Is It Springtime Yet?


Picture taken early May, the 1st sign of new life, since the frosts from early Oct. last year, 7 months ago.

Picture taken early May, the 1st sign of new life, since the frosts from early Oct. last year, 7 months ago.

It’s May 24th.  The snow has disappeared.  The frozen lakes have melted.  The sun is shining.  The birds are singing.  The grass is growing.  The crocuses and daffodils have greeted the world with cheery flowers.  The leaves have burst out from their tight wintertime buds.

The beauty of the White Trillium in the hardwood forest just outside the village where I live.

The beauty of the White Trillium taken recently in the hardwood forest just outside the village where I live.  Can you spot my bicycle?  🙂

Springtime in Canada is a long, gradual process.  Seeing springtime posts from fellow bloggers from way back in March really has intrigued and fascinated me.  While my fellow bloggers were enjoying flowers and green grass, we were still buried in snow up here, when those posts were written. But I knew in the weeks ahead spring would make it’s way up to my neck of the woods.

While some fellow bloggers were having tulips and green grass, out snowbanks were getting higher.

While some fellow bloggers were having tulips and green grass, we still have a lot of snow in the early part of March.

The later part of March, and into the 1st part of April, sees days above freezing, with still cold nights. The snow was melting, which meant the sap in the trees of our maple forests was flowing.  As a child my dad would tap the maple trees in our forest, collect the dripping sap in metal pails, and then boil down the translucent liquid in huge open kettles over an open fire.  The memories of distinctive smell of the syrup as it began to reach it’s point of perfection, adding another log to the fire, and talking.  When it boiled down to a certain point, we would pour fresh hot syrup onto the cold snow, and it would transform into a gooey taffy.

We were able to produce a couple of gallons of syrup for our families needs, for some people, producing maple syrup is a livelihood.  According to The Canadian Encyclopedia, there are 16,000 maple syrup producers in North America, with 80% of them from Canada.  Canada produces 79% of the world’s maple syrup.

One such producer is John Williams from Williams Farm.  I have known John for many years, and really admire his respect and care for the earth and the environment.  In the summertime his farm produces organic produce.  The Elmvale Maple Syrup Festival is usually held the last week of April each year, this year it was held on April 26th.  It is spring on the calendar, but even then you don’t know what to expect.  This year we were greeted with glorious sunshine,  but the day before we had a significant snowfall, not totally unusual.  It melted the next day, and by the end of April the snow is all melted, and the lakes are free of ice.

John Williams and his son at the booth at the Elmvale Maple Syrup Festival.

John Williams and his son at the booth at the Elmvale Maple Syrup Festival.  A sunny, but seasonal cool day.

 

May is the return to green grass, and leaves that return on the once dormant trees.  The leaves are such a welcome sight, after 7 months of dormancy.  With the weather warming up, the gardeners are very eager to get things planted.  But the weather is still too unpredictable for me as a gardener, and it is not unusual to have a killer frost, such as what we had a night ago.

Heavy frost the morning of May 23rd.

Heavy frost the morning of May 23rd.

Once I flip my calendar to June, I can probably say that spring has FULLY arrived.  I can plant my garden, and look forward to reaping the organic produce.  There will be lots of running, cycling, hiking and camping in the weeks to come.  Summer season is very short lived in this “Great White North” called Canada, so if you don’t hear much as much from me on my blog, you know where I will be!  🙂

Thanks for reading, and all your support!  🙂

~Carl~

 

 

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41 comments

  1. Welcome to Spring Carl! I don’t think I could handle 7 months of snow myself. I like to visit snow but I don’t really like it sticking around. Although I’m sure those who live with it, learn to adapt. In my part of the world, it is Autumn. The leaves are falling from the trees and the westerly winds are picking up. We don’t have too many deciduous trees in my part of the world but the Frangipanis in my garden are becoming bare and the roses have just been pruned back so that they will bloom beautifully when Spring comes again. We have had a lot of rain in recent weeks and according to my knees (and other signs) more rain could well be coming. On the whole though, our winter days are gloriously sunny.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for sharing Suzanne. I loved reading about your autumn season “down under” in Australia. It is so fascinating with the different weather zones, different climates and seasons. I am thinking (and hoping) your winters would be a pleasant break, and a bit more bearable from the intense heat I have read about in, I think one of your past posts. I really love spring in Canada. With everything being dormant for so long, there is much appreciation for the new life that is bursting out all around!
      Thank you so much for reading, and sharing! 🙂
      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Have fun and enjoy the sun!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am enthralled – but repelled by all that ‘cold’. Strange to say we had a decent frost this morning here in Hobart and while the sky was clear and blue and the sun shone, it was bitter outside. Strange to think of our locations on the opposite side of the world suffering the same experience. I looked up Elmvale on Google maps and it isn’t very far north in Canada so I guess I expected it to be much warmer by now there; particularly so with what I would have thought would be the moderating effects of the big splash of water nearby.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Really appreciated your comment, and even the fact you took the time to Google Elmvale on the map. Some parts of the United States are at the same latitude, or even much further north than where I am.

