing in these parts

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100 miles north of Toronto just south of Georgian Bay, the east end of Lake Huron, in central Ontario, Tay Township and just near by to it,  not far from where I live.  A bit of freezing rain on the trees, we may just miss the larger freezing rain storm blasting through Southern Ontario over the next 24 hours.

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Sony Nex F3 with 18-55mm lens

The last full day of winter

tomorrow is the last full day of winter…..

Just came in from walking the dog before bed time. We surprised two cottontail rabbits in the back yard come to find and eat some sunflower seeds on the refrozen snow under the bird feeder. Squirrels knock down the seed. Late afternoon I spotted a cardinal back for a feed. Hadn’t seen one in two weeks. Or maybe I just failed to look out at the right time. The forecast tomorrow is for snow in the morning (2-4 centimetres) turning to rain in the afternoon.

When I went out with the dog this morning it was -8 Celsius and a cold north wind blowing. Throughout the day I could hear snowmobiles snarling along out on the bay. Nearly the last runs for this winter. They won’t stop for the official first day of the new season.

The snow banks all have the burned back look of late winter. All have a coating of dust and grime, a long way from snow white. The snow drift in the back yard seems to have melted down by a foot and a half, with a foot and a half left. A tiny bit of ice in the eavestroughs. Getting the roof shovelled off was a wise move. Next winter we will have a new roof and it may be steel. If it is we should have no snow and ice build up at all.

I am trying to remember what it felt like in the first week of August when we got our daytime high temperature up to 98 F. Seems like 7 years ago, not 7 months.

a week of snow

Western NY has had it worse, but we have had 120 centimetres. Our normal snow fall in this season is 160 centimetres total. The newspaper reports that part of the abnormally large lake effect snowfall this winter is due to Georgian Bay still remaining largely open water. Where we live on its shore, it is solid clear across. The bad part of the week has been the whiteouts. All this powder snow blowing, white on white. It is easy to lose the track, the view of the line of the lane, the road, the ditch.

On the bird feeding front, a pair of cardinals have been stopping by amid the herd of black squirrels. We got 8 at one time. We had a world’s record 21 mourning doves at one time. Nuthatches, chickadees, some sparrows. And one red squirrel.

The other day in town I was running errands, after every stop longer than five minutes, I had to rebrush my car. At one point the snow was falling so fast, I got one side done and as I worked to get the other side clear, the first side disappeared under the fine white snow.

I love winter, the cold, clean, fresh air. The quiet standing on the beach road, the dog rolling in the snow. No one around outside. Simple and white. At night the moon reflected back up from the snow cover. A lighter shade of night.

snow, snow, and more snow

Not world record setting but a lot has fallen in the past 24 hours and the forecast calls for more. First thing this morning I went out to brush off my various bird seed feeding spots and surfaces in the back yard. Yesterday we set a record for the most mourning doves feeding at once, 21.

This morning after clearing about 6 inches of snow, an hour passed and the seed was lightly covered. By the afternoon, another 4 or 5 inches had fallen. I saw a black squirrel covered in snow who had been digging in the snow on the old wood bench to find bird seed. So out I went with the dog to brush off and reload the seed. The temperature was about -15 C but with little wind it still didn’t feel all that cold. More like a couple of degrees below freezing not 15. Maybe I am just getting used to the lower temperature.

Our forecast is for snow each day for the rest of the week. I am going to try and get some photographs. Although to keep my digicam safe I may limit myself to shooting from the car. Hope my power windows don’t freeze solid.

One thing about this kind of weather, it makes me appreciate summer. I stand on shore and look out across this narrow end of Georgian Bay and see the snow over the solid ice.

It is hard to believe that not so long ago the water was open and flowing and not so long before that I was swimming out there. That my dog was swimming. That we both will be out there again. He has done that for 8 years. This summer will make it 9. I have swum in Georgian Bay every summer since 1970. We used to rent a cottage near here for several summers in the 1960s.

In 1955, we rented a cottage near here. On the day before we left to go home, we stood on the dock and threw pieces of bread for the sea gulls. I must have enjoyed this a lot. The next day, when my Dad was off visiting someone, and my Mom was packing up things with some help from my sister, age 5, I went back out to the dock. It was wavy that day, the dock wet. I went out on the dock and fell into the water. I was 18 months old. Apparently I had enough sense of self preservation to stand up and hold onto the side of the dock. My head was above the water. I was strong enough to stand up to the waves. My Mom looked out, saw me and ran out to pull me up out of the water. She told me later that when she lifted me up I was completely rigid. Once in her arms, my entire body went limp.