Winter’s Slow Retreat

Snowfall-warningIt’s May!! If you ask me, it’s well past time for winter to migrate to the southern hemisphere for several months. But the weather forecast for the weekend shows that the winter of 2013/14 is tenacious, with snowfall warnings in effect for Canmore, Kananaskis and the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks.

It’s great news for skiers (if you plan to head off groomed downhill runs, please take heed of the avalanche warning, currently sitting at HIGH), but not so great for those of us anxiously anticipating the start of the summer of 2014 gardening season. But instead of pouring through my gardening books – almost guaranteed to trigger another revision to my vegetable garden plan – I decided to comb through my photographs from the past month, in search of signs that spring is making a stealth approach.

I think I found some pretty good indications that once the current weather system clears the area, it will suddenly be spring in this part of the world. Allow me to present my case…

The ice has pretty much disappeared from the surface of the Bow River as it flows through Canmore.
The most shaded areas still harbour patches of ice and snow, but even those are melting from the top and the bottom as can be seen here.
The ice is disappearing from smaller lakes and ponds, like this water hazard with a view of Mount Rundle.
Crews have just about completed the temporary flood mitigation measures along Canmore’s creeks. The landscape along Three Sisters creek is irrevocably changed. Purely from a visual appeal perspective, the change is not for the better. But should heavy rains trigger an accelerated snow melt (like June 2013), the wide flat banks should minimize the risk of extensive damage to homes, roadways and other human infrastructure.
The ice curtain over the big waterfall on Three Sisters Creek is gone!
Closer to Calgary, Prairie Crocuses are popping up all over.

And finally, yesterday I pulled about a dozen dandelions out of my otherwise still dormant flower beds.

So my fingers are crossed that by this time next week, spring will have sprung in this part of Canada. What about where you live…are the changing seasons locked in a battle for supremacy? Or are the seasons unfolding as they should?

2 thoughts on “Winter’s Slow Retreat

  1. Nature has its ways of playing with our expectations and emotions. Let this delay to get to spring bring some beautiful spring and summer moments. Here in NY and NJ, weather hasn’t been tricking us lately and as we can see the spring will soon be at its best. Thanks for this beautiful post 🙂

    1. Thanks for taking a mini virtual vacation in our part of the world. We had almost 30 cm (1 foot) of new snow on the weekend (May 2 and 3), but as it’s starting to melt I can see that the grass has turned green underneath. I’m excited to go look for prairie crocus blossoms emerging from the snow tomorrow!

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