Snow is not necessarily my first love. However, from November’s first tentative flakes which are usually followed by the season’s first full-fledged blizzard, to that sneaky quiet midnight assault of eight new inches of the white stuff; I do admit to fondly recalling my youthful enthusiasm about the coming of winter. As a Times-News paperboy, I remember Sundays when I was greeted by the unshoveled, half-darkness of my scheduled early morning paper deliveries. I would never dare
complain to Dad, as the only comment he would give me would be, “Hey, kid you wanted that blasted paper route; not me.” But once out the door and delivering the 230 or so papers, it was really quite fun. This was a fact that I never let Dad quite realize.
Snow does give us a new world. It gives us time to contemplate as we gaze out the windows at it from the comfort of a family room where a roaring fireplace is toasting our feet. Snow bestows silence upon us. There is nothing as quiet (and beautiful) as a morning or late evening walk on Presque Isle after one of the quiet and sneaky snow storms that wander down the lakeshore. Surrounded by the cleanliness of fresh snow, people usually seem more optimistic than before; the stains of the land have just disappeared and now all is uniform, sharp in its monochromic look.
A snow-filled day is one that many of us dread. Perhaps this is because the biting cold weather and damp air tends to cause many of us to hibernate in our homes. But a snowy winter’s day can be a
wonderful break from the ordinary. There is nothing quite as delightful as meandering on Presque Isle on a late winter’s morning or afternoon. The air is crisp and bracing, carrying the sweet smell of nature on its gentle breezes. Trees are bare with black branches hauntingly silhouetted against a deep blue sky, or melting into a deep red Presque Isle sunset. A bright red Cardinal hops from snow crusted bush to snow crusted bush, softly chirping a tuneful song as he darts around the branches.
I remember as a child there was nothing better on a winter’s morning than waking up and finding school had been canceled due to heavy snow, and the rest of the day was mine to do as I please. As I have grown older, I have similar reactions but lean toward just reading a book or maybe catching up on some extra sleep or going for a leisurely walk. Can you tell I’m somewhat retired? Well, one-day-a week at the office still counts as a job.
I love to walk on Presque Isle, but truth be known, prefer to walk alone or with just one other person. I meander; power walking is not for me. I want to enjoy nature not run through it. As I wander about the park, I love the secluded trails. It is as though nature and I become as one. Patches of pure white windblown snow decorate the ground in unusual places and my boots crunch into their depths as I pass. Oops, there goes a Red Squirrel racing out ahead of me. He scurries up the trunk of a proud oak tree; its winding roots entrenched into the sandy soil that it has sat in for many bygone years. The world here looks fresh, smooth and unused. The nearly complete silence of a winter’s walk whether on Presque Isle, Asbury Woods or any other place away from the clatter of the city can be wonderful. I love to listen to the actual sounds of nothing other than the birds and wind.
Snow and winter also brings me a time of my best writing. It seems to be the only time of year that I can escape just enough to give my writing the time and focus it really deserves. I truly love sitting in our family room with coffee or hot chocolate and reading, researching and/or writing while gazing out our huge back windows as snow floats down. This to me is the quiet, solitude and peace I need to fill a sheet of paper with something that might just make some sense to anyone stumbling onto my reflections. Add a small dose of music to the creative mix, and the results always seem to improve.
I was thinking as I write this blog about the effects of global warming on our snowfall. Should I worry about global warming ending our snowy winters? Fortunately, despite worries about our warming planet, no one is predicting the end of snow anytime soon. In fact, some colder places will actually see more snow because warmer air can carry more moisture. I sure hope this is true. A serious change in the total snowfall could have some pretty adverse effects on the world as we know it. For example, the snowpack of the west is how we store water for the summer for half the United States; and its disappearing. This means less summer water for cities, agriculture and more chance of wildfires and serious changes in our ecosystems. Just look at the water levels on Presque Isle if you want to see what a loss of rain and snow can do.
As I said when I started this blog, snow is not my first love; however I do enjoy it most of the time. I just hate snow blowers, shovels and ice. My dad solved his problem by telling me that he didn’t put it in the drive, so he wasn’t going to take it away. Enjoy our snow and keep warm and dry.
Don’t forget the Thursday evening Resolution Walks on Presque Isle, it has been wonderful and very well attended each week. There are four 3-mile walks in February. Meet at the Ranger Station. There is no registration or fee involved with the walk. The walk kicks-off at 6:30 p.m. If you have not walk at night on the park, come on out and see what you are missing. Yes, dress for walking in the winter.
See you on the park!!
This post was written by admin