My love affair with the Canadian seasons.

Still frozen - the bay we swim in.
I've long been fascinated by the change of the seasons here in Canada. I am seriously thinking of taking a picture of the tree outside my window because I get the feeling it will be in full bloom next time I look. There isn't even a bud on it now. Spring moves quickly here. You literally go to bed in winter-like conditions and next morning someone has flicked a switch and it's summer.  You may be surprised to know that some signs of winter can still be found even in May. Yes we've had some 20C days (back down to 8C as I write), we've had quite a bit of sunshine and the buds on some of the trees have come from nowhere but in some places it is still freezing.

Fancy a swim anyone?
One of the best jobs of the Springtime is to go to the country and check out the state of the cottage you abandoned to the approaching winter back in the Fall. So it was on a beautiful sunny 19C day in the Laurentians we approached the place for the first time. The path has been full of thigh-high snow until very recently. We find the snow is virtually gone and we can see the damage that winter has caused. Tree tops have broken and lie in the branches, kindling for the fire is scattered all over the path down to the lake and melted snow has left everything soggy. I love that no-one has set foot here all winter and I feel like we are intruding on nature.
You cannot keep them away for long.
But the lake we swim in every morning in the summer is still frozen. A friend who lives there year round tells us it's got a couple of weeks left until he expects it to be fully melted. Undaunted, you cannot keep a Canadian out of a boat for long and we see someone doing their first paddle of the year in a tiny stretch of lake which has melted along the shoreline (see above). You've got to admire their determination. Later on we met more friends who were planning to go out in a canoe and try and smash some of the ice. These people are serious.
Snowgeese know something we don't.
As depressing as the sound of geese flying south for the winter was back in the Fall, the sound of their return is a sweet one. We heard them coming and looked up to see some amazing formations. We cheered. You can just make them out in the photo above. Spring is coming. We have the proof. But there was more evidence lying in wait for us on the drive back to the city. The roadside poutine restaurant was open again for business.
The delights of Sonia's poutine.
Well, what else could we do other than try out several things on the menu? Above is a hot dog, burger, bowl of poutine and some onion rings which I can only describe as life-changing. How I am going to stay away from them all summer is a mystery to me. When asked what I like about Canada, the seasons are very high on my list. Not just because they seem so distinct here, from two metres of snow in winter to sweltering heat in summer, but because of what they represent. There is something joyous about the approach of summer and heartbreaking about the coming of winter.

The ice starts to melt.
Coming from a country where hot summers seemed ever-elusive I love the certainty of a decent summer in Canada, the eating outdoors, the lakes warm enough to swim in, the deepness of a blue summer sky here. It reminds me of when I was a kid and English summers seemed hotter. Then plunging into a six month winter with the shovelling of snow, the bitter cold which freezes the insides of your nose and the laborious wrapping up to go outside.
The same boathouse as above - last Fall.
As I approach my fourth summer in Canada I am looking forward to it more than ever and yes, in a way, I'm looking forward to the heartbreak of it ending too.
How to live in the Canadian woods
More pictures of Spring coming on Dear England, Love Canada Facebook page.

The same spot in summer.


  1. My thoughts exactly... Maybe it's because I lived in England for a few years before moving to Montreal... but you described exactly how I feel about seasons here in canada.
    Love your blog!

  2. I love the contrasting pictures... makes me realize how much I am going to miss these seasons, the excitement that comes around every 4-5 months, where I get to switch wardrobes and habits. Gotta love Canada ;)

  3. This sounds a lot like Utah. Last week at this time we had a storm that left us a foot of snow. The next day it was in the 60's (F that is)! I agree, though, that it is wonderful to have distinct seasons. I love watching them change.

  4. I love it too! I just wish we had more than two seasons :-)

    No, seriously, only spring puzzles me. Some years, you end up walking in the snow with sandals because it suddenly gets crazy hot but there is still snow on the ground!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts