That Fabulous Snow

Hail Brave Hearts

It’s an awesome day in wonderland.  The winter snow is fresh and soft, calling us to our great outdoors.  Adventure again, into the wilderness, for a day or two of winter play, winter fun and the joy of the playground of white.  Sliding skis push us past the open potholes of water.  We squeeze along narrow snow bridges that keep us out of the drink.  Along, along to a fine destination of winter backcountry fun in an isolated, remote chalet, ours for a couple of days.

The pristine great wild, in it’s outstanding winter splendor, welcomes us to fresh snow and warm winter temperatures.   A balmy -5 in mid January is a bit too warm for this time of year, but we welcome the change from the deep chill.  It’s selfish though.  Those days of -30 kill off overwintering bugs and larvae that ruin the forest and the forest itself is part of this great adventure.

We have the good fortune of seeing a female moose and her calf, three ptarmigan in winter white plumage and dippers flying under the snow bridges along the river.  We feel blessed.  Blessed for a Canadian holiday in one of our wild, protected places and blessed for the foresight of mountain pioneers who loved to roam the snowy slopes and who placed a fine chalet in it’s midst for our safety and enjoyment.  This is rare and the historical archives serve us well, in keeping these small huts open.

The day is warm and sunny and sun tanning in snow pits is an eternal joy.  The fabulous white blanket  covers the land and we happily try our best ski moves in this fun filled adventure.  Never too old, never too tired.  Die hards are we, and we relish the good fortune of years of practice for these special moments in these special places. Luckily, someone else has the responsibility for the maintenance of these isolated huts.  Tucked away in hard to find places, obscure locations that are hard to find, the upkeep is a chore but the reward for us is fantastic!

We meet other enthusiasts, heading up into the high powder bowls for a day of ski touring   Perfection!  Winter at it’s best.

This is the winter that we long for, the winter that we crave.  So many sports, so much activity, so many ways to enjoy a beautiful winter’s day.  The bright, shiny, clean snow.  The marvelous wildlife, the fun filled sports and enthusiastic company of humans who live to enjoy this annual promise of snow.   But with this unusual warm spell, brings another environmental concern, global warming.  It’s only -5 today in January.  An unheard of mild winter warm spell that lets us play for hours outdoors is also an unfortunate detriment to our winter wonderland.  The play is fabulous, but the winter won’t last during warm temperatures like this and rain will arrive sooner to wash it all away.

What is Climate Change? Crash Course Geography #14 – YouTube

Take the precautions to save us, oh great human.  There is still time.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes


It’s Hockey Time

It’s Hockey Time

Hail Bravehearts

Now is the time, when you’re young and free, a time to learn a skill and a time to play.  This is the time of your life.  An adventure is here, it’s waiting for you, an all Canadian sport that is precious to us.  Play!  For the time of your life, play!  The great Canadian wild beacons to us, the ice is here, it’s strong enough, grab your skates, your hockey sticks, a proud sports hero might come of this.  Play!  The air is chilly the ice is thick, the ducks have flown and the quiet of winter is calling to us.  The world has changed in this frigid climate, the bears are denned, the dear retreat, the goose have flown and soon the snow will pile high.  Now is the time for ice skating on the lakes, hockey and fun, chilly with hot chocolate on a chilly fall day, refreshing and cool, we can play for hours in this quiet pre-Christmas time.

Each season has it specialties, but the month of November is so underrated.  The doldrums of grey, which is not yet winter, but cold and dreary.  The trees have dropped their leaves, the harvest is in, the pantry is full and the feast is over.   Snow is in the mountains now, with rain in the valley, but freezing overnight, to keep the ice solid.  It’s the early season start to a great Canadian winter.  Still warm enough for lighter coats, but chilly enough for snow.  It’s a time for baking and winter shopping, Christmas is coming and find a tree.  November is grey, but the ice is here,bringing it’s winter sports to us in an exciting and refreshing and spirited way.

On these chilly autumn days, when the ice is clear, you can see to the bottom of the lake, to view the lake foliage, sometime swimming fish, sand, rocks and weeds.  A new perspective  or a simple pleasure, ice skating is a superb pastime for sport and fun.  It’s early in life that we learn these skills, how to skate, pass a puck, hold a hockey stick,be a part of a team.  That’s it!  Be a part of a team!

