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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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.

winter-trees-on-the-hill-7d15809_staatsThe temperature dropped and winter came back to Minnesota during the past mid-week.  The blue skies and hope of spring were delayed and side tracked by a fast-moving front that dropped snow and brought back winter’s cold winds.  The gray sky that accompanied this snow seemed gloomier than usual, perhaps because of the desire for spring.  But as I wandered the hills, listening to the rattling of the oak leaves in the wind, I saw a brief opening in the clouds – just long enough for a shaft of light to come through and give hope again for an eventual departure of winter.

snow-dusted-hydrangea_staats-15369Last weekend’s snow disappeared with the rain that followed for a few days.  Once again our ground was visible, and winter seemed far away.   But the snow started falling again last night, and by this morning we had six inches of fluffy white snow on the ground and the trees.  There was no wind, so the snow stayed where it fell, gracing the branches and trees.  This delicate hydrangea bloom was a recipient of the dusting, and it seemed to sparkle with the flakes scattered over its blossoms.  The temperatures have been below freezing the last few days and the lakes are icing over.  This afternoon I saw a large skein of Canada geese heading southward.  They were much higher in the air today as they continued past their usual stops in our area, knowing that they must continue further south to find open water.  And there was a noticeable stillness in the air tonight; a nearly full moon shone down as the snow glistened in its light absorbing the sounds as we quickly move into the winter season.