Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Southern Ontario Is A Gigantic Elephant!

I can just imagine the reaction of anyone who might stumble across this blog: "What in tarnation do these damn posts have to do with snow shoveling — and what the hail does it have to do with Canada?!!!"

I must admit, I have strayed off the titular subject matter just a tad since I started this blog. But rest assured you snow shoveling fans, that it has snowed a great deal here in this part of Canada so far this year, and I've done my fair share of shoveling.

Although Antler River lies almost midway between Windsor (which is across the river from Detroit) and Toronto, we get much more snow than any of those cities. That's because we lie in a region known as the snow belt. You can see where Antler River is located on the map below.

Southern Ontario doing a great impression of an elephant

I have the map oriented in such a way that north is pointing east. This is to show you that Southern Ontario is an elephant! Windsor is at the trunk. Toronto and its suburbs (Scarborough, North York, Richmond Hill, Etobicoke, etc.) are located on one of the back legs. Antler River is located at about the base of the neck, or where you would imagine the elephant's ear might hang down to.
Personally, I think our geographic elephant is far superior to Italy's geographic boot. And although Italy is known for manufacturing fine footwear, I don't know of anyone who would want to purchase or wear a boot that looks like that.

But back to the subject of winter precipitation. The snow belt that we lie in is due to lake effect snow (or squalls) blowing in off Lake Huron. The squalls are usually heaviest in December when the lake waters are still relatively warm. We've really had some doozies this year.

Although Antler River receives a lot of snow, we don't hold a frosted candle to Owen Sound in that department. That city is the snowiest in all of Ontario. You can see that Owen Sound is located... ahem.... its position is at the... uhh... well... let's just say that it sits at an undesirable part of the elephant's anatomy. It gets lake effect snow from both Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.

From the musical Owen Sound!  —

The snow is as high as an elephant's rump,
For this town sits where you might expect a good dump...

An elephant doing a great impression of Southern Ontario

Still, the fact remains that Antler River does get a lot of snow. My wife and I — on a trip to Mexico a few years back — ran into another couple from Canada, and I commented to the husband that it was nice to get away from the snow for awhile.

"Where are you from?" he grumbled.
"Antler River", I gleefully responded.
His short retort was a scornful snort, "Hmpfh, Antler River."
"Why, good sir? Where are you from?" I amiably inquired.
He was snide, and replied with ironic pride that he was from Winnipeg.
Urbane and sane, I refrained disdain and explained, "Antler River gets much more snow than Winnipeg, my good fellow."

And we do. Almost twice as much. But unlike chilly "Winterpeg", the snow here melts frequently, and so it appears as if we have less.

Yet we have more. But not right now. It melted again today. Still we get more. But they might have more right now. But we will get more. And so will they. Theirs will stay. Ours won't.

But we do get more. Believe me.

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