April snow


Yesterday, for the third day in a row, we opened the curtains to find a light coating of snow across our yard.

This is not unusual. (And it’s not unusual for more reasons than the three-day run.)

It’s a funny thing around here. Snow falls all the time.






Even in April.

If you set up a bullseye radius of sorts, you’d find places within one or two hundred miles of our door in one direction that average one hundred additional inches of snow per year than one or two hundred miles in another direction. And that’s not north-south directions. I’m saying go about 50 or 100 or 150 miles west from my driveway, compare it to similar distances to the east-southeast, and you’ll wind up with ten to twelve more FEET of snow per year.

A significant part of the annual experience is a near constant half-inch to an inch of snow, blanketing the cars as it falls overnight, most overnights. That’s only a slight exaggeration. But much like the frost that begins appearing on September and October mornings, these spring layers of the fluffy white bring along a very special treat.

Sun rises in the front yard at our home. Over a corn field.

We have a few shadow casters in our back yard. A deck and a shed and a fence and not a few shrubs and trees and bushes.

As shadow turns to direct sunlight, the snow melts. Like a slightly warped display of a sundial, not quite keeping time and yet still showing the progress of the day, the snow retreats and disappears as the shadows move. Cold enough outside to keep it around well into the afternoon… light enough to quickly melt away in response to the arrival of sunshine.

It’s kind of magical, this October frost and April snow.

A few nights ago, a party was held nearby. We stopped in. Special business event with the theme of April in Paris. Nice enough. Thinking about it a bit as the sun creeps along in the sky, adjusting the way the shed or deck is reflected… shadow upon snow upon grass.

April in Paris. I don’t believe they’re having snow there this morning. They might have cherry blossoms though. Different places. Different special moments.

People sometimes notice things like snowcapped mountains in the not-too-distant scenery on a warm summer day. But that’s not quite it. That’s not an event limited to a few days. Not an event of a few moments.

In May, only weeks away, we’ll begin planting a garden outside. Likely to have a few squash and zucchini plants out there. And for those that know, the excitement of that idea is squash blossoms. Delicious stuffed and battered and fried squash blossoms.

You have to pick those in the morning. The squash blossoms. You have to catch them in the morning light, when the flowers are still open. While different people have different approaches to such a harvest, it truly can be a blink-and-miss-it event each day.

Snow is just about gone now. Forecast has temperatures dipping into the freezing regions for several more nights though, so today may not have been the last measurable treat of the year. Still, the calendar is moving along. Seems like we may be moving to higher temperatures.

April snow. Summer squash. (Pun intended.) The year moves along. And before you truly realize it, the frost will be dancing with the sunshine.


If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com