Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Winter storm

Yesterday, the temperature was - 13 C with a wind chill factor of -26 C and the wind was 40 km/h gusting to 60 km/h, but it was the snow that made it unpleasant. Photographs can be deceptive -- in the one on the right, you cannot see how the trees were swaying and the blowing snow is only visible in the distance. It was not the sort of snow you see in Christmas cards where big fluffy flakes meander slowly to the ground. These were small, granular flakes that whipped against the face like a sandblaster.

I suppose I could have set the camera to manual and chosen a fast shutter speed to capture the snow and then changed to a slow shutter speed to capture the blowing trees but I lacked enthusiasm for the task and wanted to get back inside as soon as possible. Normally, there would be more vehicles on the street around the corner. It is a main road and at that time in the morning quite a number of people would be driving to work. But only an empty school bus crawled by as I stood there.

Tristan, my coyote hybrid, seemed quite enthused by it all and was bouncing around like a puppy, burying his nose deep in the snow every so often as if expecting to find a mouse or something. He really loves snow -- perhaps it makes the air smell cleaner, but he seems able to smell things just under the snow's surface.  He was indignant about the walk being so short even though he had been out earlier when it was still dark.

Outside my place, the maintenance man had been working with his snow blower not an hour earlier but the snow was starting to drift back again. Almost everything outside was drab and grey -- only the mountain ash berries brought some colour to the scene, the Nanking cherries in front of them having long vanished -- they were sweeter than usual this year.

I had originally planned to get some things done downtown and go for lunch somewhere, but travel did not seem to be a good plan so I stayed at home. The storm continued and was going strong until bedtime.

This morning, the wind had died down and it had stopped snowing. It was bit colder, -17 C. Tristan and I went for a half-hour walk. I needed to buy some eggs. The snow was lying in drifts, some as deep as 1 m. but mostly about 50 cm. In some places the sidewalks had bare patches. "Nice day!" I said to the man at the 7-11.

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