Sorting things out,,,

It was five days ago we reappeared on Canadian soil following an absence of 4½ very agreeable and purely lanquid months on Hilton Head Island, SC in the United States of America where the North Atlantic Ocean was our outer boundary, the shoreline and pathway along which we regularly cycled and surveyed the vast distant horizon and the source of pleasing moisture and ineffable sea air that buoyed us throughout our journey there. We returned to overtake our apartment for the next six months before departing once again. During these past few days we’ve managed already to address several matters of concern. Other duties await during the remainder of the month after which things kick into routine agenda like renewals, check-ups, income tax and birthdays.

There are meanwhile other ceremonies which beg reacquaintance upon return home. In addition to revitalizing the daily car wash purgation, I extended the ribbon of highway to River Road in the Village of Appleton and afterwards to the Brian J. Gallagher Generating Station in the heart of Almonte to witness the torrent of water in the spring freshet along the Mississippi River. The Town is reaping the palpable benefits of its initial investment in the hydro-electric project. As a former member of the original Board of Directors of the Mississippi River Power Corporation (October 1, 2000) I am pleased to be among those who can now claim to have the last laugh! Thanks to the misguided demurrals of one municipal councillor in particular it wasn’t always so clear that the Town of Mississippi Mills would retain ownership of this valuable resource.

The term freshet is most commonly used to describe a spring thaw resulting from snow and ice melt in rivers located in upper North America. A spring freshet can sometimes last several weeks on large river systems, resulting in significant inundation of flood plains as the snowpack melts in the river’s watershed. Freshets can occur with differing strength and duration depending upon the depth of the snowpack and the localaverage rates of warming temperatures. Deeper snowpackswhich melt quickly can result in more severe flooding. Late spring melts allow for faster flooding; this is because the relatively longer days and higher solar angle allow for average melting temperatures to be reached quickly, causing snow to meltrapidly. Snowpacks at higher altitudes and in mountainous areas remain cold and tend to melt over a longer period of time and thus do not contribute to major flooding. Serious flooding from southern freshets are more often related to rain storms of large tropical weather systems rolling in from the South Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico, to add their powerful heating capacity to lesser snow packs. Tropically induced rainfall influenced quick melts can also affect snow cover to latitudes as far north as southern Canada, so long as the generally colder air mass is not blocking northward movement of low pressure systems.

In the eastern part of the continent, annual freshets occur from the Canadian Taiga ranging along both sides of the Great Lakes then down through the heavily forested Appalachian mountain chain and St. Lawrence valley from Northern Maine and New Brunswick into barrier ranges in North Carolina and Tennessee.

The holiday weekend encourages a festive air surrounding our return. And unquestionably it is good to be back! No matter where one is from, home is always special. We have the privilege of being proud of our hometown and pleased to revisit its many comforting venues. We have for example popped into the local grocer, butcher and bakery. A special concoction awaits forthe festive board!