If you believe winter comes to Canada on December 21, you haven't been paying attention! It hits different regions at different times. In Ottawa, we can expect a blast around Remembrance Day on November 11. This year, the skies were bright and clear, and so was the ice forming on the Rideau Canal.
Eight days later, the first snows arrive and we know it won't be long until we'll be skating.
The stairways and changing sheds have been set up and are ready for skaters.
Paterson Creek, a quiet little byway on the Skateway, is even more quiet in anticipation of the skating season.
The temperatures remain cold but the wind chill increases.
Winter may arrive in Ottawa in mid-November, but there's no guarantee it won't take a break for a week or two just when we were counting most on hard ice and brisk temperatures. So I always keep a close watch on the Aberdeen Pavilion.
In past years, it has served as the back-up when warm weather prevented the Ottawa Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate from being held on the Rideau Canal Skateway. The refrigerator coils and the water have not yet been laid down on the basketball court that, each winter, turns into the Skating Court at Lansdowne Park.
But while we wait for the skating season to begin, we find other ways to enjoy the winter weather.