Posts filed under ‘winter’

Changeable Weather

It’s that time of year when the weather is a little fickle, when it’s not completely spring and winter still wants to hang in. We woke Sunday morning to a thick coat of snow on picnic table and lawn, and the car covered with a coating of white.

When we thought we might be done with winter, snow and snow shovel, it made another appearance to keep us guessing. It did look pretty and it was very cold. And very much a surprise.

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However, we are in April now and there were flower stems shooting through the ground and buds on trees before this snowfall, so surely we’ll feel the warmth coming again soon.

 

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shoots poking through the ground for lilacs and other early spring flowers only last week

In a few days, perhaps, we’ll smell spring in the air. We’ve seen the robins and know they’re back. I’m ready for spring. Maybe you are too.

 

April 1, 2019 at 12:36 pm Leave a comment

Winter in our part of the world

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a tree silhouette in the snow

 

In southwestern Ontario we’ve had snow and cold, then mildness and rain. After that it turned cold again and all that rain that melted the snow froze on sidewalks and driveways as well as the road, so that everywhere we went there was ice to contend with. There still is ice.

We have winter tires on our mid-sized car so it handles the roads pretty well as long as we go slow. In the extreme cold a week ago, though, our car refused to start. I turned the key and it went “rrr” and refused to turn over. It did the same thing for my husband.

My husband said it was likely a dead battery and that it needed to be replaced. Handy husband had an extra battery in the workshop that he used to try to get the car started while I called the local shop to ask if we could get an appointment.

The car started with a bit of a boost and we let the car warm up to increase the charge enough to get to the shop. Thus that afternoon we did not get to where we had planned to go, but we did get a brand new battery in the car and now it starts again like a charm.

 

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winter gardens

 

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snow on the planter

 

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my shadow in the snow

 

 

All photos on this blog are © of C. R. Wilker, unless otherwise noted. Please ask permission if you wish to use a photo.

February 9, 2019 at 12:02 am 2 comments

Winter

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Early November in southwestern Ontario, we had a real first snow. It coated trees and covered roofs, nearly buried the gardens and gave drivers a reason to haul out their snow brushes. It was cold too.

 

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like how the snow mounds on the picnic table top and benches, like a marshmallow top

 

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Ceramic birdhouse made by my friend Valda. It may not be the most comfortable place for birds, but it’s a pretty decoration.

 

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Time to put the watering cans away. We had to turn them upside down and drain them first.

 

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snow on the trellises, and fence, a neat pattern

Weather in Canada, at least where we are. It comes and it stays.

Today I’ll share a poem that I wrote years ago, published by Tower Poetry Society.

 

Frozen Beauty

maples wave skeleton arms, patterning a cold blue sky

exposing abandoned nests and fragile papery globes

work of birds and bees

 

silvery icicles and white patches weigh down

evergreen branches, they sag

like an old woman with a heavy load

 

paw prints parallel booted feet

imprinting, crunching the cold white blanket

over frozen soil and city concrete

 

gardens, a silhouette of frozen stalks, dried seedpods

waiting… at rest until spring

like hibernating bears

 

©Carolyn Wilker

 

Published by Tower Poetry Winter Edition 2004-2005 Vol. 53 No. 2

December 12, 2018 at 2:18 pm Leave a comment

Maplefest, Buckhorn, Ontario

 

Maplefest, Buckhorn, Ontario

On the 24th of March, my husband and I accompanied our daughter and son-in-law and their two daughters to Maplefest that’s held near Buckhorn each year. The location was the McLean Berry Farm. It’s a bit of a drive but the girls entertained themselves pretty well on the way.

 

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When we arrived at the farm, we saw the horse pulling a wagon. We’ll get a ride in too, though Dave says it’s not very far. Still it’s kind of neat.

 

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Big round bales for the children to climb on while waiting for a ride. And someone taking a picture.

 

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You can get your picture taken in this scene.

 

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Watching their Mom and Dad saw a piece off a log

Then we can get a brand on the cut-off piece. I needed one of these for promoting Harry’s Trees. Perfect. It’s a maple leaf. So fitting.

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And another photo opp

 

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The ladies in the maple sugar tent, showing us and telling us how it’s done. We got to taste pure maple sugar taffy, then Dave got some floss to try out too. Thanks, Dave.

 

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Fun for the children

It was too cold to tap maple syrup that day, in fact very chilly, but it didn’t dampen spirits for the rest of the activities.

 

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We heard a quick talk on the evaporator to see where they boil down the sap

 

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Picture opportunity of our family

And the horses get to have a much needed break. Food time and rest for them over the noon hour. The next visitors got the tractor and wagon for their ride. Still pretty neat for a city family or anyone.

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We were glad to get back in the van and warm up a bit on the way to the GrandView Resort. We checked out their trailer, had some lunch that we’d packed, then set off for the trip home. It was a full day, and a good one.

April 12, 2018 at 2:29 pm Leave a comment

Is winter going out like a lion?

It took a long time for me to understand about seasons going out or coming in like a “lamb” and “lion.” Is it for real?

If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb.

Sandi Duncan, managing editor of the Farmer’s Almanac explores this saying. She asks if there’s any truth to the saying and states, “Weather sayings are as colorful as our imagination. ” She closes by declaring that the saying is “more of a rhyme rather than a true weather predictor.” Then she offers a few more of those sayings to consider. You can explore it further in her short article..

Pondering what happens, I think about the metaphor. It might come in like a lamb, that is gently. That it just slips in or out without any fuss. Or does it have to “roar in” like an angry beast, that is like a lion, and make people take notice. That may be the case for this winter that’s been rather unusual and at times quite dramatic.

