Blue and Warm

squirrel

It’s been a heck of a December. It was unseasonably cold for the first two and a half weeks, without mercy. And by unseasonably cold I mean holy christ cold. Poor Maggie would freeze almost instantly, especially in the mornings. Her arthritis is not compatible with frigid temperatures. On several occasions, we had to rescue her from the yard, and lift her up the three steps to the deck. Since then it’s been relatively mild, up and down, or in other words, seasonable. It snowed on Christmas and the blue sky returned, so it was a quintessentially gorgeous, picture perfect Christmas day. Cold (about -15C), but pretty.

whitemud-ravine

Today, I went for an hour’s walk in Whitemud Ravine. I am sooo out of shape. Not out of breath (yet), but I could feel my leg muscles straining on the hills. Yuck. I miss the body that was. The strength that was. I hope to walk more the rest of this week, and into 2017. It’s now 20+ years of walking in Edmonton’s river valley and ravines, with the last few years being a bit of a geographical struggle. At least I have that 1996 to 2011 memory of a time when I priorized my life differently. Some things have been out of my control (especially the location), but I’ve still made counter-productive choices along the way, and no doubt will continue to make them, but hopefully I can strike a new balance. That’s my resolution for 2017. Health. Relocation. And to wear fewer clothes from Reitman’s. Is that too much to ask?

fence

Noon-1:30PM/-2C

Winter isn’t coming, it’s here

whitemud-flowers

Right now, it’s Sunday evening, the wind is blowing, the snow is falling and it’s bitterly cold. But not as cold as it will be tomorrow, and for the rest of the foreseeable future. We’ve gotten off easy this fall, October snow notwithstanding. Since then, it’s been brown, cloudy, often foggy and relatively mild. This morning, blue sky and +1. Now, it’s a hellscape. I might be exaggerating a bit, but not by much. I could be out in it, but my brother in law is going to the Oilers game with Tom, not me. So I’m safe and warm inside, watching Krampus and eating butter tarts.

whitemud-trail

Yesterday, knowing what was about to descend on the city of Edmonton, I went for a walk in Whitemud Ravine via the powerline. The walking has really fallen off. As per usual, no reason. Just busy. Also, it’s dark now and the choices are limited. It was wonderful in the ravine. Just a light skiff of snow. Most of the creek is frozen over, but only just recently.

Whatever was going on yesterday in the ravine is now moot.

We are boned.

Mon
Dec
Tue
Dec
Wed
Dec
Thu
Dec
Fri
Dec
Sat
10 Dec
Chance of flurries

-15°C

60%

Chance of flurries

Chance of flurries

-19°C

30%

Chance of flurries

Sunny

-20°C

 

Sunny

Sunny

-19°C

 

Sunny

Chance of flurries

-22°C

60%

Chance of flurries

Chance of flurries

-24°C

30%

Chance of flurries

3C (yesterday)

whitemud-red-fence

whitemud-powerline

Hold on to your nuts, squirrel. It's gonna get cold. Real cold.

Hold on to your nuts, squirrel. It’s gonna get cold. Real cold.

Weird Fall

The trail below the University/Saskatchewan Drive

The trail below the University/Saskatchewan Drive

The snow is long gone. It was fully gone a week after it snowed in early October, and since then, we’ve had pretty nice weather. Double digits this last week, and on Thursday it was 19C. Today, rain. Lots of rain. On Friday, however, Tom and I made our way to downtown via the river valley. It was monochromatic and quiet. We lost a couple of the best weeks of fall to a premature snow and now, it’s long past peak – the woods settled contentedly into the sepias and browns of late autumn. Beautiful, in its own whispered way.

forest-floor

The walk on Friday was about 45 minutes, followed by a bit of wayward wandering downtown. It’s supposed to be 16C on Tuesday, so I’ll try to walk home, or some version thereof.

university-trail-2

Friday 13C/Sunday (today) 7C

Snow the ground and flying in the air

Whitemud Creek

Whitemud Creek

Went for a quicky yesterday morning which turned into a longy…as these things happen. Actually, it was only about an hour but I went longer than I intended – up to the pond along the powerline. It snowed again on Friday (Oct 14), and I wanted to get out and experience the beautiful, if somewhat premature winter landscape before it melted back into fall. If it does.

Whitemud Ravine powerline

Whitemud Ravine powerline (note the green leaves!)

powerline-snowy-trees

As expected, it was beautiful. The creek wasn’t frozen but had a slight skim of ice on top, like the pond. On the water, just a lone mallard and a common goldeneye giving itself a vigorous cleaning. At least I think that’s what she was doing with her leg up in the air. Maybe her foot was just cold. Who knows ducks? Also, I saw a flock of snow geese flying in v-formation above me. I thought they were regular Canada geese, but they did have an odd sound. Only when I enlarged the picture could I see their snowy feathers. I’m lucky to see to have seen them.

duck-2

Common Goldeneye with uncommon flexibility

You lookin' at me?

You lookin’ at me?

Snow geese

Snow geese

10:30-noon/1C (Saturday)

Whuh happened?

yellow-leaf-in-snow

I didn’t even get a chance to write about last Sunday’s (October 2) beautiful autumn walk in the river valley before the snow started to fly on Friday! Since then, it’s snowed about 10 cm. Yesterday, everything was covered in snow. A lot of it has melted, but not enough to uncover the still green grass. And now, just looking out the window on Thanksgiving Monday, it’s snowing again! It’s too soon, man. Too soon.

Whitemud Creek meets the river

Whitemud Creek meets the river

whitemud-red-leaves

whitemud-tomOn to more edifying things. Last Sunday was, as mentioned, a beautiful walk. We started at the bottom of rainbow valley road, and then walked north to the river. It was very colourful. Peak fall. Particularly nice was the half hour or so we spent on a bench, watching squirrels, or more accurately, one squirrel grabbing the peanuts I left on the rail one after the other, stuffing them into his hidey-hole not too far from the bench. I also had chickadees eating sunflower seeds out of my hand. Yeah, it was exceedingly bucolic. Tom was laughing over that squirrel, who eventually cleared out all the peanuts. It was a wonderful moment. As much as I loved that walk, I think I would have been a teeny bit more appreciative if I had known that was basically it for fall.

Maybe we will get a few more weeks. Maybe not.

whitemud-mud-leaves

Poor rake. Brand new and never got a chance to collect a single leaf. We will never know its potential. #RIPrake

Poor rake. Brand new and never got a chance to collect a single leaf. We will never know its true potential. #RIPrake

Last Sunday 6C/Today 0C.

Friday Beauty

iphone-hill

Hill heading toward Groat trail, with some unidentified person…

Autumn continues its spectacular roll out, spreading colour and cooler temperatures across Edmontonland. We had a short reprieve last week, with hot summer weather, sandals and shorts. Tom and I went for our usual (and always wonderful) after-work Friday walk to Remedy on 124th. It was so beautiful. Intense blue skies. Incredible hits of red, amber and green. The walk begins below the University along Emily Murphy Park trail, over the Groat bridge, and then along river road to Groat Road trail (or whatever it’s called). The trail ends in Glenora, and then east to 124th. It’s become a tradition. Not sure if we’ll be able to continue it in the winter, but perhaps.

hill

Not much walking other than that. Next week looks cooler, and today (Sunday) it’s wet, cold and windy.

Trail up to Glenora

Trail up to Glenora

102nd Street Bridge

102nd Street Bridge

Friday 24C/4:00 to 5:00 PM