Hopes have been dashed. The Arctic front had been forecasted, and all day yesterday we saw it coming, even as temperatures soared to 50 degrees. I saw someone on a motorcycle, on my way into town in the morning, and thought how he had better keep his eye on the sky, as ‘a storm was comin’. On the drive back home in mid-afternoon, people were walking around in short-sleeved shirts, and I went through the car wash to get rid of layers of slush. As I detoured into Somer’s Bay to photograph clouds, MTPR reported that Helena schools were letting out early and school was cancelled for the next day. Three hours to the east of us, the storm was hitting hard, and I could see the snow line already dropping down the Flathead range. It was surreal to be standing in warm sunshine, taking pictures, while people were throwing sticks to their dogs and walking along the bare shoreline.
By the time I got home, the temperature began to drop, and for an hour, as I checked weather on the computer, I watched weather out the window as waves on the lake changed direction and the weather vane began spinning around. Right on schedule, by 5:00, the snow began. So, here we are this morning, 15 degrees and a good five inches of snow on the stone steps, just one day after Don had chipped off the remaining ice. There is some consolation that we are not nearly as bad as the east side of the Divide, but still…only yesterday, we had heard the first of the Red-Winged Blackbirds on our morning run. Both the aspen and birch trees have sent out their buds, and the leftover snow was strewn about under trees, like dirty white underwear.
But, back into Winter we go. Looking on the bright side of things, as the sun begins to rise and the sky and lake are a lovely blue in the clear air, I got a notice that the International Space Station is going by overhead in the evenings now, just after dark. There’s a fresh stack of wood on the front porch, and I’ve just started a new book. The Olympics will be a distraction. The Government came back online overnight. It’s Friday, so it’s pizza night. And, the Great Backyard Bird Count is only one week away.
‘HOPE’ IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS
Emily Dickinson‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—And sweetest—in the Gale is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—I’ve heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.