Messy April

This month has been all about the weather – all the ugly, gray, snowy, wet, bleak hell of it. It seemed we just couldn’t catch a break from winter’s grasp.

Even when it wasn’t snowing, or raining, or battering us with ice pellets, the winds were howling.  In fact, the winds have been so strong, it ripped a section of shingles off our roof.

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Thankfully the winds eventually ceased their temper tantrum, and while I was gathering pieces of shingles from the neighbour’s yard, Gilles was up on the roof in the early morning hours to repair the missing tiles before the next round of freezing rain started.

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Gilles arrived home at midnight from a business trip and was on the roof by 6:30 am the following morning to repair the roof.  More heavy rain started 2 hours later.

In spite of the weather, I continued on, continuing on.  I’m a hardy Canadian with a bad case of cabin fever.  It was going to take a lot more than gray, bleak, snow-rain days to keep me indoors.

Ok – maybe the wind could.  I don’t much care for wind … especially when it tries to rip my roof off.  Not cool, Mother Nature, not cool.

It was a month that involved a lot of outdoor stuff, in all kinds of weather.

On one frigid Saturday morning, Deb from The Widow Badass and I trudged around in wet snow looking for the Blair Sheave Tower.  We found it well off the road hidden in the trees. If it had been summer, I suspect we might never have found it.

I misjudged the weather that day and was not dressed properly for this outing.  I half-froze in the wet snow.

Blair Sheave Tower3
Described as a ‘rare relic of pioneer Ontario’* this restored 4-storey wooden sheave tower is reported to be the only one of its kind left in Ontario

I’ve also been walking through the trails of a local park for a few months now and watching the progress on a bridge reconstruction.  On an early April morning that turned from overcast, to blinding snow, to freezing rain in one short hour, these guys continued to work on – and had been through one of the coldest winters I can remember.

I was shocked to find half of this 4-lane road simply gone.

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I know I’m not the only one fascinated by construction sites

Even as we approach the end of April, isolated patches of snow can still be found in shady areas.

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Little ‘icebergs’ like sentinels dot the road at regular intervals.  

… and as is common in areas around lakes and rivers, the melt has caused flooding.

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Hey kids, want to go for a swim to the swings today?

By mid-month I finally managed to make it outside on my bike – once.  Even on a seasonably warm sunny day, there was evidence of winter remaining – from snow patches to downed trees.

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Lower Highland Creek Park

The cleanup has barely begun.

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One of the biggest things I’ve noticed this month is the transition from quiet to noisy.  The birds are back, chirping loudly as they greet each other after their winter vacations in the south, and the frogs have woken up in a frenzy, looking for action.

As the month comes to a close with the weather continuing to zig-zag all over the thermometer, I look forward with eager anticipation to May.  The countdown to son #1’s wedding in early June officially begins!

Changing Seasons is a monthly photo feature hosted this year by Su Leslie @ Zimmerbitch.  It is autumn in New Zealand so check out what’s new in the Southern Hemisphere.

************************************************************************************** Source – Top 150 Unusual Things To See In Ontario by Ron Brown

 

85 comments

  1. Having lived in upstate New York once, I remember freezing rain in the middle of April, that downed power lines, and cured many a case of Spring fever. I think you have to wait til at least mid-May to start counting on good weather, in your part of the world.

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    • You’re absolutely right. The rule of thumb here is to wait until the 3rd weekend in May before planting anything … although that rule didn’t work last year. We had a frost at the end of May that killed a lot of plants 🤨

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my it’s been a hard winter for you all back east! I was reading recently this has been the coldest winter since the 80’s. It’s been cold here too, and we’re cold and gray here today. Feels like a winter day.

    How exciting the wedding is getting closer!

    I’ll be feeling this next year. Baby Girl got engaged a few weeks ago. The date is set in Sept. 2019. I’m already shoppping for my dress and shoes. 🙂

    Do you have your ensemble already? Hat or no hat? I want a hat in true British lady fashion. 🙂

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    • Congratulations!! You must be super excited if you’re already shopping!! 🙂

      Jordan and his partner have chosen to have an “elegantly casual” wedding. They will not be wearing suits, so that sets the overall tone.
      I now have 3 dresses, all cocktail length, simple and understated, but each is quite different. It’s a guess as to which personality appeals to me on the day 😉
      Definitely no hat for me. I would look like a goof.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t imagine you’d like a goof at all!
        3 dresses to choose from. That’s nice!

