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Enough already! I thought I had passed the ‘Winter Test’ this year! We have endured the blasts from the Arctic Vortex, had metres of snow thrown on us and braved the sub zero temperatures!  We had just begun to thaw and had enjoyed a few days out in the garden and have even sipped our first of the season sundowners on the deck. The hesitant sun had begun to warm our frosted lily- white winter limbs. Our mood had lifted and there was a spring in the step. But it was not to last…….

The morning scene.....

The morning scene…..

We woke up this morning and the world outside was all carpeted in snow! Oh no! It was hard to assimilate that we had regressed back into winter over night.

So out came the liquid sunshine, the ‘must have’ vitamin D tablets, at breakfast. I had pushed that right to the back of the tray as I felt they would not be needed for a few months. How wrong I was! Warming Jungle Oats would be at the top of the menu once more rounded off with a cup of hot chocolate. There would be no walk for our canine member of the family either. I just could not get myself out of that door to duel with the wind. Josh had that ‘gatvol’ expression on his face as he went out for his morning ablutions on his snowy patch. He had reveled in the sun over the weekend as he rolled in the grass and luxuriated on his back in the sun. Now all he could do was jump straight back into his warm basket and sulk.

I fumbled in the dark coat cupboard for my tried and tested and ‘very sick of wearing’ blue padded jacket. When I first arrived in Canada I could never understand the reasoning behind having so many coats. I used to listen to locals discuss their ski coats, walking jackets, evening coats, weekend coats and spring coats. What on earth was a spring coat? Initially I decided that this was surely extravagant and I could manage with far less. I muddled on for the first winter and even the second as they were both mild. But then the ‘big guns’ hit us…….this last winter! It did not take me long to realize that my sensible repertoire of 2 coats in the mudroom cupboard was just not enough. I would feel an attack of SADS coming on when I reached into the cupboard and selected one from my meager choice! Then the warm boots were reluctantly pulled on too. Oh for a pair of peep toe sandals!

I long to give my summer sandals an airing!

I long to give my summer sandals an airing!

So as the sun breaks through those clouds and the snow begins to melt yet again, the prospect of spring becomes a reality once more. We can look forward to new growth and new life! But in the meantime a couple of mallard ducks have set up home down at the river at the bottom of our garden. There has been much courtship and spring shenanigans going on.  It looks like there is soon to be a batch of baby chicks. What a lovely way to celebrate Easter!

Our mallard ducks make whoopee in our stream.

Our mallard ducks make whoopee in our stream.

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(This song was written and first played by the Zombies in 1968. This rendition is by Dave Matthews, a South African, who now lives in Seattle.)

 

It is another day of temperatures below zero! I mumble as I sit down in the mudroom. (This is a room at the front of most Canadian houses and it has all the coats and winter garb.) I pull out my blue fur- trimmed coat and my thick boots. I am sick of this outfit!  I have forgotten what my feet look like as they have been all trussed up in heavy boots for months! Each morning we look out for any sign of some reprieve……..another day of rain and grey skies. Oh no!

Even the locals are ‘gatvol.’ Sometimes I have to resort to my local dialect as there is just no other word that best described this feeling.  I could think of a few other choice words which could best describe this k…k weather but I am sure that this blog would then be blocked!  But there is hope……. 

 

One of the joys of winter!

One of the joys of winter!

 

 

Spring is slow at gracing us with her presence. You have to look hard for it as it pours most days!  My tulip bulbs are sprouting and their glossy leaves have broken through the earth. Thank goodness! They survived the beady eyes of the squirrels during the fall. This was when all the delicately juicy specimens were gathered up as their stash for the winter.  Somehow the new bed that I had created in the garden was overlooked by the vigilant gatherers. The resident rabbit is the next threat. The new growth is just too much for him to resist. Luckily Josh keeps a watchful eye from the window. He performs a war dance whenever any livestock dare to trespass on our verge. So for the moment the bulbs are safe.

I resort to the indoor tulips!

I resort to the indoor tulips!

 

The morning greets us with an abundance of bird calls….robin, thrush and the splendid red cardinals. The woodpeckers often disrupt the melodious calls with their beating thuds against the bark. They busily make new homes for fussy females and the pending brood. The majestic birds of prey have made their weary journey back across the sea. They can be seen gliding overhead and filling up on local delicacies like squirrel and the odd mouse. Our resident red -tailed hawk has appeared. He was less noisy but probably still exhausted after his long commute. He is sure to be squawking away in the elm trees and creating havoc once he has regained his strength.

Our magnificent cardinals.

Our magnificent cardinals.

 

 

Spring is a time to renew, recover and replenish. Nature does it and it enthuses us winter-weary humans to do the same. The excitement is tangible. A mere glimpse of a ‘patch of blue’ draws people outside and into the street.  Enthusiastic neighbours gather round and wield their power hoses. The clean up has started! Driveways and front steps are washed and the residue salt and grime disappear down the drains. Sleek new road tyres are fitted to the family cars and the robust winter tyres packed away.  Our basements are bulging with all the winter paraphernalia! The mud room gets a facelift and all the heavy coats and skis make way for bathing costumes and sandals. Hoorah!

All this adds to the delight and realization that SPRING is almost here!


 

 

 

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