Friday, March 6, 2015

Snow, and more Snow

I have lived in Colorado. In fact Vail and Aspen. I know snow. I will never forget my last winter in Denver. They had a mayor who believed plowing the roads encouraged the storms. Besides it would melt come spring.  It began snowing on the week before Halloween and continued to snow through Memorial Day. We seriously never saw the curbs on our street. In June when the snow finally melted there were chuck holes big enough to bury a Volkswagen in. I know because our neighbor did. The doors would not open so we all devised a plan to get him out through a window.

Colorado has winter.

New Mexico pretends to have winter. Sometimes we are better at pretending than others. Like the last ten days. But I am informed that our total snowfall in that period of time was less than 40 inches. In part that was because it was a spring snow and some of the flakes melted upon landing.  Still it was nothing close to the 86 inches in Boston. Now that is winter. I only had my driveway plowed once in that period. But then like many of the full time residents I have a 4x4 vehicle; a real one with 4 wheel low and large studded snow tires. But last winter I drove a Corolla without snow tires all winter long. Note: I lived in Colorado and know how to drive in snow.

My half-hearted joke this fall was I wanted the snowline to be 250 feet above my house. I live at 8500 and the base of the ski area is 8750. I figured we could both be happy. I would get rain and they would get snow.

Boston does not use its snow. We do. It isn't hauled away to the Boston harbor and dumped. We let it melt into the thirsty ground. The problem is not how much snow falls but how little of what it lands on is absorbent. Asphalt and concrete are not absorbent. And our snow is pretty. And it stays pretty. Well, until mud and flood season, which may be this weekend.

The sun came out and stayed out all day yesterday. Possible snow does not creep back into our forecast until Sunday. Most of what is on the ground  will be gone by then. As soon as snow was out of the forecast yesterday I ran over the mountain to replenish supplies. I live in a tourist town (been there before - see paragraph one) and what the stores stock are tourist supplies (pizza and beer and bottled water). Us locals need real things like prescriptions filled and pet food and organic edibles. I do not buy bottled water. I am on a well.

Our pretend winter is likely not over. We can get some heavy spring snows. But they are usually here today and gone tomorrow. And each day of snow is separated by one or more days of sunshine. That was the one thing about this storm of the century -- it just snowed for almost ten straight days. None of us are going to turn away moisture in any form. It has been a four year drought. It would be nice to have that over.


  1. Holy Moses that is altitude! 8500 is too high for my taste but your air must be delicious. We are at 660. Oh wait, that is meters. Much lower anyway. Glad you had some moisture. We need some. What snow we had fell in a few huge dumps early on.

    1. I think we have roughly the same climate because every 75 miles north is equal to 100 feet in altitude as far as climat zone is concerned. I am just a lot further from the sea. But the air is very clean as is the water because we get it first.


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