Fall

Just last year around this time I was preparing to start my first job in Canada and was complaining about the cold weather.  Click here for my old post. 

We had a summer that felt like the winter and fall that almost non-existence and when I said non-existence I mean a season that didn’t feel or look like fall.  Not only it was extremely chilly, tree leaves hardly had the opportunity to look beautiful turning yellow, orange and red before they fell off.  Winter gears were already out by September.  

This year, however, is the total opposite of last year.  This year’s summer seems to be fairly long and moving into Fall tomorrow, our temperature is still above 20C which is at least 6 to 8C above the seasonal average.  I am definitely not complaining because it feels so good to still be able to walk around in T-shirt in the late afternoon. 

Look at our weather forecast and check out this Sunday.  The temperature is at a high of 27C and a sun-sun-sunny day!  What a great way to welcome fall eh?

…..and I am determined to be out with my camera this weekend snapping the colors of fall, so stay tuned!

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Snow

Edmonton hadn’t been getting this much of snow for many many years. 

This year, due to the La Nina (or anti El Nino) effects, there has been increased in prescipitation above the seasonal average.  I have tried to google for the exact amount of snow accumulation in Edmonton so far but to no avail, so I will just say 90cm for the last 6 weeks, which is the number I have last heard from the TV news. 

Here are some photos to give you an idea of how much is “this much” of snow I am talking about.

Snow piled on rooftop

Snow was plowed and piled like a little hill at all open parking lots, and this is not the tallest " snow hill" I have seen for this winter...

This tree is at least 7 to 8 feet tall so you can gauge how much snow we have accumulated looking at where the snow piled below the tree.

Same tree but the view from inside the house

Snow in our backyard

I learned a few things about snow from my first winter experience in Canada.  I learned the night glows during snowfall.  The sky on a snowing night is always bright and orangy that looks like a sunset.  The brightness and orange sky are caused by inefficient penetration of lights as well as the reflection of the surrounding lights (street lights, car lights, moon lights) from the snow.  The night is even brighter during a snow storm because as the snow particles or moisture flow in the air, they reflect the lights to the sky.  It is very beautiful.

I tried to take some photos during those snow storm nights. Unfortunately, I have used the wrong modes and the photos did not turn out the way the actual sky looked.  These are a few I have found on the internet and very close to my own experience.

Snowfall at night

Another snowing night

Bright snow sky at night

While snow has brought a lot of fun, adventure and beauty to all, I have learned that snow can be dangerous and damaging too.

There have been cases of rooftop collapsing due to heavy snow.  The roof just gave way with too much accumulation of snow, water and ice on it.  Even the snow removal job of clearing rooftops can be dangerous too because one could slip and fall in the process.

Rooftop collapsed at a Senior Recreational Center

Snow that melts and turned into water may froze as the temperature dips and eventually turned into ice.  These ice sometimes is thin coated and transparent and at times covered under fresh snow which all means they are difficult to see.  Many has fell and injured themselves due to the slippery side walks and roads.  Accidents happened when cars skidded and driver lost controls for the same reasons.  Definitely not a very pleasant experience.

And when these much of snow melts, it becomes extremely messy.  The word I have learned to describe condition like this is “squashy”.  Imagine walking on squashy snow, it is just like walking on a huge pile of pureed food.  It is wet, slippery, messy and just “squashy”.  

Polar Bear has met his match - the icy road. 😀

The most disturbing news I have heard was a murder case.  A father that was under the influence of drugs wrapped his two toddlers up in a blanket and left them in the snow overnight.  Needless to say the neighbour found the two toddlers frozen in the snow the next day. 

Another lady committed suicide by walking out into the cold for hours without wearing any warm clothes.  Perhaps her death has nothing much to do with the snow but I loath the fact that weather in winter can be such a powerful killing weapon. 😦       

Since I have heard of such news, I have very mixed feelings about the snow and I now see this nature’s most remarkable phenomena differently.