observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life

Cupcake & Spring

Flirt’s “Fantasy Island”: with light lemon icing & smothered in coconut

I promised more cupcakes from Flirt plus I thought I’d also share a few thoughts on spring north of 55.

In the blog world and on Flickr photos, everyone has been posting scads of photos indicative of their individual signs of spring — and for quite a while. They include bare streets!! (I wish), grass, budding leaves (what!), and flowers (you have got to be kidding, right!). As you can tell from my comments (hoping my humour is coming through!), we aren’t anywhere close to any of those so I thought it was high time I share the reality of living north of 55. You see, even though we had plenty of snow on the ground already, a huge blizzard raged in last week that added to the snowfall but it was the winds that caused drifts as high as 5 and 6 feet — that is NO April Fool’s joke.

We still have a few feet of snow on the ground, not a single tree is anywhere close to opening buds, let alone the perennials that are still buried beneath the snow and frozen in the solid earth. Yes, the first crows returned a few days ago and the Canada Geese are apt to arrive in the next week or two. But nesting — not a chance for quite some time yet. We’re beginning to get forecasts of days that will be above zero (single digits) but that doesn’t mean warm overnight temperatures. In fact, it’s uncommon to plant our gardens prior to the third week in May. Even at that we still get overnight frosts and need to protect our young seedlings or tender bedding plants after planting in May. There are a few exceptions to this but that’s primarily people who live in the city. It’s always warmer in the city because of the heat from the buildings and paved streets, not to mention that they don’t get the same effects from the blowing snow in winter (so snow melts sooner in the cities and towns).

Hansa shrub in my backyard before last week

Hansa shrub in my backyard before last week's storm -- now it's barely visible

Thanks to our neighbour, we no longer have to trudge through the deep snow or don our snowshoes to take our dogs for a walk down our driveway (our driveway to the back is approximately the length of two city blocks). On Sunday he nearly got his huge 8-wheel tractor stuck when he attempted to go through some of the deeper drifts but what a relief to be able to go outside and actually walk upright like normal people. You have no idea what a relief that is rather than slogging through deep snow trying to make new tracks each day. Needless to say we are incredibly grateful when he comes by!

getting plowed out -- but earlier in the winter before the heavy snowfalls!

getting plowed out -- but earlier in the winter before the heavy snowfalls!

All that said, there truly is hope for spring! It appears we are right at an important turning point. Hopefully from now on, the days will be warm enough to melt the snow and eventually thaw the ground. Spring is in sight even if it’s not actually here! I soon hope to begin reporting on the true signs of spring up here, north of 55.

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