Hello January

It’s been awhile. Little walking other than neighbourhood dog walks December and early January. It’s been too cold, too slippery, or too much effort. I’ve also been suffering from a series of colds. A head cold Christmas Eve day, lasting for about a week. And then, last week, a chest cold which may have been my head cold part II, which I still have. Lots of people seem to be getting two colds in a row, or one long and winding cold. It’s been a month of hacks, sneezing and phlegm. And rolls and rolls of Halls.

Anyway, a nice long walk at Terwilleger with Sharon and Stella. Frosty, a bit overcast, but nice to get out and stretch my atrophied everything.

Even though it was nicer and bluer out than the photographs might suggest, it was very wintery in the way the white, low sun spotlighted through the frost-covered branches. That eye-level sun is a dead giveway it’s winter. Still.

-4C/9-10:30ish.

 

So cold

Me in Mill Creek Ravine, a long time ago

No walks for me. No walks for a month. Probably more. Other than dog walks…

November was cold. December…December was very nice. Above zero most days. But, it rained. For the better part of December, I used micro-spikes to walk to the bus in the morning, and to walk the dog. Most of the snow melted, leaving black ice everywhere. And now, a few days after Christmas, the snow has returned and it’s bone-chillingly cold. Right now, it’s 2:00 in the afternoon, sunny, and -22C. Tomorrow, the high will be -29C. Thank God Tom’s son is going to the Oilers game with him on Friday. I also have a cold, so in combination with the frigid temperatures and my usual December sloth, I’ve barely been out of the house.

In other words, I have no walks to report. It looks beautiful outside. Blue sky. I remember once, a long time ago, back when it was very rare for me to go more than two days without a walk, I couldn’t take it any longer so I bundled up in multiple layers and braved the -25C afternoon. It was a walk in the most literal sense, but nothing more, and the constriction of so many clothes made it uncomfortable. Sharon and Vic are traveling to Scottsdale this afternoon, so I will have to take the dog out a couple of times a day, so my days as a shut-in are ending.

Remembrance Day

Two walks, two experiences.

This morning, around 8:30, I took Stella for a half hour walk around the ‘hood. It was frosty and cool. Nice though. We had fun.

This afternoon at about 2:30 I took her out again to the powerline and was treated to a bright, blue sky and 0C degrees. I guess I’m settling into winter. It hasn’t really been above zero since October 31st and some days have been very cold and miserable. Nevertheless, it’s time to stop mourning autumn and move on. Winter is (mostly) a beautiful season. Stella LOVES the snow. It’s all good.

Last week, on one of our evening walks, Stella was attacked by a neighbourhood dog, Rory, a Great Dane. She has hated Stella since since the day she arrived. Unfortunately, the son had let her off leash in the small park behind the house. When I turned the corner and saw Rory, I turned around as fast as I could, but Rory was on Stella in a second. It was very vicious. Super nice family, very bad mistake. Stella is OK, but it was scary. The son had to lay on top of Rory to pin her down. After it was over, Stella just carried on as if nothing happened, but we later discovered blood and a few minor punctures.

I prefer uneventful walks.

November In Like a (frozen) Lion

Snow dog!

Holy cow. On Halloween, it rained/sleeted. By November 1, winter arrived with a frigid vengeance. And it hasn’t stopped snowing. In total, I’d guess we’ve had about 15cm so far. I checked back over seven years of my walking blog, and of those, we had snow at this time in November in 2012, 2013 and now, 2017, or three times out of eight. Having said that, by the end of November, we always had snow, except for last year where we had to “wait” until December 4.

It’s just so sudden.

The end of October was lovely. On October 23, my birthday and also Tom’s, we went for a walk in the river valley and it was gorgeous. I can’t remember the temperature but it was about 18C. Right now, it’s -12C, and yes, it’s snowing. Stella and I went for a walk in the ‘hood this morning for about a half hour and it was cold but doable. Other than dog walks, not much walking since late October.

Birthday walk in Glenora and the river valley

I want to welcome winter. I don’t want to wish away any day, or season, but too soon, man. Too soon.

Tom, in the woods

-12C

Sunday in the Park with Stella

I gotta say, walking Stella is not without its stresses. I don’t entirely trust her, and she proved herself untrustworthy this afternoon. It’s a beautiful Sunday and so Whitemud Ravine was full of runny, yelly children. She barked at two of them, and lunged at one. The kid came from behind so I didn’t have a chance to rein in her leash. She didn’t make contact with the kid, but he did fall in the leaves. I felt really bad and really frustrated. Not sure where the parents were, somewhere up the trail I presume.

After that, I kept her on the shortest leash possible whenever we were around kids. I know that my nervousness is transferring to her, but I’m not entirely sure how to handle it. I think, as advised by Suzanne, when we come across unfamiliar dogs or children, she should be beside me on a short leash. Oddly enough, in an off-leash area, she’s amazing. Happy, and non-confrontational. She’s such a loveable dog, but still a work in progress.

Other than that, a pleasant walk in the very leafy woods.

It’s been a mostly beautiful October so far. Just that one snow episode in September, but nothing since, although other places in Alberta have had a lot of snow.

Today, it’s sunny, blue sky, not too windy and 17C.

I’ll take it.