What Happened to Spring?

I’m no expert in climate change, but something seems a tad awry.  Driving into Ottawa a little over a month ago, it was pretty much what I expected.  Cold and snowy.  Granted, it was not the bitter cold that I was prepared for, but people were skating on the canal and snow was falling diagonally in sheets.

On March 26th, the thermometer reached a high of -4°C (24°F).  Within a week, we bolted straight through Spring and hit mid-Summer.  Winter coats and snow boots gave way to shorts and flip-flops.  On Saturday, Ottawa destroyed all previous records with a high of 29°C (85°F).  Since there has never been an April here without snow, I expect this was a bit of fluke and we will get some more cold.  A week or two of Spring would also be nice.

One of the less-publicized perks of life in the foreign service is that we get a cornucopia of holidays.  In addition to all traditional U.S. holidays, we also observe the local days off.  Thus, in July, we’ll celebrate Canada Day on July 1st, followed closely by Independence Day on the 4th.  Although some refer to Canada as a “post-Christian” nation, this past Easter week-end extended to a four-day mini vacation.

The hot weather and long week-end inspired me to clean up the camera gear and explore a bit.  I walked along the Ontario river path, playing with the camera for the first time in months.  There is so much per capita open space that, even on a beautiful holiday week-end, it didn’t feel crowded.  I did, however, see a lot of sunburns.

The haze made big landscapes less appealing, so I focused on some macro shots.  Canal chains, rusting bolts on a bridge support, a thicket of small shrubs.  I like the details we tend to ignore in favor of the grand views.  An old stone building in the process of renovation provided a unique natural frame for the distant Parliament Hill clock tower.  I arrived back upstairs just in time to make a nice photo of the sun setting behind the Market.

Stone Building
View of Parliament Clock
Sunset over the Byward Market

Can’t wait for tulips in the Spring.


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