On the ski hills, on the bike trails, and thru life in general

Archive for May, 2014

The Greening Arrives

The infrequency of my blog doesn’t mean that I haven’t been active on the skiing or biking front! After a long, snowy winter, in which I managed to get in 16 days skiing in the mountains and at least as many at our local hill, it felt good to get back on the bike again and cruise on ice-free trails. On my trips through St. Albert to Big Lake, I (almost) always stop at one particular spot to take a picture. It is a pretty stretch through a treed area and a good place to follow the changing of the seasons. Here are a few of the pics:

April 6 - Clear path but still snow in the bush.

April 6 – Clear path but still snow in the bush.

April 19 - Still a few snow patches remaining.

April 19 – Still a few snow patches remaining.

April 28 - Snow all gone but still pretty brown.

April 28 – Snow all gone but still pretty brown.

May 17 - Finally some green starting to show up.

May 17 – Finally some green starting to show up.

May 22 - After some warm days, the leaves finally burst out.

May 22 – After some warm days, the leaves finally burst out.

Although we had a lot of snow this winter, we have had a long, cool and dry spring, with only a few days making it past 20C (68F) so far.  The slow melt meant that, uncharacteristically,  the Sturgeon River didn’t flood the trail under all the the underpasses.  Not that the city wasn’t prepared this year! They actually built a temporary bridge under a bridge to enable safe access to the Lois Hole Park on Big Lake. Good idea, even though it hasn’t been necessary this year. I imagine it will come out in the next few weeks.

The bridge under the bridge.

The bridge under the bridge.

Now that the lake is ice free, there are lots of birds nesting in and migrating through the area. Among the many ducks, geese, swans, pelicans, shorebirds and such, I have seen more yellow-headed blackbirds than I have in past years.

Yellow-headed blackbird posing cooperatively.

Yellow-headed blackbird posing cooperatively.

I have managed to ride over 750 km so far this spring, preparing my legs for the next few weeks when I will be cycling with friends in Belgium and Holland. No hills to contend with but biking from Bruges to Amsterdam, then around the Leiden area, there will be the North wind (i.e. – the hill that never ends). Next post from there, hopefully. Looking forward to Belgian beers!

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