Snow day.

This morning snow was coming down thickly in the park. Over breakfast I watched a squirrel unerringly locate and then enjoy a treat it had stored last fall. This was a timely reminder of a show I watched on CBC this week demonstrating that squirrels don’t randomly bury food and forget about it. They can actually remember its location.

I experimented with the multiple shot feature of the Sony RX100 this morning. Normally when you take a photo during a snowstorm, the shutter speed isn’t fast enough to capture the flakes without blurring and you get a series of streaks. The multi-shot feature is designed to cut down on noise in night photography and the camera does this by shooting several images at high shutter speeds and combining them in camera. Here is one of the combination shots taken from the refuge of some spruce trees.

Looking south towards Eglinton.

Looking south towards Eglinton.

The snow was deep enough for snowshoes today and so they were dusted off. It took a few minutes to adjust all the straps make sure they were firmly attached to my feet and off we went. Wearing snowshoes takes a bit of getting used to as it’s quite easy to tread on your own feet. The good thing is that if you fall, it’s a soft landing.

Snowshoes at work.

Paging Ronald McDonald.

Since your body weight is spread out over a larger surface, the idea is that you don’t sink as far as you might otherwise. Another advantage is that they help keep snow from getting into your boots. I used to imagine that snow shoes allowed you to walk on top of the snow. Not so; you’d be surprised how far you sink. What they do provide is stability and perhaps a slight reduction in effort. Even so, deep snow gives you a good workout and I was very warm after a short time.

A stand of sumac in the snow.

A stand of sumac sticks out in the snow.

As you can see, I was not the first to walk through the park today. Since the construction of the footbridge over the Humber in 1995, the park path has provided a vital short cut for many people making their way to and from stores in Weston and has probably saved many a car trip. The GO train now operates from Weston Road south of Lawrence and is also an easy walk. Maybe one day, Toronto City Council will recognize this and clear these important pathways after a snowstorm.

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