We all thought to get off light this winter. By Christmas, Colonel By Lake was not even frozen over. Ducks, geese and even mute swans happily swam in the middle of the lake safe from the hunters. How wrong we were…

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After Christmas, the lake did freeze over and members of the Kingston Yacht Club quietly sailed their iceboats across the lake. There were more sailors this year than ever. Our bird feeder also saw different birds: six bluejays fighting with the cardinals and each other, just one mourning dove, lots of chickadees, and, surprise, five robins in the shrubs looking for the odd leftover berries?

ice sailing feb 2016 a

All very nice. And then suddenly we had the Arctic vortex that pushed very cold arctic air southward and we received the full blast on the weekend of February 13-14.


Minus 30 Celsius

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winter wow feb 2016 d

And today, February 16 we got the biggest snowfall ever, 45-50 cm all in one day!

I thought you might enjoy these photographs.

winter wow feb 2016 nicer a

winter wow feb 2016 nicer b

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Around this time of the year, just  after the winter solstice, Christmas and New Year, temperatures are below zero Celsius, often the sun is out and getting stronger and that brings out the people who enjoy winter: ice sailors from the Kingston Yacht Club and local younger folks who make a skating rink in no time and enjoy a game of hockey.

The sailors are here because their most desired venue, Lake Ontario will take much more time to freeze over, and Colonel By Lake is shallow enough to have a good layer of wind blown ice that makes ice sailing such an attractive and fast sport. It is quiet too and a joy for the eye. The ice boats go easily 60 km per hour, sometimes faster and it is not completely without mishaps. Last year one of the sailors collided with a frozen-in buoy and wrecked his boat. the boats are not that complex and relatively easy to repair with some plywood, epoxy resin and some fibre glass matting.

The skating rink will grow, every kid or parent will come with a snow shovel and enlarge the rink. When the ice is strong enough we might even see motorized snow clearing. And… the motor races might start? Maybe, maybe not, most of us would prefer not.

Enjoy these photos what can be more Canadian than these scenes?

skating jan 2 2014 a

skating sailing jan 2 2014 a

skating sailing jan 2 2014


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