Sunday, January 25, 2015

Winter fun!!

We went out for a walk yesterday and it was beautiful.  I have my fall jacket on with just a fleece under it.  The snow was just right for making a snowman and I couldn't resist. He stood on guard by the railway tracks about 800 meters down the railway tracks from our apartment. I had so much fun doing it I decided to call Jen and see if the boys were up for it.  
We had great fun making a three generational snowman family, there is Dad on the  far right, William is who is standing just next to Leeland, Mom is next to Leeland and Grannie is on the far left.  We all had a great time, the boys rolled the balls and Mom picked them up and carried them back to put on their respective bodies.  After the eyes and smile had been arranged and the carrot noses added Leeland decided his nose was too long and went right up to the snowman and bit the end off his nose, too funny.  He also figured the snowmen should have hats and scarves!!  A snowball fight broke out and the sticky snow flew about the yard with abandon, amazingly enough it occasional hit it's mark. Leeland remarked as I was about to leave that Grandpa didn't have a snowman!!  He should have joined in the fun. 

A friend asked the other day if we were going to head south for the winter!  We have spent most of the last eight years in tropics, we are thoroughly enjoying this Canadian winter.  The East Coast had some more wild weather for us the last few days.  On Thursday night the wind blew up to 100 km an hour and the sky was white with snow.  Thus the snowmen!!  It was beautiful on Friday and Sat. and then Sat. night it started to rain, all the new snow has been melted away.  It was a little windy but warm today and then as night fell it froze, ice everywhere.  Now, on Sunday night it is blowing a houlie again out there and it is snowing once more, never a dull moment!
We went out to the local ski hill last week.  It is only 20 minutes away.  The snow was great and the lines were short.  We bought a 5 hour pass for the day and it was enough for the senior citizen and I.  The hill has nice blue runs for the most part, it is fairly short compared to skiing in Alberta, but it is only 20 min. away and quite affordable.  The open Bras D'Or Lakes are in the background. We are looking forward to more pleasant days at the hill.  

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Weather - East Coast Style

Sydney Harbour, in the process of freezing over, just behind our apartment block
We have lived and experienced weather in numerous areas in Canada.  The prairies with their towering summer thunder storms and sunny cold winter days, the northern mountains where summer squalls would move up and down the valley and the west coast where we went through a winter with only one snowfall.  The east coast is completely different, it is dominated by the Gulf Stream which brings weather up the east coast of the U.S. from Caribbean basin.  The temperature fluctuates from -10 to + 10 depending on what the Gulf Stream is serving up that day. The other day it was - 5 and it snowed about 5 cm. The plows were out cleaning the roads  and the salt trucks were tossing slat to and fro. Then the wind came up and the temperature rose 10 degrees and it started raining.  All the snow on the streets melted and as evening fell and the temp. dropped  the rain actually turned to slush, it wasn't freezing rain it was big wet flakes of snow that melted on impact.  I went out to curl and was scared that when I came out it would be a skating rink.  Somehow it wasn't, the temp. may not have been quite low enough to freeze hard, it was just more snow, which was still slushy.  Now it is sunny and cold with a new dusting of snow, the footing is tricky with the snow covering ice, although the road maintenance workers seem to have a good handle on how to keep the roads clear of ice.  The massive swing in temperatures which are often accompanied by big winds makes this an area that is affected by unique weather systems.

We have been enjoying the snow, the first day it snowed we had a big snowball fight with our grandchildren and I made a very small snowman with what little snow was available.  

We enjoyed a hot tub and the kids proved their mettle by rolling in the snow. Grannie was not to be outdone and went and made a snow angel. It was excruciating putting my wet body in the snow but once back in the hot tub my skin was alive and tingled for about 10 minutes.  The kids did it more than once, but I figured I had experienced it and that was good enough! 

It was sunny and cold today, a light wind blowing and we walked about 2 kilometres to the store.  I commented to Barry that the sunlight was very similar to a late February sun in Yellowknife, it is amazing what difference almost 15 degrees in latitude makes in the quality of the winter sun.  Rather than walk down the road we went and strolled along the railway line that runs along the bay. 

There is scrub on both sides of the railway and it feels like you are in a rural area.  The bay is in the process of freezing over and Barry and I are keeping a close eye on the progress of the ice ( check out the top picture). At one point it was calm and cold for two days straight and the whole bay had a skiff of ice on it.  The next day the wind came up and the middle of the bay was open once again.  
We hear the local ski hill is open and once Barry's knees are not so sore we are planning on heading out there.  Wherever our Canadian friends are I hope you are enjoying our winter wonderland.