Cataraqui Reflections

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Winter Fit For The Seventies

The amphitheater in Centennial Park, Trenton, is hardly recognizable under the white blankets of snow that surround it. The gusting winds have reduced the visibility and caused extensive drifting. Not a good day to be outside or on the roads unless absolutely necessary.

Shoveling snow has become a twice daily chore. I am fit and can manage the driveway and walkways without difficulty, but I feel for the elderly who do not have the physical stamina for such exertion.

Here are some pictures of the Bay of Quinte that show the drifting snow.

The break in the clouds is the first in many days of snow squalls.

Not too many ice fishermen these past few days.

I will finish with a photo of an airplane on a pedestal in front of the Duncan McDonald Memorial Gardens, the Trenton arena. The snowbank in front is not what one is used to seeing here.

Tomorrow the sun is forecast and milder temperatures are on the way. This probably means more snow too. It is that time of year, after all. Still, a day without shoveling would be very welcome right now.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Winter Boots And Wind Pants The Couture For Today

This was my morning view. It snowed and howled through the night and it promises to keep snowing and blowing for another day. This means I have to go out and do some snow shoveling if I want to get out and go somewhere, anywhere.

Since about 15cm/6in of snow has fallen and there are lots of drifts, I decided on polar fleece-lined wind pants and winter boots. No way I can get away with duck boots today.

Got the driveway cleared and then I went around to the side to clear a path to my shed and compost bin. Ooh boy.

When the ice storm hit earlier in January, I did not have access to the salt and pointed spade in the shed, which would have helped then. This time I shoveled out the door so that I will have access at any time.

I am astonished at how much snow has accumulated on this fence. This isn't supposed to happen this far south, since global warning has shortened winter in these parts. At least, it had. Mother Nature is perhaps now retroactively restoring how it used to be. Not sure how I feel about that. I was kind of enjoying the milder winters.

Oh well, not much I can personally do about the weather except batten down the hatches. The super cold air is again returning overnight. Grab the wool socks.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Hens And Chicks Prosper Amid Winter Chaos

Back in the fall, my friend Kathy Jerome brought over this rose shaped plant that, I believe, is in the hens and chicks variety of perennial garden ground cover. It winters better inside and is an interesting addition to any outdoor garden. I noted today when giving it some water that it had grown a branch, or perhaps what will become a bloom for the plant. The edges of the rubbery roses have taken on a rosy hue. I believe the plant is happy in my window.

That said, it's another nasty day out there. This morning it was -28c/-18f, but it quickly warmed up with the strong southwesterly winds that roared in to replace the frigid cold. This produced snow squalls that dropped about 2 or 3 cm of snow, not a lot, just enough to cause whiteout conditions outside and on the road.

That is the CFB Trenton perimeter fence in the foreground, and Whites Road beyond that. I am glad I do not have to travel today.

This picture is out of focus a bit (sorry) but it shows the runway at CFB Trenton at dusk. No aircraft are flying in that.

My neighbour's flag is taking a beating in the strong wind gusts. Winter is certainly making itself known in 2014.

I will end this post with a great picture that was a surprise find when I downloaded the whiteout pictures off my camera. It's from last week when there was a full moon. I took this picture out my window. At the time, it didn't look like it turned out so I forgot about it. Turned into a great picture, I think.

My cold is almost history and this is a good thing. I have three more new songs to learn. As Andy Dufresne in Shawshank said: "Get busy living or get busy dying". Time to get

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Trenton Legion Branch 110 - Hello!

I am now officially a member of the Trenton Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 110. They even gave me my own key! I guess this is standard practice, but it spoke volumes about trust.

I also got some other goodies.

A Quinte West pin.

Some neat pamphlets.

All watched over by the Queen.

A close up of Her Majesty.

This photo was taken some time ago as the Queen is currently in her 87th year.

The three symbols of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Here I am receiving my Legion pin from Ms Diane King.

I want you to know that I am not that big, but Ms King is that small. I was told to wear a shirt and slacks, and the only shirt I had was that white one. Oh well. Like it or not, that is the way I looked last night.

