That Was Winter

Whirlwinds of ice crystals racing each other along the snow-covered road…

Long and snowy road

Long and snowy road

Shoveling the driveway clear and salting the footpath. Crisp whiteness, icicle cold air to breathe …

Wintertree - up to her knees in the white stuff

Wintertree – up to her knees in the white stuff

A halcyon time, seven days long …

Widderlake - frozen over

Widderlake – frozen over

… and now?

… it’s raining … again.

NO SNOW!!! … and Other Things

This is what the Winter Tree looked like on Christmas Day 2016

SNOW!!!

SNOW!!!

This is what my friend looked like this Christmas Day just gone.

That bit of blue sky was the last to be seen

That bit of blue sky was the last to be seen

To quote Voldemort, “I consider myself, disappointed”.

Just a few kilometers away, (and a few hundred meters of elevation) there’s snow everywhere. It’s several meters high, blocking highways, doing avalanches, and everything. Down here on the river valley floor all we’ve had is rain …lots of rain … floods of rain …way, way too much … rain.

To make matters worse, I’ve been nastily ill since my last post, which resulted in all sorts of bodily functions going haywire, along with a migraine cluster that still sends shivers down my spine when I think about it.

So, all-in-all, not the most auspicious Festive Season.

However … remember ‘Prelude’, the true tales of my Shamaning? Mrs Widds and I are putting it through its very final line edit this weekend, then off to Smashwords and the Zon it goes to become an ebook. Soon followed thereafter by a print version.

It’s been quite a journey, spending most of 2018 reliving a time in my life thirty years past.

I’ll keep you updated as to how it’s all going.

There’s still time for some snow to fall before winter’s over … isn’t there?

24 Little Hours

What a difference a day makes.

After losing two major branches to the Ice-storm we decided our Winter Tree needed some TLC so we made a bit of a garden around her base with some logs from the tree across the way that had a severe prune, (also from the ice-storm) some newspaper to inhibit the grass and bucketloads of our nicely nutritious compost.

A garden of one’s own – a bit of snow still on the ground but Spring was looking like it was just around the corner

A garden of one’s own – a bit of snow still on the ground but Spring was looking like it was just around the corner

Then, this happened …

Nothing serious, just a little bit more snow, amirite?

Nothing serious, just a little bit more snow, amirite?

As it got dark, the snow began to get serious, and seriouser …

What manner of mysterious creature is playing underneath my branches?

What manner of mysterious creature is playing underneath my branches?

It was some rare and seldom photographed, (mostly because they’re invisible) SNOW DRAGONS …

Heh, heh, heh ... you can’t see us

Heh, heh, heh … you can’t see us

They frolicked and gamboled in the snow underneath the Winter Tree until Mama Racoon …. erm, I mean Mama SNOW DRAGON called them in for supper.

You still can’t see us! Hee, hee, hee

You still can’t see us! Hee, hee, hee

Off they hopped into the night …

Look! Mama left the porch light on for us

Look! Mama left the porch light on for us

… leaving the Winter Tree to chuckle to herself at the wonderful mess they made of her nice smooth snow skirts.

So much wonderful excitement! But now, I think I’ll go back to sleep and wait for Spring to REALLY arrive

So much wonderful excitement! But now, I think I’ll go back to sleep and wait for Spring to REALLY arrive

The next day the path-clearing crew started removing 40 centimeters of snow from the walkway.

Mrs Widds – full steam ahead!

Mrs Widds – full steam ahead!

Coco the Community Cat arrived disgruntled that the path had not been properly cleared before she, and her very long tummy fur, had to plow through it in order to get cuddles.

I’m not freaked out. It’s just wet, and cold, and lumpy. OK, I’m freaked out ... a little bit

I’m not freaked out. It’s just wet, and cold, and lumpy. OK, I’m freaked out … a little bit

Mirabeau leapt to the rescue with warm towels and soon Coco was relaxing in one of her most favourite places  …

Mirabeau: “I’ll leave you alone to recover, shall I?” Coco: “ Well, perhaps you could stay for a little while longer?”

Mirabeau: “I’ll leave you alone to recover, shall I?”
Coco: “ Well, perhaps you could stay for a little while longer?”

-oOo-

The Winter Tree

It’s been a long 6 months since I took this picture of our Tree.

An unusually clear day in our Summer of Smoke

The heat, and the smoke, and my ‘chitis, lingered long into Autumn.

But the leaves did eventually start to turn

Winter’s first chill put a halo of frost around the fallen leaves.

Brrrr, that’s brisk

Then, this being the Fraser Valley, it rained, and rained, and rained.

After the summer we had I wasn’t about to complain

We put up some Christmas decorations …

If you look close you can see real fairies with their wee lanterns lighting up the glitter. 🙂

… and had ourselves a merry little (white) Christmas.

My little cellphone even managed to capture the white stuff as it fell

Coco the Community Cat came to visit and admire the view.

Of course I’m not going to look into that strange thing you’re shoving in my face. It could steal my soul … and then you’d be sorry!

Two days later the snow turned to ice. 5 cm (2″) on the first day!

I probably shouldn’t’ve budded this early

Trees bowed and broke under the weight. Power lines were knocked out. We knew it was coming, there’d been enough warnings from the weather bureau. Our 72 hour emergency plan stood us in good stead, but we were stretched to the limit at the end. Now we have a 144 hour (6 day) emergency supply of fuels, (gasoline, kerosene, propane) and storage and purification capacity for 120 liters (31 gallons) of water.

The staccato sounds of falling trees snapped through the crystal air without cease.

Bending under the weight

What was beautiful and soft turned into dangerous and beautiful.

The sun came out and we sent out to see what we could see

A neighbour’s maple trees became a curtain of ice

Ice everywhere, over everything

A wire fence became an instant icicle factory

Down by the lake Grandmother Willow had succumbed to the weight on her ancient branches

The hedge across the way became a frozen waterfall

We sat in our little house, snug and warm, and read, and passed the time disconnected from the rest of the world, but at peace with it as well.

The next morning we pulled up the blinds on our study window and saw what had become of our Winter Tree

Two major branches, gone. Frozen to the ground, waiting for the thaw

Coco came to commiserate

As did a deer, who must’ve come across the lake after it froze

In spite of all the damage across our island and indeed the entire region, we held no animosity, perhaps a little sorrow, but in the face of such a beautiful blue sky, it didn’t last.

Winter on Widder Island