Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Snow art

When I woke up this morning, the snow that fell on the mountain last night was still clinging to every branch and twig in the forest. I love it when it looks like this. It never lasts long, especially when the snow is as light and fluffy as this one was. But for a few minutes or an hour, every tiny surface is outlined in white.

Often, it doesn’t even take a breeze, not even the barest hint of a breeze, to knock the snow off the surfaces. This morning as I was walking Dog, the air was as still as could be, yet clumps of snow still fell onto us. Even as light as the snow is, gravity soon wins. A snowflake will shift position, and all the other snowflakes on that twig will lose their balance and fall in a clump to the ground.

I even found a snowsnake—at least that’s what I call them. When the snow clings to a branch and then slowly starts to fall, for a little while it can twist into interesting shapes. Sometimes the snowsnake will freeze in place and last for a little while, but that’s not very common. In a way, this one reminds me of one of those balloon horses, more than a snake.

So the mountain is snow-covered again and will likely remain so for a while. This snow will compress before long—gravity again, even when the temperature stays below freezing and the sun doesn’t come out. The main reason the mountain is liable to stay snow-covered, though, is because of another storm heading this way for Friday. That one looks like it might go a foot or so. I’ve got the snowshoes ready for that one.


Cathy said...

Great pictures. it was pretty out today, a tab more sun would been helpful. Only got two inches but enough to goof up the school day. Up here they had a two hour delay opening.

I kinda hope we don't get a foot of snow. 5 is plenty!!

Wanda said...

The snow has given us some beautiful scenes this winter too.
We don't have any at the moment, but expect some by Friday too!

squirrel said...

snowsnake...what a wonderful name for that. I saw one earlier this week and took a photo but that name never occured to me. Thanks.