Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A moveable feast of snow

Calendars are funny things, especially when religious holidays - "Holy Days" - are considered.  Some of these have fixed dates. Christmas, for example, always falls of December 25.  The feast of St. Patrick always falls on March 17, though St. Patrick's Day parades usually fall on the weekend before or weekend after that date.  Other holy days are "moveable feasts."  Take Easter.  Easter, the holiest and most important day in the Christian calendar, is always observed on the first Sunday following the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox, for complex reasons.  The upshot of this is that Easter can fall on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25, inclusive, depending on the date of the Spring Equinox and the date of the Full Moon.  This year the much-remarked-upon "Supermoon" Full Moon took place on March 19, the night before the Spring Equinox, so Easter will be almost as late as it can be - it falls on April 24.

St. Patrick's Day usually marks the end of snowy weather in these parts.  Usually.  But significant snowfalls have been known to take place right up until just before Easter - whenever Easter is.*

It snowed again last night.

The forecasters were calling for snow, a few inches overnight, maybe a total accumulation of about six inches.  Maybe.  This morning I woke up at 5:30, bright and early to go on a tour of a  solar installation being done at a home under construction.  I turned on the morning local news to get an idea of what the weather would be like - and immediately heard that they had received 7.8 inches of wet, heavy snow overnight, it was still coming down, and most highways were in bad shape and littered with jackknifed tractor-trailers.

The snow compacted quickly, and began to melt as soon as the sun was up.  It became excellent snowball/snowman snow, but also excellent heart-attack-while-shoveling snow.  Schools closed all over the region.  My tour was cancelled.  The snowblower made quick work of the sidewalks and driveway, and what was left behind melted away.

As I took the garbage out tonight, I saw that the next wave of snow had already begun to accumulate.  It had started off as sleet, hard and heavy, forming an icy shell on all the cars.  I couldn't even bring myself to see what it had done to the sidewalks.  I'll worry about that in the morning.

Dear Winter:  In the immortal words of James T. Kirk: "I...have HAD...enough of...YOU!!!"

*One of the biggest and most legendary was in 1970, when Easter fell on March 29 - one of the earlier dates for Easter.

1 comment:

Todd HellsKitchen said...

I'm sorry that winter is over!