Tom Stock

Poet, Essayist, Photographer, Naturalist

First Snow Shower of Late Fall: December 14th 2017

The first three inches of light, dry powder fell last night.

In high mountain ski country this snow is called a “dusting” It is delightful to ski in fresh new powder that covers warn trails. While even a light snow perks up the Channel 12 weather reporter, it slows down traffic and even cancels a few evening activities.

This snow event followed a two day blast of cold air from what meteorologists called an “Alberta Clipper.” This is a huge mass of ice-cold air that originates in central Canada and arrives from the west with 30 MPH winds. I can hear a large American Flag snapping across the street. Wind velocity equals wind hill temps.

As winds lightened, small branches swayed. The air quieted down. Snow fell slowly, flake by flake covering the sidewalks, grass, and lawn furniture. I grabbed a snow shovel that fell on the front porch and began swoop motions with bent knees to clear the sidewalks. I stopped to rest and decided to get my camera.

This is the first shovel of the season. The snow is so dry that gives way to the shovel like cotton. It is not a wet snow. It piles rather than coats with equal accumulation. I saw many opportunities to capture some of the simple forms of light and dark patterns and rhythms I came upon. These simple images represent my feelings of the beauty that is created by the snow.

While I shoveled, I heard honks in the distance. A Canada Goose formation was approaching. They were below the tree line so I focused my attention there until the lead goose popped up. This was my opportunity to take a break. This flock may be headed toward the Bergen Point Golf Course for grass. I am always delighted by the “V” formation of geese. Their honks overhead stop me every time.

Back indoors in my man cave, the room glowed with reflected light. This first snow fall is a reminder of stronger storms to come. As fall is about to transition into winter, I wait for a new door to open. I feel change knocking my door. A friend of mine uses the phrase “way will open” when we discuss changes we want to make.

This first snowfall awakens me to dust off my cross country skis and be ready for a heavier snowfall. I long to be out in the open air on the fairways of the local golf course to experience fresh cold air and hear the sound of skis sliding along.

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2 Comments

  1. Beautiful description of the first snowfall. I enjoyed this entry.

  2. Susan

    I was also out in that peaceful snow before sunrise. All I needed was a broom. Thanks for recording your experience–hope we get more snowfalls like that one. – Susan

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