This will positively be my last blog this year about snow. I say that because today and yesterday the temperatures inched up over the freezing mark, the snows started to recede and Larry and I tapped two of our maple trees with dripping success. It’s maple syrup time.
Lilac buds persist, even in this weather.
I’m quite sure that all the people who endured this winter in the Maritimes and on the eastern seaboard of the US will never forget it.
The snowfall topped records and locals in Bear River couldn’t remember such an accumulation of snow.
A challenge finding the front door.
When it started seriously in January, people said with amusement “I don’t know where I’m going to put it all”, as if they had control over things. But 3 months later people no longer had the upper hand. Some defeated friends worried that the snow would still be melting in June.
And what emerged was a kind of hysterical “this-can’t-really-be-happening” mind state. I listened to my friends at dinner talk about snow and it’s impact on them physically (shovelling, reduced mobility), and psychologically (isolation, seasonal affective disorder, feelings of being trapped). They talked about the stress on farm and domestic animals that wanted to be outside but couldn’t maneuver the snow depths.
Months ago, after the first snowstorms, I circled the house in snowshoes shovelling out the entryways of all five exterior doors. I wasn’t going to let any old snow alter my comings and goings. But a short month later, I had changed my tune. One door to the driveway and one to the studio would be enough.
I wasn’t able to get to the compost or to the bird feeder without putting on my snow shoes. Those babies have gotten a whole lot of use this winter.
Snowshoeing out to the ‘compost’ pile which was really the crow and seagull feeder.
A week ago we had another (the last?) massive storm and when it was over, the snow was approaching 1/2 way up our windows. I felt like I couldn’t breathe anymore. Besides which, less light was coming in. I truly despaired.
This exit is out-of-order.
I strapped on my snowshoes and went to work stomping down the snow outside the windows to create more light. It felt better and I could breathe again.
My little friend the red squirrel moved out of our attic and into a snow cave.
Squirrel’s snow cave entrance is at the bird feeder.
Pheasants live in the bushes around our house and also visit the bird feeder.
And just when I thought I couldn’t bear one more day of winter, the temperature started to climb and, even better, the sun shone and the days got longer.
When I couldn’t get to the bird feeder, I threw the seed onto the metre deep snow.
My sanity saver has been time in the studio. I am so motivated to paint and to have beautiful paintings to hang in our new artists’ gallery in Bear River. So, I surrounded myself with flowers in the studio and have used the reddest reds to offset the white snow. And I have created a virtual garden in my studio where flowers bloom on the canvases.
The studio has been my refuge this winter and I’ve been more productive because of it.
The winter scenes have been gorgeous too and I may even long for one in the heat of the summer. But I’m glad it’s almost over. I’ve got my seed order in and am ready for spring.
The snow from our driveway is still mountain sized.
We are all so ready for spring. You can celebrate it with us at our gallery opening on Friday April 17th.
You are invited to the opening of a new gallery in Bear River.
Meet the Artists and enjoy a Live Performance
Friday, April 17, 2015
6:00 pm – Bear River Artworks Gallery opening
Art, Dessert, and Drinks
7:30pm – Songs of Myself
Animation, Puppetry, and Shadows
@The Oakdene Centre
1913 Clementsvale Road