Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Spring, interrupted

We thought we were done with all this, but on Tuesday, the snow was back. When I went out early to take a picture in the back yard, John couldn't resist photographing me coming back in with snow on my bathrobe.
The view from the front steps on Tuesday morning. Fortunately, the snow didn't stick around long. Photo by John.

Mr. Darcy on the back steps, looking out at the snow. He seems to disapprove.

What I was photographing in the back yard. This scene is starting to look familiar.

On Monday, I dismantled the makeshift birdfeeder I'd set up to see the birds through this most unusual of Vancouver winters. The gardeners came and aerated, limed and fertilized the lawn. On my walk, I photographed a pink rhododendron in bloom, and a drift of yellow crocuses under a big boulevard tree.

In other words, after two prolonged spells of snow, ice and cold this winter, we were settling nicely into Vancouver's typical early spring.

But on Tuesday morning, we awoke to fat white flakes drifting down. The grass and trees were white again; the birdbaths were frozen and covered in snow. For the third time this winter, in a city that sometimes has no snow at all, we were back in a Christmas card.

According to The Vancouver Sun, this has been the city's fifth snowiest February on record, with 36 centimetres compared to the month's average snowfall of 6.3 cm. (The record year for February snowfall was 1949, with just over 60 cm.)

Unlike our previous snowfalls this winter, which have stuck around for weeks, we were back to green by noon. Temperatures are rising, and spring quickly resumed after this little interruption. But after a winter like this, we should expect surprises. The Sun story noted the latest date Vancouver has ever had snow was April 19, 2008.

On Monday, it was a different world altogether. This rhododendron was blooming on a boulevard, with plenty more buds to open.

The sunshine made these crocuses glow against the green moss at the base of a big tree. 

More crocuses, looking happy in the sunshine. 

On Tuesday, after the snow melted, I photographed these hellebores blooming against a backdrop of snowdrops. In the foreground, last year's brown leaves. 

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