Last weekend, in the early hours of Saturday morn, the good people of Mukilteo were surprised with a sweet blanket of snow.
Well. Technically speaking, this event wasn't a complete surprise. Weathermen had predicted that several inches would fall some time over the weekend.
So they were essentially right on.
But in a broader sense, a Pacific Northwest snowstorm is always a wonderment. We just don't get many of them, and have no right to expect them. So when the Red Sea parts, and the flakes begin to flurry, we all go a bit gaga with the excitement.
^ The frosty frenzy is not limited to just the humans. My three cats and one dog were beside themselves with enthusiasm for the white stuff, parading in and out of doors all day long like a pack of furry toddlers. Ranger was especially full of mischief, barking and prancing around the backyard like King David surveying his frozen kingdom.
^ I daresay that, as usual, I was filled with the same sense of wonder and majesty, breathless to see the magical way that the ordinary world is transformed by white. Blanketed in snow, my ordinary roof seemed a sister to the heavenly white clouds.
^ Our well-trodden daily route, though worn to a slush by the day's foot traffic, seemed almost unrecognizable in its winter white. I never noticed how beautifully mossy the fences had become.
^ Underfoot, autumn's last few leaves lay scattered across the snowy landscape. Without a doubt, the storm's winds tore them from the trees and tumbled them across the drifts until they finally came to rest here, a testament to the abrupt change in seasons.
^ The snow traces out the limbs of each tree, highlighting their lines and lacy boughs, turning the ubiquitous evergreen blobs into delicate sculpture.
^ And the view upward, of snow-covered fir limbs against brilliant blue sky, held a fragile beauty that even our glorious summer skies cannot touch.
^ Despite its poetic value, we all know that the best part about snow is playing in it. I grew up as a hardcore winter kid, spending countless hours outside in the cold with my sleds and ice skates.
So it always does my heart good to see some young 'uns out with their saucers, making the most of every available icy incline.
^ And speaking of young 'uns making the most of the day, this happened.
^ And this.
Notice the fully extended leash. One nanosecond after I took this shot, thereby slowing our pace for the umpteenth time of the day, patient ol' Ranger looked back at me with a pleading glance, as if to say, "Could you put away that camera and hustle it up? There are so many delicious new scents to smell!"
^ And so many lovely sights to see. More splashes of autumn color under the fresh snow, both on the trees...
^ and along the ground.
How snow can make even trodden leaves on a dirty asphalt drive come across as a lyrical study in contrasts, I will never know. But somehow, it does.
^ And look what a little snow does to my secret place. The symmetrical evergreens and feathery bare branches are dreamy in their fresh blanket of white, as the solid geometry of the building shelters the little forest from the brunt of the storm.. I kinda wanted to hug that maple tree but could not bring myself to spoil the scene with my footprints. So I blew it a kiss instead.
^ We got home just in time to catch a glimpse of the sunset from my back door. Although the mostly clear western skies signaled that this storm was surely over, they also foretold of below-freezing temperatures that would keep our snow fresh and crisp for several more glorious days on end.
And that has been yet another lovely snowy surprise.
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I'm grateful to live in a place where the weather is rich and varied, bringing miracles and delight into the simplest details of everyday life. And I'm thankful that I have eyes to see them.
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My very first post to this blog, written almost three years ago, was an attempt to capture this same transforming beauty of snow. It does my heart good to look back and see what has changed since that time, and what has remained the same.
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Read more about what I'm thankful for: