Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Full Moon Rising

The full moon rose over the barn this evening, and it's always a sight to behold.

It's too early to ring the "spring has sprung" alarm, but with +12C or about 55F as our high today, I had to wonder why I wore my boots to work this morning.  Time to make a mental note to lose a layer or three.  I was outside a bit this evening, and could hear geese overhead and feel the melting snow under my feet, and breathed a sigh of relief.  The worst of winter is behind us.

Little Schatzie even ventured out the front door today when I came home.  She promptly walked down the path and sat on the steps in front of the patio door and gave me a dirty look that she wanted in again.  Her 18 seconds of fresh air behind her, she bolted into the house as quickly as she could and went to sit down beside wood stove.  It ain't over until Schatzie says it's over.

The spindly pear tree in the above photo held a flock of what I think I've ID'd as Bohemian Waxwings yesterday (as opposed to Cedar Waxwings), based on their call plus the yellow tip of their tail:
The flock consisted of about 40 birds, and it was nice to hear birds chirping as a harbinger of spring, despite the brutal cold as I took the photo.  I think the windchill was around -15C during the day, and by the time I'd fumbled with my gloves and the camera, the flock was on their way.  Cooper might have added to their hasty departure as he circled the tree, looking up at the little chirpers.

On that note, I'm leaving you with a sunset from a few nights ago.  Alas, with the newly denuded vista, sunsets don't hold the same appeal as they once did, but here you go:
I've been grappling with a few philosophical conundrums lately, primarily brought on by the senseless cutting of these neighboring trees, and I'm not quite done with the issue yet.  Philosophically and practically, that is.  The practical will be addressed in trying to lobby various levels of government for better protection of hedgerows and mature trees.

Trying to assimilate the philosophical will be a work in progress, however.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

In Like a Lion

This is what greeted me when I pulled open the curtains this morning:

Snow.  Lots of it.
There's just something rude 'n crude about snow stuck to the window.  But there you have it.  Welcome to Montreal in March.  Now you know why I leave the Christmas lights up until's a sanity-saving technique for days like this.

The good news is that neither of us had to work today, so we got to hunker down and keep the home fires burning (or the home fries burning, as I like to jest).

We've had an easy winter so far.  Our accumulation started right before Christmas, so we can really say we've had 9 or 10 weeks of snow so far this winter.  That's a joke by normal standards, and I consider it lucky that we've gotten off so easily.  But that's where March comes in.  It's a wet month, and with temps hovering below freezing, snow is inevitable.  We sometimes get more snow in March than the other months combined.  We've started off March well, having received about 8" or 20 cm today.
Eric left the tractor outside, so if need be, we can dig our way out with the front loader.  As it was, our snow removal contractor came by early in the morning and again in the evening.  This storm was different, though.  All the snow came from the east which is a change of pace for us.  Normally it comes from the west, and we get lots of blowing snow.  Not today.  That means that the end of our driveway was virtually clean, and when the snow plow passed, the snow blew over the field across the street, and not onto our property.  I can't tell you how many times I've come home from work and haven't been able to make it down the driveway.  It's just so disheartening when that happens.

Just for the heck of it, I've zoomed in the following street sign, right from the kitchen window while wearing a bathrobe, during a white-out to boot.  Doesn't get more pathologically lazy and Canadian than that, eh?
Can you make it out?  The top one sports a road on the left side of the sign, with a snowmobile crossing it.  That's to warn us motorists that a speeding skidoo might become a hood ornament if neither of us are paying attention.  And by the looks of the fatalities this year, the Ministry of Transport might want to put a bit more funding into their education program.  Maybe part of the problem is the fact that all bars and pubs are well indicated on the Quebec trail network, which is only 33,000 km long.  That's 22,500 miles of trail, with seemingly every damn establishment with a liquor license clearly marked.  Maybe I'm the only one to see the irony in that, or maybe it's a subversive way of adding a bit of bleach to the gene pool.  The bottom sign shows both a car and skidoo.  That means that both vehicles are supposed to share the road, since the skidoo trail and road are one and the same on this section of the street.

Anyhow, it's just a little curiosity and glimpse into the land of the skidoo.  Apropos for a snowy day.

So there you have it.

Despite March having come in like a roaring lion, we hope the adage proves true, and that it will go out like a docile little frolicking lamb.  I'd like to take the Christmas lights down before Easter.
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