Tuesday, October 28, 2008

First Snow

I am at home at my keyboard wrapped in several layers of wool. Outside there is a dusting of snow hiding in the corners of the hedges and the bushes, blanketing the bright yellow blooms of the primrose, a hearty variant of a local native plant struggling to thrive in a cold spate.

The ferry did not run yesterday. I was relieved. When the sea and the wind fight with each other to see which can outdo the other, I prefer to watch from some cozy living room. It is a remarkable spectacle but definitely not one that I like to see up close. Seeing the snow on the ground today is like picking up the broken glass after the brawling winds have settled in to sleeping it off in a corner.

Although relieved to have the wind abated, the snow this early in the season is worrying. In my four years here, I have never seen snow this early. Four years is not a long time, but it is all the time that I have in my weather data base. It may be a short never, but this anomaly rattles around in my brain--what does this betoken? When I ask my husband, he speaks in simple syllables that speak volumes, "Cold." "Early winter."

The geese that come down from the arctic to the relative warmth of Caithness have been and gone already. That can be seen as a indication of an early winter. This gust of cold is also a gift from the arctic. I prefer the geese, even though they eat the grass that our cattle need. Like the primrose, braving smiling through her blanket of snow, and the geese who moved to warmer if not greener pastures, I'll find a way to accommodate this arctic visitor.

4 Comments:

At 8:38 PM, Blogger Hayden said...

caterpillers said it will be mild in the midwest this year.

the critters know. I find them far more accurate than weather men backed by satelites

 
At 11:09 PM, Blogger Jim said...

I heard that the ferry didn't run yesterday, but that it tried to.

Given the Caithness weather I'm rather grateful to be in the relative warmth of Somerset.

 
At 9:09 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Oh, Hayden, I remember studying wooly worms as predictors. Yup, works as well as anything else for prognosticating--every once in a while it is nice to take a big word out for a little walk--the weather.

 
At 9:14 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

hi, Jim, my biggest fear was that ferry would try to go. I prefer to admire that kind of bravery from a very safe distance. I remember watching a small---or so it seemed from the shore--boat tossing and ducking on the firth on a bad day. I was told it was Shetlanders at the helm. It was said with respect and perhaps just a hint of dismay at what might have been a step too far even for them. The boat made it, but I surely would not have wanted to be on it.

 

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