Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The changing seasons

Since moving to Canada, I've become far more aware of the passing seasons.

I think there's a number of reasons for this, changes coinciding with, as well as resulting from, our move.

The most obvious is that we have school-age children now, so the school year is important in a way that it wasn't before. But on top of this, I find the year here is marked by more pronounced seasons, far more seasonal activities that we want to take part in, seasonal produce - berries in summer, mandarin oranges in winter, and peaks and troughs at work. These variations were either less pronounced or entirely absent in Guernsey.

All these combine to give each month its own unique flavour.

January: The lull after Christmas. January is often a low point for me. Packing away decorations for another year saddens me. Everything's dark and gloomy, with maybe a few days of snow to liven things up.

February: Mornings and evenings are noticeably lighter. Try to get back into condition for cycling. Often crisp and bright, things feel like they are starting to wake up.

March: Time to start sorting out the yard, de-winterise the trailer, give the lawn its first cut since the end of last summer. Everything is green and fresh.

April: Looking forward to sitting out on the deck again. After a good pressure-washing and cleaning off all the furniture, of course.

May: The air warms up. We start eating meals outside.

June: Bright and busy. Lots of end of year activities - school fairs, Scouts and Guides.

July: Summer is here. Everything quietens down at work.

August: The height of summer, but noticeably different from July with the evenings already drawing in. Water fights on the lawn. The deck is in shade early evening and not so inviting for al-fresco dining. Sitting in the hot tub before bed, spotting satellites.

September: All the excitement of a new school year. Everything starts off in low gear and ramps up through the month. The lull at work is over and it's madness once more. Some time early in September, it feels like someone's flipped a switch. One day we're in summer, then suddenly there's a chill in the air and I know we're into autumn.

October: Settle down into new routines.

November: Often damp and dreary. Rake leaves off the lawn. Get used to sometimes not seeing real daylight from one weekend to the next. The other low month for me.

December: More excitement in the run-up to Christmas. Parties, parades, decorations, concerts. Whole streets lit in technicolour. Despite the dark, this is a cheerful month.

And so, we start the cycle again.


  1. Yep, sounds like Canada to me. I can't wait for sitting on the deck with a cup of coffee weather.

  2. Hmm, here in England we mostly have rain or not rain with the occasional sun or snow. No wonder my Honey wants us to move to Canada if we ever win the lottery :-)

  3. I'm jealous that you get "a chill in the air" in September, and the feeling of Autumn. Here in New York City, it stays warm and humid up until the second week of October. It drives me nuts!

    Nice breakdown of the months, btw. Our slow, barely moving period at work is Jan. to March -- so basically now. From April to September we're absolutely SWAMPED with crazy deadlines and frenetic activity. Makes me hate summer even more than usual.

  4. Interesting read! I love that you color-coded it. Very nice! :)

  5. Delores, I always look forward to sitting on the deck with a cup of...something :)

    Sarah, that's what I mean about the weather. We used to have slightly warmer or cooler versions of damp & windy, not much to really define the seasons.

    David, the city acts as a heat sink, so all the heat of the summer takes ages to drain from all that concrete. In Guernsey our house and yard were walled in granite, and after the sun went down you could feel the warmth radiating back out for hours. Here, we are surrounded by trees which don't absorb much heat.

    Carrie. I love that you noticed! :)

  6. Sounds kind of like Kansas. I agree that January is a total downer month. :(

  7. Oh I do share your disregard towards January, mostly because of the cold weather (now it's -14 Celsius in my parts). But March, April is like a rebirth for me...there's magic in the air again....

  8. Lindsey and unikorna, I doubt if we are anywhere near as cold as Kansas or Romania! I think it's the dark that gets me down, and the wind-down after all the Christmas festivities.

  9. I love living someplace where there're four seasons. I lived in the Philippines for two years and really missed the changes. Although, I'm kind of jealous of my daughter who lives in Hawaii.

    Seriously? You used to live on Guernsey? Along with PEI, that's a place I'd like to visit because of a book I read and loved.

  10. Donna, I wonder what book that was? And also what impression you got of the island from it? It has changed dramatically in the last twenty years or so. I visited once since moving here, and found it had changed even more in just a few short years. Very sad.

  11. It's good that snow cheers you up. I can't stand it mostly because I hate driving in it and I have a lot of driving to do when I get my son to school. I'm with you on not enjoying the shortened days though. I miss the sun-- the warmth of . I am glad your reminded me of the summer and eating out on the porch. Seems to far away right now.

  12. Sounds very much like the usual cycle here in Michigan. :) Except we've had an unexpected and wonderful January this year-hardly any snow and its actually sunny right now!

  13. Danette, snow is something of a novelty here. We usually get a fall sometime during winter, it hangs around for a few days and disrupts everything, then it's gone. I think it would be a different matter if we had it for months on end.

    Jean, glad you are having a good month. I'm hoping things will brighten up here soon.


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