Come out all of you, come out to play, the frost and the ice are calling you.  Bring your helmets and your skates, we need you for the team.  From the time that you were a little tot the ice has called your name.  The outdoor skating rink is one of winter’s finest feats of sporting pleasure.  To glide on the ice, to try tricks and spins, to enjoy the company of friends and family.  This cool dreary November has become a dazzling delight, of fresh fallen snow, ice and sport, hockey and friends.

We move with ease from one season to another, each with it’s great outdoor specialties and indoor charm.  We’re thrilled with the enthusiasm for the November chill, it only gets better from here.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

November 26, 2017

Own The Game

Own The Game

Hail, all you brave ones.

The time is near.  Your path is chosen.  Your team is ready.  Skills and knowledge, trust and harmony, experience and expertise.  The team is everything.  Team building is a skill and a goal in itself.  A strong, directed team, with knowledgeable leadership can achieve insurmountable tasks.  Focus and dedication, building those skills, training and development, nurture and care.  The inexperienced can learn, their energy and enthusiasm helps to drive the team forward.  Push yourselves, the goal is in sight.

That small step of a minor achievement, when the course was finished and a new skill achieved.  Now this!  On to that path.  The goal of your dreams, the impossible dream.  That single, small step, to earth moving potential and striving for success.  Concentrate on the goal.  Step by step, follow that path. Don’t give it up.  This is the adventure of your life.

Choose well, oh brave ones, there are many paths.  The straight, the narrow, the high, the low, each with challenges, obstacles and pitfalls.  Clues to success glitter in the corner of your eye.  Whisperings of sweetness echos in your ears. The chalk on the board draws your attention.  Learn your lessons well. The time spent on nurturing a fine aptitude gives you the knowledge you need for your life.  Don’t let this pass.  You must achieve it.  The road becomes narrow, there are dead ends, circles and confusion.  Time passes, it doesn’t stand still and your aptitude must be nourished for it to flourish.

Your fortitude is with your comrades.  Strength to you.  A trusted system of mutual support and life skills, building knowledge, courage and your team. A trusted team of mutual respect, connectivity and sharing.  Educate and learn, trial and error, practice, practice, practice, you will get it right.  Devotion to your cause and focus.

The game has already started, it’s been playing out forever.  Mentors line the walls to help.  Each with skills  and wisdom to impart.  Nothing changes, this is the game.

Climb on board, you winning team, handpicked for your expertise.  It is your time, your armour shines, the spotlight sees you, the crowds cheer.  Achieve it, oh almighty ones!  To victory, to eternity.  This is your day, your hour, your second.  All of your life’s work comes down to this moment.  The moment that you dream for, that you risked it all for, that you dared for.

Now, in that imperceptible moment, when your mind is sharp and the world stands still, quietly waiting for you.  Now we know who you are, your name and your game.  All that you’ve trained for, all that you’ve worked for, all that you have ever been.  Now you, and the merit of your team, will be counted.

written by Dr, Louise Hayes

February 2, 2016

Those Snow Bridges

Those Snow Bridges

Good Day Bravehearts

The world is welcoming you to this brave new day. A blanket of snow lies covering the earth and the sounds of silence are echoing in our ears. Silence, quiet, peace. The calm of the snow in the dead of winter, where all of the world lies in peaceful dreaming.
Hello! It’s playtime now!
The sidewalks are shoveled. The snow is piled high in deep drifts. The snow plows have worked steadily to clear the roads and traffic is still at a minimum. This awesome day is upon us. Grab your skis before it’s gone, this winter won’t last forever!
The gently falling snow, swirls in large flakes and keeps us shoveling. Up on the ski hill the flat light, keeps us cautious. Picking our way down the familiar runs, twisting and turning and flying like birds. The fabulous rush of the ease of this sport, downhill skiing is just plain fun. Such a nice day and there’s no one around but us.
The joy of a remote place, like a wilderness setting in Canada, is that we have all of the fun.
The rushing, open waters greeted us as we went snowshoeing last week. Snow bridges over open rivers, opening up caverns of cold, icy holes for us to fall into. Down we went, one by one, into the drink. Struggling now to pull ourselves out as our patient companions watch helplessly by. Encouraging words, laughter and abuse, battered and bruised, but onward and onward we brave stalwarts persisted. Up the creek, up the creek, to nowhere. It’s just another afternoon outing into the great outdoors! A chance that we can’t miss, for a warm spell is coming and we’ll loose all of this precious snow.
So although the creek is not at it’s frozen best, we go anyway. The warm winter has left us no, choice. It is wintertime and winter fun is here and we’re going out to play.
The groundhog saw his shadow, of course, he always does. Another bout of stormy weather, more snow, more skiing, more snowballs, snowmen and angels. More shoveling and icy drives, treacherous really, but we’re happy today, in our warm cozy homes. Happy for the winter, the snow and the sports.
Global warming is a curse to us. The warming trends are comfortable. Warm winter full of snow, The icy chill is abating and we can easily go out to play for hours without the threat of frostbite, to curb our healthy habits. The windchill that plunges us into the deep freeze is passing and with it the dangers of freezing skin. This is a good thing, but there are other results. Open water that should be frozen, freeze and thaw, freeze and thaw, pushing the frost further into the ground. This creates conditions of uncertainty with some of our favorite past times. Avalanche hazards, melting snow, thin ice, caution, beware.
This is the dead of winter, when the cold is at it’s chilliest, but those rivers aren’t frozen yet. Beware!
written by Dr. Louise Hayes
February 8, 2015

