Commentary – What a great fall!

Jeff Burgar

One of my habits is checking weather on our own websites. Environment Canada gives us reports and forecasts. Depending on the site, readers get weather reports from either the Slave Lake or Peace River airport stations.
Something to note is there is a long range forecast by day on the newspaper site, and a shorter one on the linked site. The linked page gives more other information.
I’m not one to keep a log book about weather every day. But some ag producers do. They might be the first to tell me I am wrong about this being one of the nicest falls any of us have ever seen.
I’m old enough to remember snow in August and September. Rain and snow in September and October finishing with crops rotting in fields, waiting for spring to see what can be salvaged. Farmers planting crops in March or early April, and planting again as the new sprouts get clobbered by frost in May.
I also remember watching a Canadian Football League game on TV in July. One of the announcers said, “Is that snow? Yes, viewers, it is snowing here in Winnipeg in July.”
Thankfully, never seen that here in northern Alberta. In July that is!
I’ve seen water running down the streets in Peace River and High Prairie as ice dams plugged up their respective rivers. A long list of flooding across northern Alberta from creeks and streams overflowing their banks. Even beaver dams busted apart from too much water behind them. Lesser Slave Lake full of logs as upstream floods knocked down trees too close to stream banks, sweeping many all the way down to the big lake.
But, it’s kind of human nature to remember the bad days, and not so much the good days.
So, I put it on record, I am really enjoying this fantastic fall weather!
Trees first started changing colour in mid-September. By the time September was ending, the colour change was in full bloom. Plus, to make it even better, only a few high winds blew leaves off the trees. Even now there is still lots of colour out there.
Campgrounds are closing. But there are still quite a few diehards with boats in marinas. These are usually the last few pulled around Thanksgiving. Probably that will happen this year too. After about Oct. 10 it’s a crapshoot if the weather will be nice.
But gosh, this year the forecast ahead, as of this writing, is no or rare frost, and daytime temperatures mostly in the high teens. About the same as late May or even early June.
Walk the dog or cat. Take a stroll yourself. Get your ‘ten thousand’ steps in. How about biking? Take some photos. Use them for a screen saver or background on your phone. Or just pull them out and smile when Christmas rolls around. The longest night of the year, Dec. 21, is only about 11 weeks away. Hard to believe, isn’t it?
But making the most of winter is another story all by itself. Plenty of fall time before it gets here.

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