Ξ July 28th, 2009 | → 0 Comments | ∇ beach, Canada, cottage country, family, Haliburton Highlands, Maple Lake Ontario, nature, Ontario, Photography, summertime, Travel/Vacation, weather |

July 28, 2009 Between Storms

July 28, 2009 Between Storms

Haliburton Issued at 8:16 PM EDT TUESDAY 28 JULY 2009

Update – midnight: Ever since this warning was issued and since I’ve battened down the hatches, there have been no severe storms. It’s a really big county laden with lakes. Small as they are (compared to the Great Lake I’m use to –Lake Michigan) they do influence how storms patterns play out  so someone may have borne the brunt. Hopefully not.

The warning that went out just minutes before the one below mentioned tornadoes which being in this lakeside little wood structure gave me a bit of unease.

In good news, after tomorrow my family will have rejoined me and the weather is getting better–less wet, a bit warmer though it hasn’t felt cold to me, not even in the morning. Maybe because I sleep very late? Seems to make sense to me.

I’d like to get a set of sunrise photos which I can usually snag on the way in but we got here too early. Maybe I shall try for when I next come up which will be Labour Day or possibly something will shake out in the next 3-4 weeks.
Here’s today’s attempt at getting a photo with the new camera. I believe I had the correct settings this time. It was taken between storms though it was just starting up again and I dashed back in to save my precious from any raindrops. Lake level dropped. We have beach now!



We Made It to Maple Lake Ontario!

Ξ July 27th, 2009 | → 0 Comments | ∇ beach, Canada, cottage country, family, Haliburton Highlands, Maple Lake Ontario, Ontario, Photography, summertime, Travel/Vacation, United States, weather |

We are  now here on Maple Lake. Arrived early today after a 12-hour drive which was uneventful save for heavy thunderstorms after we turned north on Hwy. 400 on the second-to-last leg of the journey. We lost an hour (I know. Usually people say “gained” but in my mind an hour goes *poof* driving in the U.S. from west to east,–so it is lost)  so after leaving the Chicago area at 3 p.m. Sunday we arrived here about 4 a.m -4:30 a.m. I would have been OK driving more but maneuvering the thunderstorms combined with the under-construction roads in various places made me thrashed so I instead clung for dear life as spouse navigated the last leg of our journey–the most “twisty and turniest”–on Hwy. 118 to Carnarvon. The roads were slick and though I’m well aware that we have a sports car (hence the two trips) Mustang GT’s are not known for their performance on slick, curving roads.

After a few hours spouse got up (he says by mistaking the time for 11:30 instead of 9 a.m. He was looking at an un-programmed clock. He had a nap later) and out but I tried to sleep. The day as predicted, was cool and rainy. By early evening though, the lake calmed down and it looked like we could’ve had a beautiful day (only it wasn’t). Tomorrow sounds like a repeat of today only in inverse with the a.m. nice and showers and thunderstorms throughout the afternoon and evening. Spouse must retrieve both our son and our dog and then we’ll all be together for the  better part of 3 weeks. It’ll be the split trip going home again with me staying behind  to go on the second trip back, so I’ll probably end up with  close to four weeks here. I’m not complaining. Here are photos of our Maple Lake View from this evening. Trying settings on new camera. Pretty sure they are not “right” yet. It’s a 12X tele wide angle many pixeled model, priced more than my last point and shoot but less than my now-antique SLR. It’s all lens and screen–very small housing–which I like. Hope to get to know it well in the next month (and beyond).

One last thing: There are bats as in “bats” in a closed-off stove pipe (they passed an anti-fire law and we had to remove an antique wood burning stove) that is open-ended outside. and begins in the very centre of the cooking area in the kitchen. They are really loud and not-pleasant-sounding. Probably feel the same about me. Ha!


Weekend and Long Term Weather – Haliburton Highlands – Maple Lake – Bug Report 7.25 – 08.02.09

Ξ July 25th, 2009 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Canada, cottage country, Haliburton Highlands, Maple Lake Ontario, Ontario, Photography, summertime, weather, webcam |

Indian River, Port Carling, Ontario - July 25, 2009

Indian River, Port Carling, Ontario - July 25, 2009

Sorry, gang, I’m very late to the forecast though the midweek long-term one,  if you happened to get a chance to read it, pretty well summed up what you already know if you live in the Haliburton County/Maple Lake area.

The summer thus far has been wetter than normal and cooler than normal to state it plainly. Upcoming weather in August is to improve significantly everywhere but eastern Ontario. I’m afraid we cannot catch a break.
However the temperatures should get closer to normal in August as well as a slight easing of the rainfall but this is a cautiously optimistic view. For the remainder of this weekend:

July 25-26, 2009

July 25-26, 2009

You’ve got thunderstorms or showers the entire weekend of July 25-26. Temperatures are below normal ranging from 60°F Saturday night to a high of 68°F Sunday afternoon.


Both Monday and Tuesday’s forecasts predict “showers” with Monday’s showers accompanied by thunder. Highs will be 71°F and 75°F respectively. Both nights call for comfortable temperatures with highs of about 60°F.
Wednesday is expected to have a low of 59°F overnight.
Thursday, expect a mainly sunny day with a high of 73°F. Wednesday and Thursday will have nighttime lows of about 59°F and 55°F respectively. Friday as has been many Fridays this summer, will be nice. Look for a mainly sunny day with a temperatures expected to be about 75°F and nighttime lows a cool 50°F.  August comes in on a high note with the forecast for August 1st calling for a sunny day with a high of 78°F and a nighttime low of 57°F.
Have a great week!
See you tomorrow! (Monday, technically).

