Last Days of August

August 30 and some leaves are starting to turn. We had a few hot days in August but the average high is 23 C and the average low is 9 C (so far). The extremes ranged from 32.5 to 1 C. I'm thinking I should clean and prep my skis. That's northern Alberta.

autumn leaves
winter is coming

From the Valley

Hot Hot Hot

map of Western Canada heat warnings

An intense heat wave passed slowly over Western Canada this week; a heat dome of high pressure that extended well up into the atomosphere. We haven't had rain in our area for the last two weeks. The heat wave itself lasted a week. The news, as usual, is full of sensationalism and hyperbole. Yes it was serious, especially for Lytton B.C., but not the dust bowl of the 1930s.

The Fawn

image of garden plot

We discovered this little fawn tucked away in our woodshed. Its mum thought this was a safe place, and indeed it is. This spot is shaded all day with good ventilation and the coyotes typically don't stray near our house, especially during the day. We were worried about the +30 Celsius temperatures so put out some water and left the fawn alone. Mum came back last night and the fawn is gone today.

Getting Ready for Summer

image of garden plot

Snow has meted away and temperatures are rising. The ground is thawed enough to begin preparation for a new gardening season. Summers are short here in Northern Alberta but the days are long and getting longer, so we need to take advantage of good weather when we can. Start as soon as the ground is workable!

Mild Winter, then February hit

digital thermometer display showing -46.9 degrees Celsius

All of Alberta and most of western Canada experienced deadly cold temperatures the second week of February. Extremely cold wind chill values between minus 40 and minus 55 continued until February 19 here in northern Alberta. Then a few days later the daytime temperature actually went above zero!

The Ent

Jack Pine

I refer to this old Jack Pine as "The Ent".

This is of the oldest trees on our property.

I had to stitch a couple of photos together to capture its full height.

Jack Pine - Southern Research USDA

Plant Guide - Jack Pine (PDF) USDA

Managing jack pine forests University of Minnesota Extension

Wet Summer, Great Fall

We had a great deal of rain in June and July. My rain gauge by my garden showed 6.4 inches (162 mm) of rain from June 1st to June 8. It rained so much some of my potato plants were under water! I had to dig some trenches for the water to flow away. The first week of August hot, the last week of August cool with night-time temperatures below 5 C. September and October were moderately cool and quite dry (typically we get rain with resulting layers of ice). Our first real snowfall was last week, amazing for our location.