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).
Here are a few more images (perhaps not often noticed) from Edmonton’s river valley in early February.
Muttart Pyramids Tucked Away
Curved Bridge (James MacDonald)
Bridge Shadow on River Ice
Low Level Bridge (from below the James MacDonald)
Riverside Promenade in Winter (Louise McKinney Park)
The first set of images from this photo-walk can be seen on the prior blog post: Different Perspectives.
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.
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: