Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring in Ontario Snow, Cold, Ice; Not Usual March Weather

This year Spring is very slow in showing itself here in southern Ontario. We've seen a few determined robins, and a few dozen migrating trumpeter swans that stopped at Port Credit on their way north.

A few valiant (foolhardy?) spring bulbs were spotted, working their way through the frozen soil. But March 2011 is one of the chilliest in years, and I, for one, am more than ready for warm weather.

Saddington Park Mississauga ON Ice on Breakwater
 Look at the ice on the rocks at Saddington Park! This morning I woke up to minus 10C (14F) temperatures, and this admittedly pretty ice covering the breakwater along the Credit River.

Sunrise Lights Up Ice-covered Trees Port Credit ON
 The sunrise turned the ice-covered trees along the Credit River wonderful golden color. The day-long snow storm earlier this week had stirred up Lake Ontario, and sent huge waves rolling in to shore and up the river. Where waves hit the breakwater, 20-foot sprays flew into the air, and onto the shoreline trees and rocks.

Sunlight on Ice Credit River
 As cold as it was, it didn't deter a few fishermen from casting their lines into the river. They didn't stay long, perhaps an hour, and they didn't catch anything that I could see except perhaps a chill. But out of the wind, and with a late March sun shining on you, you don't feel the cold. Spring skiing should be fabulous north of Toronto this year.

Long Shot of Credit River Lake Ontario Saddington Park
 Here's a picture of the river at Saddington and Lake Ontario. The area in the middle left is the subject of the close ups of the ice on the rocks and trees shown above. I can't remember having snow on the  ground and staying for a week or more this late in the year. Sure, I've seen it snow in Toronto in mid May, but that is very rare.

Super Moon in Mississauga March 2011
The 'super moon' rise over Lake Ontario on March 18 (it would be full the following night) looked the same to me as any full moon. But even if the moon was closer to Earth by a few thousand miles, it wouldn't be obvious to the naked eye. Pretty, but we are spoiled with gorgeous full moons over the night time lake.

Canada Geese Credit River Ontario ~ Sunrise Preen
 After taking pictures of the ice and the rocks, I noticed two Canada geese preening themselves on the river below, partly hidden from view by the winter-bare shrubs. When the springtime leaves finally appear, this whole section of the riverbank will be entirely blocked from my view.

Canada Goose Foot Prints in Snow
 As the day wore on, I saw a goose standing in a snowy field near Saddington Park, his footprints and those of his peers making paths in the snow.

Snowdrops without Snow - Port Credit ON Spring Blooms
What  a difference a week makes: Last week, as spring approached, the snow had mostly melted and I spotted this hardy clump of snowdrops at Brueckner Rhododendron Garden. With the below freezing temps and the snow and wind of the past few days, I can only hope the snowdrops survived the chill.

On a walk through Port Credit today, I looked for a small garden where I'd seen daffodils and crocuses seriously thinking of opening their buds. Today, they were up to their buds in snow and ice. Let's hope they are hardy enough to survive this unseasonable cold spell.