Summer officially started in Alberta on Friday. No that’s not a typo…summer officially started this year, on June 20th! Thankfully, we have now entered a period of rather nice weather with temperatures in the 80’s most of this week just ending. We were getting very concerned as to how June might turn out given we had more rainfall in the first half of the month than is usual for the entire month of June. In fact, we are hearing this has been the wettest start to June in these parts since the 1930’s. It was clearly waiting for us to arrive! Anyway, as we say, the weather is coming on nicely now and everyone is beginning to relax in the sun…even the local animals. We were having a drive around today and came across this very chilled out goat enjoying the improved vantage point that his owner’s picnic table afforded him.J&E
We thought you might be interested to see Spring time in Alberta.
April 12th – Marmot in the sun at Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump
April 14th – the lake finally melted (for my birthday) and Mum by car outside our house April 17th – Jack Rabbit lying in the sun
April 19th – words fail us
Having reported in the last item that we hadn’t had any snow since just after Christmas, we’ve now had the biggest falls of the winter so far. We’ve had several inches over a couple of days ending on Sunday, as illustrated with this shot (from Janet’s new camera) of the view when we opened our back door.
The last few days have been very overcast (white skies) and on at least one day, we have seen temperatures in the mid minus twenties Centigrade. Still, that didn’t stop us nipping out to “road-test” Janet’s recently acquired Nikon D80 with 18-200mm zoom lens, (a very nice piece of kit – although we are still at “neanderthal” level in terms of understanding and using all its features).
We popped up to take a shot of the new church in the north east corner of Okotoks that acts as a land-mark for several miles around.
We drove to look at Big Rock (which we have mentioned before) in winter. You may recall, this glacial erratic lies behind the naming of Okotoks.
We managed to pull over to the side of the main road into Okotoks to catch the sun as it set over the mountains to the west.
And the following morning, before the next bank of cloud rolled in, we managed to snap the tree outside our house, along with a view of next door’s very nice house!
Do you remember that late summer scene of the lake out the back of our house…
Look what a few weeks of cold weather and some snowfall has done to it..
The lake has completely frozen over. It looks stunning. The Canadian’s seem an enterprising bunch and they certainly love the outdoors, evidenced by the following…
This is one of maybe 5 different ice rinks that the locals have created for themselves on the lake. You have to admire their determination. It is a significant job to shift that much snow to expose the ice and then they spend an age trying to smooth the surface. Then it snows again and they have to clear the rink again!
It’s fascinating to watch them at work and then to see them enjoy the fruits of their labours.
How typical of our luck. The weather folk have been going on about how this will be the coldest Canadian winter in years and to underline this “fact”, we have been going through an extremely cold spell this past couple of weeks. Until a couple of days ago, we’d had numerous continuous days of “overcast” (it’s sort of different here…the sky goes very white) weather with daytime temperatures of -24°C (with a wind-chill factor making it feel like -27°C).
We decided that we weren’t going to hide from it and even though we weren’t brave enough to venture out for walks, we did make sure we went about our business in terms of going to the shops and so on. You know that brain-freeze feeling you get when you eat too much ice cream at once…well it sort of feels like that, all over your head and body! So, it was out with the hats and thermal gloves and numerous layers of clothing, which all helped to make it manageable.
It’s been nice to see the sun again this past couple of days although we had a fairly large dump of snow last night. Quite bizarrely though, we looked out the front door just before lunchtime today and someone (we have absolutely no idea who) has cleared our drive of all the snow. What a saint! It left us completely dumbfounded…we’ll let you know if we find out who the Good Samaritan was and why they felt compelled to be so kind!