Posts Tagged ‘snow’

It’s just before 7 am here, and as I type this a gentle snow is falling. It’s that light, fluffy stuff that leaves the world looking like one of those miniature Dickensian dioramas, all Victorian cottages and white sparkle batting. We’ve seen the first proper snow all winter this week, although the temperature has been hovering around the freezing mark, making it hard to believe that winter is really happening.

In Minnesota, we’re known for our winters. When I tell people from back home where I live now, they give me that look usually reserved for people who frequently bathe with toasters. “Isn’t it cold there?” they ask me. Most of the time, I can say yes. I have seen air temps in the -30s (F), and wind chills down to -45 or so. I have walked out on a frozen lake on a day so cold that it hurt to breathe. I nearly caught hypothermia waiting for the bus once, and sometimes the weather reports say to stay inside if you don’t absolutely have to go anywhere, because it’s so cold that you can get frostbite with only five minutes of exposure. And that’s just here in the Twin Cities – it gets worse the further north you travel. I pity the people who live in Saskatchewan; that’s a cold so mighty that I think it would drive me south. R and I are beginning to understand about Snowbirds the older we get. The thought of going somewhere warm and skipping all this winter is really tempting.

THIS winter, though, has been more Virginia than Minnesota. We’ve barely had any night temps below 0, and no daily highs below. During the coldest months of December and January, we hovered around the mid- to upper-twenties, and flirted with 40 many days. The most snow we’ve gotten has been about two inches – compare that with last December, when we were digging out from snowfalls of two feet. Although it’s snowing today, we feel like we’re heading into spring having dodged a bullet. I’m starting to prepare seed containers and think about the garden. Nothing’s poked its head up yet, but I don’t doubt that in a couple of weeks we’ll have the first green things shooting their way up from the dirt. I may be able to put in parts of the garden in April this year – usually I wait until the end of May, so the frost doesn’t kill the young plants. The days are getting longer and the world around here knows that while winter may bluster a little more, it’s on its way for the year.

We Minnesotans have a keen sense of Spring. It’s coming – I can taste it.

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