Monday, March 02, 2009
The teaser thaw gets you
(Falls Park In Sioux Falls, taken by the blogger.)
After the leaves fall in South Dakota, I look forward to the first snow. The white blanket is still a novelty to this Pacific Northwest native, even after a 2 decades of Midwest winters. I get a little giddy watching the flakes fall and relish the thought of snow people, sledding, snow balls, hot cocoa and the lights of the town bouncing off the snow tapestries. I remember how sad I was when the 30-year big snow departed after 10 days in my youth, and I'm just as forlorn when the snow leaves here and the drab prairie lays there like pile after pile of dirty laundry, waiting for the spring to come when the earth seems clean and fresh.
That pile of snow was gone for a few weeks, and we hit the mid-fifties in Eastern SoDak. It made my morning run less dangerous--but the view wasn't all that appealing.
Inevitably, the thaw doesn't last and the snow comes back, sometimes with a vengeance. The brief thaw lasts long enough that body cold defencses break down, and the 30mph northwest wind bites a little harder. Mid-to-late-winter almost always produces a teaser thaw. But, March is the snowiest month in South Dakota and winter has returned. We got about 3 inches in Sioux Falls and about 8 where I preach on the weekends. Nothing like the Southeast and the Eastern Seaboard, but it's enough to keep me sane. This weekend snow was cool--fish tailing in the Honda Element and running over snow mounds. The rural counties of South Dakota plow as little as possible for cars to function. For some reason, the big snows have avoided Sioux Falls over the past two years--they seem to be all around us, but just miss us. I would love a good old-fashioned oppressive snow storm before the wintry weather leaves for another year. I want some good photographs.