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The Butterfly Effect in Southwestern Ontario

Late summer is Southwestern Ontario was absolutely dry and hot weather wise. The last few weeks of August and the beginning of September were filled with butterflies. All kinds of butterflies. Big ones, little ones, colourful ones, species I’ve never seen before in this area. My mom always said that lots of butterflies was an indication of a snowy winter to come.

The last time I saw this many butterflies was not so long ago. The late summer of 2010 I was witness to thousands of monarch butterflies. I was out touring a lakefront camp property that was being listed for sale. There were grassed areas and pathways through scrubby brush and trees. The sheer volume of the monarch butterflies amazed me. And, it certainly seemed to be an omen of the winter to come.

The snow fell early, at the end of October. I had some garden material that I had cleaned up and left on the driveway. Well, after it snowed, I though I would get out there and clean it up when the snow melted, before it snowed again. We started blowing snow with the tractor (we live out in the country). And we blew snow, and we blew snow.

November was snowy, December was snowier. The kids only had two weeks of school in December because of the Christmas break and the way that the calendar fell in 2010. As I mentioned, we live in the country and my kids attended a country school. If the highways are closed, our school was closed. We had storm after storm generated from the Gulf of Mexico that came up to SW and dumped its load as snow. Of ten scheduled school days, my kids went to school for four. It was also looking as if the annual Christmas Concert might not happen.

Well that was 2010, and as we marched into 2011, the snow continued. One week my kids went to school three days, the next week four days and the next week a full five! I was tired of trying to entertain them every time school was closed. They actually got sick of snow days because the weather was storming and they got cabin fever.

On the plus side, I got new snow shoes for Christmas and I got a lot of time to play with them. We had huge, 14 foot drifts in the yard and tromping all over was a great deal of fun. I also dusted off the cross-country skies and did quite a few kilometres over the snow. In March, when the snow finally melted, I cleaned up the yard waste on the driveway.

So, if I were a betting man, I would stock up on snow shovels, snow blowers, crazy carpets, snow shoes and anything else that helps you pass the winter months. Maybe if you are a savvy investor, you would want to buy stocks of companies that make winter products.

I am getting prepared for a repeat of 2010. The butterflies have shown themselves and I believe that my mom was right. In this neighbourhood, lots of butterflies equals lots of snow.