Sunday, November 9, 2014

Let it snow, or not!

Have you checked out your snow blower? Got the brush and scraper back in your car? So much for the early model output that had most of the snow staying south of The Cities. Today's forecast has the northern suburbs, which includes us, getting up to 12". Sigh! Our contractor was originally supposed to do the roof last month, but couldn't schedule framers. Now the crew are going to have their hands full, it looks like, because the temperatures are supposed to stay well below seasonal for the next week or so. That's when we've been told they hope to get started. By then, our neck of the woods may look like this:

early and long Winter 2014?
early and long Winter 2014?
Photo by J. Harrington

At the rate Minnesota Winters are going, I could become a global warming denier myself. Then again, California has mudslides, wildfires, earth quakes and drought. Massachusetts is headed toward beach front property in the Berkshires. Of course, none of this seems to be enough to get Congress to move toward a carbon neutral economy. I suspect they're still waiting for the hoards of locusts and toads and President Obama's (chief of) staff to turn into a serpent.

Speaking of hoards, this morning I did "catch and release" on chipmunk #16. If you had asked me last Spring how many of those critters we had I would have guessed half-a-dozen or so. Shows how much I know. Here's a link to the video of a previous chipmunk release. If the weather forecasters are overestimating this storm as much as I underestimated the chipmunk count, this week's weather may turn out o.k. We'll see. Maybe Billy Collins' perspective is premature.

Snow Day

By Billy Collins 

Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,   
its white flag waving over everything,
the landscape vanished,
not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,   
and beyond these windows

the government buildings smothered,
schools and libraries buried, the post office lost   
under the noiseless drift,
the paths of trains softly blocked,
the world fallen under this falling.

In a while, I will put on some boots
and step out like someone walking in water,   
and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,   
and I will shake a laden branch
sending a cold shower down on us both.

But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house,   
a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.   
I will make a pot of tea
and listen to the plastic radio on the counter,   
as glad as anyone to hear the news

that the Kiddie Corner School is closed,   
the Ding-Dong School, closed.
the All Aboard Children’s School, closed,   
the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed,
along with—some will be delighted to hear—

the Toadstool School, the Little School,
Little Sparrows Nursery School,
Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School   
the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed,
and—clap your hands—the Peanuts Play School.

So this is where the children hide all day,
These are the nests where they letter and draw,   
where they put on their bright miniature jackets,   
all darting and climbing and sliding,
all but the few girls whispering by the fence.

And now I am listening hard
in the grandiose silence of the snow,
trying to hear what those three girls are plotting,   
what riot is afoot,
which small queen is about to be brought down.