December 9th, 2013


Big Chill Day Six

Going shopping today I got to see the gray snow along the roadsides. The closer one gets to the busiest parts of town, the darker the roadside snow becomes. The plowed berm along my street has barely lost its pristine whiteness, but along Safeway's driveway it is like heaped ash.

I had an errand near the lowest part of town, at an elevation some 800 feet lower than my house, and there it seemed so warm that I was tempted to remove my jacket. I didn't, of course. I recall returning to Los Angeles from a few days in San Francisco one December, and it seemed so mild that I went out in shirtsleeves and ended up with a bad cold. I learned that lesson.

But as mild as the low end of town felt compared to this end, the snow has persisted even there. The piney hillsides sported spots of it, and the open fields more, and even a few rooftops of well-insulated houses were at least partly white. On my street, every house still wears a white cap, and even my jasmine hedge is still partly hidden with mounds the leaves haven't been able to shed.

This evening the clear sky has half a moon, and even now that night has fallen the moonlight makes the snow bright. That nocturnal luminance is my favorite thing about snow. If the ice that now underlays it were not so treacherous, I'd go for a walk, but I should content myself with standing for a while on the back porch, watching the moon.

Tonight will be freezing again, and tomorrow will continue cold, but tomorrow night could stay in the mid-thirties, and Wednesday's high might reach fifty degrees. That will be the end of the really cold spell, though I'm sure there will still be some snow on the ground for several days yet. I'm not looking forward to seeing the mass of soggy mulberry leaves that will emerge from the melting snow in the front yard. Once they've been exposed, a few warm, sunny days could dry them enough to make raking them less onerous, but I'm not expecting that. And I'm certainly not looking forward to this month's gas bill.

Because I didn't go shopping yesterday, I forgot that it was Sunday, so here's this:

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