Winter Play

Winter Play

Good day Bravehearts!

We rise to a day of fresh falling snow. The wonder of our lives changes with this new season of fabulous fun and adventurous winter. A fine day of fresh tracks at the skihill, of snowshoes and ice skates and warm winter snuggly clothes. Winter is an awesome time of hot chocolate by the fire, of tobogganing, sledding, of building snowmen, of snow shoveling, snow ball fights, ice hockey and winter play.
Gone are the grey days of late, cold fall weather, the end of the mating season and the end of the harvest. The last of this years produce is put down and the seasons canning and storage are complete. Now the snow is falling and winter fun is here!

Rise, oh bravehearts to a glorious day of warm winter fun. Zero is a fabulous temperature, even minus 1. The warm, winter weather of freshly falling snow and the quiet of the snowfall, the crunch of our footsteps on the sidewalk, the clean, white blanket and the fresh, clean air. Gone is the brown of late autumn and the trees curl up for a long winters sleep. The grass is covered with clean, protective snow and the vegetation lies in slumber, beneath it’s warm white canopy. Rest for the weary. For the constant blooming, the constant growing, the constant photosynthesis, the constant producing, leaves the world, at a time like this, and sends it into peaceful slumber, as the winter sets in and whispers to us. Come out to play in the snow!
The snow!
Soft white swirling flakes of snow, each one different, no two snowflakes exactly alike. Each one unique and there are millions and millions of them. A cascade of play, falling to earth, bringing sport and fun. Don your hats and mitts, your scarves and toques, your warm winter coats and warm winter pants. Pull on the long underwear and the extra layer of clothing. Be warm and cozy in the chilly minus temperatures, and play!
This season could last a long time.
The logs are already cut for your fire, the fireplace awaits, it’s crackling flames and the kettle is boiling and calling you, to make another hot cuppa. Chocolate! and tea and warm winters brew. A season of cold remedies and flu shots and days off to recover. The occasional broken bones from falls on the ice, but still, the joys of the season are plenty and duty calls us. Be happy! Winter is here!
Lash on your skates and grab your stick. The very best of Canada and our favourite past times, are winter sports and play. That clearing on the ice, brings about a game. Our national sport, hockey is here. From the time that you are little, until you grow old, the passion of the ice rink or that shoveled spot on the lake, are the call of winter.–iEOftLZ4&spfreload=10 the beauty of hockey, the greatest game on the planet.

Our mission, to have fun. Our all Canadian dream, to win. This is the time for sport and play. Come on, Canada, get on with the game.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes
November 26, 2014

