Two Seasons

It’s popular to say that places with varied climates have four seasons.  Bunk! I say.  Kenora has two seasons: Summer, during which temperatures remain above freezing, and Winter, during which temperatures remain below freezing.  I grudgingly concede that the two transitional periods that feature melting by day and freezing at night could be considered mini-seasons, and that there are people that like to pretend that they are Spring and Fall.  However, it is also common to hear them described by locals as ‘thaw’ and ‘freeze-up’, especially the latter.

The definitions I offer above are nice and simple, and do not tie Mother Nature to the calendar.  This has merit, because yesterday there was a whole lot of melting going on, and today it snowed.  Then turned to freezing drizzle, and will turn back to snow tonight.  Sounds like Winter to me, Saint Patrick’s Day and Daylight Saving Time notwithstanding.  By the way, if you are fortunate enough to live in a part of the world where your ‘winter’ temperatures do not remain resolutely below freezing, you do not really have a winter that I consider worthy of the term.   A ‘white Christmas’ does not count.

Because I am more hardy than sensible, I go for a walk every day, all year, usually first thing in the morning. This sucks for temperatures – I am often out while it is just hitting the overnight low – but it is wonderful for photography.  Here are a couple pictures from my winter walks, but both of these were taken at sunset, not dawn.

Icy River Sunset

I like that in this one, the snow is not white.  I did not retouch this picture except to crop it to the right proportions to use as wallpaper on my computer monitor.

Winter Bridge

Come to think of it, the snow isn’t white in this one, either.  I shoot most of my landscapes in ‘portrait’ mode.  I started doing it so I could have tall wallpaper for my computer monitor, which is oriented vertically because it’s nice for Word, but I have come to like it, because a good landscape picture  should have foreground elements, and the tall narrow view emphasises that.

Both these images were captured on Kenora’s Tunnel Island trails, using my Samsung Galaxy III.

Music & Dance

We had a good night last night, but other guests suffered; there was a big wedding on the hotel’s beachfront.  Preparations began yesterday with a gang of roadies erecting a large stage to serve as the banquet area. The first clue that loud music might last into the night were the complementary earplugs left by the maid. This morning I met a man who went entirely without sleep in his oceanfront suite. Our room has a view of the lobby’s rooftop watertank, and is as far from the beach as it is possible to get, so we didn’t hear a thing until 0500 when the wedding guests went to bed. Also, internet in the rooms costs extra, but I can pick up the free lobby wifi on our balcony. Score!

Except now my tablet refuses to connect (technically, it fails to ‘associate’, but that doesn’t suggest any course of action to me beyond gritting my teeth) so today I am blogging on my smartphone.

It was Mexican Night at the Seafire buffet restaurant last night, with a good spread.  Caroline gravitated toward the Veracruz fish, which she said was excellent, and I was pleasantly surprised by the chicken in Mole sauce.  [Note: now I’ve moved to one of the hotel’s computers for final edit and I cannot find the Character Map on the Spanish Windows menus, so you’ll have to excuse the lack of an accent on ‘Mole’.]  In my previous post about this Hilton, I said I was not getting my hopes up about the wine, but it is better than I thought it would be.  It far outshines the coarse, acidic plonk they gave us at the RIU last year, and they have a choice of at least two whites, a Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc, and I think Caroline was offered a Pinot Gris once.  For red wines, there seem to be at least three; a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Merlot and a Shiraz.  All six wines are from the same South American winery, Vina Aldea, and they must buy it by the truckload, because they are not stingy with it, even though it’s free.

Anyway, there was an exhibit of ‘folkloric dancing’, which means that four engergetic young dancers whirled around for a full hour, taking breaks only for quick costume changes to represent the Mexican states of Michoacan, Sinaloa, Aguas Calientes, Chihuahua and Jalisco. I got dragged up for the Conga Line, and I cannot even use drunkenness as an excuse.  Caroline shot some video on her iPhone, but if I ever find it on You-tube, she’ll be celebrating our next anniverssary in a singles bar.

Image

This picture was taken on my morning walk.  Got tired of the buses, so got out on the sand today.  Much more tranquil.