Another polar vortex has formed over Hudson Bay, funneling extremely frigid Arctic air southward. This morning, the temperature here in Quinte West (Trenton) was -26c/-15f, and even colder in Gowganda Ontario at -34c/-29f. Brrrhhh!!

No worry though. I don't have to go outside for a while and by then, it will have gotten a bit better. The sun is shining so I best get on with my day.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Surprise

My car covered with snow is not what I was expecting today. The weather forecast called for light flurries to a depth of 2-5 cm. I think there might be 15 cm or about 5 inches of snow already fallen and the storm continues to rage with strong winds out of the south gusting up to 60 km/hr. Oh joy.

I did a little investigation on my personal web site ( going into the One Stop Weather page and selecting the latest Surface Analysis. In case you didn't know, I was once a weather observer at Nav Canada. From that chart, I ascertained that a little trough of low pressure had formed just to the south of Lake Erie, making it a little southwest of me in Trenton.

I highlighted the lower Great Lakes in blue and the little trouble maker trough in thick black to make it easier to see.

Of course, the system to the north has moved in now to augment and replace that little trough. This picture is from the Rain Alarm web site for 110pm.

Lots more to come before this storm over.

Snow can be beautiful too.

Little puffs of snow have adhered to the front window, making for an interesting perspective.

Right now, it is just below freezing but the temperature will drop overnight to -9c. I wonder how much snow I will have to shovel tomorrow morning?
I'll let you know.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Saturday Sights

This cold I have just won't go away, but I got tired of sitting around inside so I went for a drive into Trenton. Along the way I stopped at William Bain Park at the foot of RCAF Road.

Not too much to see on this mild winter afternoon, but the gnarly trees are a nice foreground for the frozen Bay of Quinte.

The park invested in some new street lamps and I thought this looked nice.

Next I drove into the CFB Trenton base and got a picture of the water tower.

The water tower can be seen for some distance, as far away as Hamilton Road, about 6 km to the north. At Christmas time, the tower is lit up with green lights that make it look like it is decorated with Christmas trees.

Hopefully my cold will be better tomorrow. I want to be healthy for my induction into the Trenton Legion on Monday evening.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Early Morning Snow

At daylight I pulled back the curtains and saw that it was snowing. Big, fluffy flakes, the kind where you put your head back and stick out your tongue, hoping that a few will melt there.

I didn't go running outside to do this, however. I am still recovering from a cold that has slowed me down considerably. I am feeling better but I still don't have a lot of energy. Probably best to stay inside again today. I started the new year with the idea that I would not fritter away any days by sitting around, but illness may dictate just exactly what I get up to.

Here's hoping that tomorrow I will be well enough to resume my life.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Peek-A-Boo Moon

I didn't think I would have any pictures to publish today, but just around 5pm, I noticed the moon had risen and was showing its white face in the trees.

The moon was rising quickly but I was able to get a second shot. Both are slightly overexposed for my liking, but I was in a hurry to capture this month's moon before it sailed out of the trees and into the open. It makes for a more interesting picture with the bare tree branches to frame it.

I have lost 20 lbs of the weight I put on over the past year and it feels good. I cannot do this by myself so I go to the Dr. Bernstein Health and Diet Clinic in Belleville Ontario. I have gone there twice before in the recent past to curb the weight gain and to get me back on track.

The diet is very effective if followed strictly. After I lose all that I want to this year, I have to find a way to keep the weight off so I don't have to keep going to the clinic for assistance. I sense a life style change for 2014 is in my future.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sydney Street Sunrise

I was up and out early this morning so it happened that I saw this sunrise at Sydney Street in Belleville. My friend, Kathy, who takes almost daily shots of this event, is away, so these pics will have to do.

I just love this little photo editor called Snapseed. Both of these photos were edited with this program, taken at slightly different times, and Snapseed sells for under $25. Very reasonable.

Moving right along...

My next musical venture is with Air Supply. I am learning Lost In Love and Even The Nights Are Better. The plan is to record them and put them on my YouTube Channel in due time. Air Supply has been around for ever but their music can still grab ya. Better get started!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Sombre Sunday

Finally, after having spent the last 4 days inside because of a cold, I felt good enough to get cleaned up and go outside. I was mostly driven by hunger, with boredom a close second. It felt good to be out and about and I took these pictures.

