This winter was a veeeeeeeery long one. Not because of time, but because of immobility. Our winter started in January (yes, late by most of Canada’s standards – one of the many benefits of being in PEI – Fall lasts forever! :)), with permanent snow starting in February, which lasted ’til the end of April. Snow that should have melted many times over during the winter season, but instead, decided to stay and grace us with its towering presence. I usually love snow and always have, but I (we) were very sick and tired of it by mid March. The reason is that while I was working, it was driveable (most times) but when I got home for the weekend, it decided to storm. Which meant no going out (only on snowshoes around the house) for three or four days: no driving, no outings (shopping, walking anywhere, seeing anything other than out the front window)….for 3 full months! That is a lot! I lived in the Yukon and Alberta for many years, but saw nothing like this. You could go outside anytime because there was only a foot or 2 or snow: ski, skate, walk, run, bike, drive all you want (minus the couple weeks of -40 weather up North which immobilized mostly everything). This winter, however, was truly encroaching and the first time I’ve ever experienced cabin fever. I suppose it was good that the non-stormy days co-incided with work, because, well, one needs money. But one also needs to live and play!
Well, enough of that. Today (May 13th) is snowless outside, warmish, 2 degrees (believe me, it feels warm…) Anything feels warm as long as the ground is brownish green. We have plants of unknown variety popping up in the flower beds (can’t wait to see what they are), found a crocus last week, and many, many birds at our feeder. We even saw a hummingbird the other day! First one of the season. I tried my bike out (first time in over 10 years – yikes!) and after getting a new proper bum-supporting seat, I’m enjoying it. Chris bikes to work, so his is more of a “have to” kind of ride, with uphill on the way home after a long physical day at work(oh yay!). We will get out on the trails together when he has time, but mussels are in full swing ’til the end of June. (Mussel harvesting was 1.5 months behind due to thick ice and too much snow).
Other good, exciting news is that now that I can see the ground and the yard again…I (um, we) are planning our yard! Landscaping and garden stuff. I want to plant native shrubs along the front where the road is to block some of the noise and give more privacy from cars going by, but also to feed and shelter the birds we’ve attracted to our feeders. Can’t wait! There is a native plant nursery I volunteered for last year (MacPhail Woods http://macphailwoods.org/) where I will be getting my plants.
Berry shrubs flower in Spring, and carry the berries into the winter to provide emergency food for birds and add colour to the yard. I also want to start a veggie garden plot using the sheet mulch method (aka lasagna gardening), prepping it this year, to sit and transform into nice soil for next Spring. So, we’ll also need a compost pile… There, I’m busy enough for all Summer and Fall! Oh geez, gotta work too. Why does everything happen in summer here? Answer: tourist season. Tourists means more bread making over the summer months (like double). So, I’ll be up all evening gardening with the waning light and up at 5:30 to start bread making at 7….oh geez, what have I got myself into? I need to develop winter gardening…
Back to photo storytelling. The photos below are one of the rare outings we did (I can count them on three fingers) during that period of time which-must-not-be-named. Lakeside Beach is 15 minutes from Morell. This was April 3rd when I was squirming to get out.
Luckily, it had warmed and frozen again so that the deep snow was crusty on top. We could follow a skidoo trail without sinking too often into holes the length of our legs or more!
I must say, the quiet, silvery (by the way, extremely bright – the photos have been dimmed down. Chris struggled without sunglasses) day was beautiful.
Not practical trying to march on the beach: snow too soft and deep, and wet underneath. We walked behind the dunes near the trees.
They remove the stairs for the winter to protect them from winter storms (waves, water, destruction and all that).
Another outing was on April 7th when we went walked along the Confederation Trail.
To the first bridge and back again.
Lots of tracks in the snow.
However, it will be a lot more interesting once we can go for a bike ride farther along the trail.