Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Up until November, Corwin had been pretty sad with the expectation that for the third winter in a row, there would be no snow.

All this changed with the first major storm of the winter which happened at the end of November. Instead of melting, a lot of the snow remained.

The second major storm of the winter started with warm moist air in Texas. By Saturday December 15 the moisture laden air had reached us and had collided with an arctic air mass to produce whiteout blizzard conditions, lasting until Sunday. The storm brought near record snowfalls to Toronto.

As expected, the city ground to a halt. Fortunately, the current mayor is too smart to panic and call in the army like the last one did back in Jan 1999.

Starting Sunday morning, we were out shoveling the driveway.

We were out again in the mid afternoon, when the accumulated snowfall for the last few hours made it look like we had done nothing in the morning.

This photo of Corwin is very festive, with the red and green Christmas colours and the snow. He had to be convinced to stand still for the shot, and then minutes afterward, tried to bean me with a snowball. Snowballs and parental victims are why winters exist...

By early evening, the snow had mostly ended and there was only a centimeter or two of accumulation to shovel. To our great surprise, the snowplows came by before midnight -- under the previous mayor, it would have been days. But the passing of the plows also required a final trip out, to shovel off the comber of packed snow in front of the driveway.

All the snow had to go somewhere, since it is illegal to push it onto the road. In our case, we put it onto the lawn, onto an ever-growing snowbank. But the downside to having a snowbank taller than you are is that it becomes really hard to toss more snow on top of it.

As with all things, excessive snow is a relative concept. My sources in Northern B.C. tell me that there's a half metre of snow on the ground for a few weeks now, and nearly two and a half metres up in the mountains.

The same storm that dumped on us also did the same on our friends in the Ottawa Valley. Here is the view from Bob and Elaine's front door.

For the record, I am bored of shoveling snow. Make it stop.

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