Photo Essay #8: Signs of spring

Every year in Ottawa, it's more or less the same thing: somewhere around mid-March, winter starts petering out, and gasps its dying breath somewhere by the beginning of April.

In April, the snow melts away, the grass starts turning green, and we all anxiously await warm days (anything over 10°C counts) where we can go outside without anything heavier than a windbreaker.

But for whatever reason, the trees seem to take their sweet time to wake up. Until they do, we're in a sort of strange nether-world of green grass and bleak, gray trees with no life.

It's not until the last week of April or the first weeks of May that the buds start appearing. When they do, they sure go fast.

This is what the maple tree in my backyard have been up to this past week.

Soon enough, these buds will turn into full-blown maple leaves and we'll get some colour and shade again.

Ahhh, springtime!

This past Saturday was an absolutely stunning spring's day; beautiful blue skies, a warm(-ish) breeze, trees starting to bud and people coming out of hibernation.

My wife and I decided to take a break from family Easter festivities and go for a little walk in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, on of the original suburbs on the extreme western tip of Montréal Island. Our stroll took us through the campus of John Abbott College and main street that cuts through the old village.

Almost a country club

Very soon, this will be one hell of a shade tree

Let the weeping begin

The willows

This is promising

This is promising

When you just have to get that shot

His & hers

The Toys of Summer


They're done

Grilling season has finally arrived. My deck is north-facing and permanently shaded; as a result there was still almost 2 feet of snow and solid ice between the door and my grill as recently as Saturday. Some welcome warm weather and a bit of elbow grease dispatched the last of the snow off the deck and made the BBQ accessible again.

The first proper grilled meal of the year: 1¾" thick pork loin chops and brussels sprouts. Once you grill or roast those sprouts, you'll never want to boil or steam then again.