It was forecast, but the extreme warmth since Friday and spring-like rain last night caught me off-guard. Less than 30 cm of snow this entire winter (25% of normal) in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and the 10 cm we had managed to accumulate, purged, in just one day.
And so, the very literal “week of winter” that graced the GTA – and which I did my best to celebrate and share, has come to an abrupt – and dangerous – end.
Why dangerous? Creeks and rivers will flood; ice – at least where it managed to form – will jam; birds and insects are returning and emerging, yet, even if this warmth continues, killing frosts and cold will still sweep in, causing confusion, lack of resources and, ultimately, ecological damage.
It’s not just the birds and the bees, a chaotic climate system, and the volatile weather that comes with it, leaves none unscathed…
–farms get soaked and flooded, pests and disease can survive better and start reproducing sooner and the risk of budding fruit trees and vines dying later by frost increases, too
-infrastructure costs spiral, as pulses of salt water, combined with night-time freeze-thaw cycles, erode, corrode and crack pipes, roads and bridges
-snow recreation goes bust, while any other recreation, even using a trail, becomes icy, muddy and inaccessible, all at once
As you might be wondering based on the title of this post, there’s one more thing! Before I let you go on such a serious note, enjoy some from the last day of this winter week, celebrated, this past Thursday. I hope you had a chance to celebrate this brief spell of winter, too! More than anything, I hope, so much, that we don’t forget the past – if we lose sight of what “seasonal” and “normal” is, and why a stable climate is so important, we’ll never realize what we lost, or what we could have had… We’ll just be sitting like a frog in a pot of boiling water, awaiting an easily avoidable fate.
The adventure begins at Old Mill Station! Lots of beautiful sights along the way, like the Old Mill Inn!
A perfect winter’s day!
Can’t celebrate any season without showing some love for the trees!
Highlight, being able to walk across the frozen Humber river, what a dream! Be sure you know what you’re doing and have others with you if you attempt crossing any frozen river! Safety is CRUCIAL!
Hurrican Hazel (not the mayor), the great flood, and how high it got, sped the creation of the province’s Conservation Authorities.
Out of the valley, into the forest.
Wildlife thirves when the seasons are healthy and stable and celebrate every season, no complaints!
Reached Lake Ontario, but there’s no ice cover here…really scary. Nevertheless, an amazing hike – so much to see when you explore your city!
#winterlove #climatereality #endangeredseason
and, once more, back to #winterlessGTA…