• Leslie Montgomery

Mother Nature Leaves A Calling Card

When Mother Nature Get's Angry
The Ice Hills or Ice Shoves on the shores of Lake Erie in Fort Erie after the wild wind storm of 2019

My share for this week is not about my art, or not yet anyway. I put my watermark on the images on this page because I might yet use them.

My post today is about the after affects of that wild wind storm we had a couple of weeks ago. The storm that affected most of the eastern part of North America in one way or another.

I will admit that the whole storm had me extremely uneasy. I hated every minute of it and refused to leave the house. To me, it was closer to hurricane force winds than I ever want to experience again. I do not know how you people in Hurricane country can do it. The very minute someone says evacuate you wouldn't need to tell me twice. Actually I doubt you would even need to tell me to evacuate at all.

When I first heard the storm was coming and it would be a nasty one I was thinking of leaving town that weekend but for two reasons. One was that Bob still had work so he would never go anywhere and the other was that there was no place to go to. Anywhere within driving distance was bound to get caught in the same mess so I hunkered it down for 2 days and hated every minute of it. I don't mind snow or rain and a little thunder and lightening doesn't bother me as much as it once did but sever winds have always just scared the life right out of me.

Well we survived the winds much better off than our American neighbors. We lost power for about an hour on the Sunday but it was restored before it got cold in the house and because of it I didn't have to cook supper. Bob went out in the storm and bought a pizza so that was alright. Our American neighbors had to wait a few days for the power to come back on and lost a lot of food and suffered from frozen pipes and such. Not cool at all! :(

We are always much more fortunate than the Americans when it comes to power outages. They are pretty quick in fixing the problem here in Canada unless there are actual lines down but even then they are right on it. In the states it doesn't seem so cut and dry to their power companies. I don't know why. We all get our hydro from the same source but admittedly we pay much more for it than they do. Something that has always been a point of frustration for us Canadians. That our government charges us much more for our power than they do to their American customers (being their power companies). Actually I am sure that many Americans don't know that we supply them with their power as it is so as is the American way... "Blame Canada" .

I know that sounds like sour grapes and I don't intend it to but sometimes we need to vent and as a Canadian I don't like being the brunt of American jokes. I find them callous, unkind and untrue when we are more than kind to you. But that isn't what this post is about. It is about when Mother Nature looses HER cool.

After the winds ended and the snow was cleared the people of Fort Erie, which is a neighbor to Niagara Fall discovered that the Nature lady left her calling card in a pretty awe inspiring way. She showed us all the exact power she wields in the form of an ice wall or an ice shove.

We have had some extreme cold weather and Lake Erie, as it does every year freezes in the severe cold. It is a very popular destination for ice fishing in the winter. Ice fishing is a sport I have never felt the need to do but it is fascinating watching these people go out in the middle of a frigid lake, saw a hole in the ice and wait for a fish to take their bait. Seriously? As long as there are super markets and fish markets there is no need to be a hero. Maybe it makes these foolish men feel like Nanook of the North or something. hahaha

You can imaging how thick the ice has to be in order for these crazy brave souls to drive their big massive pick up trucks with their huts and all their equipment to the middle of the lake and then drill holes. Multiply one of these nuts by 200 and you can now understand the strength of this ice.

Well, during this particular wind storm Mother nature moved that ice and broke it into piles of giant ice cubes along the shores of Fort Erie. It was a sight to see when it was all over. It still is. They say it will be late April before this ice can melt enough to remove the wall, maybe well into May. Can you imagine the force these winds had in order to treat a lake like this as if it were a cocktail drink with crushed ice?

The bridge in the background is the Peace bridge that goes into Buffalo from Fort Erie. This view shows the wind direction of that storm as the wall or shove was facing east. Also note that as cold as it was on that day there was no ice on the lake. It was all in the wall.

So after the news got out we did, as so many Canadians do, went out to see this gift from Mother Nature herself. This is actually something we don't see that often around here. We see many weird and wonderful things around the falls in the winter but this was a first for Bob and myself. People came with their families and climbed the giant ice cubes with their children and pets. It was fun to see but now we are older we left the climbing to the young ones. I did, however, take many pictures of people with their phones of them on the top of the mountain.

The ice formations were very cool and I got lots and lots of macro shots of the patterns in the ice which I will be using in later pictures. I think they might make for a nice series of Natural Abstracts. We'll see. I just thought you might want to see this phenom now and know the force of these winds we endured.

On another note I am not in the best of moods today. I went to the Butterfly Conservatory last week and had a lovely time. Got lots and lots of shots of beautiful butterflies as they floated around me and landed on my head and simply entertained me. I have so much to work on with those pictures but might put them on hold as I see a whole lot of butterfly pictures out there right now and I hate for them to get lost in a sea of other's butterflies. Looks like I might not be the only one who thought to go to a butterfly conservatory to shake the winter blahs. I just hope the others didn't end up with my plight.

Unfortunately for me on the same day I went there was a school group of children with Down Syndrome visiting. I was enjoying the peace and magic of the whole environment when my Zen was shattered by earth quaking screams. When I discovered it was this group of children and they weren't hurting the butterflies at all I settled in with the joy of knowing these children will get to see the magic in their own way. That was till I came across quite a few of these children coughing and sneezing. They weren't covering their faces and to make things worse while walking past me two of them actually coughed in my face. Guess who is sick with a cold now????

I am not blaming these children. They don't know any better. I am blaming the school who brought them there and their parents. I don't know much about Downs Syndrome but I am led to believe that the children are very teachable so by all means TEACH them not to cough in people's faces (manners 101). I also believe that yes, the school had probably booked this trip in advance when everyone was healthy but when the outbreak occurred in this group of children they should have cancelled or postponed the trip. I can't help but wonder how many more innocent butterfly lovers were affected by these germs that day. This is irresponsible behavior on the part of the adults who are in charge. Something for me to ponder the next few days as I cough and sneeze in the privacy of my own home so that I am not the one spreading these germs around. If it should happen, (as it so often does) that this turns into bronchitis I might get so angry that I will be looking for the school itself to let them know of the illness they imposed on me and so many others that day.

Mostly I am angry right now because this has not only been a horrible winter with the snow and cold but this is now officially my third virus in 3 months. Yes I had a flu shot! I am not at all impressed with the irresponsible attitude of people these days when it comes to virus's. It is actually very simple. If you are sick stay home. The next person you infect could be someone who's immune condition can't tolerate the germ. In other words your virus is like a loaded gun. Why would you take that chance to make someone so ill, or even worse, kill them simply because you think you can function in public with this (ahem) little cold????

With that said I will end this with a sneeze and a sniffle till next time.

All my (((achoo))) best

Leslie :)