Don’t be fooled by balmy weather – winter is just around the corner

I have been revelling in the weather we have experienced these past 10 days. This fall is being bountiful with warm above normal temperatures. As I travelled to Rainy River last Wednesday, I could not but help notice how many fields have already been prepared for next year’s crops. As the district is transforming to cash crops, more land is being turned from bush to fields. Tasks are being completed earlier than ever.

Passing by Pinewood, one could not have imagined a decade ago, the expansion of facilities by the Brielmans that would begin to rival grain handling on the prairie provinces. The expansion of fields in the district is transformative. The warm weather has many jobs being completed early including putting up Christmas lights across the district. Across the area, homeowners were out taking advantage of the warm sunshiny weekend to prepare their yards for Christmas.

I too began Friday setting the stage to put up white Christmas lights in the yard. It began with me checking all the strings of lights that I had put away in March. I like to mark the strings that are not fully functioning when I store them for the year. But regardless of how safely they are stored, more strings seem to fail at this time of year. Some even fail as they are wrapped around the branches.

Over time, the miniature incandescent strings of lights have failed, and this year only one string remained functioning. It had to be rebuilt as wires appeared to have been cut or chewed by some critter. The LED lights require much less energy to operate. The downside is that snow can hide their light while the miniature incandescent lights melt their way out of the snow. The upside is that I have seen a reduction in my January electrical bill. That is a great benefit.

I can never be sure how the lights will look until after the sun sets. The new miniature bulbs really do not show in daylight and darkness is needed to determine if the strings are adequately spread through the trees and shrubs.

As I walked outside Sunday evening to check my lights, glancing down the street multiple homes were lit with the festive spirit of the Christmas season. And then on inspection I realized that I required more lights on one of my trees.

Darkness comes earlier now that daylight time is past and the lights of the Christmas season transform darkness to light. The outdoor lights bring a sense of comfort and wellness to each of us as we can all enjoy part of the developing season. After the light check I turned the lights off until the beginning of December. The yard fell into darkness.

Former Publisher
Fort Frances Times