Saturday, December 22, 2012

First [Significant] Snow Of The Season

On Wednesday night, and into the early hours of Thursday, we had our first snow of the season.  The snow was accompanied with a blizzard warning.  I got up Thursday morning not looking forward to shoveling the drift that inevitably appears in our driveway when there is even a hint of a breeze ... and the wind howled the night before.  At first I was pleasantly surprised - only about six or seven inches of snow, easily handled by the snow blower our neighbor lends to us every year.

My pleasant surprise didn't last long, and I should have known better, when the snow turned out to be a dense, heavy, wet, icy snow.  I should have known better as the snow the day before was preceded by rain and sleet.  The blower handled most of the work but the berms of snow piled in the driveway by the snow plows was rock hard and heavy.  Despite wearing my back brace I ended up tweaking my back shoveling that icy mess.

On Friday I went out for a walk.  The snow that caused me grief the day before made everything look clean and fresh.  Before I could start walking I had to chip the snow/ice off the parking meter.  I ended up walking around 7.45 miles (12 km) through snow covered neighborhoods.  Most of the sidewalks were cleared of snow ... exposing the layer of ice below.  The walk was slow - hard to walk my normal pace when you have to take baby steps to keep from falling on the ice.

Part of my walking route took me along the Field Club trail, a former railroad right-of-way that stretches 1.7 miles (2.7 km) from Vinton on the south to Leavenworth on the north.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was also cleared of snow.  Part of this trail is lined with trees that were snow covered.  This part of the walk revived my opinion of snow, an opinion that had taken a hit the day before while shoveling.

The sun through the snow covered trees on the Field Club trail.
I have to admit I have a love hate relationship with snow.  I wait for it with anticipation every winter and then, when it finally arrives, I am irritated that it's hard to walk on the icy sidewalks and the cold keeps me from riding my bike (it was 8°F (-13°C) yesterday morning).  But then I see scenes like the pictures above and below, when I'm not staring at the ground watching for icy patches, and I forget all my irritation and marvel at the pristine beauty of winter.

The icy Field Club trail lined by snow covered trees.

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