After the excitement of the other evening and the Aurora Borealis, the rest of the week has been a little more normal. The weather has turned a little brighter and I spent a nice hour or two down by the river on Thursday taking some photographs and enjoying the bright sunshine. I was stood under the road bridge and noticed a snow fall coming from the pathway above. It actually started to move along the pathway and as it got nearer to me I moved out of its way as a whole pile of snow and hard ice fell down from above. It was only when I got back up to the path that I saw the local workman driving a small tractor, clearing the paths. I’m glad I moved at the last minute as some of the lumps of ice were pretty big.
|A small pile of snow in a car park|
|The river bank|
|Frozen bits on the river|
|The snow being cleared from the bridge above|
The river itself is now close to freezing. I have been watching it as the weather gets colder and the snow falls. I have never had time to watch the process of a river freezing before and it’s quite interesting. I couldn’t comprehend how a moving river turns to ice but it’s really quite simple:-
The snow falls and the weather is freezing. The cold weather causes ice to form along the edges of the river in much the same way that icicles form from drainpipes. The snow that falls alongside the river banks also helps as it slowly melts and moves and bits fall into the river itself. These lumps don’t melt in the river as the water is very cold, but turn into a mushy soft icy lump. These lumps of mushy ice them get caught on the river banks and form larger lumps which stick to the ice. Over time, these lumps fuse together on the river banks and by the legs of bridges and in the shallower parts of the river. Slowly as more ice forms and more snow falls they get larger and larger until they freeze into solid ice. It is much the same way that twigs, logs and rubbish in the river can congregate together to form dams and the like, but much cooler!!
Talking about ice and icicles I am surprised by the way that a lot of the houses around here have huge icicles hanging from the drain along the roofs. Some of these drainpipes are so full of ice that they are bending out of shape and will surely cause damage to the houses if they aren’t broken off and cleared away soon. Some of them are massive too – One just down the road has grown from the drain and is about 8 feet long. The bottom of the icicle actually reaches to the rail of a balcony, where a 2nd and 3rd icicle have formed below it creating a three tiered icicle monster about 25 feet long!!
|Fookin big Nicicles|
So that’s the weather – what else has been happening? Buffy has been on the local television channel again, this time looking at winter coats. We had another night at Sierra and Andy’s place last night, spending a couple of hours in the hot tub outside in the snow. Me and Buffy were the only ones with bollocks enough to get out of the hot water and roll in the snow before getting back in! It was a fun night out though and may be the last time we get to do that as Sierra and Andy are hopefully moving into a new apartment soon.
Today is Saturday and after quiet morning I went into town around tea time and stood with crowds of families and kids watching the annual Santa parade as it drove along Portage Avenue in the centre of the city. It was a pretty good show with one of the Canadian Olympic medallists leading the parade (Desiree Scott, who won Bronze as part of the women’s soccer team) There was all the usual things – people dressed as reindeer, jugglers and clowns, cars and trucks with Christmas lights all over. My favourite part was the 3 or 4 concrete mixers covered in fairy lights – I don’t know why, but I just love concrete mixer trucks. One strange thing I noticed is that while there were lots of floats n the parade giving sweets and candy away to the children, there was also floats that were collecting food and cans for homeless people. Maybe they should combine their ideas and instead of giving free sweets to unthankful little kids – maybe they should put the money spent into buying food for the homeless.......... Hmm, it’s just an idea!
|Its nearly Christmas|
Later in the evening I met up with Buffy’s mum and dad at the local church where Buffy was singing with Prairie Voices in their first concert of the season. It was a good concert with guest choirs from Winnipeg and Edmonton. The first choir on had really loud yellow ties as part of their uniform, but were really great at singing.
|One of the other choirs|
|Prairie Voices - and more photos of them below....|
After the concert we all piled around to Walker, Barry and Evans house along with about 50 other people and spent the rest of the evening drinking and chatting to celebrate the end of the first concert - a good end to a good evening, which finished at about 4am when we finally got home.
You will be happy to know that the weather today is even nicer than it has been during the week. It’s a couple of degrees above freezing and sunny outside – I’m hoping that it stays like this during the week so that I can get out for a couple of runs before it freezes over again. It does feel a little strange though as last night at the Santa parade was the coldest I have felt since being here – mainly because I was stood still for an hour and my feet and hands got cold. As long as you keep moving the cold doesn’t really feel that cold!!
BREAKING NEWS – BREAKING NEWS – BREAKING NEWS - BREAKING NEWS
Ok, its not that important but you will be happy to know that I have actually now seen two snowmen.......