Winter has abated and summer has arrived!! With hardly any snow we got away quite easily this winter (though still plenty of -30C days) but the sun has been shining and it was +28C on the weekend. This is a great time of year when the weather is lovely but the dreaded mosquitoes which make Manitoba famous have not decided to grace us with their presence quite yet. With the hot temperatures, I had also better get a move on and get the winter tires off my car before they start to melt!

I was able to squeeze in a quick trip to Calgary and Edmonton to visit with some friends and celebrate the end of another successful term. Exams corrected, it’s now down to work with a busy field season ahead of us from now until October. Seeding across the prairies has started about a month earlier than normal with the warm weather and mega tractors and tillage equipment dot the horizon once you leave the city. In the last few days alone, the tired, brown ground has become lush and green following some rain showers. I say some showers as this is the first rain we have seen since the Fall (really odd for an Irish person to utter those words).

I also had the chance to head down to visit our southern cousins in Fargo, North Dakota. Having only ever heard of Fargo as in the film, I was keen to see the place for itself and although we didn’t have time to do any sightseeing on this trip I think a return trip is in order, especially as it is on the road to Chicago with the latter only a day’s drive. I see a road trip to the Windy City on the cards this summer for sure.

It also dawned on me the other day that at the end of May, I will have been living in Canada for five years. The realisation came as a bit of a shock and I can’t quite believe what started out as a one year appointment has turned into a career here. I would never have thought in a million years that I would be here this long and like many people took a position in the thought that it would be a short-term stay to garner job experience and see a bit of the world following a post-grad. I really can’t say enough how lucky I have been with the wonderful opportunities afforded to me, both professionally and personally. It has been a blast though like everyone else, it is a little sad at times to be missing out on things that are going on at home. Thankfully, Canadians are a friendly lot and Poutine is a quite delicious consolation treat so lots of benefits to this home away from home.