Blizzard !


“Historic Blizzard” already starting to lay fresh powder on top of the remnants of the storm of a few days ago.  I’m somewhat jaded _ it seems that “historic” means anything that 25 to 30 year old meteorologists cannot personally remember.   But a few feet is very inconvenient for everyone and dangerous for some, and an old retired gent who can sit at home and watch the world turn white has no right to comment on such things.

My guess is that ten years from now, this will not be remembered.  With global warming the various storms and precipitation patterns are inevitably growing more intense.  If I were a betting man, I’d probably predict “historic” weather events almost every year, each dwarfing in magnitude what we all used to consider normal back in the good old days of the 1950’s.

Early preliminary to major snowfall, wind picking up, moderate flakes off and on blurring the horizon.  After dark, the wind picked up and this morning about 15 inches on the ground.  Nothing too spectacular, as indicated by the second picture. 

Some claim this shows the power of nature.  500 years ago, the power of nature had already winnowed local tribes to the hardiest young, and a storm like this would lead to death by freezing and starvation.  300 years ago, early settlers would be trapped in cabins for long periods, also worried about cold and hunger.  150 years ago, the farming community would be relatively safe, but necessary outdoor tasks still risked mortal danger and frostbite.  Today  we worry overly about missing a few comforts _ instant transportation, power and connectivity _ as if they were of the same degree.  Nature has lost its bite in most of these local events, but may be avenging itself more long term with warming beginning to destroy the biosphere as we know it.

Nowadays, being snowbound is a romantic state of mind.  Just about anyone can get out of anywhere _ even if it takes a helicopter _ if necessary.  Yet it can be a pleasant illusion for those with the necessary time.  Deep snow, frigid cold, harsh wind, long thick icicles _ things people are unlikely to find in a future of underground malls or interstellar spacecraft. 

I get just as much caught up in the cultural moods as anyone else.  There is always an edge of disaster, a rush of newness, hopes and fears and jumbles of experiences overloading each day.  Even meditative moments have trouble quelling the tide.  Sometimes nature can help slow me down a little, and this is such a moment.
Thu –

Not much to say about an expanse of snow.  Nothing very dramatic.  Warming ocean waters still resist any kind of permanent freeze in spite of low temperatures for the last few weeks.

I make myself go out and walk around a little, although my toes chill even through three pairs of socks.  What stops me from normal activity in the winter is not the cold, but the lack of shoulder on the roads.  It’s hard enough watching out for my own missteps, but sharing a narrowed icy road with maniacs who must get somewhere can be suicidal.

Light snow has covered the world in beauty.  Softly luminous light envelops harmonious whites and greys tinged with soft brown, accented by peeks of dark green.  Flakes continue to fall, there is no time but now, nothing to do but enjoy the show.

I sit quietly in contemplation sipping coffee, adjusting my mood to match the scenery.  Not difficult for me today, I am fortunate in having nothing of the jangling outside world intruding on my peaceful solitude.  A lovely blessing this morning, something to truly appreciate and be thankful for.


For all the trouble caused by a foot and a half of snow, its results are singularly unimpressive along the shoreline.  Wind and cold are far more brutal than slush and the remnants of ice washed by tide.  Fish, I am sure, noticed nothing at all.

Beautiful scene for a modern person who need not be concerned with the trivialities of having enough to eat, a cozy place to sleep.  Were I to properly use the miracles daily provided by civilization and science, I could bask in such experience all the time.

Nobody going swimming here today.  But tonight we shall be in Florida, where at least the sand is visible.  Miracles of modern science, jet planes, even as they add to global warming.  Would us not taking this one trip a year make a difference?  I suspect not.

We go a little north of Miami, where children are as rare as unicorns.  It’s mostly grumpy older well-off people, a sprinkling of younger burn-outs, and various young-adult menials who must do wealth’s bidding.  Affection has been almost totally transferred, it seems, to dogs in various shapes and sizes.  For me, an excursion to an exotic culture in a very strange land.


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