Snow is supposed to be soft fluffy stuff that falls quietly in the night so you can go out with your honey and make snow angels by the light of a street lamp.
Not so this time. Not at any time last year, either. The oobleck that just started our winter was more akin to Velcro ball bearings that would not and could not be removed. It was only an inch or so in the precip gauge, most of which was ice in one form or another. My front porch, always a good gathering place for snow and only a wee bit larger than a dining room table, had 4 inches of this — I hacked at it on and off all day.
By this morning, a good quarter of an inch of straight ice had piled itself on top of the ball bearings to finish out the giggling revenge of the New England weather god (Earl). Welcome to Winter.
On the other hand…
We tend to think of snow as a soft blanket, a comforter under which anything and everything hides to ride out the harsh winter above. But with the advent of this goo, a great change came unto the landscape that not only made the world anew but made the invisible, visible, and I was made ecstatic.
I saw the scent of the deer long gone and that it had been followed by the eager dog. I saw the current in the water and the moss on the tree, rimmed in ice. I saw the strong white line of the fallen tree across the bog, hitherto so insignificant. I was drawn into the garden by the skeleton of the lovage blossom whose seeds are in a drawer in my kitchen waiting to jump into a pot of soup. Few know the magic of this herb but Attie Kruls, who was hip to its secrets, grew it outside of her door and had a special name for it — and so the Velcro ball bearings also brought me my mother.
A close-up of the snow revealed that each ball bearing had its own personal quill, a quirky shape indeed. One I would recommend to engineers for tenacity, fastening, and conjuring.
Check out the photos, and while you’re at it marvel at the color scheme thus created.