Conditions: Winds and snow subsiding overnight. Total expected
accumulation: 24 inches.
One of my favorite essays is "Afloat on Snow" by Robert Kimber. There, he talks about the leveling effects of winter weather--the way a good snowfall can blanket the landscape, smoothing out its contours and making previously unaccessible places navigable by skis and snowshoes.
The area around our house can be a trecherous bogland of cedar most of the year, so Kimber's idea appeals to us greatly. We love our snowshoe expeditions deep into the heart of the woods, where you never know what a clever canine naturalist might find.
In the past 24 hours, we've received about 20 inches of snow. So today seemed as good a day as any to test out Kimber's theory. Ari and I set out with snowshoes, ski-poles, and a pocketful biscuits to see what this most recent blanketing has brought us.
Our adventure began with the traditional happy snow dance:
Once that was done (or at least the taller of the two of us decided it was done), we put on our investigatory hats. There was a lot to see, like our neighbor's mailbox, which had definitely been blanketed--to the point, in fact, that it was barely identifiable as a mailbox at all.
Much about the landscape, in fact, had changed entirely. These otherwise familiar pine trees furled under the weight of this storm, becoming foreign entities in the forest.
And that got us thinking.
If you can be afloat on snow, you can also sink within it. For every bobbing surfer up top, there's bound to be bottom dwellers and schools of swimming creatures deep below the surface, right?
Apparently so. And at least one of those winter flounders has four legs and a tail.