We recently had two snow days in a row in the Greater Vancouver area. School was cancelled in many communities in the region (which made lots of students very happy), traffic was disrupted, and people were inconvenienced. The snow-covered world was beautiful to see and photograph, though.
Snow can certainly bring problems, which are sometimes serious in situations such as traffic accidents or the isolation of people who need help. When no one is in trouble, however, exploring a snow-covered area can be magical.
In this post I share photos that I’ve taken in the last few days, quotes about snow that I like, and some notes about the joys brought by a snowy environment.
A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky unbidden and seems like a thing of wonder. (A quotation from Susan Orlean, a U.S. journalist and author)
The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? (A quotation from J.B. Priestly, a British writer who lived from 1894 to 1984)
Snow creates responses that reach right back to childhood. (A quotation from Andy Goldsworthy, a British sculptor)
The photo above shows a different creek from the first photo, although the two streams eventually join. If you look carefully, you may see three mallards in the water on the right of the photo. Two of them are males. In front of them is a female. You may also see falling snow against the darkness of the creek background. The trio of ducks didn’t seem to mind the snow.
I see a male and female mallard in the creek every February. (The link goes to a post that I wrote about these birds.) The ducks form pairs in preparation for mating. This year I saw two males and a female in the creek, which I’ve never seen there before. One of the males disappeared for a couple of days, but during the current bout of snow I discovered that he (assuming it’s the same bird) has returned. The female seems unperturbed about having two suitors. It would nice to know the outcome of the trio’s association.
There’s just something beautiful about walking in snow that nobody else has walked on. It makes you believe you’re special. (A quotation from Carol Rifka Brunt, an American writer)
Silently, like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem. (A quotation from William Hamilton Gibson, an American artist, writer, and naturalist who lived from 1850 to 1896)
Kindness is like snow—it beautifies everything it covers. (A quotation from Kahlil or Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese-American writer and artist who lived from 1883 to 1931)
A covering of snow can certainly be magical, as J.B. Priestly said. Fresh, untrampled snow on a path is a welcoming sight. Its presence always seems like a personal invitation offering me a chance to explore a new world. The fact that this world will soon disappear makes it especially enticing.
Familiar objects are covered by a fresh and sometimes sparkling coat of snow and items that are unattractive or rarely noticed in their ordinary lives become beautiful. New patterns are created on leaves, branches, tree trunks, and rocks as the snow collects on irregular surfaces. If the snow is heavy, a thick blanket may remove all irregularities. When a snowstorm is followed by a blue sky, the combination of white and blue can be wondrous.
One local weather forecast predicts that rain will fall today, which means the snow will gradually disappear. Another forecast has issued a snow warning. Given the frequent inaccuracy of the predictions and a temperature that is hovering above and below the freezing point, the weather situation in the near future is uncertain.
We may or may not get more snow this season. My part of the world generally has mild winters, but nature may have at least one more treat in store for us. I hope she does and that the snow is kind to people if it appears.