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Oct 21, 2013

"Say It's Not Snow!"

After the Storm - London, Ontario, Canada

This morning a local newspaper article, "Say It Ain't Snow!", went on to report a slight possibility of light snow by the end of the week. Whew! As was no doubt intended, the headline evoked visions of a major snowfall. I was reminded of this photo, After the Storm, made on December 8th a few years ago.

Living to the leeward of Lake Huron, we occasionally receive massive amounts of snow in a very short period of time. Typically this happens two or three times per winter (if we are lucky). This phenomenon is called 'lake effect'. Prevailing westerly winds pick up moisture over Lake Huron and then deposit it as snow. The amounts can vary but we have had almost a metre of snow on occasion.

Now and then snow shows up in October. When this happens, trees will break down due to wet snow clinging to leaves still attached to the limbs. I remember a quiet October dawn when I was awakened by the unrelenting sound of trees cracking and limbs falling. It was a peculiar and disturbing event.

Typically, snow arrives in mid to late November. In the past, snow stuck around until March, sometimes April. In recent years, we might get a major snowfall in early December but have no snow at Christmas. Then we'll get more snow which may also disappear. The nature of winter in Ontario is changing.

I find the rhythm of the seasons life-affirming, a comforting ritual. If only winter were shorter.

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