Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: snow and ice

snow and ice


Well, more snow came down on Wednesday and it has stayed. Here, in the usually balmiest corner of Canada, we are experiencing zub-sero temperatures. Instead of the rain quickly washing it all away as usual there's lots more snow forecast for Sunday and some days after. Can it be that we will have a white Christmas, the rarest of events in Vancouver?! I do remember one very snowy Christmas in the 70's...

As one who grew up in Winnipeg and lived a few years in northeast British Columbia, I chuckled over Stephen Hume's essay: Cold? This isn't cold. I'll tell you what cold is.


While ice makes for treacherous roads, its beauty is delighting me around home especially on the sloping glass of the solarium beyond our kitchen window. This morning the sunrise was glorious through it! I'm thinking of Wirkkala's ice glass all over again.

And, while I was out later this morning, Erika discovered unusual icicles and captured beautiful photographs of them - go have a look!

Oh, and I almost forgot... you must see Lucy's gorgeous frost and ice photos!

Marja-Leena | 19/12/2008 | 16 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Home


That lower photo is so beautiful. I like the one on the earlier post too where you can see the little seashells in the vases.

I'm always torn on icy mornings when I have to drive, between admiring the beauty of it and disliking the danger!

Lunta! Helsingissä sitä on ollut pari kertaa, mutta kaikki on sulanut pois. On paljas maa ja tuulista. Odottelemme täällä kuitenkin valkoista joulua, kuten tunnetussa joululaulussa sanotaan.

Hyvää joulua ja onnea sekä menestystä uudelle vuodelle 2009!

For all that you are in the balmy bit, I bet your transport systems don't grind to a halt after half an inch of snow, as happens here; the UK media then go into a frenzy about the various minor dysfuntions. We surely should have learned by now.
I love your icy window pictures, have you ever tried a handprints series in snow and ice?

Walked down to Tesco to pick up the paper and I was over-dressed in my fleece. A bit sweaty by the time I returned. Say about 10 deg C. I know you've talked about the mild weather out west but I've always secretly thought that was an aberration. Canada to me is the new houses on the outskirts of Calgary, seemingly frozen into the ground and not a pedestrian to be seen. But why are they all painted pale grey? (that's the houses not the invisible pedestrians)

Lucy, thanks! I feel the same about driving in these conditions! My husband cycles to work regularly but had to take the car because the snow removal is so poor, especially on the roadsides and none on sidewalks! I needed the car Friday morning, so poor thing struggled in these conditions.

Hei Anna/Blogisisko! Ihmeellistä että täällä on talvisempi kun Helsingissä, aivan alaspäin tämä ilmasto. Kiitos ja toivon sinullekin valkoista ja hyvää joulua ja onnea uudelle vuodelle!

Anna, don't you believe it! Snow throws our traffic systems into absolute chaos. Because it's so rare, drivers don't have snow tires on their cars, don't know how to drive in it and the hills don't help. The municipalities don't have enough equipment and money to deal with the big storms. No, I haven't done hand prints in snow and ice, though I did make a digital print Christmas card of frost fractals a couple of years ago.

Barrett, that temperature sounds more like normal for us. Our southwest coastal climate is actually similar to the UK. Calgary has the prairie climate with the occasional "Chinook winds" bringing sudden thaws in midwinter. As for the suburban sprawl, that's an unfortunate American style of city planning all too common in Canada.

My favourite winters have been the ones we spent in the snow and ice in New Hampshire. I enjoyed the Stephen Hume article. I did not realise what real cold could be until one January when I walked from my parked car to the terminal building in Boston. So cold that my nose started bleeding the moment I left the car, yet that blood froze before it could leave my nostrils!

Most of all I love the light that the snow gives us, and the reflections from the ice. Enjoy.

Aivan totta, Marja-Leena, täällä Vaasassakin on +5 astetta eikä juuri jälkeäkään lumesta tai jäästä.

Kuulin ystävältäni että teidän arktinen puhurinne on jo niinkin etelässä kuin Oregonissa. Portland on täysin hyytynyt! Ei kouluja, ei yliopistoja, puolet ihmisistä poissa töistä!

Ilmastonmuutos, joo. Jääkarhuparat!

Yes, lovely pictures!
The prospect of a White Christmas has evaporated here as the temperature has risen to an unseasonal 14 degrees (Celsius of course)
I am dreaming of Lapland encore une fois!

I can't believe such cold in Vancouver. And I know they are not prepared for the snow and ice.

Well, it's -18 here this morning, but sunny and gorgeous! The snow is making it blindingly bright out there! I hope your snow sticks around so you can enjoy the rarity of a white Christmas. I bet your grandkids would just love it, too!

Olga, I too love the light in the dark winters but a nosebleed that freezes is quite alarming! Sort of reminds me of a day I'll never forget, walking home from high school facing a bitterly cold wind, my bare face so painful, feeling like it would shatter into pieces.

Hei Ripsa, Vaasassakin niin lämmin?! Ihmeitä. Niin, tämä arktinen ilma on Kalifornian asti kulkenut.

Julie, thanks! And now I know your new blog address, I've missed you!

Hattie, it's rare indeed though I think we used to have colder winters a few decades ago. We're soft now.

Wandering, sounds lovely there -if you dress for it! Not as bad as -45 up north or Winnipeg! I too hope the snow sticks around for a while but not for storms that cause power outages and travel problems.

Beautiful photos! Enjoy the snow. Yesterday I got 10 inches of snow and for Sunday, maybe another 7 inches.

Oh wow .... you certainly catch the beauty of the light in snow so well! Just talked to my stepdaughter on Vancouver Island, where she is freezing. My cousin from Vancouver was on the phone just yesterday telling me about the cold spell and how it is forecast to last. I have fond memories of being snowed in back in the 1970s in Vancouver and taking delight in both the snow and the beauty all around when the sun came out to turn on the light on snow and ice.

Cathy, thanks, and you too!

Maria, thanks. Interesting that you have family up here that can tell you what it's like. I remember the heavy snowfalls of the 70's too. The brightness of the snow even at night seems so magical, especially after a fresh fall. We're waiting for a big one tonight and tomorrow...

Icy landscapes make for starkness. They're minimalistic and sparse. All of this has a beauty like no other.

Anil, that's true, though with our magestic evergreens around here it's not really stark like it is on the prairies in winter. The snow covers small stuff and roof tops and accentuates the trees. Thanks for visiting!