Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cold, Snow, Warm & Rain - A Southern Ontario Winter Day

It's one of those days you practically need a miner's helmet to see anything. We got some pretty sticky snow last night - I immediately thought snowman - Kevin said, "Boy it would be great to build a fort!"

Everyone seems to have forgotten how to drive in the snow - transports have jack-knifed all across the area - one of the underground cable guys managed to semi-turn the corner and end up in a ditch around the corner. Not so bad. It can happen. Unfortunately he tried to rectify the situation himself by putting the van in reverse and gunning the engine to about 120kilometers judging by the spray of dirt across the road and up the neighbours driveway. Wonder if he got down deep enough to find the sprinkler system?

The temperature is now above freezing and headed to about 8C - and it's pouring rain - so all this pretty snowy stuff will probably be gone by 5:00 p.m. Not so much now, but in spring when this pattern will repeat itself is when I will lose many of my perennials - about 10% every year - the freeze/thaw cycle is just deadly.

Last night at our horticultural meeting/AGM and potluck dinner, Catherine Kavassalis did a great presentation on trees in Oakville - so many were lumbered out in the 1800s for housing and shipbuilding - she had photos of some fabulous giants that are still standing with some addresses so we can all take a little tree tour of Oakville. Also, in her presentation she told us that there is only one stand of wild Cercis canadensis - red bud in all of Canada and it's on Pelee Island - Canada's most southerly point 42 degrees north latitude (the Napa valley is 41 degrees north). So how on earth she wondered did it ever earn it's C. canadensis label?


easygardener said...

Perhaps the weather has changed significantly since it was first named - or the name was a mistake for some reson!

Frances said...

Hi Barbara, yikes about the mud spray from the stuck truck! I thought you all knew all about driving in the slippery stuff and it was just us in the southern US that were idiots! (Did I just say that???) I am amazed about your having redbuds at all, but have noticed lots of our natives have the moniker canadensis. Could it just be their name for North America? Just a thought. Your snow does look pretty.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Barbara, Looks like you received a beautiful snow fall. I like the snowman building kind of snow. It is so amazing that on the first snowfalls of the year there are so many wrecks, especially here in Ohio. They think they can still drive the same speed, etc. We warmed up and got rain also, white stuff all gone.

Barbarapc said...

E.G. There are books that claim canadensis means North American - however most of the others with this name are usually tough as nails and can be counted on to at least -30C if not -40C with snow cover. We probably are growing C. canadensis further north than ever before with our warmer winters and have lots of die-back.

Frances: I'm amazed at how dopey folks are when it snows - several years ago my brother's car (and three others) were totalled by two fools trying to race out of the parking lot after 18" of snow. Even now in Quebec (which has lots more snow than southern Ontario) - they've had to demand that everyone put snow tires on the 1st week of December - so few people realize that "all season tires" means Florida - Winter, Summer, Spring and Fall.

HH - We got the rain most of the day, but then the freeze and more snow came - so it still looks a bit white. Most of our nasty wrecks are with folks who are driving all wheel drive vehicles - turns out when you're on ice it doesn't matter how many wheels you thought you were driving on....

Meems @HoeandShovel said...

Hi Barbara, Sometimes I think folks forget how slick the roads are when it rains after a dry spell. You just have to wonder what/if people are even thinking at all sometimes.

Very pretty snow. It always looks so magical to this Florida girl.