11/05/2009

The First Snow



Several years ago I read an interesting thriller by Peter Hoeg entitled Smilla's Sense of Snow.  It was set in Denmark and Greenland and what struck me while reading it was the many different kinds of snow that revealed clues about a murder.  I'd never really thought about different kinds of snow before, although that's odd for a Canadian who spends about five months of the year dealing with the fluffy white stuff. 
We northern climate dwellers spend an inordinate amount of time talking about the weather. And today, as the first snowfall of the season fell around us, the chatter turned to snow in all its variations. I agreed with the Treasurer who stated firmly that we all love the first snow...until we get to the age that we are the ones sent outside to shovel it. And it's true. Today it fell gently around us, and you could almost hear the jingles warming up to start the bells of Christmas!
The Operations Department Manager called today's snowfall "white rain". It took less than 5 seconds to process that it meant he wouldn't have to arrange for any snow plowing or sanding of the roads and sidewalks, because it was melting on concrete and asphalt surfaces. This kind of snow makes really good snowballs  as it sticks tightly together in your hands, and holds its shape when thrown at your friends or enemies. It's too wet for snowmen, and there isn't enough of it on the ground...which is still warm(ish) and preventing accumulation.

Tomorrow, all this snow will be gone. In time though, within weeks, there will be sugar snow, that is slippery and dangerous on the roads. Powder, which is excellent if you happen to be at a ski resort. There will be skiffs of snow, and crystal snow, and yellow snow. And there will be drifts, mounds, mountains and dumps of it.
 Ah snow.

For today, the sky was beautifully soft and grey. And we all took a private moment and watched as nature blanketed our world with her cold and beautiful duvet.

10 comments:

VioletSky said...

I do get excited about the first snowfall of the season... but you are making this sound so poetically beautiful!
I like the first shot, with a few leaves desperately clinging to their old home.

J Bar said...

The snow falls look wonderful to someone who has hardly ever seen snow.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

John Freeman said...

gotta get the snowblower out, look for the shovels, find a winter coat, mitts , toque [sock hat], and scarf, car window scrappers, made appointment to get snow tires on, etc. etc. OMG this is gonna take a while, Susan hurry up and get home
yours truly - the intrepid snow flake

Serendipity said...

How lovely! Looking at all the snow is making me wistful.

Julie said...

The image of the repeating stairs is terrific, Susan. I thought it was B&W until I saw the tip of the door at the very top.

I read that book by Peter Hoeg, too. In fact, I named one of my Jack Russell's Smila. I thought the book terrific when he was setting the scene but poor when he was solving the crime. That is, I should have closed the book half-way through. I must get it out and flick through it. There were some delightful images and descriptions of people.

We here in the southern hemisphere spend half our time talking about the weather too: hot hot is it and how much rain have we had!

Jan K. said...

It's always nice to see the first snow fall, but as far as I am concerned, december 20 is soon enough for snow. :-)

Susan said...

I was humming "Camelot" yesterday.."the snow it cannot fall until December, and must exit March the 2nd on the dot"
Julie-I agree with your take on the book...loved the beginning, hated the silly ending.

Murr Brewster said...

I read it too. It was terrific reading. When I got to the end, I discovered I had no idea what was going on. I thought that just reflected poorly on my comprehensions skills. We're 45 miles or two months away from snow here, I'd reckon.

BlossomFlowerGirl said...

Greetings from Australia.
Your photos are fascinating - the snow on the twigs and branches. And the steps too. Living in a country that doesn't have snow (except for a couple of alpine areas) I find the concept of white snow everywhere just amazing.
Cheers.
Melbourne Daily Photo

Mary said...

Ahhh...cold and beautiful duvet. You will find me here looking for snow. Not that I want a lot of it but being from the mid-atlantic states, I do miss the beauty of snow falling and that peaceful quiet with it...