Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snow from afar

The daffodils may not be blooming yet, but compared to what most of the rest of the northern hemisphere is going through, it's springtime in Victoria. I should not be smug, though. Winter has just begun and anything can happen. In fact, I'm a little afraid we have entered into a new mini ice age, like the one that wiped out the Viking colonies in Greenland. It's hard to believe that anyone ever fell for that global warming gag. If only it were so! If the world were in a warming phase it would be a much better place to live. Warmer air would hold more moisture, bringing rain to dry areas. Since hurricanes and other violent storms are caused by sharp contrasts in temperatures of air masses as they come into contact, they might be less frequent and not so devastating. More greenhouse gases? Of course. Plants love carbon dioxide. If we had more of it in the air, plants would grow in more abundance. Alas, I doubt if such a thing will happen. We are still in an ice age that's been going on for an estimated 10 million years and there is nothing to indicate that it is over. It's just in remission and it will come back. Those might be the kind of interesting times I would prefer to miss.
We've had no recent snow in Victoria, not even in the Sooke Hills or on Mt Douglas. So when I looked around from King George Terrace Rd, I was surprised to see a hillside across the water covered with snow. As nearly as I can figure out on my inadequate maps, it can only be the west shore of San Juan Island on the US side of things. How they got it and we didn't goes beyond my meagre knowledge of meteorology.
I will say this about snow. It's nice to look at from afar, from a safe distance, not requiring heroic and perilous driving feats to view. Vancouver Island's main ski hill is at Mt Washington near Courtenay and apparently they have record amounts, to the delight of those who enjoy sliding around on the stuff. In fact, they say it has the most snow at middle elevations of any other ski hill in the world. I don't know exactly what that means, but up yours, Whistler.
As for me, when "the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful..." Listen to Dean Martin supply the tune. But my favourite winter song is Baby It's Cold Out There, and nobody did it better than Johnny Mercer and Margaret Whiting.

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