Nothing can really prepare you for winter in Canada when you’ve lived in Ireland for your whole life. Unfortunately all Irish people know is rain and maybe (just maybe) temperatures will drop to -2. At the coldest snow may fall and suddenly everything stops functioning, bus time tables are off and people refuse to drive . Well, lets just say that Canada is a whole other ball game, -40 windchill and the whole country goes about their business as usual, sub zero conditions and there is a line up at the bus. You can’t really explain what its like when the wind almost cuts you in two and you call home and mam says “God its awful cold here, we have the heating on full blast” when really its a temperature that I now think of as toasty.
Its hard to build yourself up to wear layers of clothes, snow boots, hats, scarves and gloves to get to work and then strip off again once you get there. Sometimes your so worked up about the cold and the weather that you forget to notice what else is going on around you. The weather holds a lot of beauty but sometimes you have to be open to the idea of what good can come of it, even if sometimes you have to go looking for it.
One weekend in January we didn’t have to go looking very far when Ali invited us to go snow tubing up north. One of those moments when you realise you couldn’t just pop to Horse shoe Valley Ski resort on a Saturday in Ireland. Suddenly I’m thankful for this snowy day when we’re going down slopes on snow tubes giggling and laughing like kids as the snow falls gently on our merry little faces. I’ve also come to the conclusion that Gary loves when we go outdoors to do any of these activities, mainly because it means a pretty large hip flask in his pocket to keep warm, you can take the man out of Ireland but can’t take Ireland out of the man!
Selfies on the Slopes
Ticking off my bucket list, snow tubing classifies as an outdoor winter sport! YAY! Next weekend is a long weekend in Canada and I’m excited about the fact that we are spending it up north house sitting for Ali and her 3 furry cats much to Garys excitement. My friend Kayla and her boyfriend will be joining us to take on the next outdoor sport on my bucket list – dog sledding! I’m so excited, the countdown is on and I can’t wait to write the blog post about it already!
But back to the weather..
One morning last week when I was extremely pissed off I missed the lights and two buses past me. I let the steam vent from my ears, took a deep breath and looked up at the lights waiting for the the little man to appear so I could cross the road when I noticed it. Just as the wind crept under my hood and froze my cheeks, the smile appeared on my face. Just like that a sunrise can change your whole mood. The beauty of the sky and the reflection of light on the snow cheered me right up. So I bravely took out my phone and snapped a picture with my gloves off and spent the rest of the bus ride to work trying to get the feeling back into my hands.
This encouraged me to take on a little task and it was something to look forward too going into February. I was going to try and capture the beauty of winter whenever the moment presented itself to me, whether it be sunrise, sunset or merely just a moment in the snow. So over the past weekend I have focused on capturing some of these beautiful moments that I have the weather to thank for, and I’ll always remember my first winter in Canada. Its both fascinating and unbelievable to see how a season can change your surroundings. Lake Ontario, around the harbour front that is, has frozen over and a layer of snow lays gently on it like a blanket. In some parts you can see how the current of the water is bursting in underneath and large cracks appear to be shown. While I was out walking and taking pictures, there were two men walking along the frozen lake as if it was a foot path, my knees were shaking just looking at them. Feeling slightly like David Attenborough inside, here is Toronto not so much frozen planet, but you get the point.
Side note: Please remember I am not a photographer, these are just personal photos that I like to share.