Sunday, April 22, 2018

Spring Comes and Goes and Comes and Goes...

Spring Slowly Creeps In

I started to see a few flowers on March 30. I always love to catch the first blooms - such a sign of rebirth. But spring in Montreal takes time to take hold.

Birch

There are microclimates. Just a slight rise in elevation and there were no flowers to be seen. Mont-Royal still had quite a bit of snow in the woods (April 2).

First Flowers

On April 6 I spotted these flowers growing in a fairly protected spot. These hardy snow drops and scylla are always among the first to appear. April has been quite grey and rainy. Any colour I see is a feast for the eyes.

Winter Doesn't End

This year spring has been particularly reluctant to appear with below average temperatures and some downright nasty weather. On April 16 we had ice pellets, freezing rain and eventually rain.

Stump

Each day I would think it was the last time I would wear my heavy winter coat and each day I would realize it was the best for the weather.

Snowy Remnants

Finally winter is receding. Seasonable temperatures (above 10°C / 50°F) have finally arrived. While snow is still spotted, most of the ground is free of it.

First Growth among the Dry Leaves

In the forest in Bois de Liesse, where I was walking with a friend, there is new growth beginning. This is a favourite spot for seeing trilliums, but there was no sign of even the sprouts.

Early Spring

Even without spring green, it was peaceful to be in the woods. We could hear birds, glimpsed a couple of woodpeckers and saw both grey and little red squirrels scampering in the dried leaves.

Hanging On

Soon these tenacious dry leaves will be pushed off to make way for this year's leaves.

Spring Flowers

With a few days of sun and warmer weather, spring will jump into action. Flowers seem to grow before your eyes. Each day the changes bring new delights.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Dreaming of Tulips

Dreaming of Tulips

Outdoors spring-like temperatures have come early with day time highs over freezing. The landscape is dirty. As snow melts the residue of winter filth is concentrated leaving a black coating over what is left of the snow. Sidewalks still have the gravel and sand that was spread to prevent falls on ice. I dream of tulips.

Tulip

On my last trip to the market, I picked up a bunch. Indoors, at least, I enjoy hints of spring. I do like winter - when there is actual winter weather - cold, fresh snow, and a blazing blue sky. But grey is just that - grey skies, grey on the snow, a leaching of brightness from everything around.

Dive into the Tulip

These flowers make me slow down, to stop and take in each detail, to enjoy their transience. This year, I have vowed, there will be a succession of tulips to chase away the greys and enjoy the coming of spring.

Friday, February 9, 2018

New Fallen Snow

Winter Stillness

There is nothing quite like walking on a winter evening with a gentle snow falling.
Lamplight makes everything sparkle.
The snow dampens sound.
Everything is pristine.


Saturday, February 3, 2018

Crows

Trees Full of Crows

I was walking through the park when I heard the loud cawing of crows. Just outside the park hundreds of crows were gathering in the trees. I've seen swarms of crows like this before. Why do they do this? I know they return to an area to roost each evening but this is not their usual roosting spot.

Crows

Whatever the reason, it is quite a site to behold. I was just sorry I only had my phone camera with me. My walk was not a planned photo walk.

Crows in the Tree

Friday, January 12, 2018

Winter in Many Guises

Hanging on to the Dead Leaves

Some days are absolutely glorious. The sun shines. The temperature is at the perfect spot of being cold enough to feel crisp but not so cold that you huddle into your coat. It invigorates and puts a smile on my face.


Icicles

The sun sparkles on icy surfaces.  When I was a child we used to like to break off icicles and suck on the. Now, armed with more knowledge, I shudder at the idea - the pollutants we ingested, the dirt...

Above Freezing in the Morning

And then overnight the mood changes as the temperature rose above the freezing point. Rain fell and a mist rose. A temporary winter reprieve.

In the Mist

I like the mystery of mist - the silence that seems to descend and the feeling of the unknown as vistas shrink.

Wearing a Raincoat

Even the dogs in the dog park seemed more subdued - sitting as if adjusting to this silent landscape.

Winter will be back in full force tonight. Here is the forecast (temperatures are in Celsius) :


Mother Nature plans a lot of activity for Montreal to transform, yet again, our city.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Frost

Frost 1

We have hit a spate of frigid weather. Each morning I get a new delightful piece of art painted on my windows.

Frost 2

I have to stop and admire each detail - lines and textures, painstakingly created.

Frost 3

The sun, despite the outdoor temperature of -23°C (-10°F) is washing it all away, cleaning the canvas leaving space for a new creation tomorrow.

Frost 4

Some days it is like an icy garden, others like fairies dancing.

Frost 5

A fleeting moment of beauty.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Winter Settles In

Walking

It is feeling like a good old-fashioned winter. Snow is on the ground and the temperature has remained cold. I wear layers as I go out and so far have not minded the cold. And when the sun shines in winter, the snow makes everything ultra bright.

Perfect Winter Day

The sky never seems quite as blue as a winter sky. 


Winter Blue

Even shadows take on the blue of the sky.

The Squirrel Snack Bar

The squirrels are still out in numbers, scavenging what they can. This "squirrel snack bar" made this fellow happy.

Preparing the Outdoor Rink

City workers were out preparing the ice - an outdoor rink. With frigid temperatures expected, this rink will have no trouble keeping its hard surface.


Temperatures are in celsius. As a reference point -18°C is 0°F. I'll be putting on an extra layer and going out to enjoy the sunshine.