Farewell to Winter?

I think so…

You can never be too sure in the foothills and mountains, but this time, the thaw seems real, and there hasn’t been any heavy snow for nearly two weeks. We are well past mid-April, and our looping, tilted race around the sun says it has to warm up now! Surely?fullsizeoutput_5b0

Talk in town says it was a long one, but I think winter’s lingering into April was just a shift along from the late arrival. There was hardly any snow or cold until past mid-December, and then there was plenty of both the next three or four months.

Now, though, the sun is shining, and has been since the start of the week. The last winter blast is receding into memory, and a few blades of green are appearing in the brown grass. Birds are singing, and there is a forecast of temperatures hitting 20C and more by the weekend. (And a plummet down to less than 10 and rain by Monday, but that is ages away…)fullsizeoutput_5b1

We headed into the foothills last week, from where we could see upper mountains cloaked in snow, but huge swathes melting lower down. Rivers rushed, and streams splashed. Ranch horses and cattle were out once more, enjoying the sunshine.IMG_20180422_130240

Stopping above the Highwater River, we climbed down the banks to look at the fast flow. My left foot was sucked into deep mud hidden under a thin layer of snow, and extracting the boot caused a satisfying squelch and slurp. Mrs. PC and Scout didn’t take my short cut, and negotiated the way down with clean boots and paws.

Geese were honking over on the far bank, and we saw deer and beaver tracks on our side. A short walk upriver uncovered a beaver lodge, and felled trunks with fresh tooth marks. The beaver has been busy. We retreated, not wanting Scout’s mad spring scampering to further disturb the residents. I’m sure they had no notion we were there…

“These guys are professional chewers!”
We paused for gas and coffee in Longview, and the relief at the end of winter, and start of mud season seemed to be the main topics of conversation in the coffee shop. “Even the skiers passing through here are over winter this year! I’ll be washing this floor three times a day what with all the mud!” I stepped closer to the counter to hide my boots.fullsizeoutput_5b2

I do like winter, but it’s good to feel warm sun, and to drive with the windows down. Any slip and fall will be due to mud, not ice, and the birdsong means blossom is about to appear. Thanks, winter, for letting go, and let’s say a warm welcome to an Albertan spring!

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

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I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

12 thoughts on “Farewell to Winter?”

  1. Hail to Spring, as in greetings, not those little balls of ice that wreck so much havoc in the farmers fields. After 147 consecutive days that hit zero, I am more than ready to celebrate the arrival of spring.


    1. Jane, I hope you’ve been getting some of the recent spring warmth – 147 days at zero and below? Yikes! I don’t much like the Chinooks, but getting above zero from time to time is welcome…
      Enjoy Spring!


      1. to be honest some of those days that were zero rose to the teens during the day. But it is beautiful out now and I am enjoying watching the birds arrive.


  2. Even though I do not miss it on the ground here, it was lovely to see snow again in your mountain shots. Lovely photos and thanks for the laugh when reading about hiding your muddy boots and Mrs. PC and Scout being mud free. I’m glad sunshine and spring has finally made it your way and it looks like it is going to be nice enough this week to put the top down on the Jeep if Gabby gives her approval. Enjoy your weekend and try to stay mud free!!


    1. Ha, just as I was enjoying spring, the temperatures took a dive on Sunday and it rained all day! More muddy boots for a bit longer, but we are promised a return to sunny ways shortly…
      We have never taken the top off the Jeep (and if we did, there’d be a terrible trail of litter blowing out behind us – not the tidiest vehicle) but I do hope you get to do that this week – Gabby approving, of course!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree, it’s wonderful to drive with the car window down. Here it’s the opposite and the chilly air is keeping those windows up. A lovely post PC, glad warmer temps are coming for you. It’ll mean cleaner boots! 🙂


    1. Thanks, Miriam – it is good to be getting some warmer weather (with a few blips) and having the windows down. I hope you have a long warm autumn season to get out and about. Your last post set in the high country was spectacular.
      Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Adam, glad you enjoyed it. The weather’s definitely cooling here but that rarely stops us from getting out. Have a great week yourself and enjoy that warmer weather. 🙂


  4. I’m still chuckling at the description of the mud season, and you stepping closer to the counter so the floor-cleaner couldn’t see your muddy boots. Beautiful adventures you take us on, pc, and I LOVE seeing the beaver cuts. Those are some powerful teeth! Fantastic post, and always a pleasure to read and observe.


    1. I felt so bad about the muddy boots – I tried to leave by walking backwards over the same footprints to reduce the mess. I don’t think they suspected it was me…
      Those beavers really get to it with the chewing. In other riverside spots, I’ve seen how they can shape and change the river environment.
      Thanks, Jet!

      Liked by 1 person

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