Saturday, December 02, 2006

What else do Canadians talk about if it's not hockey? Since I don't talk about hockey, eh, unless it's to explain how & why my name is pronounced the way it is ("it's Finnish, like all those hockey players? "), I'm going to talk about the weather.

I left my home here in Fenelon Falls yesterday afternoon (Dec 1) with freezing rain pellets sticking to the windshield. I didn't drive 10 km down the road before it had turned to rain. Mind you, it was rain that was lashing down. We received so much moisture again that rivers had breached their banks and new creeks and rivers were forming across the low-lying areas of many fields.

It was so dark as I was getting dressed to go to work at one o'clock in the afternoon that I thought I had made some sort of mistake, that it was really 5 or 6 o'clock, that the sun had gone down.

This darkness and rain lasted until I crossed over the Ridges just south of Port Perry and started to descend into the lower reaches surrounding Lake Ontario. Over the city of Oshawa spread out in front of me, blue skies and sun were breaking through from the west, chasing the dark clouds away to the east.

As for the drive home from work last night, it was long fight to keep the car on the road, holding it against the buffeting winds. The roads were dry. By the time I had passed Lindsay and was approaching Fenelon Falls, a few snow flurries were blowing about and the roads started to show evidence of black ice.

About 3 km from my home, crews had just finished up removing a large fallen tree from the road. Many branches were down in my laneway, which passes through a woods for about the first 1/2 km.

The grand finale was a butternut tree across the driveway. Fortunately for me, it's across the back part of the laneway that passes my house to continue over the hill down to my landlords' houses by the lake. ( My landlords were able to get by this morning by circling around the island the laneway makes in front of my house.)

I fully expected to wake up this morning to more trees down because there are many trees here that must be about 100 years old and have many weak limbs and dead branches. Of the longer lived beaches and oaks, most of those are in the woods -- not nearer the house. Near the house we have mostly maples and butternuts.

Oh, and the most irritating tree -- one I place in category all its own -- we call it the Manitoba maple, Acer negundo. Anybody who knows me knows it's not one of my favorites, a prolific self-seeder that quickly grows to some size with shrubby, weak wood that breaks and drops endlessly...ok, stop!

I try to be fair, because I believe Mother Nature has a purpose for everything. And I seem to recall someone writing about a special niche for even A. negundo, at least as a food source, I think it was, for one of our song birds. As I can worry endlessly about our disappearing songbirds, I won't go on a rampage to eliminate A. negundo.

The sun is shining again to the north and over the house. Over the lake to the south of me, the skies are very dark. There is a gusty wind. What will the weather be like today for my drive to work?


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