Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Fighting the March Lion

How does that saying about March go again? In like a lion, out like a lion? Oh wait, it's supposed to be out like a lamb, but that's never actually true, is it. I wonder in what decade of which century that phrase was coined; if I get the chance to go back in time I'd like to slap the person who came up with it for constantly misleading us and giving us false spring hope for centuries to come.

I'm in the depths of a winter crisis. I can't take any more of the cold weather, and yet there are actually weeks of it still in the forecast. It's going to be a slow spring, which is absolutely perfect for maple syrup, but really bad for the collective mental health of all people living through these last cold weeks, aching for warm weather. How to cope?!

I guess the first line of defence is usually to go away to warm places right around this time of year. Since I have the great pleasure of being my sister's Maid of Honour this summer (more to come on that, later), I am trying to use my vacation time frugally, knowing that I will need some of it for wedding duties, and more of it to have time off in the summer, when there's no sane reason to be stuck in an office if it's at all avoidable. But man, could I ever use a warm vacation right now. Since it's not an option, I'll need to look to other things.

SatC season 6 - no tights? no scarf? no comprende.
Fresh fashion inspiration is one place to start, but it's also difficult to find at this time of year. My winter creativity for dressing in layers is petering out, as is my will to put on tights *every day*, and all I'm seeing in magazines are bright floral prints and breezy spring outfits. It is not spring here. It is cold here. THIS WILL NOT DO.

I'll admit to you that my fashion-inspiration guilty pleasure is, and has been for many years, Sex and the City. As anyone who has watched this show knows, winter isn't a big part of New York in the SatC world. Season two and season six are the only seasons that really incorporate times of the year that are not warm; season two starts out in early spring, with the ladies having to wear warm coats to a Yankees game, and the leaves in central park just budding when Miranda and Carrie encounter the 'man who hasn't left Manhattan in ten years', while season six actually involves snowfall, early darkness, and really warm-looking sweaters. The other seasons of the show pretty much make New York look like a tropical heaven where open-toed strappy shoes are always a wardrobe option, and no one has ever heard of goose-down parkas. However, even SatC fails me at times, like when Carrie and Charlotte apparently don't need to wear tights to be warm walking down the wintry street? Nope.

Scarves are the one thing
I miss in the summer.
I'm trying to fight the March lion by upping my scarf game, and getting as much wear out of my favourite sweaters as possible. Every time I put one on, I catch myself thinking 'you never know, this might be its last wear of the season.' Hopeful, oh so hopeful! I'm also starting to devise my dry-cleaning strategy for my winter clothes. I've lost a few great things to moths, and apparently getting wool and cashmere cleaned right before putting it away actually dissuades the moths from dining at your winter-wardrobe buffet. I have a lot of wool in my closet, so I'm going to have to do some kind of dry cleaning rotation, sending them in three at a time or something.

With March appearing to be brutally cold this year, anyone who enjoys outdoor winter activities is in for an extended season. This is pretty nice, because spring snow-activities can be a lot of fun - when the sun is warm enough for you to take off your coat but there's still enough snow to tromp around on. Granted, the loss of snow has not been a question, and the weather has not been warm enough to doff one's coat, but we did recently take a snowshoeing trip into Algonquin Park (one of my favourite winter weekend trips), and this time we saw three moose! (Meese? Meeses? Mosse?)

We could see the tracks of this moose zig-zagging
across our trail through hip-deep snow
I felt lucky. These guys are hard to catch a glimpse of. They aren't afraid of humans at all, probably because they're confident against predators in their massive size, but they're kind of shy. We were careful not to approach them, and made a lot of noise as they observed our passage by them. Here are two of the three moose we saw, and you can see how tough they are to spot. The camera was zoomed in to its maximum, and then I further zoomed and cropped in the photos to get these pics.

That's all I've got left in me for dealing with the winter this year. I hope that these strategies of mine will help me get through the next few weeks, because I am ready for spring now, and not 5C  or 8C, but 16 or 18C. I have a while to wait for that - I will do my best to be patient. I hope you're holding up where you are. If you ever need someone to just sit and listen while you wail in despair about yet another snow fall, you know where to find me.

This moose cow is lying down with a calf near-by,
her ears perked up watching us pass

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