Thursday, March 10, 2011

March 9: A History

Once in a while I will go through a collection of pictures of my backyard rink looking for ideas for blog articles.  Around this time last year, I came across a picture from March 9, 2008 that showed what might be the biggest snow drift ever recorded at that particular location of our property.  It inspired a blog post where I discussed the extreme difference in weather conditions between 2008 and 2010.  Also in that article, I promised to let you know what the view is like from this vantage point in 2011.  So, here it is:
March 9: 2008, 2010, 2011
Understatement: I'd say 2011 is closer to the average conditions that either 2008 or 2010 were.  We have had a fair chunk of snow this year, however.  I've mentioned before that the prevailing winds in my backyard blow from the northeast to the southwest; and, it is almost always windy, which results in no snow at the northeast corner of the rink and tons of snow at the southwest corner.  Here is a picture taken from the northeast corner, looking across the rink:

This picture was taken last Friday, before my family and I went to Saint John for a swim meet.  The forecast at the time was calling for some pretty high temperatures on the weekend, along with some rain.  I took this picture because I figured the drift behind the house would be at its peak for this winter.  As it happened, the mercury hit plus 4 degrees on Saturday and plus 8 degrees on Sunday; Environment Canada says we got 12 mm of rain on Sunday, followed by about 43 cm of snow.  After I cleared the driveway - how did I live without a snowblower for so many years? - I took a look at the rink.  Under all that snow was quite a bit of slush, so it was time to make a decision regarding the future of this year's rink.

I could have salvaged the rink for another couple of days, but it would have required an immense effort to remove the snow and slush.  A number of floods would have then been required to get the ice smooth enough for skating.  And, all of this would have had to have been done in basically one day in order to squeeze one final skate on the rink - most likely today.  Now, I would have done all this if the demand was there, but I wasn't being pressured to do so.  Things might be different next year; we will see.

The low temperature tonight is only minus 1, and it looks like pretty high temperatures for the next several days, probably hitting plus double-digit numbers.  With the way the snow and ice melts at this time of year, it looks like "that's all, folks."  Still, it was a pretty good year for the rink and we enjoyed some great skating time on it...well worth the many cold nights flooding and the wintery days blowing snow off the ice.

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