The February 15-16 storm that completely buried cars in Prince Edward Island continues to make life difficult for Nova Scotians more than a week later. Tall snowbanks make driving and walking difficult and dangerous, especially in the towns. Elsewhere, snowshoes are the vehicle of choice. Clogged or hidden storm sewers result in flooding when it’s warm(ish) and thick ice when it’s cold, especially in Halifax. Around Mahone Bay, people have been removing snow from roofs and decks to mitigate damage and leaks, especially whenever rain threatens. What a winter!
Two snow days in a row! The kids are happy. We have about 35cm/14″ of fluffy stuff on the ground. We’re glad we stayed on top of it yesterday during the storm, plowing the driveway twice, clearing the entrance after the snowplow went by, and keeping the car near the road and shoveled out, ready to go.
The Heart of Winter:
Cold on the outside … and warm on the inside.
With thanks to my Facebook friends for their contributions.
- The smooth, quiet brush of fresh snow under your skis.
- The way ice breaks and cracks over rocks as the tide falls.
- Empty beaches with shimmering vistas.
- The mildness, softness and peace a snowfall brings.
- Like the folks here, a winter is softness and gentility: quite well mannered, and departs when the welcome is worn.
- Snow days!
- A crackling fire in a woodstove making heat that penetrates to your bones.
Walking ON the bay in places we usually row, paddle or sail.
- Sunlight sparkling off snow-laden branches.
- Minas Basin ice shifting, buckling, making strange sculptures on the shore.
- Magnificent bald eagles.
- Watching the days get longer in the coldest part of the winter.
- Shovelling the driveway with a helper who will clear up the last little bits: the sun.
- NO mosquitoes, NO blackflies, NO no-see-ums!
- The weather changes frequently: it’s fairly mild, and cold snaps are short, warm periods are also short. There’s something for everyone and no time to get bored!
- The province is small but has a variety of microclimates. Want more snow? Ski hills are not so far away. Want less snow? Go walk a deserted South Shore beach.
- Memories of crazy winter antics performed when we were young and immortal: descending hills at great speed, jumping from one ice floe to another as the frozen ocean broke up (some have memories of being rescued in these situations!), “getting towed on a sled behind my dad’s car on a snow-covered gravel road, riding my bike through the streets of Halifax when the snow wasn’t too bad,” ice boating, skating on thin ice….
- Maple syrup made in the woods.
Patterns made by drifting snow.
- Winter skies unlike anything you see in the summer.
- Eating fresh snow.
- Cardinals and purple finches at the feeder.
- Getting insight into the life of rabbits from their tracks in the woods.
So there are some of the things we love about winter in Nova Scotia. What are yours? Leave a comment below.
Let me take you for a drive after a snowfall.
All photos taken on Thursday, January 21, on my way to Pinehurst, just west of Upper Northfield.
Hot off the press: our first Nova Scotia Photo Album video. It won’t be the last!
This one shows how tide and temperature create an ever-changing landscape on Mahone Bay’s shoreline, from first frost to spring breakup.
The music is an Appalachian tune called Frosty Morning, played by Dennis Robinson on fiddle and Heather Holm (that’s me) on accordion.
I stood and watched the tide start to go out, leaving traces in the snow to mark how high it had been, ice crystals transformed by the brief caress of the ocean.
It turned out to be a beautiful sunny day with temperatures well above freezing. We have a lot of snow and ice for that sun to melt. Still, it feels like spring on a day like this. Some people find this time of year difficult in Nova Scotia, when daffodils are blooming in Victoria on the “other coast”. Others relish the cold temperatures and make the most of it. As for me, I’ve usually had my nose buried in my work at this time of year and this year is no exception. And I’m grateful for that.
I saw these on the ice the other day. What do you think it is? It looks like 4 dog paws, then another set of 4 paws, then something dragged for a distance, repeat. Leave comments below.
And these? Looks like ducks to me; I can imagine the waddle, and there are lots of ducks right here when the water is liquid.