Backlit blowing snow 21409_StaatsDawn broke early with a fresh white snowfall.  The sun traveled upwards but the dark clouds to the east were moving in.  They seemed to curtain off the sunlight and it streamed onto the snow-covered lake.  With a sudden gust, the wind blew the resting snow off the tree branches and it cascaded to the ground, backlit by the sun.  It was momentary and it was breath taking –  all in a split second.

Advertisements

After a week or more with below freezing temperatures, we reveled in a day of 40 degrees and sunshine.  I took advantage of our “heat wave” and went for a long walk that took me through Como Park.  As I went past the lake it was wonderful to see the snow and ice patterns.  The dark areas in the photograph are clear ice, interrupted by the white snow that had been blown across the lake.  There were lots of big cracks going through the surface too.  Once we get back to our cold temperatures, the ice will continue to form….all a part of winter in Minnesota.

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!

The dawn was cold and crisp.  Although the temperatures have been above freezing during the day, they still dip into the teens and twenties at night.  The multiple inches of snow on the lake have melted and frozen many days in a row, and what snow remains is only an inch or two deep on the lake.  The sunrise was an explosion of color greeting the day, and some of those brights were reflected in a portion of snow-free ice on the lake.  I am always energized after sharing in the beauty of a dawn like this.

Soon the snow will melt, and soon it will be spring!  We enjoyed a quick vacation to Salt Lake City the past few days.  There were remnants of snow when we arrived, but the sun was warm and the temperatures climbed each day.  Being from snow-bound Minnesota, I was thrilled to see these lovely spring crocus –  fighting off the cold and the snow of winter, bravely blooming and reminding us that spring will conquer winter and we will be surrounded by color once again. Soon.

The dawn was cloudy and gray this morning.  After the first light the snow started to fall; small and delicate, the flakes floated slowly to the ground.  There wasn’t much wind, so their gracefulness was beautiful.  Within a few hours the snow stopped and the clouds cleared.  This was a direct contrast to the snowfall we had earlier in the week.  With winds up to 40 mph and snow falling at over an inch per hour, those blizzard conditions were anything but quiet and peaceful.  That snowfall accumulated to 10 inches; today’s was a light dusting.

Winter can be cold, blowing, bitter, and rough.  But there is also a uniquely delicate side to this season.  The snow can fall quietly and softly, and it can alight on the most delicate of surfaces, gracing them with its white coating.  These bee balm seed heads seemed to cup and receive the snow as it came down, holding onto it in the center.  Without the weight of a wet snow, the stems stayed upright and beautiful – proud of their place in the winter wonderland around.