It was only the last week in March when the first geese flew northwards over the city and even earlier than that when a brown hare crossed my path, its winter coat of white quite gone.
In this last week of March sunshine when temperatures rose to plus 9 and above and the ice melted in great sheets of water that drenched me as cars sped next to me on the bridge over the North Saskatchewan River, bare legs, capris and sandals have appeared on campus – despite the chilly winds.
Canadians, you see, and this is how its done here at latitude 53.
My friend and colleague emailed me last night from Santa Fe. “There’s blossoms and green grass here”, she said. “It’s plus 11 in Edmonton and there are shards of green grass everywhere”, I replied.
Elevator conversation – always about the weather – has been accompanied by smiles and comments of pleasure in these surprisingly warm days. “Spring has come early”, we’ve smiled, while expecting that yes, more snow will come as it always does, even in May, here at Latitude 53.
The unspoken truth that no one wants to hear hangs in the air.
We’ve already passed 2 degrees warming in Alberta. Extreme droughts and floods are at our doorsteps and no one is prepared.