Displaying items by tag: snow
November 11th, and the season's first snow is falling in Woodstock.
It seems early this year, but I suppose that is just a function of my age and the general acceleration of time that occurs with each year that passes.
Wasn’t I happily gathering seed in my garden just yesterday? Well, yes, I was!
Looking out the window, I see the Arrowwood viburnum bushes still holding their golden and deep red leaves, but the hazelnuts are nearly bare already.
The bur oaks have lost their leaves, but the white oaks are holding onto theirs as they do some years. (They will drop them in the spring when the leaf buds begin to open, but decided to keep them this winter – just in case.)
While most of the native perennials are now dried and brown, many of the asters and goldenrods are still green. And didn’t I see a purple bloom on a New England aster last week?
The first snow is somehow magical and sobering. For me, it is a reminder of my youth – making snow angels and building snowmen during snow days when school was closed. But it is also a glimpse of things to come as we adults prepare for the cold, snow and ice that we know will arrive over the next few months.
More than anything, however, the first snow is a time for me to stop and reflect. A time to remind myself to slow down. A time to remember to appreciate each season and the beauty it has to offer. A time to read a good book while drinking a hot cider with a warm cat on my lap.
When first married, my husband and I moved to Vermont from Chicago, motivated by our image of that state as a beautiful, rural paradise – the antithesis of gritty Chicago where our car got broken into every few weeks. We thought Vermont would be a great adventure. Turns out “adventure” wasn’t quite the right word.
Our moving date was in early November, and after we arrived, it was at least 30 days until we saw the sun. Our trusty VW Rabbit had a stick-shift – which had not been a problem in Chicago where the landscape is fairly level. But, in Vermont, we couldn’t even get in or out of our neighborhood without going up and down a couple of hills. On streets covered in snow and ice.
We expected that having grown up with Chicago winters would prepare us for anything, but we were wrong. The sheer volume of snow that fell in and around Burlington, and the absence of sunshine for weeks at a time, made that first winter pretty tough.
Add to the mix the fact that we were newlyweds in a new place without friends and without jobs (we each found something by January), and that meant we spent a lot of time in our apartment that winter – reading, playing cards, questioning the wisdom of our cross-country move…
That first winter was also when we heard about “Snowflake” Bentley – the man who first observed that no two snowflakes are alike. In 1885, Wilson A. “Snowflake” Bentley, a farmer and resident of Jericho, Vermont,