Don’t get me wrong … I enjoy a beautiful snowy day as much as the next person. Give me a crackling fire, be it fireplace or wood stove, a hot cup of coffee or cocoa and a big picture window looking out on a snowy landscape and I can be utterly at peace. Add a spinning wheel and it’s Heaven!
Usually. Well, OK … early in winter, I enjoy a good snowfall. Face it – Christmas in Alaska SHOULD be white and snowy, right? And one pretty much expects January and February to be cold, with snow-laden tree branches and icy walkways. It’s winter – might as well enjoy the beauty that comes with the cold.
But … it’s MARCH now. My expectations have changed. Tomorrow is Daylight Savings – we turn our clocks forward tonight and get more evening daylight! I am eagerly envisioning spring, even though, obviously, Mother Nature is unwilling to concede the winter playing field just yet.
Still, I have to admit, the snowfall today has been lovely. Tree branches, in naked shades of brown and gray, stand as proud sentinels above mounds of white-shrouded brush and ground-cover. With no wind at the moment, each branch, from thigh-thick birch branch to the most delicate willow twig, is edged with a layer of pillow-soft snow. Each little fork between branches has a “V” of white, softening the stark outline of the trees and leaving the entire picture slightly out of focus. Pluffs of snow shower down to the forest floor periodically, displaced by a squirrel or bird.
For now, spring seems quite a ways off. I awoke this morning to single digits and a fairly heavy, fluffy snowfall, blurring the view from my bedroom window. Dawn held a pale pink glow through the trees, but just a shadow of its usual brightness. The crust of snow atop the deck railing was several inches higher than it had been last night, confirming it had been coming down for a while.
On a happier note; as I sipped my morning coffee, I was gifted with a visual treat. Through the falling snow, out over the glistening white pasture east of our house, my eyes caught movement. I held my breath as the dark wings of a bald eagle swooped low over the frigid ground; glistening, nearly black wings gliding in bright contrast against pale gray sky and falling snow. It drifted by my second story window, not more than a hundred feet away, disappearing again with one slow, powerful flap of wing. What a way to start my day!
Snow doesn’t usually interfere with errands or play dates in Alaska. Time to hit the road! After clearing several inches of snow from the car, I headed off at noon with my younger Dachshund, Rhonda, for Barn Hunt practice. We had a fun afternoon chasing rats (don’t worry – the rats are safely and securely enclosed in strong plastic tubes, much to Ronni’s disappointment), after which Ronni was happy to nap in the car while I picked up mail and made a quick stop at the store before heading home.
It’s late afternoon now, with temps in the low 20s. The snow is still falling, but lighter, sifting from the sky like powdered sugar, coating all surfaces equally. Standing outside in a waterproof jacket, waiting for the dogs to finish up their “business”, I enjoyed the sound of the tiny, fast-falling pellets bouncing off my coat. I wouldn’t describe them as snowflakes right now. More like Styrofoam beads.
I remember my childhood in southern California; seeing Christmas displays at the local stores and thinking, “How completely FAKE that looks! Snow doesn’t look like Styrofoam beads!” Well …. yes, sometimes it does. Who knew?