The first real snow of the season transformed the park into a movie set. The snow began as rain, and once everything was soaked, the air turned colder and helped by a stiff breeze, snow snow attached itself as if it had come from a machine. Here’s a couple of before pictures:
With wet snow clinging to the grass, it bends and flattens to begin the mulching and seeding process.
Hollywood snow machine.
Snow can be a heavy blanket. While this snow will not last, the next snowfalls will continue the flattening process so that by springtime, there will be little trace of the previous year’s plants.
Day lilies are shocked I tell you.
The park was cold and snowy today and a fresh covering made it look like January except for bright green new growth sticking out through the snow. These day lilies are probably remnants of gardens that belonged to homes destroyed during Hurricane Hazel.
A pair of Mallards swimming around a temporary pond were taking refuge from high water in the river. I was careful to stay well clear so that they weren’t disturbed.
Ice is forming in April!!
More snow today on the edge of a major winter storm that luckily just missed us. Another day of winter is disappointing to humans but wildlife is really feeling the pinch. There were redwing blackbirds in the park a few days ago but there’s no trace of them now. Nothing has budged from its winter state so spring is still some time away. Because of thick cloud cover, the more powerful March sunshine is neutralized.
On days like these, I usually have the park to myself.
A Grey Jay looks for food.
Fresh snow covers the ground and the temperature barely cracked 0°C today.
Looking north to the path by the weir.
At the weir the water had an interesting oily look that the camera was able to capture quite nicely.
Snow flakes and an oily texture you can almost touch.
Lots of fancy equipment here!
Students from York University are occupying one of the baseball diamonds today for a movie shoot. They seem a little cavalier with their garbage. Hopefully they will perform a site clean-up.
A coyote calmly making its way through the park today. I was quite a distance away and had to squeeze as much magnification as possible from this shot.
Lastly, what a difference a day makes. Suddenly the river has lost much of its ice. The ducks are happy.
Thursday 28th February
Friday 1st March.
Snow is a wonderful medium for creating impressions through the tracks of animals or humans or the melting that happens around objects as the sun shines on them.
Goose tracks beside part of a tree branch.
A recently fallen oak leaf ‘burns’ its way into the snow.
At this time of year the sun is much stronger and anything that falls onto the snow reflects less of the sun’s infra-red radiation and so will melt the snow underneath it while the surrounding snow stays frozen.
A human has walked in slushy tire tracks.
A steely-grey cloud deck, fast moving clouds being pushed along by a raw east wind can only mean one thing; snow is coming. This time we’re getting off lightly with just a couple of centimetres while temperatures will rise above the zero mark for the next few days.
Above the weir, a large natural ice surface has magically appeared that (with some smoothing from a handy Zamboni or some strategic flooding) could be a fantastic outdoor rink. These two photographs were taken from the same spot.
Looking upriver towards Weston.
Looking downriver over the weir.
Since the icy conditions have taken over and glazed the pathways, very few people are using the park as the entrance (closed to traffic for the winter) from Raymore Drive is on a steep slope. Only the die-hards with footwear designed for ice are braving these treacherous conditions. Even the extreme weather cyclists have admitted defeat. Not a square centimetre of spandex in sight!
I must admit it’s nice to have the place to yourself and no doubt wildlife prefers it too.
Yesterday was a sloppy slushy rainy day with rain and mild temperatures. A pair of geese standing on wet ice in the river prompted a quest for reflections. The closer one was quite relaxed and was in its sleeping position.
A pair of Canada Geese spend some quiet time on the river.
Large pools of earth-tinted water form in depressions allowing another view of the trees.
A maple is mirrored in slushy water.
Last year’s grasses stand around a small depression.
Wet branches are darker and more colourful in the rain.