This month has been odd. We’ve had some really warm weather (Freezing rain? Here? In January?) that left a lovely layer of ice on the already snow-covered roads. The ice was almost immediately covered by a big snow dump, though, and the temp dropped to a more normal negative 25 or so for a while. (It’s -22 right now. It seems we’ll be getting out of January without any -40s!) I’m not a big winter sports person, so I have not taken the opportunity to go skiing or snowshoeing or snowmobiling, but even for someone as addicted to the comfortable interior of buildings as I am, Fairbanks is undeniably beautiful under its blanket. I don’t have a lot to say today, but I wanted to share some pictures.
This is the view from my front porch. Usually when the tree branches hang that low over the path, we just shake the snow off them and they spring back out of the way. Now, there is so much weight on the upper branches, the lower ones are not going anywhere, even though we’ve knocked off most of the snow.
This is the view from the end of my driveway. All over town, the trees are bent over like this. Well, mostly the birches, cottonwoods, aspens and willows. The spruces stand straighter. Depending on my mood, these graceful curves look like frozen fireworks or poor overworked homeschool moms, weighed down by responsibility . . .
We get to drive under a snowy archway while approaching our house. The lighter stripe in the distance is a break in the clouds, just above the hills. Some days the clouds and hills are the same color, but you can tell where one ends and the other begins by the texture. The forested hills look like terry cloth; the clouds look like smooth gray wool. Other days the sky is a brilliant blue, and the play of sunlight and shadow on the snow-frosted trees is so gorgeous it makes your heart ache.
This is the path into the farm. Seed catalogues will be appearing in the mail any day now. 🙂
When I was growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, we didn’t get snow like this, and the heavy snows we did get usually melted in a few days. Snow was a blessing and a curse – a blessing for the kids who got to play in it, and might get a day off from school because of it, a curse for the adults who had to shovel it and drive in it. (I’m sure there were winter sports enthusiasts back home, as there are here, but I don’t remember knowing any!) Here, snow is just the way things are from October to April. It’s best to acknowledge that reality and observe the beauty (even if I’m observing from inside. With a cup of tea).