Saturday, January 16, 2010

Beautiful Snow

We are in the midst of a truly, old-fashioned Nebraska winter. We have had several days of fog which only adds to the beauty by frosting the trees and turning the landscape into a Winter Wonderland.
You can see the beauty of the pine branch and the blur of the fog and snow behind it.

I thought our little girls might like to see Grandma's slide on the swing set. The snow doesn't look particularly deep here, but you can see everything covered in white.

This picture was taken straight out the car window on my way to Wal-mart on 98th street north of Saltillo. The plow made only a single path through the snow and the snow is piled deep, close on each side. I would have loved to ride on the snow plow as they cut through some of the deep drifts. Even though we've had some warmer days with some melting this week, the snow is still 8-9" deep in our front yard.
These days have reminded me of all the good snow stories I've read. I think first of Laura Ingalls Wilder's The Long Winter, a classic prairie snow story. More recently, I read No Time on My Hands, by Grace Snyder who lived through many a rough winter in the Sandhills from the 1850's to the 1950's. (Just after that book I read The Snowball, a biography of Warren Buffet, but, no, it has nothing to do with Nebraska winters!) And, I noticed another, long-forgotten book on my shelf--Winter Thunder by Mari Sandoz, another Nebraska author. It is the courageous story of a young teacher and 16-year-old bus driver who survived with seven children in a 1949 blizzard when their bus tipped over in the snow and burned. I think it is a fictional account, but based on a story of the author's niece.
And, poetry, too, comes to mind. What about Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," as well as his "Dust of Snow"? "Snow-Bound" by John Greenleaf Whittier, is the poet's simple observations of his family members as they amused themselves while snowed in. Although more about fog than snow, I'm reminded of Sandburg's "The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on." We have certainly had fog, but it sits looking and does not move on!
Rachel Field in her "Snow in the City," says "Snow is out of fashion, But it still comes down, To whiten all the buildings In our town; . . . And not a million people, Not one of them at all, Can do a thing about the snow But let it fall!" Isn't that the truth?
One last poem for my little girls: "Snowflakes" by Marchette Chute: I once thought that snowflakes were feathers And that they came falling down When the Moon Lady feathered her chickens And shook out her silver gown. And then I began to look closer, And now I know just what they are--I caught one today in my mitten, And there was a baby star."
One of my students this week remarked on the extra bonding time his family had over Christmas vacation. I said, "Yes, some families probably had more bonding than they wanted." But, he replied, "No, we really enjoyed it." I thought that was good coming from a high school boy. I'm proud of him and applaud his family for using the snow to good advantage.
Have a great day!


Susan said...

OH how wonderful to get all the references to SNOW! I will have to start reading some of these that I am not familiar with. Our snow is pretty much melted now, after a couple warm days. I wish we would get more. I do REALLY LOVE snow, almost more than I like tropical reefs (my other most favorite natural occurrence) I think often about all the snow I remember from growing up in Nebraska. Thanks for the post!

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