The Winter

Good Day Brilliant Mankind

Sighs the great planet. Come out to my wonderland of fresh fallen snow, of blue skies, of sunny warm weather, of winter freshness and winter play. The temperature drops to a mild -zeros and the warm blanket of snow, covers the earth. Tread lightly, oh great ones. Beneath you lies, in sleeping peace, the life of the hibernating wild.
The quiet pond, full of animals, frogs dug into the mud for winter protection and snakes, curled in sleep awaiting the thaw. The dead of winter, of biting wind, of chilling storms, of ice and snow, of planetary sleep in dreamy warmth beneath the soft cover of insulating snow.
But why the winter, with it’s housebound cold, with icy wind and chilling temperatures, with snowy sidewalks and treacherous ice, with slippery streets and flues and colds. Why the winter with sudden storms, with blizzards and frozen fingers. Constantly scrapping the car, the driveway, the sidewalk. The snow filled streets for dangerous driving and the cold! The penetrating cold.
Just dress for it and remember, be prepared.
Praises mankind, sighs the great planet, to winter fun and winter’s play. It is with great pleasure that I present the winter.
Come out, come out to play, oh great human and enjoy the winter’s treasure.
A skate on frozen lakes, with glass like ice beneath your feet. The darting fish trapped in the unfrozen waters below, play tag with you as you skate in pursuit. But where did they go, so fast and exciting, a game of chase so easily won. A different perspective of life in the lake, looking down at the reeds beneath the ice, beneath your feet.
The life in winter, on a beautiful, brilliant day, is filled with sporting possibility. The quiet forest, now changed with its, deep, soft blanket of beautiful snow. The chirping birds, so plump and cheery, greet us as we pass in silence. Listen to the winter, with quiet snowfall, perhaps a chance for an encounter with animals, the privilege of a walk into the great wild.
Here us, oh great human, sighs the great planet, winter is a wonderland of play and sports activity. While those of us who need the rest, nob off to needed sleep and needed quiet, beneath the warm and insulating snow, the rest will play on the surface and fill our days with the great Canadian winter.
The dog team rushes speedily, with happy dogs barking and pulling, the days of thrilling, driving adventure to pass the time in traditional pursuits. A skate on a sun baked lake, with suntan lotion lathered to your skin, sunglasses, sunscreen, just like the summer, but without the bugs.
For here in the north is where the fun is. Generations of cultural pursuits, of winter daring and winter bravery, of Courier de Bois and the fur trade, of the Inuit and the igloo, of polar bears and the whale hunt, of dog sledding and skiing, snowshoeing and trapping.
Here, almighty human, is the meditative stillness of winter.

small river in winter by Kleimer Bach
written by Dr. Louise Hayes
January 15, 2014

downhill skiing

downhill skiing

Good day, you awesome human

Global warming greets us today, on this pleasant, cool winter morning. High snowfall and warmer winter temperatures bring us the delight of long days of winter play. Sunny skies, warm jackets, cool air, snow. It all adds up to a plus in winter sports activities.
Hail bravehearts, strap your skis on. This is a day for snow!

The long dreary winter is one of our finest hours. It brings so much winter pleasure. The slopes, the winter scenery, the winter festivities and the winter fun. No more the cold, icy frost of bitter harsh winds. No more the ice running through your veins. No more the heart stopping blasts of lung chilling air that slow us to a stiff, plodding, gait. For us, this winters past time is the joy of this day.
Downhill skiing as a recreational sport is a relief from the long winter stress of cold days and indoor living. A fresh new snowfall on well groomed slopes entice us to the great outdoors for fresh air, exercise and fun. What would we be, in the great white north, without our awesome snow?
The snow provides more than just stuff for us to play in. It provides a blanket of warmth for winter animals to sleep under. Hibernating bears, scurrying mice and sleeping plants, lie protected under the soft, warm cover that protects them from the winters chill of freezing air and penetrating wind.
A quiet day of deafening calm as the forest dulls the sounds of noises. No wind disturbing our sheltered run. We are alone on this massive mountain. A mid week escape from weekend frenzy. So very few to witness our feats of daring, our new found paths through untracked forest. A mountain so often visited, so frequently accessed, yet still the same old thrill of fresh new snow, of powdery gusts, of flying and gliding. The ease of the sport of downhill skiing, the motion of practiced turns, the roller coaster ride of bowl shaped hills and the pummeling of moguls.
The easy freedom of a day on the mountain, skiing wherever your skills will take you. The ride of a lifetime on two sticks with two poles. The soft whisper of the lift as it passes overhead. A day that was made to make time stand still, when hour after hour is not long enough.
The breathtaking views, the thigh burning exertion, the endless flight over rolling terrain. A gift of play and winter smiles, a joy of the weather, of our harsh climate. The north. With our sub zero temperatures, our high snowfall, our ice covered lakes. Dress for it, we say. Then strap on your skis for in winter we play and play and play.
written by Dr Louise Hayes
January 7, 2014