Best Pictures of the Northern Lights Over Ottawa Last Night

Outer space treated us folks in Canada’s lower latitudes to a rare sight over the past two nights: the Northern Lights about as brilliant as you’ll ever see them around here!

Browsing around twitter found a few really sweet pics, so I thought I’d share a few:

This celestial display is the result of two massive solar flares from the surface of the sun on Tuesday morning, sending a serious can of geomagnetic whoopass our way at about 10-million miles an hour. When the storm hit Earth over the last couple days … you get the Northern Lights over Ottawa like we did last night.

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R&R at Dwight and Lucy’s Yurt in the Lone Wolf Forest

Dwight and Lucy's yurt and kitchen

Dwight and Lucy’s yurt in the Lone Wolf Forest

I discovered this Dwight and Lucy’s yurt by accident last year as I was Google-stalking a friend’s cottage; at a certain zoom level the label popped up for “Dwight and Lucy’s Yurt”, and after a little more searching I found the Lone Wolf Forest website and had committed in my head to checking it out. A few cozy days alone with my girlfriend, deep in the forest, keeping warm by fire, enjoying nature… what could be more enticing? It took exactly zero convincing to get Erica on board, and a couple weekends ago we hit it up! Continue reading

Exploring the Wallingford Back Mine in Winter

"Dave come with us" at the Wallingford Black Mine

“Dave come with us”

I’ve been seeing pictures of this great-looking spot popping up on Instagram recently, and when Erica sent me a link to it on I was totally down for checking it out.

The Wallingford-Back Mine is about an hour north of Ottawa (near Buckingham QC) and features these amazing gigantic caverns, formed from large pillars that were left to support the terrain above. In the winter the lower level is completely frozen over with 2 feet of ice and makes for an eerie stroll through the cave-like structures with massive ice formations flowing through holes and hanging overhead. Continue reading

Rideau Canal Closed for 2015 After Record Breaking Season

Rideau Canal Closed for Season - NCC Photo

Rideau Canal Closed for Season – NCC Photo

The run had to end at some point, and it was rather abruptly last night as the NCC announced they were closing the Rideau Canal Skateway for good after a record-breaking 59-day run.

The Canal broke the previous record of just 46 days (set in 2003-2004) almost two weeks ago, and continued cold weather allowed the stretch to continue.

Unfortunately skating conditions yesterday afternoon were considered “poor” as the cold snap has finally broken and the temperature hit 4 degrees. With today’s high expected to hit 9 and warm weather forecast for the near future, the NCC decided last night that the season was done.

Cold, But Not the Coldest February Ever in Ottawa

Record Cold February in Ottawa

Record Cold February in Ottawa

As if we needed any scientific confirmation to back up our gut instincts as Canadians, Environment Canada has confirmed that, while not the coldest february ever in Ottawa, it was the coldest in February in about 115 years.

The average temperature in February in Ottawa in 2015 was -16.8 C – somewhere between 5 and 9 degrees below the seasonal average – with the temperature dropping below -20 degrees for 20 days last month. To find a colder February in Ottawa you have to go back 1900, and to find the truly coldest ever February you have to look back to 1889.

From more recent history, we bashed through the standing record set in 1979 of -14.3; in a meteorological world where records are usually beaten by fractions of a degree that’s a shellacking.

Luckily March is here and the temperatures already feel more seasonal, so hopefully we’re rewarded for a month of bundling up with some sunny Spring weather!

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