The notable feature of Saskatchewan in the past weeks has been the intense cold. Daytime temperatures are in the minus 20s, falling to 30s at night. It's also been unusually windy, thus giving us the added misery of windchill making it feel as if it is in the minus 40s. These temperatures are Celsius, but when it gets down towards the minus 40s, Fahrenheit and Celsius merge, so it's equally appalling in either system.
For the first few days of the deep chill, the horses at Ebon where my gelding lives were on reduced outdoor turnout times, culminating in no outdoors time at all on Friday when things were at their very worst. This isn't something that happens very often at all, and just highlights how bitter it's been. Despite all that, I did see a bicyclist on Friday, toiling along through the ice and snow as if he was sane.
Shot one features today's forecast from the newspaper, showing the coming week. Horrible as it seems, it's actually an improvement on what we experienced at the end of last week. The only place I can see on the map that has lower temperatures than Saskatoon is Yellowknife, which is a heck of a lot farther north.
With the intense cold, the sun has returned, which is a nice change from the dull overcast we've been experiencing. Shot two shows the brilliant gold of a stubble field poking through the light snow cover east of the city.
I feed my little yard birds (mostly sparrows, as in this shot) year-round, but these are the times when they most need good quality regular rations. I have feeders in both front and back yards, along with a source of water for them. This shot shows the front-yard gang piling into their seeds this afternoon.
I stopped by the river weir one day last week as I had some errands on that side of town. Shot four shows the delicate seed heads of a clematis growing in the bush along the walkway. They always remind me of Dr. Seuss characters--all they need is eyes and feet, and they'd be animate.
The riverboat that ferries tourists in the summer is iced in for the next few months. Since it's on the west side of the river where the warm waste water from the upstream power plant flows, it's still got a bit of open water. I'll have to check later on in the season to see if this remains the case.