        I am happy for them both, and their excitement is contagious. 🙂

        I sure hope your son, and his soon to be spouse will have great weather for their Big Day!

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        • I was worried about finding A dress that I would be happy with – 3 is just an embarrassment of riches 🙂

          I too am hoping for nice weather … the ceremony will be outdoors in a small garden at the venue. Although a large party tent is available, it would be nice not to need it!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Embarrassment of riches? I don’t think so. I think you’re smart to have choices, because what if you don’t like wearing xyz color, or a ruffle or whatever on the Big Day?

            Having a choice is brilliant. I’ll just purchase one dress, and if I don’t feel like wearing it on the Big Day I’ll have tough it out, or pull something out of my closet, and today…that would be slim pickens! I only have a few dresses to my name. After I quit work I got rid of the majority of my skirts and dresses.

            Good to know there will be a tent at hand. Fingers crossed for a sunny day for them!

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  3. Now that I know what a sheave tower is (thank you, google) i can comment about the great red color and restoration. You not only survived, you managed to thrive the weather. Thanks for sharing your adventures!

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    • Thanks Laurie for taking the time to look it up. My post was already getting too long without adding in an explanation about sheave towers. I too had to look it up and was quite impressed with the ingenuity of our early pioneers.

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  4. The weather really has been all over the place everywhere. Here we had 5 beautiful days followed by (so far) 3 wet, stormy days. And cold. The weather report looks like winter for the next week. When will it end?

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  5. For me this has been a very long, not so pretty April. And it’s still not over. I rather like the little iceberg sentinels. If you get really bored you could go turn each of them into little snowmen. Just a thought, maybe not a good one!

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  6. April was definitely not the spring we had all been waiting for. And, I learned something in this post because I had no idea was a wooden sheave tower was so I looked it up. Very interesting and a handsome historic structure as well. Keep cycling – Mother Nature will catch up with your spring mood one of these days. 🙂

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    • I didn’t know what a sheave tower was either and had to look it up. The history was really interesting – but it would have made this long post even longer. I’m glad that people like you were interested enough to take the time to look it up. The more I read about the early pioneers, the more impressed I am with them.

      Like

  7. Yeah, April has been Pppbbbfffttt for the most part. I was getting back to walking at lunch time before the blizzard hit. The trail should be clear now with last week’s warmer weather, so I can get back to that. I’m also hoping to get my second bike ride in Sunday afternoon. I laughed at your little snow boulders. I’ll have to post a photo on Facebook so you can see why.

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    • Ha! I’m guessing you have giant snow Boulders 🙂
      I’ll have to make a point of going to FB to check it out.
      The warm weather doesn’t hit us again until Monday … so enjoy your Sunday. Hope you get in a great bike ride. I’m running my first race in 4 years tomorrow morning. I’m trying to ease back into running with a planned series of 5k races. Temperatures aren’t expected to be much more than freezing in the morning. Sheesh.

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  8. Thanks for including the photo for those “fascinated by construction sites” and the tower. I also feel a degree of empathy with Gilles – I’ve been involved with plenty of roof repairs but not generally before 6:30am.

    The picture of the swing set reminded me of a photo shoot I went on with out daughter to tour some flooded parks around Hartford.

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    • Every time I pass by this area with all the cranes, I think of you. It’s been fascinating to watch this process of ‘deconstruction’. Sooner or later, they’re going to have to put it back together again.

      You would have a lot of experience with flooded areas. Flooding both fascinates and terrifies me. I don’t think I could ever live anywhere near a flood zone – no waterfront property for me!

      Liked by 1 person

      • We lived in an apartment building when I was a little kid. The basement flooded at least twice that I remember. Not fun. Fortunately, I was too little to be impacted, other than not being able to play in the yard. I have avoided that possibility every time I chose where to live.

        I’ve been watching them dismantle and remantle several overpasses that are part of my commute. They have been going at it for over a year. It’s fun looking at the cranes, but it’s led me to finding multiple backs ways home.

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  9. Yikes! Your winter does go on a bit doesn’t it? Although we seem to have gone slightly backwards at the moment with temperatures dipping again and a chilly wind from the Arctic. I love the sound of birdsong and love the birds who come in to my garden and sing to me pretty much all year round, except when it is very windy.

