We have all heard of Winterfell at one point or another. That place is always cold and never warms up. Well, this is a bit like that, just without the “never” part.
Lately, we have had a spell of real cold, an Arctic Blast to cool us down to –28C, creating sea smoke and other phenomena.
But it lasted for less than 3 days, then everything went back to normal. Then passes a week of spring-like temperatures, and we get a snow dump of nearly 25cm. Snow here, for those who are unaware of it, is heavy and wet.
In front of my house
Shovelling that snow means that you may be in line for a heart attack. Everyone living in Manitoba has shovelled snow in their lives. Nice, fluffy, lightweight snow that goes everywhere that is not protected. Nose, ears, under shirts and other places. Over here, the snow, when it came down was in huge, heavy flakes that can remove your view through your windshield with a single flake.
When that amasses, it’s heavy to get that out of the way. Luckily, I have neighbours with heavy equipment that can clean my driveway. I am very grateful for that.
Sable River grist mill
So when the coast was clear again, the snow stopped falling and the driveway was clean, it was obvious that I could not stay in the house and do nothing about it. Shooting was the order of the day.
Snow on the trail
Another difference between prairie snow and Atlantic snow is that here, it sticks to everything, outlining every single branch of a tree, sharpening every contour of every object in the process. Nothing fluffy about it here. I have long searched for the iconic Christmas card picture in Manitoba, but have never really found what I was looking for.
Now I understand that those cards were not shot in the prairies, where it is –40C for a daytime high. That snow is way too fine and light. Those pics are shot in the more temperate areas where the snow nicely sticks to branches and other objects.
So when I went out the other day, I was looking for something “nice” without really having an idea of what I could find. A few kilometres away from my place, over a bad road, is a lodge. This lodge works year-round and seems to have a very quiet place to itself. I might even go there one day. It’s located far from any habitation.
When comparing the sun between the east coast and the prairies, it must be noted that the famous “ring around the sun” here is pretty rare. Mostly because the air is more turbulent with the ocean so close by.
By the time I was done shooting that sun behind the tree, it became clear that the rising temperature was already nibbling away on the snow in the trees. All that was left for me to shoot was ice formations in the river. These spiky formations caught my eye. While the water seems “inviting” at first glance, the second glance would deter me forever from jumping in .
Rapids on the Mersey
The Mersey River is a very beautiful river, but also heavily used for hydropower. It means that everywhere, there are dams and artificial lakes up until not far away from my house. I do wonder what it would be like to raft down this stretch of the river though. I guess I may find out one day.
Until next time…