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Archive for February 5th, 2006

White, White, White Snow

Sunday, February 5th, 2006

snowy day in LansingWe have had extra-warm weather the last week or so in Lansing, temps above freezing a substantial amount, fog and rain. There has been no sighting of the sun in days and days. Everyone seems to agree that warm is good but lack of sun makes it less than ideal.

Well, it turned cold yesterday. When I left the house it was raining, and by the time I got home several hours later, we had wet, sticky snow accumulating rather quickly.

I must admit that there are good things about this sort of snow. Sticky snow doesn’t blow much (they predicted blowing and drifting, but in the wee hours it was still too warm for that). It is absolutely beautiful the way it sticks to the trees and the fences. It reflects a LOT of light, which gives the impression it may be sunny (it is not, there is still a fully-white sky… but it’s brighter outside than it has been in perhaps over a week).

It is also the perfect snow for playing in, if you are a kid. This snow sculpts well, makes snowballs, snow forts, snowmen, snow angels. I expect we will have a neighborhood full of amateur-created sculptures in front yards, in a matter of hours!

Snow also makes everything quieter. In a city neighborhood, this is a wonderful benefit. Last night I had to go out to the car to bring in a package I’d forgotten. The world was mostly asleep, and the snow made the world very still and quiet. I enjoyed that short time of silence.

On the down side, if the sticky snow builds up too much on trees and is too heavy and wet, branches can fall on power lines and cause disruptions in our electricity (or phones, for that matter). This city is very beautiful in summer with all the green trees, but that can be a problem with wet snow or an ice storm.

Here is a photo taken out the window of my office, about two yards/meters from the desk where I sit most of the time I’m at home. (Other people knit in easy chairs or on a couch, I knit at my computer desk while reading blogs… that is, when I knit at home at all.) The house straight ahead is Helen’s house… Helen is a feisty elderly woman who is an amazing gardener. The house at right is my friend April’s house. All three of our houses are painted white, as are the three houses in a row beyond Helen’s home, and about three-quarters of the houses across the street to the left in the photo.

My friends, there is no ColorJoy in the view out my window today. I even clarified the color in this digital photo. You can see, perhaps, that Helen’s home is more yellow and the sky is more blue? Trees start to look colorful in wet weather, anyway… gray-green and reddish-brown bark become more obviously their own colors when there is nothing else competing.

Yet today I’m thankful for the light in the sky, color or no color. It is not exactly the sun, but it is significantly brighter than recent days. I think the clouds are thinner today… I can even occasionally see where the sun is up there, trying valiently to peek through.