This morning dawned bright, with a few scattered clouds in the blue prairie sky... and only a mild breeze wafting across the snow banks.
My sister, her two dogs, myself and Zoë trundled off in my truck to the local dog park for a romp through the snow. There is a creek that winds through the park, edged with reeds the colour of my dog... or is she the colour of the dead reeds? Needless to say, it is all too easy to lose sight of her as she wanders in and out of them.
Being winter here in the Centre of Canada, the creek is frozen solid. Does walking on frozen water make one holy? I have no idea, but it certainly makes for a lovely trail to wind along. And being lower down than the surrounding terrain means you are protected somewhat from the breeze that is blowing.
Despite reaching a temperature of +1C here today, the wind was still biting our faces and it felt about -10 on our walk. But the dogs ran and romped and played and had a wonderful time. My sister and I walked and chatted, stopping to visit with other dogs and their humans along the way, staying out for over an hour in the sunshine.
I was really wishing I had taken my camera with me on this walk. It was lovely walking along with the reeds tall on each side of the creek, watching the dogs gambol about with each other or on their own, eating a drink whenever they wished.
Zoë loves to eat snow and ice, crunching up chunks of the white stuff as she trots along. In the light, fluffy snow that is not packed down, she bulldozes her nose through it, occasionally lapping up mouthfuls to slake her thirst. The nickname 'SnoNoze' is quite aptly earned.
Around noon, or shortly thereafter, the wind began to pick up and the clouds rolled in. The system tracking across the Prairies was about to hit. The sky to the west darkened with rain laden clouds, and the howling commenced.
By mid-afternoon, the winds were blowing at 65 km/h with gusts reaching 80 km/h. The rain splattered the windows but was thankfully short-lived. Having experienced rain in winter and the consequences of an environment coated in stunningly beautiful but wickedly treacherous ice, I was not too pleased to see it start. And was very glad when it ended a short time later.
The house groaned and creaked for most of the afternoon, causing the dog to wander nervously from room to room, searching for a safe haven. I ignore her when she is like this... I refuse to feed her fears unnecessarily. She eventually settled and has been sleeping soundly for hours, recovering from the romp along the creek this morning.
In my front yard is a huge Colorado Blue Spruce tree. As I sat in front of the computer, chatting with friends online, I kept an eye on that tree as it convulsed and shook in the wind. And thought that it was good the wind was coming from the west, because if the tree decided to snap, it would be parellel to the houses and shouldn't do any damage. If the wind had been coming from the south, I would have been right in the line of fire.
Things have settled down now and upon checking, the wind is blowing at 50 km/h. No longer worthy of a wind warning. I can now breathe a sigh of relief, with no tree parts littering the yard (other than needles blown about) and a roof still over my head.