During the winter the majority of Vancouver Island is the envy of the rest of the Canada, throw on a jacket and maybe a pair of light gloves and get on with your day. Thick-skinned locals such as Canada Post delivery staff, couriers and joggers sport shorts twelve months of the year. Plants often get confused with warm boughts of weather. Rhododendron and other hardy plants can produce spring buds and even start to bloom in November through February.
In particular, the city of Victoria loves to brag about its mild climate. Rightly so when they can have an average spring day temperature as high as 15.C. It hosts an annual bloom count in early spring. Residents are encouraged to count their blooms and report them to the official website at http://flowercount.com/ The count has reached as high as 3/4 of a billion blooms!
Every few years Mother Nature decides the island should get a good dose of winter and when it does it can hit with a vengeance. Snow has been coming down for the last couple of days and does not seem to be letting up. This is what much of central Vancouver Island is experiencing at the moment.
There wasn’t much to complain about during this winter. On many occasions from November up until now I have been able to go out in spring like weather with nothing but a light jacket. This photo was taken in January when I enjoyed hours in the warm sunshine at Pipers Lagoon in Nanaimo. The last big snowstorms to hit parts of the island were two winters back to back in 2007 and 2008. Prior to that the large ones I can think of were in 1996 and 1991.
Most locals see snow as a minor inconvenience, but unlike other provinces in Canada we can take comfort in knowing it never lasts long. Likely by this time next week it will all be melted and winter island life will resume as normal, if not with a bit of a muddy aftermath.