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  10. I really feel for you all. Alberta has had a very hard winter and late spring too. (I only know the half of it, since we headed to warmer climates in mid January and are just getting packed up to head home now.) I don’t wish to sound unappreciative, but the heat down here is really getting to me, and I’m really looking forward to being back where you have to put clothes on to warm up. There is no way to take off enough clothes to cool down here…

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    • Generally speaking, Margy, I agree with you. I’d rather have to put another layer on because it’s chilly than be in sweltering heat. A few days are nice – especially if water is involved – but after that I want more moderate temperatures.
      … but snow on April 29th?!! No, that’s just wrong 🤨

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  11. Even I, with my fascination with snowy climes, found myself feeling sorry for you as this snowy season dragged on. You can have too much of a good thing. I hope you are now well on your way to summer. We have had an unusually dry autumn but I’m now noticing the chill once the sun starts setting. I froze at the plant nursery at 4 o’clock yesterday in the t-shirt I’d been wearing all day quite comfortably. Must put jacket in car.

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  12. That tower is magnificent! I had to google “sheave tower” since I wasn’t sure what it was. Several sites I went to had some lovely pictures of it in other seasons, and an especially gorgeous one taken at the golden hour in the fall. I think you may want to make a return trip one day… Thanks for sharing the sounds of your spring!

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    • That’s the problem with my list of new things I want to see and do. There’s always a reason to want to return. I agree that this tower is one of them – the setting was so pretty. A photo really doesn’t do it justice.

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  13. I think if you take a trip out of town, as soon as you leave, the weather will become nice. We start our trip today and according to the weatherman, we will miss many beautiful, nice Minnesota spring days 😦

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  14. Crazy, crazy weather. I am in awe of your hardy (and eminent,y sensible) approach to just getting on with life. Winter seems to have arrived with sudden ferocity here; it was like midsummer a few days aga and now we’re in boots and parkas. More storms for Auckland, so we’re hoping the house is ok in our temporary absence. We have some big trees that were weakened in the last storm.
    I hope May brings sunshine and warmth of weTher to go with the pleasure of the countdown!!

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  15. The Blair Sheaves Tower is so pretty. I’m glad you found it, Joanne. And I too noticed the birds one day, as if they’d all returned overnight! I hope you are done with snow, damaging winds, flooding, etc. It’s about time for spring to make an appearance! Hope you get lots of sunshine and warmth soon!

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  16. Simply gorgeous photos Joanne. Though the 4 lane highway was distressing. You Canadians are pretty hardy.The frog sounds were delightful! I hope your April brings in warmer weather pretty soon and Spring will be a delight 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Marissa. It’s one of those special days in a parent’s life. It is said that a wedding is all about the bridal couple. Pfft – I now know that’s not true. It’s about the parents 😉

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  17. Loved that tower you found; wish I could find one here. I feel for people that have unusual adverse weather but there are magical things that keep you there (the magic is just hidden for awhile). We didn’t get much news about the Hawaii (my hometown) torrential rains and floods earlier this month and when I saw some videos on fb I checked with my good friend on the island of Kauai to ensure he and his wife were safe. Safe they were but the floods devastated their beautiful property (I visited them in February) as well as many areas of the island; he described it as being like a tsunami hitting them. I took many photos while there and will probably send them and album to help them remember what it was before.

    We all complain about the unusual bad weather but when we see what others are going through there is no need to complain when we are much more fortunate that others. For instance, we had some late storms in the SF Bay Area this month and while the annual stone fest (aka weed event) was going on in Golden Gate Park I got stoned, literally, by being caught in a hailstone storm; like what the heck was this? But, nothing to really complain about to you and others as we are generally blessed with nice weather here. So here’s hoping that spring will bring back the magic that was hidden from you for awhile. In fact, I will be joining Deborah and other friends in Golden Gate Park this afternoon to shoot the owlets that we shot last week Saturday (spring does treat us to sights of baby wildlife which can be magical).

    Take care, Joanne! Better days are ahead. 🙂

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    • Thank you!! You are so right – we never have to look very far to find someone worse off than we are. Our cold spring certainly isn’t life threatening.
      Hope you had fun shooting the owlets this afternoon. Looking forward to more great photos of the little ones. Yes – spring is definitely full of magic 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Lots of bird noise here, too, Joanne. It’s warmed up nicely the last week or so, although it was rather chilly again last night. My husband is usually out biking even in the bad w/o cold weather, but he’s got a rather fierce cold right now, so that’s out for a bit. I’m enjoying my walks in the park more now that I see green grass and wildflowers getting ready to open. Still often cold, though, and we get more than our share of wind around here.

