August in Alberta – It Seems Early for Frost

The Frost Chart for Canada is an interesting read. It makes you feel hugely optimistic about the length of the growing season if you live in Vancouver British Columbia. If you live in Thompson Manitoba, however, you might feel inclined not to plant a vegetable garden at all. Not much will ripen in 61 frost free growing days.

Here at The Red House in Alberta, the chart suggests our first light fall frost will occur in mid September. According to my calendar, we are just a few days past mid August. It was with some disbelief, then, that I realized this morning  there was a light coat of frost in the very lowest lying areas of our back yard.

In what can only be described as Mother Nature playing a joke on the weeds that grow in the lawn, the hardest hit by the frost were the two peskiest weeds! This is a Thistle encased in a thin coat of ice.

This is a Dandelion seed head just as the ice crystals started to thaw. Have you ever seen such a sad and bedraggled thing in your life?

The ability of dandelions to tell the time is somewhat exaggerated, owing to the fact that there is always one seed that refuses to be blown off; the time usually turns out to be 37 o’clock.
– Miles Kington –

I can’t find a single interesting quote about Frost. Lots about Robert Frost, but none about plain old frost. Better pickings, though,  when I looked for quotes about Ice:

I tried sniffing Coke once, but the ice cubes got stuck in my nose.
– Author Unknown –

20 thoughts on “August in Alberta – It Seems Early for Frost

  1. Ha! LOVE the quote about sniffing coke. 😀

    I am so sorry you have to deal with frost so soon! I am hoping we will get a pleasant fall – this has been a strange weather year in the Pacific Northwest. Winter wasn’t particularly cold or hard, but it just didn’t let up. We were well into April before the air finally softened and it felt like spring might happen (instead of early March, when we usually start getting spring days). For our region, it was the second coldest spring since they started keeping records back in the 1800’s. The problem was that when spring finally started feeling like spring, it held on well into the summer. June was not summery at all – we were still wearing coats and jeans a lot of the time, and it wasn’t until mid-July that we got anything that felt like a real summer day. Even now in August, when we often have a week or two of days where you find yourself inventing excuses to go ANYWHERE with air conditioning, we’ve only had a handful of days where it was warm enough to comfortably go outside in shorts and a T-shirt without bringing along a sweatshirt, just in case.

    I would like to imagine that we’ll have a lovely extended autumn, but I find myself worrying that the trees will start changing colors this week and we’ll have snow by September!


    1. Hi Bee – Your story sounds very much like the weather that Canada’s Pacific Coast has been having too. Here in the foothills, we also had a very cold winter and spring. When summer finally came it was cooler than normal, but at least we had some good weather. Here’s hoping we have a long, warm fall!


  2. Frost already! We visited Vancourver last week, it was only 55 degree in the morning. Here in Texas 100 degree temperature may continue for another week.


    1. Hi Amy – Vancouver has been having unseasonably cool weather – worse than ours, I believe. I feel so sorry for all the folks in Texas. They have had a brutally hot summer.


  3. Hi,
    Our Spring starts on the 1st of September, so we are still a bit cold here, although where I live in the tropics of OZ we don’t get snow but occasionally we get frost early morning. A lot of places seem to be experiencing either extra long winters, or very cold winters the last few years.


  4. Hate thistle, so I hope the frost killed it! I, too feel like summer is so quickly winding down. It’s getting dark early and the mornings here in Idaho are quite chilly. Ah, well, I do love 4 seasons, though. I certainly didn’t get that in Texas.


  5. You are right! It is hard to find something as a quote or in poetry about frost or ice. The closest I could find was about The Frost Queen or The Frost Fairy. So mebbe……a poem is in need of being done?

    My very first poem I wrote for you:

    As summer gives way to fall the plants begin to wain
    And there in the garden is wonder for it looks not like a stain…

    Alas, I look ever closer to see if it could be
    The first signs of fall with gentle frost is what I see….

    ~ Amanda J Edwards~


    1. Thanks Amanada – I know you are an avid gardener, so it is natural that you would know just the right words to express frost!


  6. First frost always makes me want to make a pot of soup. But it does seem very early. Here in Colorado, frost depends on the elevation. September for much of the state, but later for the front range. Love your ice quote 🙂


  7. Your photos are beautiful, but I would squall my eyes out if we got a frost so early. The drought is bad enough without having to worry about frost so soon. 🙂


    1. Hi Marcie – I agree – it does seem too early to have frost. But I’m hoping we have a long stretch of warm weather well into the fall!


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