Wednesday, 16 October 2013

No snow.. Yet

So we woke to no snow, but it has been raining, just to serve me right. The temperature is dropping towards zero though, so we might still see some white stuff.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

T-shirts or Snow Shovels?

The weather here is a constant source of fascination for me, as you might have guessed.
I was walking the dogs this morning around 7.15, dawn was just breaking, with the sky in the East turning from very dark blue to reddy-orange then light blue, and this has been the same thing for almost every morning, albeit the timing of sunrise itself is getting later and later - it wasn't until 8am today (according to my weather station).
If there was one thing back in England that I wish I could have changed, it was the rain. Very occasionally rain can be nice, a light drizzle on an autumnal walk in the countryside is fine, but I've had enough mornings getting up to walk the dogs, hearing the wind howl and the rain lash against the bedroom window, especially at this time of year. It was cold here this morning, probably 3 or 4 degrees C below freezing, but it was clear. I could put on a warm down jacket, hat and gloves and not depress myself at the thought of having to towel-dry the dogs when we got back home. Even when the snow comes, some might stick to their fur and brought inside, but it'll just melt into clean water and be easily tidied up. I know there will be wet days, and days when the snow is melting and slush will be the cause of some frustration, but those days should be few and far between. So far I'm liking this desert climate thing; I approve. As a curious side note, we have noticed that the dogs have been drinking much more water since we moved to Canada, perhaps a reflection on the dry atmosphere rather than the heat, but interesting nonetheless.
Once the sun comes up, the temperature rises dramatically, and by this afternoon it was almost t-shirt weather, which was a bit wierd as I'd just watched a TV weather forecast for the Calgary area which was predicting upto 5cm overnight. It was all the more strange as we were heading off to the shop to buy Lara a new helmet for ice-skating - she has her first group lesson tomorrow after school. This is her third helmet, she has one for riding her bike or scooter, one for skiing and now one for skating. We couldn't use the bike or ski helmet for skating, it had to be a skating one! We've not got her a hockey facemask just yet.

As I write now, at 10pm, the temperature outside is a balmy 9.1 degrees C above freezing, but apparently a cold front is approaching from the North, and we should get rain/snow showers by morning.

If it's rain, the dog-towels will be on standby by the front door... 

Thanksgiving Weekend 2013

This was our first Thanksgiving weekend, it wasn't going to be a big deal for us, but Lara's school was closed on Friday and Monday, and Dan's nursery was going to be closed on the Monday too, so we figured we might as well enjoy our long weekend.
We took the opportunity of Dan being at nursery on Friday, but Lara being off school, to go down to a ski equipment shop in Calgary and get ourselves measured up for skis and boots. We were in there for 2 hours and poor Lara got a bit bored once she had been measured up, and had picked out the skis she liked. But it's all over now, we're sorted out, and can really look forward to the first ski trip in a couple of weeks time.
On Saturday we took a drive out to Lake Louise, after a little stop off in Canmore en-route. We went out to see Moraine Lake, close to Lake Louise, and it was beautiful. Lara enjoyed climbing the moraine, and was pretty confident about it, even if Olga and I had our worries, and I was the one that had to follow her up! We drove back from Lake Louise to Banff along Highway 1A, the "old" road dating back from before they built the Trans-Canada Highway. We'd been told there was a much better chance of seeing bears and other wildlife, and whilst we didn't see any, it was a lovely drive. The whole day was about a 275 mile round trip, but certainly worth it.
On Sunday we did traditional Bank Holiday housey-type stuff, while our neighbours were entertaining friends and family. At least our garage looks a little tidier now!
On Monday the weather was perfect, blue skies with no clouds. So we loaded everyone into the car, including the dogs and drove to a local (only a 25 minute drive) provincial park - Big Hill Springs park. It was busy with plenty of families out for a holiday walk, and we were nervous about how our dogs would react, but they were fine, hardly a peep out of them. We did wander off the main path at one point, and had an impromptu scramble through the forest, but we found our way back to the path without encountering anything more dangerous than a squirrel. In the afternoon Olga cooked a full turkey dinner while I took Lara to the main park in Airdrie for a bike ride, and that was Thanksgiving.
Now we're just waiting for the first snow to fall - the weather here is dry. I mentioned this to a work colleague who has lived here for 35 years. He reminded me that we are living in a desert climate, not something you associate with all the snow we will get, but outside of winter, this place is a desert, and I must say it makes a nice change from the showery weather I've been used to.
Back to work tomorrow, although we will get distracted by having to buy Lara an ice-hockey helmet tomorrow before her first skating lesson on Wednesday. And we have to collect our skis and boots from the shop, once they have fitted the bindings. It's none stop here...!
Here are some photos from the weekend (click on any photo to see them all at your own pace in a larger window):