Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Winter Textures

This year I am discovering an appreciation for the textures of the winter season.  Yesterday the temperatures took a sudden jump up after being unseasonably cold for a couple of weeks.  

The morning frost in the tree branches looked and felt like soft, cold, ostrich feathers when I went out and ran my hand along one of the limbs.

The warmer air brought a tiny bit of rain in the morning that froze on the car windshield in hard bullets and then melted an hour later, leaving cold rivulets of moisture running down the window.  Splash from a passing vehicle made the door handle of the car feel like grimy fuzz when I pulled on it to open the door.

As the freezing rain came down it quickly became mixed with pellets of snow.  The pellets froze on the warm sidewalks, spalling up as I walked along the downtown streets.  It made a satisfying crunching sound when the sole of my boots pushed it down and yet it felt soft and sticky....enough to keep my feet from slipping.

This morning the ice on the sidewalks outside the house is rather thick with a combination of hard snow pellets and ice beneath that is slowly becoming slushy. When I took the garbage bin to the curb I could feel again that crunch under my boots with the soft ice underneath.  I put my hand down to touch the surface I was walking on.  The hard pellets pushing up through the softer ice felt jagged and cold while the ice underneath was mushing up and holding a bit of heat from warm pavement.  

The piles of snow along the edge of the lawn have hardened on top after being melty and soft yesterday.  I can stand on top of some of them without falling through into the soft snow beneath.

We are having a warming trend predicted for the week with temperatures slightly above 0C for several days.  It will leave the highways in a mess as the wind rises to usher in the warmer air.....huge drifts, icy patches, blowing snow, slush and mush.  I am grateful the day my husband next has to drive to his other church it is to be a nice day with lots of melt and the blowing snow at an end...at least that is the forecast for now.

While I have joined the rest of the townsfolk is wishing that the Alberta chinook winds would say on their own side of the border so that we don't have so much weather havoc here, today I admit to enjoying the textures of winter that those winds bring us every so often.  I suppose I am still an Alberta gal at heart: despite the problems warm winds in winter bring to our area, I am secretly glad to have those days of warmer air in the midst of the winter cold no matter what weather disasters they bring us.  They relieve me of the feeling that all winter I am waiting to exhale.

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