March 18, 2015
Some say we Canadians like to talk about the weather. I agree, the weather in Canada is so diverse from Coast to Coast to Coast that it gives us all kinds of things to say and comparisons to make with our friends and families in other provinces and around the world.
For example in Nova Scotia today we are getting a nasty winter storm and I understand that my relatives are enjoying their spring flowers coming up on the west coast of Canada and have been golfing already. With 7 foot snow banks in the front of my house I am sure the local golf course will not be open for a few weeks – maybe June??
Let me back up a bit and give you a bit of a history of this winter in Nova Scotia.
November, December and January were nice. No major snow and the temperatures were relatively mild. We had a fair amount of rain but you don’t have to shovel that. Keep in mind mild for us is a lot lower on the thermometer than it would be for someone living down south. Then February arrived. The weather was not so bad at the first of the month. We were thinking we were going to have a mild winter. Not a lot of snow. Yeah us!
Mid February arrived and Mother Nature had different ideas. The snow started and has not stopped. And I mean multiple storms with lots of accumulation. The storms caused the schools to have so many storm closure days there was talk of making the students go to school on Saturdays to make up the time.
It is snowing like crazy today at my house. This is following a storm 3 days ago that also left us with a lot of snow to clean up on top of the high snowbanks we already had from the earlier storms. When I got up at 6 am this morning there was approximately 10-12 inches on my back deck (I did not measure it with a ruler) this was new snow that accumulated overnight. The snow continued to fall and at 9 am I measured it, 26 1/2 inches. At 10 am I measured and there was 29 inches, at 11 am there was 31 inches and then at 12:00 there was 33 inches. It does not look like it is going to stop soon, and even if it does the wind has now picked up and there are times I can not see out my office window because of the white-out conditions. The capital city, Halifax, has mostly shut down. Transit buses are not running, shopping malls are closed, and police are advising motorists to stay off the roads.
There are a lot of people that are very upset at the winter we’ve had. A lot are talking about not spending another winter in our fair province. That is a shame really because it is a beautiful place to live.
I’m not a winter/snow person, but until this year the snow has never gotten the best of me. I have to admit I am really frustrated with all we’ve had this year. It just seems like once it started in February it has not let up – every couple of days another dumping. I don’t think it would have been so bad if we had only received an inch or two each time, but we have received 10 inches or more each time and we are running out of places to put what we have to shovel off of our walkways and driveways.
One of my friends likened it to becoming claustrophobic and I can see why. I am able to get out of my house so there is no worry there, but when I look out the doors and the windows and see the snowbanks climbing up them it almost makes me feel as if I am being buried in it. The snow is over half way up my bedroom window after today’s storm.
There is a legend called Sheelagh’s brush. Sheelagh is reportedly someone really important to St. Patrick the patron saint of Ireland (St. Patrick’s Day – March 17th). Some report she could have been his wife, mother, mistress, housekeep – no one knows for sure.
Sheelagh’s brush is a fierce storm and heavy snowfall on or about the 18th of March. It is reported that Sheelagh uses this storm to brush away winter. Some legends say it can happen anywhere between March 18th and the first of May but spring will not come until Sheelagh has had her brush.
As we are having a mighty storm this year on the 18th of March, I am praying that this is Sheelagh’s brush and spring is actually just around the corner. After all the equinox in the Northern Hemisphere will begin in 2 days time on March 20 around 6:45 pm Nova Scotia time, according to what I can find on the Internet.
March you came in like a lion, please go out like a lamb.