The Weekend after Last: remnants of the polar vortex
January 13, 2014
A cold walk along the Spine Road of the Leslie Street Spit (Tommy Thompson Park), a bird sanctuary created from landfill and the construction debris of projects throughout the city. Most of the contractors I know (and construction workers, including me!) have added material to the spit over the years. Forty years on, it's home to 400 plant species, 300 species of bird, more than fifty kinds of butterfly, voles, rabbits (we saw one today....!), and the rare black garter snake. The snakes have a special sign, reminding drivers to "brake for snakes". It's five miles from the beginning to the lighthouse at the tip, however many more miles of trail lead off the main road over various parts of the park. There were lots of walkers and cyclists enjoying the park today, but every ten minutes, a plane interrupted the serenity screaming overhead on its way to land at the island airport. The noise was proof, if we need any more, of the intrusion that jets will cause if they are allowed to land on the island.
Whoever came up with the phrase "polar vortex" for last weekend's storm has clearly watched too many movies! It was an old-fashioned, heavy snowstorm, like the ones that covered cars when I was a kid.... And it left brilliant, natural ice sculptures, especially where the icy waves froze over the unnatural rebar poking out of the beach. The last few minutes of Golden Hour truly lit some of the most stunning images I've seen this winter. Here's one. I really could have used some ice grips on my boots, and I'm regretting leaving my pickaxe, harness, and rope at home!