|Snow turns the view from the front steps into a magical sight Monday. The glow across the way comes from the neighbour's Christmas lights.|
|Snow on the weeping birch, hydrangeas, and the two magnolia trees turns the front garden into a winter forest scene. The hydrangeas never got clipped; they will suffer under the weight of the snow.|
|John performing his neighbourly duty early Monday. He's already cleaned the sidewalk and is working on the front steps.|
Opening his eyes in early-morning darkness Monday, John thought he was seeing a negative: It had snowed and the world was black and white. You can tell he's spent his life in photography! Also that we're not accustomed to the sight of snow out here in Vancouver.
When it comes, first it's magical, then it's a slog. The magical part is the trees and greenery covered in white, made even better by the cheerful sparkle of Christmas lights. The slog is cleaning the sidewalks, which is now required by law here after too many people shirked their neighbourly duty. Transit always snarls, just when people need it most, and car drivers rediscover they've forgotten how to drive in snow. Temperatures often hover around freezing, meaning the slushy pools of the afternoon are treacherous sheets of ice at night.
The best solution -- tried and true in Vancouver -- is rain, the fastest way to get rid of it all. The magic, even if it does look like a negative, only lasts so long.
|The cupid in the birdbath looks a bit surly, with his hat of snow and arms full of the same. The birds will have to find their water elsewhere.|
|It's still Vancouver, though. Our unusually warm fall prodded some blooms out of my wiegelia bush against the south wall. And the grass seeds I planted -- just for a laugh -- in early November, actually germinated!|
|A planter of pansies in the snow. Once it warms up, the pansies will be back in action.|
|The little birdbath; my little Greek statue carries snow instead of water right now.|
|Another view of the front garden, through the living-room window early Monday.|