We started to hear new noises around here. Birds chirping in the trees, the constant waterfall noise of water flowing in the drains and in the sewers, the “splotch splotch” sound when walking on soaked grass. The snow is melting fast, thanks to warmer temperatures. Nothing to get excited about though, it’s only about 3°C and the Northern wind is still cold. Yet, it’s a beginning. Winter is melting away.
Hard to believe we had a snowstorm just ten days ago. In some places, winter is still here: the Ottawa River is frozen and the locks looked like they did in the dead of the winter. Random snow piles are scattered throughout the city and I’m still wearing boots and a thick scarf. But around the Experimental Farm, the snow has mostly melted and the fields are flooded. I’m always amazed to discover the grass is alive after it’s been covered by snow all winter. In France, bitchy groundskeepers put “keep off the grass” signs and chase little kids from the lawn. In Canada, not only people walk on lawns but it’s covered by ice and snow five months out of twelve and yet it’s alive and green in the spring. Go figure.
The little park I cross on my way back to way is a mix of snow, mud and water. You can spot the asphalt and some grass underneath that mess, and a lot of garbage that accumulated over the winter and was caught in the ice—flyers, cigarette butts, Tim Horton’s cups… It’s time for spring cleaning.
But spring is not there yet. Although rain is more likely than snow, we could very well have a blizzard in the middle of April. I’ve been there long enough to know that weather is quite unpredictable in Canada. I won’t jinx it. Spring is on its way but it could take a while.