Monday, January 20, 2014

How to create a (almost) painless Winter Wonderland

January is making a lot of many a goodly share of people happy in Bermtopia.

Oh hell. A LOT of people are happy there's no boot-sucking, toe-numbing crap snow on the ground. There. I said it. You know who you are.

But we are ALL well aware of what this means without snowpack in the mountains. We are fretting about drought. My date, the fly fisherman, frets about low run-off and water quality. And although I congratulate myself on, over the years, buying perennials with tags that read "Thrives on neglect. Drought tolerant." I too fret about what this will mean for the water-hungry heirloom tomatoes (and other vegetables) who reign over When Pigs Fly Farm this summer. (Fewer plants, I think.)

Nevertheless, this snow-less January has ironically managed to keep one Bermtopian demographic happy -- the "I -want-to-slap-you-upside-the-head" infernal snow optimists whose mantra is "But it's so beautiful right after it snows."

(Really? Okay. I will grant you about 45 seconds.)

And the reason for this? Hoar frost. Yep. Hoar frost. And I'm here to give hoar frost its props: It is beautiful. And not just because its presence generally means I'm not slogging through snow up to my knees with Ben in the morning.

Read the definition, but in essence, we had a round of dank, damp foggy freezing weather about a week ago that has graced us with a spectacular collection of trees and shrubs flocked with a thick, stunning frosting of ice crystals. In the dark, waning (yes, waning!) days of January, these frosted, familiar landscapes open to the paths we take with a somber, defined welcome.

But, on sunny afternoon like today, oh my. The frosted trees in the park shimmer and call to me in a dream.

Reminding me there's no snow on the ground. There's beauty in the sky. And we're ever so closer to rounding the corner to spring.  

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