Here are a collection of my photos to document the change in season in Edmonton. It seemed like a very long winter and therefore a late spring. These are images that I captured in the river valley between mid-February and Mid-May:
February was fairly typical, some snow melting but still plenty around and the river mostly frozen over with a few channels of flowing water. It seemed a particularly icy winter for walking around. I finally broke down and bought ice cleats to put on my boots (in fact I bought and tried 3 different pairs).
March: More open water on the North Saskatchewan River and of course more snow
April: Significant snow melting and breaks-up of the river ice, as well as first sighting of spring/summer fauna
May: The river is free of ice and the dragon boat dock reappears. The river valley slowly greens up – first the grass, then small shrubs and finally the larger deciduous trees leaf-out.
By mid-May we are seeing a green river valley and increasingly more summer-typical weather with dark clouds and thundershowers in the evening.
Yesterday (2016 March 12), I went for a hike in the north end of Mill Creek Ravine in Edmonton.I walked the stretch between the north end of the ravine at Connors Road and a little south of 82nd Avenue.
Winter is in full retreat this year with the mid-afternoon temperature was around 8C as I walked about. This means that the paved path through the ravine is mostly snow free, with just one or two big puddles across the path in places*. However, I didn’t venture off of the pavement as the other trails looked treacherously icy and/or muddy.
Anyway, here is what caught my eye:
The mostly dry and bare path at the north end of Mill Creek Ravine
The one icy and treacherous part of the path, leading up to the Connors Road pedestrian overpass
Under the Bridge (at 82nd Avenue)
No idea why this tree was singled out but I like the green hue of the young poplar tree trunks
Stairs leading down to the path to a bridge over Mill Creek
A typical view looking up in to the trees beside the path
*A few of my artistic puddle reflection pictures can be seen over on my art blog.
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
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.