      Although we get nights into the -20’s, the prairie provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta) do have more bitter cold during the winter, (often in the -30’s) and for a longer duration than what we experience.

      The big splash of water (The Great Lakes) do play a major part in our weather. In the early part of winter, the air is cooler than the open water, and the northwest winds pick up moisture off the warmer waters, and the moisture falls as snow in my area, my area is known as “the traditional snow belt”. Not unusual to wake up in the morning and be greeted by 15-20 centimetres of fresh snow. The lakes freeze pretty much over by the end of February, which turns off the snow producing engine, but sometimes we get snow from other weather systems that come from other directions.

      Late March and April, we have days above freezing which melts the snow and ice on the lakes. The ice is now gone, and the open water is much cooler than the air. I am about 25 kilometres from the big water, and because the water is very cold now, the air temperature gets cooler the closer you get to the water. In the immediate vicinity of the water, the air temperature is several degrees cooler from where I live.

      That is really “cool” how we both had frosts, different seasons, and opposite side of the world, having the same experience.

      Thank you for reading, and sharing! 🙂

      ~Carl~

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  4. Happy to report no frost on my car this morning!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know Shawn. The 1st thing I did this morning was look outside to the car. If there was frost, it means heading out 5 minutes earlier to scrape. Nice this time of year, if you don’t have to go anywhere, the sun has it melted in no time.

      I hope you are feeling better, and are soon back to running. Colds can knock a lot out of a person.

      Thanks so much for reading, do take care! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ahhhhh, the renewing power of spring! When I lived in New England I so loved that time of year. The contrast is not nearly as much here in San Diego so it was a pleasure to read your lovely post to remind me of those days. And maple syrup too…yum!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Tricia. The word “renewing” is such a fitting word. I imagine you would have had maple syrup production as well in the New England states. It is such a treat. I am so glad the post, and the seasons brought back memories of your time spent there.

      Always appreciate your support of reading, and taking the time to leave such a wonderful comment! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yup, I have find memories of visiting the maple syrup farms in New Hampshire and Vermont. I had no idea that Canada produced so much of the overall supply though, interesting!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Glad you are coming out of hibernation!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jenny, there really is a lot of truth to your comment. Some people in our village you don’t see all winter. Then in the springtime they are out and about. Out for a walk, cutting the grass, working the perennial flower garden. It is almost like we have all have been in hibernation, and once the warmer weather arrives, we really do “come out of hibernation”. 🙂

      Thank you for reading and sharing! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful pictures,Carl…Enjoy the coming weather and family ❤ Love as always xx CC

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Carl, lovely post! I know you will enjoy the springtime, just about another week until June! Have a wonderful time in the great outdoors! Please be well, and take good care.

    Always warm wishes,
    Pepperanne

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That is so cool your family made Maple syrup. We’ve made birch syrup. It’s not as tasty as maple, but is supposed to be good for you. Things have really greened up for us too. I actually planted my garden a few weeks ago as it’s been unseasonably warm. There are forest fires close by though which is scary. I don’t like that part of spring/summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Angie so much. My dad died when I was 15, so I really cherish those memories such as boiling down the maple sap into syrup. I have heard you can make birch syrup, but have never known anyone who made it. I have read there are a lot of antioxidants in maple syrup, would think the birch syrup would be the same.

      Have heard there are forest fires in Northern British Columbia, but did not know how close by you lived. Sincerely you will be safe Angie. Will this affect the Summit Tower Road race? I know you have put much heart into this event, and I really hope it goes really smoothly for you.

      Please do take care, and thank you for reading and commenting!

      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  10. We are running rapidly toward our summer here in SC with some days already in the upper 80s. As summer here brings oppressive heat and humidity that takes your breath away I am envious of your late-May frost. Get outside and enjoy every minute of your short summer! I’ll be hiding inside with the air conditioner blasting….waiting impatiently for fall and winter to roll back around. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the humidity. Because of the Great Lakes nearby, we do have some hot and humid days during our short summer. It is on those days we have to remind ourselves that 6 months earlier we were freezing in the -20’s……LOL. Perspective eh! 🙂

      Sincerely hope you get some days of relief from the oppressive heat and humidity Karen. Yes, I will enjoy my short summer.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your much appreciated comment. 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Like

