Winter in Nova Scotia

It is the snow that gets me in the end. Light confetti starts to waft around the air, each snowflake growing larger and more intense, until the snow covers everything white and hides the ugliness of a grey winter. The trees, completely bare of their lush foliage, are dusted like icing sugar and their spiny bonelike branches reach up like sharp white talons. Our cat Harry, sits in the make shift bird feeder on our deck, his bum on ice, mesmerized by the falling snow. His jet-black fur is sprinkled white in minutes, and now he looks like an old gray man. The first snowfall of the season puts everyone in a good mood. It seems to soften everything, including my usual contempt for the cold. A winter without snow will simply never be the same. 

As the weather grows colder and the days shorter, it’s easy to stay cocooned inside my own world, easy to get disconnected from the world outside. Winters in Nova Scotia are long and cold and I have to force myself to be present in the moment, mindful in my day to day. There have been many of these days, that I have questioned my own sanity for choosing to live somewhere this cold, this grey, this lifeless. I have to look deeply at what brought us here, the life we have created, the things we love about this province, the friendships that have anchored us.

The moon is a perfect disc of yellow, completely illuminated directly above our house. The brightness of the moon tints the snow yellow. The world is now in deep slumber, and we must wait it out at least another 3 months for signs of life. It is the season of sundogs, snow moons and deep sleep.

March 8, 2017

In a shrinking world, where real adventure rarely makes an appearance in our urban existence, dog sledding has to rank up there as one of them.

February 13, 2017

I awoke to a winter wonderland this morning. Fresh snow fell overnight and dusted the forest that surrounds our house in white. The world outside has been turned into a monochrome postcard. These are my favorite winter d...

January 22, 2017

As winter settles in, my cocktail mixing changes up to warmer, richer flavors like Bourbon and the classic Old Fashioned, but with winter season Blood Oranges.

January 8, 2017

Long cold days call for long slow cooked food and my idea of a perfect, winter Sunday lunch is oxtail. Meltingly tender, soothing and savory and total comfort food for me. I grew up eating oxtail in South Africa and it w...

November 27, 2016

A very traditional Afrikaans pie, it was introduced by the Cape Malays in the 17th Century to spice up the bland Dutch fare. Hands down my son's favorite recipe.

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Colleen Thompson

Writer Photographer Raconteur Wanderer

© 2017