We are enjoying real winter weather now. I know some of you are thinking, “doesn’t winter for you involve shoveling, freezing rain, -30 degrees with a windchill factor making it seem like -40?” Yes it does at times, but there is more to it than that. It also means feathery ice patterns on the windows, icicles growing on the corners of the shed, sometimes a metre long. It means snow laden branches on the trees before the wind blows it all off. It means red noses and cheeks after a skate on the rink in the park at the end of our street. It means forts and snow men, hot chocolate and hot apple cider, candles and open fires. One of the most beautiful winter sights for us is the hoarfrost on grass, bushes and trees, sparkling in the morning sun.

It is very cold outside. This is a good thing for Ottawa as “Winterlude” occurs in February each year. We took our skates down to the canal on Saturday night and skated, two of us did a short skate and the other three more capable skaters went further and spent longer on the ice. While B6 and I were waiting for the advanced ones we wandered around the ice sculptures in the park beside the canal. Many of them were close to being finished as there was only a few hours left in the competition. They were very impressive and we enjoyed seeing the sculptors using chainsaws, chisels, scrapers and heatguns to bring their ice creatures to life.

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