It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
Sunday, February 15, 2009
A Magic Friday Morning
On Friday morning we woke up to heavy rain and it was very cold. It got darker and darker outside until we had to turn on the lights inside the house. The lights flickered a few times and went out, but came back on right away. We turned on the local radio to see what was going on. It seems the whole county was having a really bad day.
You see, when we get ice or snow below the 2000 ft. level, the whole county shuts down. We Californians are kind of use to sunshine ( I'm sure you've seen the ads for MILK and the "happy California Cows" who run from clouds and speak with french accents.) A little ice on the roads can send us into a panic and SNOW is ,well..., a major event.
The radio was telling us that school was closed because the buses couldn't get "up country" to pick up children and all the major highways were closed because of accidents. They said that it was SNOWING in town and no one should drive around if they didn't have to.
I was expecting a friend, from Sacramento, to arrive for the weekend. I called her, but got no answer. I left a message saying that the weather was so bad she probably shouldn't drive up here. I was feeling very disappointed about this when I looked out the window and saw that it had started to SNOW.
Grabbing my trusty Nikon, I threw on a coat and went outside. This is what it looked like. Now, I don't want all of you folks back in the mid-west and east to laugh , but these pictures of snow, here, in the California foothills, are a BIG DEAL.
You need to understand, first, that I love SNOW. I have always loved SNOW and every winter for the past few years I have been down in the Bay Area when it snowed here. I have missed two or three "snow storms" because I was gone and the prospector would take pictures for me so I wouldn't feel so bad. So, this year I was here..., and it was wonderful.
Look at this! Isn't it just the loveliest frozen stuff you ever saw. (click on pictures for larger view) It makes everything so beautiful and tells you that it's Winter. This is what Winter should be like. Not dry , lifeless and dull. Not brown and warm. Winter should be cold enough to take your breath away when you walk out the door. It should show you who's boss and remind you that life needs to go dormant before it can bloom again. Winter should sparkle, and on Friday morning it did just that.
Two hours later most of the snow was gone. My friend arrived before lunch and said she had no trouble driving up here. She said that she saw some snow but no accidents and that there was more snow in some of the small towns she drove through than here. I'm so glad that she got here.
Well, I'm sure the children of this county didn't mind one bit that school was canceled. In our typical over-reaction to bad weather here, we probably gave a few folks an extra day off from their jobs and that's not a bad thing. If this rainy, windy, lots of snow in the mountains February keeps dumping on us for a while, the reservoirs will fill up and we won't have to ration water next summer. Maybe there will be less fires around the state. This would be what Martha Stewart calls A GOOD THING.