Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Friday, November 23, 2007

Snow Bedazzles Us

It's winter. Really - quite amazing - for by the calendar winter has yet another month to arrive before fall slinks into the past for this year of 2007. Some people still haven't even raked their lawns of piles of leaves, and here we're blanketed with a thick layer of snow. It did not come tippy-toeing into the night to overwhelm us with its magical surprise come morning. It blew in, hurricane-like, launched by mighty winds that threw whatever reluctant fall leaves were left on trees into history, and lit up the night sky with its glittery presence.

We now have soft billows of snow everywhere. Covering up the previous day-and-night's desultory, yet traffic-destructive snowfall that was far heavier, wetter, and littered through with freezing rain. That was really the day that launched winter into what had been a mild fall, reminding us that reality is not yet global warming. Or if it is, it most certainly manifests its presence in mysterious ways. The mild temperatures up until now which had permitted of light jackets and barely-there gloves, have vanished.

In their place bone-chilling cold. Made all the more so by the insistent wind that heralded the change. The prospect now, looking out our windows is no longer transitional, but most definitely the cold white empire of winter. Out with the shovels, and fire up the snow throwers. Snow is serious business here in the frozen north. We search out those long warm and fuzzy socks to pull on under our serious calf-height boots with the serious treads that will not freeze rigidly in frigid temperatures.

And where only two days earlier we were swishing our way through piles of leaves in the ravine, now we plod through soft excesses of snow. Ah, the trees bend low under their burden of snow. Every branch, each twig, is abundantly covered with softly fallen snow. While the day before the temperature launched itself just below freezing and the winds saw success in mischievously dislodging clumps of snow from overhead branches onto our heads, alarming our little dog companions - not so today.

The wind has abated, the thickness of snow clings determinedly to softwood and hardwood alike; firs, pines, spruces and cedars are wondrously limned in scarce-recalled winter finery. We hear the rushing of the creek, and now can admire its presence, transformed into a thing of beauty by the presence of billowing snowfields cushioning it. At all other times of the year the creek is undistinguished, with no features worth admiring. It is nutrient-absent, and hosts few aquatic creatures. It is beset with fallen limbs, and urban detritus, its clay bottom dull.

We hear also in nearby trees the sweet song of grosbeaks, celebrating the day.

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