Friday, December 11, 2009

Some Observations of Nature...

Its definitely getting colder in this part of Canada. Though Hamilton isn't known to have incredibly snowy winters, it sure does get cold down here; and when it snows, it really snows! The past couple days we've had weather just below zero Celsius, a few scattered flurries which have now dusted the ground lightly with a covering of snow, and a rather wild wind that chills the bones (its gusting at around 50kts - around 85 km for those without aeronautical training). The days are short and cold - but there is nothing like seeing the sun poke out from behind the clouds and offer that little shred of warmth that is so comforting in the winter months of the year.

There's no birdsong now, save for the occasional corvid - but even they no better than to come out in this wind. The squirrels are darting about attempting to get their hands on the last of autumn's spoils before the upcoming snowfalls, and the city's wildlife are gradually trailing off as they go into their winter arrangements.

I find winter a lot more dull in the city. It seems to lose its beauty and serenity that it has back at home - my family lives in a big, beautiful farm house in the middle of Prince Edward County, one of the best and most loved vinery, tourist and beach places in all of Ontario (check it out if you ever get the chance). I miss being at home and being able to take the dog for a run in the freshly fallen snow, or see the deer gingerly leap between the giant drifts that form on the top of the hill at our windy farmstead. It'll be sad not to see my foal experience her first snow; if she's anything like our previous babies she'll romp with her mother and have a grand old time. The stars at home, too, become that much more prominent in winter; it has to do with a lack of smog in the atmosphere, which is usually catalyzed by the heat and humidity of the summer. Here, in the city, especially one like Hamilton with a lot of industry, the stars are scarce. I can go home and sit peacefully up at the barn (bundled up, of course), looking up at the stars, planets, and occasional nebulae or galaxy (I have a perfect view of the Andromeda galaxy as well as the Orion nebula - both show up spectacularly clear, even to the naked eye).

All and all, it is without a doubt winter is coming. I look forward to being finished with my finals so I can escape the city and head home to my country retreat, if only for a few weeks. Yuletide is upon us and I look forward to celebrating this year! I have a lot to look back on but I also have a lot to look forward to. Now to go find the toques, scarves, and mittens that will keep me warm!


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