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Bob's Blog

Weather Category

Full Frontal Kneedity

bc-summer-nixon-100705.jpgI have been around this burg long enough to know that the best weather forecast involves taking a peek outside your window.   Not to denigrate the fine work that meteorologists do but, let's face it, predicting Vancouver's five day weather is like trying to say where an out of control firehose is going to spray next. 

Of course, broad trends can help out, such as the observation that the weather generally gets warmer and drier in the summer time.  That has hardly  provided much comfort this year.  So when the weather office predicted a whole week of hot weather - or rather sunny warmish weather - a skeptic could be forgiven for giving it little credence.  But then comes a telltale sign that maybe this time will be different.  Heat Wave icon_video.gif

Solar Blanket

bc-blanket-nixon-100702.jpgHave you noticed that children never seem to need as much clothing as adults?  It has always surprised me that kids wear t-shirts and shorts when the rest of us put on an extra sweater and a windbreaker and feel proud that we left the long johns at home. I realize children run around and play more, but seriously, how much body heat can sprinting everywhere, cartwheeling across lawns and climbing trees generate?  I don't know, because I don't do any of those things anymore.  I would not want to stretch or snag my cardigan.  But their superior cold weather comfort has made me envious. 

I confess, then, to feeling a bit smug when I spotted a young girl on the beach take measures to keep warm that frankly never occurred to me outside of the time I foolishly agreed to go winter camping near Ile a la Crosse, Saskatchewan one February long ago.  See, I thought, even kids can get cold on a sunny summer's day.  Cool Sun icon_video.gif

Summer Solstice

bc-summer-nixon-100621.jpgIs it summer already?  Don't you feel slightly cheated that this glorious season has arrived with almost no warning?  Spring was decidedly spring-like and during those 92 days between March 21 and June 21 temperatures rose above 20 degrees on just five days.  Last year, amid much fretting about global warming, we hit 20 degrees on 18 of the first 21 days of June alone.  Friends, we have reason to feel miffed.

But nature makes little adjustments to whatever the weather throws at it.  Fish gotta swim, plants gotta grow and U-pick berry fanatics still gotta head to their Strawberry Fields icon_video.gif

Summer is Here

bc-summer-nixon-100611.jpgI am intrigued by these phenomena known as sunshine and cloud.  It has been so cloudly this spring that many people seem to have got out of the habit of going outside, even though the temperatures are - if not hot - at least seasonable.  The moment the sun pops through the clouds though, we all head outdoors.  Even when the temperatures are the same, a sunny 17 degrees seems much hotter than a cloudy 17.  I should ask Claire Martin why this is, but because it has been so cloudy recently, I fear I would start shouting at her.  I know she's only the messenger, like me, but I can't rid myself of the notion that it's all her fault.  Volleyball Net icon_video.gif

Weather Woes

bc-rain-nixon-100531.jpgI put myself through college by painting houses way back in the days when a kid could earn enough money in the summer to afford both university and housing.  I learned a couple of painting jokes, such as what do you say to a client who sees paint drips on their window panes?  No extra charge. 

I also knew about getting rained out.  West coast painters get used to days when they can't work.  It's part of the job and this year has seen more than its share of those.  But I did not realize that the rain actually keeps people from thinking about painting their houses in the first place.  And some people actually do not mind when the rain interrupts a job.  Strange but true.  Wet Paint icon_video.gif

Sunny and ...

bc-weather-nixon-100507.jpgHow many times have you looked out the window, saw that it was an absolutely beautiful day, headed out wearing not much more than a t-shirt and shorts, then discovered it was bloody cold out there?  I think that's a typical experience for Canadians, our optimism in the face of sunlight often is at odds with the reality.  Such was the case the other day when the daytime high was quite a bit lower than normal temperatures.  We still enjoyed it, but bundle up, folks. 

That was the story I wanted to tell.  But then I discovered this gosling trying to jump a curb and things took a turn.  Not So Hot icon_video.gif

Pink Streets

bc-cherry-nixon-100425.jpgA few decades ago, in a moment of madness, I agreed to go winter camping in northern Saskatchewan.  We slept in snow huts in minus 45 degree temperatures and huddled around the fire for days.  It was the most miserable time of my life and yet I look back on it fondly principally because I felt so wonderful when it was over.  The lesson was clear.  The longer one endures privation the more one enjoys its end. 

Maybe that's why when I came across streets absolutely cover in pink petals, the joy I felt was transcendant.  It was not just that the sight signalled a spiritual end to the cold and rain of the Vancouver winter.  It went right back to every every winter I have ever endured.  In that respect, my Winnipeg youth continues to pay big dividends as this sight was pleasure indeed.  Petal Power icon_video.gif

Family Willow

bc-tribute-nixon-100411.jpgIt's been windy lately.  I was woken twice in the past few weeks by that ominous sound of branches wildly brushing against my windows and debris flying down the street.  My wind chimes played a crazy tune.  All the while I worried about the old cherry tree in my backyard, wondering if this would be the storm that ended eighty years of magnificence.  The tree was spared.  So was I, because no one wants to deal with something you love falling to the ground. 

Not everyone was as lucky as I was, and I came across one fellow in East Vancouver slowly cutting away the branches from his unfortunate willow.  He told me about this tree, and why it meant so much to him and his family.  It is quite a story.  Favourite Tree icon_video.gif

It's Blooming January

bc-blossoms-nixon-net.jpgIt's happened before because this is the west coast, but some plants are once again fooled by a January mild spell.  Of course, when the temperatures rise well above zero and the sun comes out, we can be excused for being fooled ourselves.  But surely, after a few hundred million years of evolution, a cherry tree would know that a couple of nice days does not mean it should pretend that spring has sprung, that winter - or what little we have had this year - is over and it's time to turn a lovely shade of pink.  But who knows the mind of a tree?  Cherry Blossoms icon_video.gif

Christmas Camping

bc-christmas-nixon-net.jpgI confess this is my second kick at this story.  Last year, when Vancouver was digging out from all the snow, I decided that some souls must have seen opportunity in all the white stuff and decided to head to Porteau Cove, the nearest provincial campsite.  I was wrong, it was completely empty even though it was a very romantic looking spot - though bloody cold. 

So this year I headed up there once again, and discovered that yes - a few adventurous souls did think a waterfront campsite is the perfect place to spend the Christmas weekend.  Watch this story and tell me if you'll be doing the same thing next year.  Winter at Porteau icon_video.gif

Lemon Spray

Now here's just the thing to do on the hottest day ever recorded in Vancouver.

Pool Lineup

Sure the weather is hot, people are looking for a way to cool off. 

Hot Rink

Where can you go to cool off in hot weather?  A skating rink, of course.

The Tree that Won't Die

It has been knocked down, bucked up, made into a giant woody skeleton.  But is a big catalpa tree in Stanley Park still alive? 

Too Many Strawberries

Beautiful sunny, warm weather is just great for strawberries.  Too great, it seems.  I got a near panicky letter from BC strawberry growers asking me to help them deal with their bounty.