2015 February 28 – A “normal” end-of-February winter landscape in Edmonton
If you are from Edmonton do you remember the year we almost didn’t have winter. I know, you’re thinking I’m crazy! I’ve lived here my entire life and really have questioned my memory around this event.
It was the winter of 2005/2006. My memory was that we got through February with basically no snow! Then on March 1st we got a big dumb of snow and March was brutal – very wintery! So did I imagine this?
I went back to the “Environment Canada” weather records and this is what the history showed for the Edmonton Municipal Airport in January 2006. Look at the Snowfall stats for the month: Zero – everyday!
So how was February? Pretty good (unless you are a skier). The trend continued! No snow on the ground until February 22nd and then only a measly 1 cm had accumulated. A few more snow flurries left a total of 4 cm on the ground by the end of February. In a normal year we would have more than this amount of snow still on the ground, still unmelted from when it fell in November.
So was my memory of the miserable March backed up by the the records? Well, Yes! On March 1st we got our biggest snow fall of the winter, twice as much fell as had accumulated all winter to that point. It snowed 5 out of the first 11 days of March. Then we got the biggest dump of the winter, over 20 cm on March 18th. By the end of March, despite some significant melting there was still more snow on the ground than there had been at the end of February!
Spring did soon arrive – April 1st was actually the last day with a record of snow on the ground in Edmonton that year.
This winter of 2014/15 has been normal (which is to say it feels much too long already by the end of February). But, the key to surviving an Edmonton winter is to find the beauty in it. Today I was out for a walk in Edmonton’s river valley and yes, with white snow and blue skies it was beautiful.
Ice Lump and Fallen Tree
A Snowy Path leading out of the River Valley
The North Saskatchewan river valley is one of the City of Edmonton’s defining features and points of pride.
In every season the view of and across the valley is something to behold. It was the lovely, winter afternoon of Feb 21 (2015) when I snapped these images of the river valley from the top (northside) of the riverbank between 96th and 97th Streets.
Chinese Pagoda in Louise McKinney Park
I love the old pedestrian bridge that spans between Louise McKinney park on the northside and the Cloverdale community on the southside. It is distressing to me that the bridge might be torn down in the near future!
On the southside of the valley lies the community of Cloverdale which is home to both the Muttart Conservatory (2 of the 4 pyramids pictured below) and the Edmonton Ski Club (on the slopes in the background)
Pyramids and Moguls
The east end of the Edmonton Ski Club in the distance on the left and on the right the reflections from the Shaw Conference Centre
Two of the downtown bridges (roadways) – the Low Level in the foreground and the James MacDonald behind it:
I’ve often heard the phrase “its a dry cold” when people compare an Alberta winter (and our ease of surviving it) compared to the “cold” of the eastern Canada (and by “eastern” Canada one is usually referring to the middle east, the GTA). When Alberta’s winters are compared with the balmy west coast, inevitably one hears a comment to the effect that Edmonton’s winters may be cold but they’re sunny – as opposed to cool, wet, grey and dreary.
Well this past Sunday was truly a “Sun” day and it was a beautiful time to be out enjoying the bright sun and beauty. Following are some photos captured in the Hawrelak and Buena Vista Park areas of Edmonton’s river valley.
Winter – Sit and Enjoy the View (from the southwest corner of Hawrelak)
Snowshoeing on the River’s Edge
Falling Star? (no, just a jet’s trail)
Afternoon Sun (in Buena Vista Park, Edmonton)
Bridge and Shadows
… and enjoying the winter sun:
Walkin the Dogs
Today was one of those days that defines Edmonton winters – cold and gloriously sunny. This coming a day after 10 to 15 cm of snow fell turning the valley into a winter wonderland.
Even at a -23C temperature I had to get out for a walk in the river valley and capture a few photos:
Edmonton January Skyline and River
Eastern Shore – of the North Saskatchewan River looking south from the Dawson Bridge.
The following photos are from a trail running south from the Riverside Golf Course parking lot
Snowy Trail in Edmonton’s River Valley
Snow on Spruce
Translucent Snow – sunshine lighting up the fresh snow piled up on a fallen tree trunk
Finally looking back across the river at the trees through which the trail ran:
North Saskatchewan River and Bank in early January
A few photos from Louise McKinney Riverfront Park in central Edmonton on a (not quite) winter’s, (not quite) evening (i.e. before 6 pm on December 15th).
Looking across the North Saskatchewan River valley from the top of Grierson Hill (Louise McKinney is just below the near edge and not visible in this image):
Close to the Edge on a “Winter’s Eve”
The stairs descending into the river valley and park:
The “bike” path descending along the east edge of the park:
Path into the Valley
A Chinese garden is situated next to the path, on the east side of the park:
Pagoda in the Park (in the dark, in the snow)
and finally looking back (west) at the downtown Edmonton skyline:
Edmonton Skyline in December from Louise McKinney Park
November 28, 2014 – the second day of the first big snow of the year. A lot of snow (30cm?) fell during the evening and over night. Here are a selection of photos from this winter day:
Snow Buried Stairs in Edmonton’s River Valley
By evening the City was still moving slowly, but with some road plowing done condition were better than they had been earlier.
A plowed but still road snowy corner
Snow at the bottom corner
“Pyramids Red” Edmonton’s Muttart Conservatory
“Clearing the Rink” – blowing the snow off of the Riverdale Community skating rink.
We certainly get the four seasons in Edmonton – not too balanced, with way more winter than suits me but as a photographer I certainly enjoy the variety and challenges of the changing seasons.
On this past Sunday (2014 October 26) I was hit with the realization that it was definitely fall. In fact autumn had pretty much passed us as all of the colorful leaves were on the ground and had turned shades of brown. Nonetheless a two hour walk through Dawson Park opened my eyes to the subtle beauty of the season. I had not expected to take any photos, I was just out for a walk with my dog but I was sure glad I had my camera phone with me. Here are a few of the images that I captured:
A Path South
Edge of the Barren Woods
One of the few bright and bold spots of color:
Red and Yellow
Color in the Grass
Ripples to Ride
As pleasant as this midday was, by late afternoon the season threatened to move on as we got a bit of snow falling. The next morning there was even a trace of snow on the ground. It won’t be long until I am on to my next seasonal photo challenge.