    I like the tower you discovered. Birds’ nests are also things you don’t often see when it’s not winter and all the leaves are off. Each season has its good points, it’s just that I’m passed being able to appreciate winter’s now. 🙂

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do like the changing seasons. I don’t think I would like it much to be somewhere that didn’t have distinctive seasons.
      … and spring comes with so much anticipation for the summer ahead. Now if only winter would get the hint and leave already 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. My daughter and I enjoyed the chirping of birds as we hiked yesterday. The trail was not yet “open” for the season, but we just went over and around the trees and branches that were victims of the winter weather.

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    • It’s getting noisier and more active outside as the daylight gets longer. I’m constantly being startled by rustling in the dead leaves while on the trail – only to discover a squirrel or a chipmunk 🙂

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  20. I’ve noticed the birds a lot in the last week as well. Goodness, they’re busy and chatty 🙂 Spring is definitely behind here. Looking back at my April 2017 photos, I can see the difference clearly.
    I do appreciate the construction photos, the red sheave tower is beautiful, too.
    The sun might be warm here, but the wind has been that of Old Man Winter. Hats are the essential lately.

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  21. Ahhh, this is so much something I’d do: fish for a forlorn tower off the road just because a book mentions it. 😀

    Great to see that your husband singlehandedly saved your world. And you have a wedding coming up, how excited!

    We’ve got frogs here too, or is it toads, or both, anyway, they can be loud. And they come to warm themselves under our street lights. Glad to hear they are like canaries in a mine. 🙂

    I wish you plenty of fun in the nature!

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  22. Good for you, Joanne, for getting out there and taking gorgeous photos despite the crappy weather! Like a true Canadian. Another cold weekend on deck, but then I think we may bypass Spring and head straight into Summer. Here’s hoping, anyways!

    Deb

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I just finished raking up dead debris from the front garden and just doing that made me feel like real spring was inevitably on its way. It really felt good to be outside doing some gardening.

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    • I did the same on Friday – except for me it was cleaning up pine cones. It was surprising how much better I felt afterwards. I’m confident there will be many more of those days ahead of us 🙂

      Like

  24. I’m totally with you in gleefully waving winter goodbye. In fact, on the island, winter crept out in the middle of the night. This past Monday I was still wearing my rainproof parka, and Tuesday it was shorts and a t-shirt! Hope the warm, dry weather is finally here to stay!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I love the little iceberg sculptures! Swimming on the swings….what a fun mom you are! The photos are pretty cool though, Joanne. May is just around the corner….it has got to warm up!!

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  26. Hi Joanne,
    What a perfect summary of the month of April. I’m usually pretty sanguine about weather, never remembering it from one day to the next, but this month was just so dismal and wet and cold and windy. It’s the only month I’ve regretted having dogs. Darn those things for needing exercise and an outdoor bathroom.

    Like you, I just want the month over and done. I’m so glad that May is around the corner. I’ll be able to get outside and spend a month picking up branches, cutting fallen trees, and repairing the grass where the moles and skunks have dug in looking for food. But if there’s sunshine and warmth, I won’t complain… much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think just about everyone in the Northern Hemisphere will be happy to see April in the rearview mirror 😕
      Yesterday I was out in the yard picking up pine cones – endless pine cones. By the time I’m finished with pine cone season, then all the hateful maple keys will start sprouting all over the place. I’m not sure why I look forward to spring. My workload increases substantially and I absolutely detest yard work.
      Whine, whine, whine 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  27. This was the worst April ever! Unlike you I hunkered down and complained a lot. Our frogs have started their mating songs. I’ve never been so happy to hear them! On another note, another blogger posted about her comments going into spam. I checked and sure enough several of her comments were there. So were a few of yours. I “unspammed” them but apologize if you think I ignored you. I really should check my spam more often but until now that rarely happened.

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    • Thanks for unspamming me. I’ve been having this problem on a number of blogs lately. One blogger has had to repeatedly rescue me from the spam jail. I don’t know why WP has suddenly decided to censor me 🤨

      Funny, I’ve been doing year-round hiking for a number of years now, but this is the first time the frogs have really registered. They’ve been outright deafening in places! Like you, it’s made me so happy to hear it. I understand that frogs are one of the those canary-in-the-coal-mine things. A healthy frog population is a good thing!

      Liked by 1 person

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