We just passed Victoria Day, the Canadian long weekend in May that typically delineates when it's safe to feel like winter is gone and we can scoot ahead to summer. Spring usually gets lost in the shuffle, here, because it's such a fleeting season for us...most years.
Most years, spring is marked by more winter interspersed with almost summer. Temperatures can drop well below the freezing mark one day, and shoot up to high teens/low twenties (degrees Celsius) the next. Most springs we receive at least one heavy snow fall, and I have had many blisters over the years from cracking and clearing ice on the sidewalk that resulted from repeated snow melt and refreezing.
Most years, a few people succumb to the gardening itch and plant early, only to have their hearts broken by overnight frost. Most years, spring (outdoor) soccer means cheering on my sons through rain/snow/biting wind, battling fierce clouds of mosquitoes, or getting sunburned.
Spring in the Edmonton, Alberta area is like every season rolled into one.
This year, spring started really, really early. I took a walk through the river valley on March 5, and our river was almost completely free of ice and snow. I have never seen that before. We waited for the usual snow storm or blizzard, but it didn't happen.
Combined with a very low snowfall from the previous winter, a significant lack of rain in the region, and significantly above average temperatures, in early May our relative humidity was sitting at just 10%- the same level as the city of Fort McMurray, which has been battling an out-of-control wildfire of epic proportions for the last 4 weeks.
The forecast calls for more rain and thunderstorms today and tomorrow, (the louder and more violent the better, in my books!) and then later in the week a return to sunny summer weather. You'll find me out on the deck reading or in the river valley walking, enjoying every moment of the sunshine and birdsong as possible. It's time to start thinking about foods that scream "spring" or "summer", so we don't have to heat up the house. Here's my shortlist. What's on yours?
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, friends!
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