The Editor’s Desk: Weird winter weather

Is it ususal to have this little snow in January? In a word: no.

So what’s with the crazy winter we’ve been having? I think it would be more accurate to ask about the crazy winter we’re not having.

That’s what I meant. Is it normal not to have any snow at this time of year? Not in my experience of 23 winters in Ashcroft. Usually lawns are nothing more than a fond memory come January; this year I wouldn’t be surprised to hear a lawnmower or at least a weed-whacker start up any day now.

Hey, let’s not rush things. Sorry; I forgot that you have strong feelings about mowing or otherwise looking after the lawn.

Do you think we’re out of the woods as far as snow goes this winter season? Since winter does not technically end until March 20, we still have a ways to go, so I wouldn’t be placing any bets. And of course the possibility of snow doesn’t end just because spring has officially started by our reckoning. Mother Nature doesn’t pay much attention to calendars.

I actually kind of miss the snow. Really? I didn’t have you pegged as a winter weather fan.

I’m not. It’s just that the snow does a good job of hiding the lawn and my garden, meaning I don’t have to think about them. Now I feel guilty whenever I look out the window, because I didn’t rake the leaves in the fall. Again. I take your point. Snow does an excellent job of hiding a multitude of garden sins. On the other hand, it also makes roads and driveways treacherous, covers your vehicle in a layer of mud, and gets tracked all over the house.

What should I do about the leaves? You could just keep the curtains closed; that way you won’t see them. Or you can leave them on your lawn, where — according to experts — they’re providing vital nutrients to your grass as they decompose, making your lawn healthier come spring and summer. However, should you have a burst of energy and decide to rake them, don’t forget that yard waste is accepted, free of charge, at the transfer station at the Cache Creek landfill site.

Really? Yes. Before you get too excited, though, please understand that there is a difference between “yard waste” and “waste in your yard”. The former refers to organic material—leaves, branches, dead plants—that you want to dispose of responsibly. The latter refers to the dismembered washing machine, non-functioning lawn mower, punctured garden hose, rotted flower planters, and remaining pieces from a croquet set no one can remember buying that currently enliven your back yard, and which are clearly visible due to the lack of snow. There is a charge for taking these to the transfer station.

I look at my car and can’t actually remember what colour it should be. You say this is normal? A winter’s-worth of snow, slush, rain, mud, and grit will do this to a vehicle. You should wash it as soon as possible, to get rid of the accumulated wear that will damage your vehicle’s paintwork.

Isn’t this kind of counter-productive, since as soon as I wash it there could be more stuff thrown at it? It’s your call. The longer you leave it, the harder it will be to get all that accumulated snow, slush, rain, mud, and grit off it. What you have to ask yourself is, how attached are you to your car’s paintwork? More importantly, how attached is your car’s paintwork to your car?

My Christmas lights are still up. Is that bad? Having your Christmas lights still up is not bad. Today’s LED lights can stay up year-round without damage; unlike the light bulbs of yore, which gradually flaked away paint until your red, green, and yellow lights were completely clear, which is actually trendy in some circles. So it’s your call.

Any last words of advice? Don’t put your snow shovel away; at least not until you’re certain winter is over.

When can I be certain of that? July.

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