The snow started Friday night.  After 24 hours it was still coming down, whipped by the wind into whiteout conditions.  Another 12 hours later the wind had calmed somewhat and the flurries were lighter, but still coming down.  The snow was blown into drifts, and it was hanging precariously from the roof eaves.  Anywhere from 10 to 12 inches were on the ground.  As I headed out to start shoveling my eyes caught sight of the fence.  The snow was perched carefully on the railings and even filled in the horizontal line to the caps of the posts.  At the bottom the snow had drifted partway up.  Two hours of shoveling and the snow was still coming down.  Although this sort of snow is not unheard of in Minnesota in April, it is anything but spring-like, and most Minnesotans are dreaming of green grass.  Soon!

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During the past week we have had three distinct snowfalls, each one giving us plenty of opportunity to be outside.  Just as we start to grumble about winter we remind ourselves that we are exercising while shoveling, we are getting Vitamin D on those mornings when the sun is sparkling over the fresh blanket of snow, and we are seeing our neighbors more regularly as we are all outside clearing our sidewalks and drives.  For some reason my snow shoveling seems to take longer than others.  I’m stopping to see the soft drifts that are piling up, I’m watching the clouds start to dissipate as the sun burns through them, I’m marveling at the brightest of blue skies overhead, I’m hearing a call of a cardinal in between the sound of snow blowers,  and I’m noticing how the snow has settled so lightly on  some of the tree branches.  All those details only enhance my appreciation of winter and its unique beauty.

Two Harbors breakwater light 0972_StaatsYes, it is spring according to the calendar.  No, the state of Minnesota must not be subscribing to the  usual calendar this year.  As I write this, we are having our fifth straight day of snow; some days it’s been snow flurries, and a couple of days we’ve had inches of the heavy white flakes pile up again requiring snow shoveling.  Everyone is grumpy and anxious for green grass, blue sky, and temperatures higher than 40 degrees. I was hopeful when I heard and saw my first red-winged blackbird on Tuesday morning.  I’m sure he was a bit confused as we all are. With that said, I could NOT bring myself to post yet another photo with snow in it.  Instead there’s only a small bit of snow in this photo from Two Harbors.  This is the breakwater light at the entrance to the harbors.  On a warm evening, it was delightful to watch the sun set behind the clouds and hear the lap of the waters of Lake Superior as they came into the harbor.