The Wind Came Back

FTLComm - Tisdale - January 17, 2001

The warm weather of January 2001 has been distinguished by the absence of wind. One of the things about living on the Great Western Plains of North America is the continued ominous presence of a relentless wind. People can handle the cold and the heat but the wind is always an enemy. Yesterday for the first time in the new year the wind resumed its normal progress and though it was warm what little snow that had fallen was quickly mobilised as we see on Highway 35 South of town.
A ground drift like this is a normal feature of a Canadian and prairie winters in general. The visibility is disrupted for the short distance and that can be a terrifying experience when meeting heavy units like the logging truck below or the oversized farm machinery hauler above.
As we moved from the South of town to the North the day was advancing and this presented some interesting photo opportunities with the ground drift and the sun setting. Below the snow is sweeping along the fields and driving over the road.
Below we see the farmer has ridged this field to trap drifting snow. This is an excellent practice as it reduces the amount of snow piling up on the road but also helps to hold moisture on the field for the coming growing season.
As we move further West the sun falls lower and our movement slides the setting sun behind a farm yard with its outstanding conifer shelter belt.

In this image we can see the snow and hoar frost still clinging to the leahward side of the trees as the wind as cleared off the West side. Shelter belts like this one provide a huge amount of protection both summer and winter producing a micro climate within the farm yard.
This larger view of the farm yard shows the stand of trees that are both a source of beauty but also a habitat for birds and people.
At the end of the long field shelter belt stands these few, singled out against the sky and the wind they remain steadfast against a wind that never gives up. There is reassurance that resistence is not futile, as long as you can stand against the forces, there is hope, as long as you can watch the setting sun and feel the fleeting heat as night approaches, you know you can live on to fight another day.