Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The varieties of winter

Perhaps we need words for the seasons here on Bowen Island.  "Winter" isn't exactly accurate.  Since December 21 when Winter was supposed to have begun we have had the following kinds of days, among others:

  • Cold and clear days with no wind
  • Snow that falls in some places but rains in others
  • Southeasterly winds with rain.
  • Calm and cold everywhere except in the Queen Charlotte Channel where a Squamish wind one mile storm force wind is blowing with freezing spray.
  • Foogy to 100 meters above sea level with an inversion making it 10 degrees on top of the mountains.
  • Damp evenings that produce heavy hoarfrosts in the morning.
  • Nights when the owls call for joy.
  • Sunny and warm mornings when the winter wrens take a stab at their spring calls.
  • Heavy snow that falls and stick on the Douglas-firs and cedars and brings down the alders and rotten maples.
  • Quiet mornings when the towhees explore the underbrush.
  • Days when it rains so hard that the deer just stand in it looking miserable. 
  • Calm days where the ocean is like glass and you can here ravens calling from miles away.
It makes more sense around here to follow the old Celtic calendar which has just ticked over Imbolc on February 1, the beginning of spring.  It feels like that today, with southeasterly winds blowing and rain showers coming and going with patches of bright sky over the Sound.