• Happy Scream Day! 😱

How is your winter so far?

Just watched @Jontario's video of, ho hum, canoe tripping on Lake Superior in February.

I stumbled across his videos when I was researching possible Temagami trips. I still haven't made it up to Temagami, but am always happy when he drops a new video - they're always well done and worth the time.
 
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I'm a big fan of Jon's videos also. I hope his title "This Is Not Normal" doesn't change to ""The New Normal" a few Februarys from now. The new normal is how I've been looking at the climate changes in Pa. as well as Alaska.

Hey Jon, if you happen to see this I would love to see a winter Everglades trip video, and wonder if you've ever considered it.
 
We’ve had a very mild winter in east-central Saskatchewan, until last night when a dreaded ”Alberta Clipper” roared through. Temperature tonight is predicted to fall to -30 C (-22 F). Waiting for the plow to come to clear our lane. Kathleen is out throwing snow off our driveway. I am the official photographer.

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Robin, that's so sad to hear about those passing. Small ponds by your house is perfect with adults there for safety.
 
For alpine and Nordic skiing this is turning out to be a dud year in Vermont. Sure, there's still some alpine skiing on the trails that got buried in man-made snow but overall the snow pack is going, going, gone. Ski season was short and mud season is going to feel like it's taking forever. I don't like canoeing when the water temperature is 40F+/-, or even 50F, so it'll be a while before I put a canoe on the water. On the plus side, water temps are probably going to be warming up a month earlier this spring.
 
I'll be skiing lift served in southern VT tomorrow, hoping for corn, I know there will be plenty of sunshine.
I've had wonderful spring conditions 3 times now, twice in January and again in February. I would have much preferred seasonal temps and powder...
As for my favorite skiing, back country skin and ski?? Non existent for me!!
 
Had snow on Sunday and Wednesday and combined gave more snow than the entire rest of Winter. It was windy both storms so difficult to say but I think we got about 6" on Wednesday and have a foot on the ground.

We needed some, the bush is going to be dry this year if we don't get Spring rains. Supposed to be in the plusses on the weekend and moving forward. All the ice huts were removed early from the Red River.
 
I saw a flock of robins about two weeks ago. The eagles have been working on their nest and Canada geese, mallards and mergansers have returned before the lake was ice free.

The lake I'm on froze over by Thanksgiving, but thawed and refroze a few times. The ice was only usable for five or six days the whole winter so the kids only got to skate one weekend. We did get a fair amount of snow at my house. About 40 inches or more fell but we lost our base four times. I did manage to ski about 20 days in the back country and get some paddling in every month so it wasn't too bad for me.

By the end of this month I will have spent 5 weeks in Alaska. So I will get my share of winter which included getting snow bound at home for a few days and a frozen pipe that flooded my basement.

I will be home by the end of the month so I will get to paddle then. Since I've already paddled in January and February I'm going to try to paddle every month this year and continue that into the future. I feel very blessed to be a paddler and a back country skier.
 
Being out n about the past few weeks going nowhere doing nothing, I've been accidentally nature watching. Can't help but notice the bald eagles swooping and soaring around here. One majestic specimen alighted in a tall spruce near my home village. I was driving by, slowed right down to drink in the view and thought of pulling over for a phone-photo but thought better of it. Just let it be. Appreciate that it happened. Meanwhile some scruffy looking hawks have taken up their positions on hydro lines outside of town scanning the ditches for a meal, their backs turned to the traffic as if in a huff. Cardinals are limbering up their vocal chords, robins are fighting mad right now around the city lawns as if there aren't enough worms to go around. On the drive home from a village pub date tonight with my girl I narrowly missed a doe gracefully striding across the road. Phew. Continuing on at horse and buggy speed we rolled our windows down just in time to see a healthy looking fox skip up a farm lane, looking back over its shoulder every few yards to keep an eye on us, amber eyes glowing in the dusk. In the distance we can just make out the dark shadows of wild turkeys making the most of warm evenings in the corn stubble. All this is special but rather familiar to me having lived here most my life. But this past week I did get to check a bird off my life list. I heard them before I saw them, their gutteral rattling croaks are quite distinctive. I was cycling on a rural trail and slowed down looking up at the tree canopy of dark branches lacing the clear blue sky, (such a daydreamer) when a pair of sandhill cranes floated above me in smooth choreography. Sometimes it's enough to be in a fleeting moment. Be thankful. Feel lucky, and like so much small change escaping the pockets in my worn out jeans, let it slip away.
 
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I know this is a bit of a drift, but winter has sucked so much I'm looking for anything to balance this mess out.

Had an incredibly good time at a Peter Frampton concert last nite. Like a bunch on this site I'm sure, we saw him 40 years ago, but his show holds up very well. I have always thought he was underrated as a guitarist. He has brushed up the songs a bit, walks with a cane, and has to sit instead of stand. He stated his hands are numb but the fingers still work. Like many aging guitarists he takes some shortcuts on a few of those classic riffs, but for 74 he is still putting on a show that was well worth the $90 ticket price. Many Humble Pie tunes and as well.

Frampton was Chick's first concert, and she looked all over but couldn't find the tee shirt from that show.

For any rock and roll dinosaurs like me, a very good time!

OK, back to winter sucking........
 
That winter did indeed suck, but it's spring now, I've been out paddling a few times. Today we had this storm blow through with high winds and heavy rain, but just behind it the winds calmed down and the rain tapered to drizzle, so I headed out to the usual early spring stream in the late afternoon. The weather still wasn't great, but the water was very high so I could meander through the meadows and tributary creeks. Here I'm up in a beaver pond, the water level was a few inches higher than the dam so the only difficulty getting up there was maneuvering around the remaining ice. It'll be gone soon.

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