Sandwiched between a Snowstorm and a Nor’easter in Bear River

I have to laugh.

The studio awaits.
The studio awaits.

7 years ago our workmates in Toronto warned us about moving to Nova Scotia. We heard tales about terrific snowstorms and subzero temperatures. “You really should visit there in winter first to see if you can handle it”.

Pathway from car to house.
Pathway from car to house.

But like many people before us and after us who were considering the move, we were not dissuaded and obsessively checked daily Bear River weather reports. I looked at the webcam in nearby Annapolis Royal every single day. We looked up snow, temperature and rainfall stats from Environment Canada. It was an important part of shifting our point-of-view and imagining living here.

Drying spots for the oil paintings.
Drying spots for the oil paintings.

And the looking told us that the Bear River winter weather was milder than most of the rest of the country, except, of course, for Canada’s la-la land Vancouver and Victoria.

But this winter has been snowmageddon with most people saying they haven’t seen storms and snow depths like this in years..or ever.

The drifts have been awesome.
The drifts have been awesome.

If Mother Nature gives you lemons…..make lemonade. And making the most of this weather means getting out the snowshoes and tramping out pathways to the compost and to the bird feeders. It means filling the bathtub with water for when the power goes out and we can’t pull water from the well, It means having candles and flashlights at the ready. It means having friends like Gerry Chute who can come by in his nice shiny orange plow and clear the snow.

This weekend we are expecting a Nor’easter along with another 25cm dump. The snow-shovels are ready. We’ll all have well-developed biceps by the end of it all. (I was going to say ‘March’, but I don’t want to press my luck).

Shovels for all occasions.
Shovels for all occasions.

Meanwhile, there’s nowhere to go except the studio to paint.

©Flora Doehler, 2015 oil painting
©Flora Doehler, 2015
oil painting

And there’s nothing to do except to take part in the Annual Winter Carnival in Bear River where you can cross-country ski across 7 lakes for free. Myself, I think I’ll snowshoe over to the free yoga class.

path in the snow
Snowshoe path to the compost (or more correctly to the crow feeder).

But for tonight, before the next storm, we are going to join kindred spirits and hear our favorite local singer, David Chamberland.


See you on the other side of snow.

I opened the door to this 3 times last week. I guess it will be happening again this weekend!
I opened the door to this 3 times last week. I guess it will be happening again this weekend!

6 thoughts on “Sandwiched between a Snowstorm and a Nor’easter in Bear River

  1. Hello Bonnie, Sybil and Peter. It is now 2 weeks and several more snowstorms later. The last couple of days have brought glorious sun and deep blue skies. Although we are still surrounded by unbelievable snow mounds, it feels like the corner has been turned. The days are growing longer and today the automatic window in my greenhouse opened to let out the excess heat!
    This too will pass!
    See you all on the other side of winter.

  2. Just found your blog and will read as you write. My wife, Shelagh and I (Peter) are considering retirement in NS. We currently live in Langley BC where it has not snowed at all this winter, but it’s becoming just too crowded here. Bear River looks nice, we’ll probably do a road trip this summer to check it all out.


  3. I did the same before I moved here. I duly noted the average day time highs of minus one in January and February. After moving here in 2009 I was pleased with the small amount of snow on the Eastern Shore. When we did get snow it would soon be washed away by the rain. THIS Winter has been an awful surprise. I was used to not even bothering to shovel the driveway because the snow usually vanished on its own in short order. Let me tell you that was a bad idea. I can barely stand to think about what tomorrow holds … but am baffled by the predicted high of plus 6. I guess we’re gonna get snow then rain then a big freeze again … I gotta find me a “sugar daddy” with a Winter home in Hawaii !

    Hope to make it down your way this Summer. If you’re ever in Halifax give me a shout

    1. Sybil I wonder if there will be way more bookings to southern climates next year?
      I love the beauty of the snow here. It never turns to brown slush here…or very little anyway. So it’s always ‘picture postcard’. I appreciate it because of years in Toronto where the snow turned to huge slush puddles at the edges of major street corners and where one had to maneuver walking down the street to avoid being sprayed by cars with brown sludge. I’ve had a couple of instances of that dreck hitting my face! BUT….I miss the freedom of movement outside and that there are so few public places to go to in Bear River in the winter.
      Tonight our clocks ‘spring forward’ an hour and there will be even more light outside. THAT is wonderful.
      I can’t remember when I was last in Halifax…..not as bad as FIVE years since I visited toronto. It would be fun to see you. Let me know if you and your friend go to the hostel on Brier Island again. I could join you! And paint!

  4. The snow is piled high around our place too. I can’t get over your excitement over the tractor, but I watched the video too. Hope you make out well in the coming storm and that you don’t need to use your candles, etc. I really like your painting. Stay warm. We’ll be getting it too, but I suspect with a little more snow up on the South Mountain.

    1. The guy with the tractor is our hero Bonnie. That orange machine means we can get out of the driveway. Right now it’s very iced up though and it’s on a grade. But Larry tells me that temperatures are going up to the +6 this week. Yeah!!!! The big melt starts slowly.

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