This week we had an ice storm, one in which the rain and freezing rain coated branches of trees, driveways, and all the little flower buds. Yesterday as we drove across town to our family Easter gathering, we noticed ice-coated branches lying on the ground under their equally ice-laden trees. Deejays on the radio declared that hydro crews were concerned about power interruptions once the ice on the lines starts to break off. Indeed, the ice falling from the lines nearby startled me when I was out taking pictures and some people were without power for hours, including members of our own family who came to our house to warm up and have breakfast.

In spite of the dreary skies and broken branches, the freezing rain left behind some rather interesting sights in my garden and other places once the sun came out.

 

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bearberry submerged

 

 

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last season’s stems of gaillardia

 

 

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a crystallized arc of bearberry

 

 

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frozen daffodil stems

 

 

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It even froze the water coming out of the downspout mid-pour

 

This may well be the last of winter, now that one hint of spring has already shown itself. I’m hearing and feeling that we’re ready for spring to come to stay.

 

 

 

 

Photos © by C. Wilker, unless otherwise noted.

March 26, 2016 at 12:23 pm 2 comments

Winter is back

Although winter seemed to have left us, we’re still in February and in that month we can have anything from thaw to heaps of snow. The snow started falling last evening,  following up the rain we had during the afternoon, and so it was no surprise this morning to see a thicker covering of snow on the roofs, the cars that sit outside as well as on the ground and filling in the crooks of the trees.

 

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blanket over my garden

 

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little caps on the sedum blooms of last summer

 

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Garbage morning, can you tell? And we know which way the snow came from.

 

 

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I like how the snow clumps on the ends of the branches

 

 

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I think some small animal was up earlier than me.

 

 

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Snow fills in some of the spaces on this chicken wire where my morning glories climb in summer.

 

 

 

All photos, unless otherwise noted are copyright of C. R. Wilker

 

 

 

February 9, 2016 at 2:10 pm Leave a comment

The Shedding Christmas Tree

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My granddaughters, aged 4 & 6, each made one of these for their tree a few weeks ago when we were doing a craft. I made one along with them.

 

Pets shed their fur, people lose hair upon combing it, and trees eventually lose needles when they’re brought indoors too. But our tree is not a real one and it’s shedding too. Pretty badly, I might say.

We take our tree out of its storage box each December, assemble the poles that are never really hidden and put them in the stand, then stage the branches according to colour sequence from top to bottom. Then at the end of the season, sometime in early January, I take it apart and put the branches and all back in the box.

All of this came after a year or two of having a real tree and then needing to put them all out of the curb each January with all the others. That was before they were collected for environmental purposes, at least that I knew of. I worried about all those trees cut down for a short season indoors and decided to do something different. And so we bought our first artificial tree.

Once the pieces are out of the box and on the tree, we, rather I, spread out the compacted branches and then put on the lights. By the time I have done this, the living room carpet is full of those fibres that are meant to resemble needles on a pine tree. I complained about the fall-out last year when I put the tree up, and this week I said, “At the end of this season, this tree goes out.” Next year, it means we get a new one.

It was a White Rose special, a moderately priced tree, and for a lot of years it served us well. By the time we get the lights on and all the decorations, it’s passable, apart from the spindly topmost pointed branch that always leans when I put on my hand crafted angel, though it’s not very heavy. She looks like she’s had one too many celebrations. Unless you compare our tree to a real tree or one of those with hinged branches—much fuller branches—with the lights already on them, it doesn’t look too bad.

Usually my husband hauls out the boxes—tree and decorations—and hands over the rest of the job to me. When I’m done assembling and decorating, he vacuums the room because every year it sheds. This time I gave him the job of sorting out the lights since he had wrapped them carefully and completed the job on each bundle with tape as he does with all electrical cords, in a neat and orderly fashion.

By the time I returned home from an errand, he not only had the lights sorted, but he had assembled the three strings of green lights and put them on the tree, after a fashion. He said, on my return, “You can rearrange the lights how you like them.” I did some rearranging, but he’d done not such a bad job of it himself. And the bonus, he had the lights turned on. That was to check that all the lights worked, he said.

 

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This ball was a gift from my friend, Amanda, last year. Love it!

 

This morning I began to decorate the tree, putting on my myriad collection of ornaments, snowmen, Santas, angels, pewter ornaments, some of those coming from various parts of the world. In previous years our children helped decorate the tree, but they have homes of their own and have their own ornaments—some collected throughout childhood. Last year it was my granddaughters, Evy and Ana, then 3, 5 years old, who helped me with the finishing touches. This year the lower ornaments on the tree are ones a baby can take off and hold without the fear of breaking.

 

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one of my Nova Scotia ornaments

 

I’ll put on Christmas music while I decorate—this year a collection by Michael Cavan Kelly—and remember the Salvation Army brass ensemble that played at the grocery store last evening. Then we’ll move the tree into its place, wrap the tree skirt around it and my husband will vacuum again, because as sure as the tree needs to be decorated, more of those green fibres will be on the carpet and on my socks and all through the house. After that, and only then, I turn off the rest of the lights, and sit back and admire my work.

 

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our tree, all decorated

 

I’ve already begun my shopping, in fact, I have a good chunk done. And this weekend I’ll finish writing the last of my Christmas cards and get them in the mail. What we all do for a holiday such as Christmas! And only then will I get out the white stone crèche and figures and arrange it somewhere out of reach of our eight-month-old grandchild, who’s seeing Christmas for the first time.

And that’s our preparation for Christmas, besides preparing our hearts for the Saviour we will celebrate.

May your hearts be filled with joy and peace this holy season and may health, healing of relationships and love of family and friends be yours this Christmas.

 

 

 

All  photos on this blog are my own unless otherwise mentioned.

December 10, 2015 at 2:00 am 2 comments

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