  11. Yeesh! I thought it was bad that there were still hunks of ice in my local park through mid-April. You guys had it worse!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A lovely description of the coming of spring. In the last week I’ve started work on my garden. I get produce too but tend to go for low maintenance crops – blueberries, raspberries, gooseberries, strawberries and blackcurrants. I may try tomatoes again but have been discouraged by bad crops the last few years. Good luck with your garden!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading and sharing Paula. After reading your lovely comment, it makes me want to get some more low maintenance berries. I do have a small patch of raspberries that were originally dug up from my grandpa’s garden, and transplanted from a couple of properties. He has been dead for 35 years, so these berries are special. We pick about 2-3 quarts off it, they never make it to the table. 🙂
      Planted white currants a couple of years ago, and last year they produced. Being white, I did not know when they were ripe, next thing I knew they were all on the ground! LOL.
      But there is nothing like fresh produce from the garden.. Good luck with your garden as well! 🙂
      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Loved reading your post. I live in such a different environment, it is a great reminder of the gradual “springing” in the northern climates! It is so weird, here in Arizona we look at May as the last of “liveable weather” until fall with the heat of our summers! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Kirk for your kind words. Our environments are indeed very different. Had the opportunity to have a very brief visit to Arizona in 1985. (hiked in and out of the Grand Canyon on the popular Bright Angel trail) It was only the 2nd week of April, and was very surprised how hot it was on the canyon floor. It was in the 80’s. The heat of the summer must be extremely hot.
      Found Arizona very beautiful, and learned for the 1st time back then, that Arizona had some gorgeous mountains.
      Thank you so much for reading and sharing! 🙂
      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Enjoy the spring time Carl! We have some Canadian colleagues in our office and we were joking that Canada only has two season: winter and summer 🙂 Does the spring stay long or in June then you will experience summer weather already?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Indah. There is a lot of truth in that Canada has just the 2 seasons: winter and summer. After the frosty weather last weekend, the heat has moved in. We do have summer with temperature in the low to mid 20’s, and occasionally in the low 30’s from now until mid August. September the weather cools (I love this month) The 1st frosts, fall colours and falling leaves the 2nd and 3rd week of October. November we experience our 1st snow of the season.

      I really appreciate the time you take to stop by to read and comment. Have a wonderful day! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Like

  15. I’m enjoying spring and the approaching summer. People complain about the humidity and heat. Not me. After a long, dreary winter, I embrace the sunshine, the flowers (even the pollen!). It’s spring! Finally! Life is good again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life really IS good again Kate. I also love all this daylight. In the winter, I leave for work in the dark, and get home in the dark, but is really is so nice to have all this daylight and warmth after work. I am embracing it.
      Thank you so much for reading and your kind comment. 🙂
      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I hope that someday I will get to visit Canada! It sounds so beautiful, and I’ve loved the idea of it ever since Anne of Green Gables got me in about the 7th grade! I enjoyed hearing about the maple syrup! The boys and I have been reading about that in Little House in the Big Woods! It’s so funny to be back in the school world again. It’s amazing how much I have forgotten from school. I wish for you no more frosts and warm, green days! It doesn’t truly get warm here, in my odd climate, until September. Does it ever truly get warm where you are?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You should visit Canada sometime April. It is so vast, several parts I have yet to visit myself. The Anne of Green Gables homestead is on a province called Prince Edward Island (PEI). I have never visited PEI, but those that do, no doubt would visit the Green Gables house.
      https://www.tourismpei.com/green-gables-house

      My dad produced his maple syrup the “old fashioned way”, I am sure very similar to the account in The Little House in the Big Woods. Commercial operations are vastly different nowadays, with a lot less physical labor. The finished product is still the same, pure and natural. 🙂

      It does get nice and warm where I am. June, July and August are regarded as the warm weather months. A lot of vacationers travel through this area in the summer months, either to Wasaga Beach (the world’s longest freshwater beach), about 20 miles from here, http://www.canadaka.net/achievements/12-world-s-longest-freshwater-beach.html or to cottages further north.

      As always thank you for reading and your kind comment. Always enjoy your blogger camaraderie! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Like

  17. Drinking in spring sun and fresh air, hands in the soil. A memory of Eden. =)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. You stay at such a beautiful place Carl! I was especially intrigued by the maple syrup. I’d love to see it being poured into snow and seeing the taffy. YouTube hopefully will help me.
    Over here it is blazing summer. Already we seem to be heading towards a second year of consequent drought. Hope respite comes soon. Enjoy your time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Prajakta. I am very fortunate to live in a very picturesque part of Canada. Canada is quite vast, and it has been 15 years since I have seen both the mountains, and the ocean (also very beautiful), both several thousands of kilometres away.

      Hoping you found something on YouTube to make taffy. Have not done this since I was a teenager, but certainly wonderful memories. 🙂

      I sincerely do hope you get some rain to end this prolonged drought, but not in the form of major floods.

      Please do take care! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

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