From Coast to Coast the winter cold and snow has truly arrived, breaking records in the west dropping down into the -50C, tipping into the -40 easily in alberta, sask, manatoba and so on.. even the moderate B.C. has been tipping over into cold enough for snow instead of rain.. and the east coast of canada has been cold and so much snow.
We are gearing up this morning for yet another snow storm which could easily drop a couple feet of snow on the farm, our snowblower will be getting a good work out as will the shovels, and fingers crossed that the pressure drop does not mean new lambs but it often does..
I have been hearing the general public focused on the cold in the sense of.. o winter, why, its so hard.. etc.and I get that.. for anyone that is having trouble paying the heating bills, does not have money for new winter gear or just does not have winter gear for this kind of cold, call and see if there is programs to help you, stay safe out there.
However as I listened to the radio talking about the fact that this deep cold would last days an that it would be three weeks of steady -20 or below for province after province.. a smile great on my face..
Can you guess why? Did you think because
Its Killing Cold..
Well if you did, then I know you are a gardener and might have a eco bend to you..
Yup. that smile on my face was because that kind of deep cold is going to due wonders for our forests, for our gardens, its hard enough and long enough that its going to do a great job at killing out huge swaths of invasive bugs that have been pushing up our way from the states due to our mild winters and warmer summers.
“While most Albertans despair the cold, those on the front lines of the fight against the mountain pine beetle are quietly rejoicing, said Janice Cooke, an associate professor in the University of Alberta’s department of biological sciences.
Untold numbers of young beetles are freezing to death, Cooke said.
“The colder we go, the more we kill,” Cooke said in an interview Monday with CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM.
“We’ve been very fortunate this year; the cold snap that we’ve had has been particularly vicious where the outbreak is of most concern and that’s not only in Jasper National Park, but beyond the park gates towards Hinton.”
News – Alberta’s cold snap likely decimated mountain pine beetle – The Weather Network
While I do believe in a very active bio yard and of course the birds need those bugs and catapillers, even the mostly seed eating adult birds need lots of higher protein creepy critters to feed their young on, I am still going to do a little happy yes as I know that this deep cold is helping control some of the local “pest” populations in my yards and area.
Its a good reset for the bugs that have over the generations adapted to our climate and it will help kill off a good percentage of those that have been in a growth pattern due to the milder winters we have been having locally..
What do you see less of in the yard or gardens or bush on the years after a really good hard deep winter freeze?
We went through the pine beetle infestation in BC several years ago…..many millions of trees were razed flat to try and stay ahead of it. I wasn’t able to find the article you provided a link to, but I recall that here – people thought the same. Winter temps would take care of it. Not so. As I understand it, the cold temps have to hit and stay in place for a minimum of six weeks. Otherwise, the beetles simply adapt by developing their own version of antifreeze to combat the cold, and just carry on. Which they did.
It was an economic disaster – the mills cant take the wood. It has unpredictable kiln drying properties – so there’s no way to make a 2×4 reliably turn out to a 2×4. Most of the wood got turned into pulp. Some enterprising people took the wood and turned it into furniture etc. My entire house is covered in beetle kill rough cut, barns etc – it has a beautiful blue stain running through it. Have it inside my house too.
It also turned into a huge forest fire hazard (another reason they tried to cut it down as fast as they could). Also of note- when we moved here we considered going with a small wind power system – but there simply wasn’t enough reliable wind. Since the beetle kill harvests – we get winds from the south that feel like they’ll knock the house over. Sustained 60k in the winter months is a common occurrence. Likely due to the massive swaths of bare land now.
Regardless, it was a given those beetles would work their way to Alberta…and we still have them here, just not to the degree they were years ago. Now, we’re keeping an eye on a new threat – spruce beetle. Every time I see one of those things – I smash it. Pointless really.
Got a little long winded there – I wanted to say that the cold does hammer down on livestock parasites – having horses you probably know that. 😊
Ah I am so sorry to hear that, then the calgary and edmonton peaple talking about it effecting the larva didn’t learn that lesson from your guys data.. but yes for sure livestock parasites.. its very hard when those types of things happen and so bad about the uses for it.. but sounds nice for the house.
Yes I’m always a little baffled at how in the span of a few years – science can simply be forgotten, or ignored. Hmmmm – pandemic anyone? 🤷♀️
It’s the same in Norway – we’re always happy if we get a good long spell of very cold weather as it kills a lot of invasive insects etc. that would otherwise cause issues for us. ^_^
For sure, plus it helps have nice winter spots, snow shoing and cross country sking and so on.. I have a owl photo that I will share soon from our sunday time out..
If the storm you’re referring to is the one we’re getting now…..let me tell you, I’ve never seen snowflakes so big in all my life. Probably 2-3 inches across and coming in sideways. I hate it but it IS beautiful.
thats the one they say is coming yes
It’s good to look at things with your perspective.