LOCAL VIEW —FIRST SNOW—

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(CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE)

Looking out into the morning darkness I can see light snow falling, but the waning moon shining down through thin overcast. Every branch of every tree is white, with around an inch of snow glued to the twigs, but the roads are still too warm for the snow to stick on the wet tar.

I’m sure it will be gorgeous once the sun comes up, but my initial reaction is that of an old grouch, “Yuk.”  Fortunately the kids will knock me out of that mood, once the Childcare opens.  Snow totally enchants them.

Likely the children will want to sled, even if there isn’t enough snow. I’ve seen them do a fairly decent job of sledding on what amounts to wet grass.

I’ll leave it up to the staff to decide if they want to get all the sleds out. I myself would put it off until next week. The bottoms of the sleds can get scoured and scratched sliding over wet twigs.  Also the children wouldn’t be powdered white by the snow. They would be blackened, because we burned so many leaves on the hillside. An inch of snow would turn the ashes to a sort of charcoal paste.

There is excitement among the weather geeks on the internet about some storm that may be visiting us on Monday, so the kids need not feel too dismayed and deprived.  I think they will get a surfeit of sledding, before spring, the way this winter is shaping up.

I’ll update later, and describe how it goes.

UPDATE

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The mini-nor’easter zipped, by and the rising sun was hidden by the retreating clouds to the east, yet within 45 minutes it peered smiling above those clouds, as the west unrolled a sky of perfect blue.

As I imagined, the boys simply had to sled, though only an inch of snow lay, sort of levitating over the unfrozen ground, suspended by blades of grass. I wound up the one who took them out, though I’d been planning a sonnet, matching the poetry of Japan, about snow clinging to twigs like cherry blossoms. Instead I wound up breaking up a brawl. I didn’t know boys practiced pugilism any more. They were darn good, and a part of me wanted to let them go at it, and simply sit back and watch. So much for poetic moods.  I ironically thought to myself that the fluffy snow stuck to every twig reminded me a little of laundry lint.

The sun was so bright, and the heat from the unfrozen ground so strong, that the snow was all gone by noon, except in the north-facing shadows, where it remained untouched, levitating fluff upon the shaded lawns.  The air has a completely different quality of cold.

Yes, the winter is off to a flying start. The cold wave has come down both sides of the Rocky Mountains nearly to northern California, and the storm moving along that front, colliding with those high peaks, will likely be our next test.

For many places out west this is the coldest blast of arctic air, this early in November, since records have been kept. Al Gore has some ‘splainin’ t’do.

 

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