Saturday, March 13, 2010

Who needs snow?

There was snow in our vicinity yesterday, but the only sign of it to be seen in downtown Victoria were on a few cars driving down Douglas St. By the afternoon, the sun was out and even on the Malahat it was all melted. The Malahat is the doorway between the Victoria region and the rest of Vancouver Island. Climbing to 352 metres, it presents some pretty awesome views of Finlayson Arm and the Saanich Peninsula. If it snows anywhere around here it will snow on the Malahat. I have a feeling this will be the last of the nastiness for this winter. Truly, we got off easy this year. If we had any snow on the ground in the city I didn't see it.
Usually we'll get one or two spells of snow and cold in a winter, just enough to make us all cranky and complainy. This makes Canadians from other parts laugh, but I say that's because in those other parts when it snows it snows and stays on the ground until spring. Not here. Here it snows for a few days and then the temperature warms up enough to melt it a little. Then at night the melting snow freezes again. It doesn't seem to matter how much salt you put on a sidewalk or a driveway, it will be a sheet of ice in the morning.
Luckily, we can wait it out. Maybe a few days, maybe a week, and then it's back to normal. The rain will arrive and wash it all away and then we can complain about the rain. Victorians can then indulge in one of their favourite pastimes: dressing up in dark clothing and going out jaywalking at night. Maybe we should lobby to have it made an Olympic sport.
The buses are usually a lot fuller during snowy spells, which means that people who normally drive to work choose discretion. As a result, cars don't get exposed to much salt in Victoria, which explains why we have such a high density of old cars in very nice condition. The ones that were not sent to the wreckers, used in demolition derbies or in other ways met with ignominious ends are now graced with the sobriquet 'classic.'
Here are a few I saw today while enjoying the last weekend of winter in Victoria.

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