Here it is, the end of February. Even though its been a mild winter in Edmonton, spring can’t come soon enough. Although there are another 3 weeks until the equinox and being Edmonton I wouldn’t rule out a major snowfall until, say mid-May, the changes in the last week are encouraging: the snow is receding and grass is showing, sidewalks are drying, the river ice is getting soft and melt water is running down the streets.
Here are the signs I saw this afternoon:
The North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton in Late-February
The river ice softening around the Edmonton Queen
Puddle-filled back alley
The river ice breaking up
The seasonal end of the outdoor rink
Here are some images from Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River valley in mid-February:
Edmonton Ski Club
Blue Tip of a Muttart Pyramid
Overlooking the Ski Hill
Top of the Hill
It was a beautiful sunny and warm, mid-February afternoon in Edmonton and I got my cross-country skis out and over to the Riverside Golf Course. Warm weather in January had made the snow conditions deteriorate and had it not been for the 10 cm of fresh snow a couple of days earlier I probably would not have even tried skiing.
The conditions weren’t bad (in some places) but not good (in other places). The bad places were those where the trail had been getting direct sun for a good part of the day. As a result these trails were a sticky semi-frozen slush. On the other hand, trails that lay in the shade all day (like the southside of the East-West running fairways) were superb. Even with +5C temperatures the recent snow was very nice and the skis glided along effortlessly.
Being already late in the season, in an warmer than normal winter, I don’t expect a lot more opportunities to get out skiing but do hope to get out at least one more time this long weekend.
Skiing in the river valley – another of the things that makes life in Edmonton so enjoyable.
An unexpected bonus while out at Riverside was having a close encounter with a coyote. We passed about 20 meters apart, briefly stopping to look each other before carrying on our ways. (Sorry no photo of it).
A walk this afternoon (2016 February 6) through the river valley, revealed a few perspectives of Edmonton that I usually don’t see. For the record, it was a beautiful afternoon – mostly sunny with temperatures well above seasonal averages and well above zeros. There were however very gusty winds and I was worried that if I was standing on ice (of which there was a lot) when a gust peaked I could have gone sailing. Alas I found good footing at the times of the worst of the winds, so no falls and photos that I am pleased with:
Stairs through Louise McKinney Park
Under the Low Level
Under the James MacDonald
Walterdale Bridge Replacement Construction
Skyline, Park and Frozen River on a February Afternoon
Watch for an upcoming follow-up post for more Edmonton photos taken this afternoon.
It was early morning, just before sunrise, but with the heavy overcast sky and light snow falling how would you know?. Overnight, this part of Edmonton had 5 to 10 cm of the lightest, fluffiest snow you can imagine. For a few hours we were living in a winter wonderland.
and finally an image from the same morning, which is interesting even though not featuring the snow:
Yes, what a difference a day can make – weather wise in Edmonton. The temperature swings in Edmonton can be especially dramatic. Yesterday, Saturday January 9th was cold. Even though the sun came out int he afternoon the -18C temperature and a bit of wind made me want to stay inside. I did venture out for a little while to clear snow off of my sidewalks but within 20 minutes my fingers were frozen, numb and my ski gloves were not helping.
Today however the temperature swung up to near freezing and with the sun out it was very pleasant. It enticed me to go out for a nice photo hike in the river valley. I was out for an hour in a light with jacket with light gloves and was actually too warm and had to take my toque off to moderate my temperature (love when that happens).
Anyway here are a few images of the beautiful North Saskatchewan river valley in central Edmonton:
The last day of 2015 and a beautiful day it was. After a couple of weeks of cool seasonal temperatures, December 31st featured the relative warmth of temperatures near freezing and sunshine – a bright, low-in-the-sky sun and blue skies. It was a great day for a walk in the river valley.
Here is a bit of what I saw as I wandered around the Buena Vista Park area:
Red Berries Against a Blue Sky
Winter Sun Through the Trees
Road Through the Trees
Bridge Over Ice and Water
I was wandering through downtown Edmonton at noon one day this past week, just getting some fresh air and capturing images of a few things that caught my eye:
Waiting for the snow that is. In most years Edmonton would by now have snow on the ground (the last of which wouldn’t disappear until sometime in April). This year though, we’ve been lucky and yesterday I was able to get out for a bike ride and capture a few photos of the valley landscape (mostly in Rundle and Dawson Parks).
Although the ground is not covered by snow the temperatures have been consistently below freezing for the last week or two. As a result, ponds (such as the one at Rundle Park) have developed a thin layer of ice (not enough for skating yet, but able to support the weight of a goose)
Canada Geese on the Rundle Park pond
Another of the Rundle Park ponds has been drained for winter.
Dry Pond and Larch
Bridge between Rundle and Goldbar Parks
Looking West Across the Valley (downtown Edmonton in the distance on the left)
The Riverbank in Dawson Park
Bike Path through Dawson Park
To see more photos from this day, featuring scenes form the bike path, visit my cycling blog: Zen Cyclist.
Edmonton has been called River City and I do like that nickname. Even though many or most cities and towns developed around rivers (or other waterways), I do have to believe our river is special – it is more defining of the city. The valley is deep and sharp. It doesn’t sneak up on you like other places. Here, you know when you have dropped into or climbed out of, our river valley; and when you are in it you can often forget that you are in the City itself.
I am always happy when I see our river getting a lot of use and appreciation. So last Saturday (2015 October 10) seeing lots of boats on the river (not to mention the beauty of the autumn colors), brought a smile to my face.
A Seasonal Bend
Two in a Canoe
Under the Dawson (bridge)
Rush Hour on the River
The Other Side of the Bend