Don’t forget to click the thumbnails for the full-size photos, weather, and bug reports.


More Typical Summer Weather Returning to Eastern Canada

Ξ July 23rd, 2009 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Canada, cottage country, Haliburton Highlands, holiday(s), Maple Lake Ontario, nature, Ontario, Photography, summertime, Travel/Vacation, United States, weather |


Above: Maple Lake – July 2008

Since I run through the weekly weather cast for cottage country, specifically the Maple Lake area/Haliburton Highlands, I’ve been acutely aware of the cooler and wetter-than-normal summer that the area has been experiencing.

It’s been my experience that if you get a cooler than normal summer without a lot of rain, it’s fairly easy to adjust to by wearing a bit more clothing. There’s still enough sunny days and people find a way to enjoy themselves. Conversely, if you have a summer with normal temperatures but more rain than usual you can adapt to that as well. Going out in warm summer rain is wholly different than a chilly rainy summer day. And that’s what’s been far too often the case for the Maple Lake area/Haliburton Highlands thus far for the summer of 2009.

Now comes the Weather Channel with their best guess about what is to come for the remainder of the summer:

From the Weather Channel’s Chris St. Clair.

A few facts: Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg have been 2 to 4 degrees below average almost day in, day out since the season began. Halifax nearly doubled its average June rainfall. Days with more cloud cover than sun were common nearly all across Canada….

The rest of the summer, August at least, will be very close to average for nearly all of the country. The temperature should be where it ought to be but it is likely that cloudier and rainier days might prevail in the east…
… the weather pattern over North America and the weather we’ve had during the first part of our summer has a lot to do with something called the North Atlantic Oscillation, a pattern uncovered in the 1920’s by Sir Gilbert Walker.

The North Atlantic Oscillation is a variance in the location of a large area of strong and stable high pressure. For the past many weeks it has developed over Greenland and the Labrador Sea.
The emergence of the North Atlantic Oscillation has lead to a block in the usual, steady west to east migration of unsettled low pressure across our continent.

Simply, the cool rainy weather is stopped once it gets to the Great Lakes Basin because it cannot get past the big, stable high pressure over the western Atlantic. Not until the high pressure, that has manifested itself further east, relaxes will there be a change in the pattern.

While science continues to study the underlying reasons for the temperament and frequency of the oscillation, we can report that it is easing and more typical summer weather is returning to eastern Canada.

So, the upshot is that it may warm up some but in the eastern Canada, which is where Maple Lake, Ontario is, there will still be above-average rainfall.

This truly sounds like a repeat from the summer of 2008. I know my relatives were very unhappy about it. They have a somewhat different relationship with “going to the Lake” than I do (and I would gladly swap places with them). They are weekenders as well as vactioners as they are easy driving distance to the Lake from their permanent residences.

For me and my little family Maple Lake is a 700 mile drive so with the exception of Labour Day weekend, once we get to the Lake we stay as long as we can. I suppose in some ways, that makes us lucky though as we get a bigger picture-view of being at the Lake. The weekend for example may in a word “suck” weather-wise but come Monday or Tuesday it may be lovely for a few days and then as the next weekend rolls around it make get sucky yet again. Since we are there for the mid-week clearing up and temperature rise we still see good weather and as it worked for me last year a few days of good weather each week turned into a total of about a week of really good weather and while not overjoyed with how that worked out I was still awfully happy to be at the Lake. That is how I’ve benefited from not having the Lake at my disposal for most of my life. It means more to me because it is such a big deal to get there. It takes great planning and time off of work, neither of which is neccesary for someone who lives within a couple hours of the Lake. I’m not saying weekenders do not appreciate Valhalla while they are there but that I may appreciate it just a bit more than they.


Roadblocks on the Road to Maple Lake, Ontario

Ξ July 22nd, 2009 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Canada, events, family, Haliburton Highlands, health/happiness, Maple Lake Ontario, Ontario, summertime |

Laguana Beach - April 2009

Laguna Beach, CA - April 2009

Sometimes life just does not cooperate the way one would like it to. Basically my heart failure led us as a family from being comfortably middle class income to with one full time and 2 part time jobs clinging to the thin line between lower mid and middle middle class. That the car that was to carry most of our “stuff” for a 3-week stay at Maple Lake cannot be trusted to endure the rigors of the road trip is just one more thing. I’m not terribly upset about it when, on the balance we are darn lucky to have a cottage to go to, that my spouse’s company, despite cutting back in so many other ways (promotions, bonuses, co-pay on medical getting crazy high) he still gets a goodly amount of paid time off. It’s just really annoying and frustrating and inconvenient but none of that carries the gravity of ill health or losing a job or a home or the dog dying, for that matter. And all those things are not happening to us . (To clarify: I am stable though considered disabled from heart disease–I feel good! 🙂 )

We are grappling with none of those, just that we are going to have to make 2 trips up to the Lake and two trips home because our good car is a Mustang GT in which we cannot cram everyone and all our stuff. We pulled it off before but our now almost-17 y.o. son is 6’3″ and cannot fold himself into what is only a token gesture of a back seat.

Renting a car came to mind. The cost of doing so has skyrocketed. And doing so one way, say to Buffalo or Niagara Falls to do a swap, zipping back and forth the few hours from the Lake is a no-go because the rental cars peeps do not want to play ball with us (“no cars available”).

So I’m trying to put on a happy face now that this trip is turning into what hopefully won’t be a logistical nightmare.
The upside is, by the time we get everyone to the Lake it appears as if the crap weather will cease at least for a bit. Wish I had a crystal ball. Been wishing for one of those for as long as I can remember. 😉


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