Twenty-four hours after my last post discussing season change, the season changed. Thump, just like that.
We're accustomed to early snows that don't amount to much and disappear quickly. This one was only 4-5 inches, but it was heavy and wet, and bowed over all the trees from the weight of white coating. We worried about power outages -- some leaves were still up, and this is the condition that snaps branches and karate-chops wires -- but nothing happened. What a relief! The longest power outage we've ever suffered was an October storm some years ago that left us juice-free for five days.
This time, it melted away within twenty-four hours.
Same thing happened a few days later. Another 4 inches of wet snow, no biggy for us but it walloped southern New England, which was still in full foliage. Tore down trees by the acre and left that heavily populated urban/suburban area out of power for a week or more! We felt for them, having recently endured the effects of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene. But our life went on as normal, for which we were grateful.
And then it melted off yet again, restoring clement conditions that allowed a final race against the calendar to get outdoor work done before getting snowed in for good. That finally happened with an 8-inch snow dump this week -- again, wet and heavy -- but this time not melting off. Sun came back strong but temperatures didn't follow. What's underneath the snow now will stay there until April. Or May . . . however long it lasts.
I suppose that's appropriate, given that we're now into December. It's rare to go snow-free this late into the year. We're now in full heating season and the longest hours of darkness, wearing parkas and boots and hats and gloves, mounting snow tires, scraping off cars.
It's the time of year when I begin my countdown. Only eleven more days 'til solstice, when the sun resumes its northward path and light starts returning to the land.