Despite the horrid weather Trenton has been having as of late, the ice fishermen are still out on the Bay of Quinte, their numbers down somewhat from before, but they are out on the ice, the spaces between them now marked with pools of water.

This lone fisherman sits outside his tent, waiting for a nibble on his line.

I have lived long enough to know that the climate of late is not what it was when I was younger. The first time I saw rain in the winter was December of 1980. At that time, it was remarkable to hear thunder in December. Today, I have come to expect anything. This last round of storms involved first snow, then freezing rain and then rain, and lots of it. Now there is ice everywhere and it is potentially hazardous to one's health to be outside anywhere off the beaten path. I shutter to think how a fall could easily change a life, and not for the better.

Today, good fortune smiled on me and I navigated the streets of Trenton without mishap. The sun was hiding but I got this lovely shot of the downtown area of Trenton.

Perhaps tomorrow the sun will show itself. I think I will be healthy enough to resume my thrice-weekly swim with Polly and sunshine always helps.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Promising Winter Morning

Here are two sunrise pictures from this morning, 08 January 2014, courtesy of Kathy Jerome.

The crane in this photo is made of metal so the ice covered ground and bay are of no concern.

Surprising to see ducks out over the ice where there is no open water. It is not all that far to ice-free Lake Ontario from here so perhaps they are just passing through.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Would You LIke Some Ice With That?

The picture above illustrates the lawn in front of my place and the stop sign at the corner. You can note that the red in the sign is reflecting quite nicely on the thick layer of ice covering the snow.

Today the sun is shining but a brisk wind out of the northwest is making the -15c temperature feel more like -27c. I didn't want to go outside today anyway as I have the beginnings of a winter cold and should stay in.

The ice is everywhere and on everything. A friend had come over and chopped away at the ice on Saturday from the previous storm, but the freezing rain storm that occurred later in the weekend only put down a fresh layer of ice on top.

It is now dangerous to walk outside, as you can see by the above picture. A broken hip or leg would be a real life changer and I do not wish this to happen to me or anyone else. Be careful out there.

Ergo, since I plan to stay in, I have quite a few songs to practice. My repertoire is expanding rapidly. I feel a bit like a sponge when it comes to picking up new musical material. I am hoping the inspiration will continue to sprout from my brain. I will have a friend come over soon and I will record some of my new material. When I have done so, look for new links on my blog to hear them. Imagine - me, a Renaissance Woman!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sunny And Mild

Finally, a break in the weather. After several days of -20c and colder, it was a mild -8c when I checked this morning. I was outside wrestling with my recycle bins when I noticed this picturesque sunrise.

Sunrises are easy to capture at this time of year as they happen at 745am right now. It's just a matter of noticing them before all the glory has passed for another day.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Holy Smokes - It's Cold!

I knew I should not have made mention of how cold it was in Gowganda in early December. It's just that it was unusual to have it that cold before winter actually began. Ever since then, it has been very cold in Trenton. Right now it is -20c here and up in Gowganda, it is only -18c. I did not see this event unfolding, that it would be colder in Trenton than Gowganda. I don't think I jinxed it, but it sure can feel that way.

No matter. Yesterday, I watched as it snowed and the wind blew. It can be treacherous to walk in areas where ice is covered by a thin layer of powder snow. Staying put was my best option. Today, however, hunger has forced me to shower up and get outside to replenish my dwindling provision reserves.

Once outside, it was deceptively mild in the sun, although the temperature being recorded on my car dashboard read -19c. I stopped for a while in William Bain Park near the Trenton Air Force Base and took the picture below.

I feel good about this incoming year, 2014. My music is coming along nicely and other areas of my life are also lining up in a timely manner. And some big news - I have joined the Trenton Legion, Branch 101, and officially become a member on January 20th. I am looking forward to getting to know my new legion 'family'. I have already played there once on a Saturday afternoon and have often sang on Karaoke nights. Who knows, could an active social life be far behind?

Stay tuned...