March 18, 2012

261: Summer/Winter

summer/winter IV
I took a road trip today, to see if the countryside had transformed from winter to spring at as rapid a pace as it has the city. This past week has been unprecedented, with the weekend a staggering twenty-one degrees above seasonal average. It's been enjoyable, if not completely oddball – and thus, a little frightening.

summer/winter II
I drove a circuit from the Seven Sisters Falls dam and Whitemouth Falls, up to Pine Falls and back down to Grand Beach where I snapped these photos. I went for a walk in the heat and humidity(!), the still-frozen-solid lake evaporating and shimmering out to the horizon. In these parts Lake Winnipeg usually doesn't crack and melt until the end of April, so I was encouraged by the ice not budging. But the temperatures were throwing other aspects of nature a curve: pussy-willows budding, but flocks of snow buntings still poking around in the sand and slush.

summer/winter III
I like to make an annual pilgrimage to Grand Beach in the spring, trying my best to time it with break-up on the lake. I've never witnessed the place at its crazy flesh-parade peak, opting to visit during spring thaw and autumn – and winter, too, since we discovered the park's network of ski trails. The beach was fantastically empty and nearly winter-free. On my way back I stopped at Patricia Beach, a few kilometres to the south. It was completely socked in, nary a place to scramble without my bare legs sinking to the knees in snow.

summer/winter I
The furnace has been off for three days now; I suppose I should be thankful for that. Windows have been opened, briefly. Bike tires pumped. The lawn raked of spring detritus. It's been a strange and incredible weekend. I was skiing a week ago. Now I'm not sure what to fear more: a slap-in-the-face return to the season we should be experiencing, or the possibility of this freakshow as the new norm.

This site never does justice to such horizontally-skewed photos. Click on the images directly to view them in greater detail.

No comments: