As you can see I am embracing winter this year. Well it’s not going away anytime soon.  It hasn’t been too bad as most storms seem to come at night.  

Last night was the same. We were awaiting a Nor’easter which is a storm that may strike fear in the heart of those living in the area from North Carolina to Newfoundland.  Or it may excite you if you’re a storm lover. 

I tend to fall in the latter category. It can be fun to witness the power of nature unleashed. I like to get stocked up and take a window seat.  

Apparently storm chips are now a thing. They even have a hashtag. I saw a four pack yesterday when I was stocking up on storm drinks. It seemed I wasn’t the only one.  

A New Brunswick company called Covered Bridge makes a chip pack with BBQ, salt and vinegar, ketchup ( very Canadian ) and one more I can’t read on the pic I googled.  They had boxes at the liquor store. This is new. 

Speaking of storm drinks I found out there is a Nor’easter cocktail made of lime, bourbon, maple syrup and ginger beer. It could be more of an NY thing. I like the idea but it needs more Northern ingredients. The storm does affect the north after all. 

Anyway as you can see despite some media’s claims (especially some Toronto news outlets with ridiculous reports that always make TO look better than the rest) it didn’t really leave much snow behind. I moved out of the parking lot so it could be cleared but there was nothing much except a few drifts and the plow didn’t even come. 

It was a lot bluster causing drifts on the right and left but ultimately doing not much.  When you looked at the streetlights you saw white stuff going in both directions and getting nowhere.  In the end it amounted to not much. 

You were very astute if you realized the above was a political analogy. 

Somehow school was cancelled and other things delayed though it was mostly a nighttime event. Fear is easily stirred up. 

I finally researched Nor’easters even though I’ve heard about them my whole life.  It’s like a cyclone I was surprised to find out except a cyclone feeds on warm  air and a Nor’easter on cold air.  There was an early morning moon set though hard to see. 

This storm happens when cold, dry air from the north meets warm, wet air from the south. A pre – Valentine’s warning that maybe opposites don’t attract.   They just make a mess of things. 

The name tells you the direction of this storm and it actually hangs out for weeks further north so we shouldn’t complain. I always wondered where storms go to die. 

They turn counterclockwise so they are a bit rebellious. Going against the grain.   They tend to spin out from November to March so they are almost over as this month flies by.

They are generally a mix of wind and either rain or snow or something in between. 

In my post storm walk today it was empty and quiet as even waterfalls and streams were frozen or buried.      There was rock art. 

People were scared off by the media.  When I was young we walked around in all kinds of weather free from the media’s over protection.   We did just fine and the weather was worse then. 

Winter is a time for reflection and planning for springing into a new beginning.  Tonight is the full moon.  

PS: Another one is coming on Monday. 


In the Starkness and the Darkness 

It’s time to celebrate winter in all of its many forms. 

This year I really saw it as a sort of living death. You sometimes feel you walk through apocalyptic zones but there is a certain beauty in austerity.    Every time I walked by this tree but one there was a single crow sitting on a branch. 

I think of the salt flats in Bolivia which I loved for their silence (if there weren’t three Frenchmen talking).

On a recent walk I found things pared down to the bare necessities. Sometimes it’s dim and grim but it makes you reflect on life. 

You will notice the hardy plants which are the last men standing  and take strength from these brave soldiers. 

There is always the water which can vary from water to ice or both. Sometimes it is nonexistent and other times it gushes after a heavy rain seeking its release. 

There will always be change and you can always find something good in any situation. Large flakes in your  face can be invigorating. 

On a recent walk on a cool and cloudy  prestorm morning I focused on sound in the calm before…

I heard some roofers hammering and one sang “Roxanne”.   

A man gave me a hearty “Good morning .”

I heard the pitty pats of runners numerous times with heavy breathing. 

There was the rubber to ashphalt sound of cyclists and no other warnings of their approach. 

Sounds of chickadees and other unknowns. Ducks flew close overhead flapping their wings in a race against the impending storm. 

The rest was frozen still. The strong yet silent ones finally got their due. They would survive another day. 

Winter in the Second Coldest Country in the World 

So no that is not fireworks or missiles but a pic of snow that you too could have if you like winter like Ellen from the blog Travelling the World Solo. She attributes a bad burn in childhood in Australia to her love of cold.  That and wanting what you don’t have.  It is fresh and crisp. 

  1. I meet more and more Aussies in Canada. One told me it was a lot like home except for the driving on the right side of the road.  Somehow she didn’t mention the opposite weather but hotter isn’t always better. It has its hassles. 

I can enjoy soup a lot more. The other day sans camera I saw an eagle circling overhead as I walked a city trail in Halifax. 

There was ice and semi-ice with water running underneath.  Things I can’t see in other seasons.

I  can take a brisk walk and still sweat in winter.  Red berries left over stand out more. 

This year I finally bought a tuque and it doesn’t get more Canadian than that.  It goes well with my long coat which is not Canada Goose but does the warming job nicely.  Fun winter fashion. 

I often take long walks in my shorter coat. 

  • It packs nicely in a small bag and would be great for travel. Always thinking.  
  • Also don’t wear black as many do and winter is dull enough and also you should have more visibility with short and dark days 

I find it a good time to catch up on reading such as books by Anthony Bourdain or Martha Gellhorn. 

I also recently got Netflix so there is too much to watch.  Luckily I make it out to teach English to an Iraqi who came here via Syria and loves it. 

So come whenever and enjoy as 2017 is Canada’s year and the East coast is known to be very friendly. 

Every season has its good and bad points. The East coast seems to be having the best winter so far thanks to La Niña which is adversely affecting the  Caribbean and western North America.  We got some snow today and will get some tomorrow night but most days are above zero in the next week except the next three. 

Happy New Year! 

Merry Christmas Boston!

A little pre-holiday cheer.  The above is a craft draft from Moxies on special on Saturday night.  This is a local- a blonde ale from Nine Locks.

After that is Saturday Night Blues on CBC radio 2 though I’m more of a jazz cat which comes after.  CBC has great apps for streaming too.

Every year Nova Scotia sends a tree in gratitude to Boston for helping Halifax during the explosion that happened nearly 100 years ago.  

This year it’s from Cape Breton.

Check This Blog 

The other night I saw Ryan Barry talk about his new book on 25 daytrips from Halifax.

He also runs Great Earth Expeditions which does tours in Nova Scotia for now but will also go abroad.

See also his blog:

There are many places that I haven’t seen nor even heard of.

He said he had a client from New Zealand who was a geologist and came here due to the similar shape which means lots of diversity.  

  • NS has lots more than I knew.
  • Both places are interesting and very relaxed I can say.

Lucky Insect /Friendly Insect

Lady bugs are supposed to be lucky.  They also like fourth floor balconies in autumn as I had many when living in Japan.  Here in Halifax, Canada I have two so far.  Here is one casting a long shadow. A sign of things to come.

  • Dragonflies are also common in the fall in both countries.  They are the friendliest.  Two of my favourite insects.  Another reason to like fall.