Snow Days And The Melt

January 8, 2018

There’s something melancholy about watching the snow melt.

That’s what I was thinking as I sat out on the porch this evening, sipping my sundowner and watching what is, probably, the last snowy sunset I’ll see here for a while.  For the first time in four days, the temperatures got above freezing, rising almost into the 50s by mid day.  They’ll tap the freezing mark tonight, and by late tomorrow afternoon, they’re calling for temps in the 60s.  Rain will follow, and by the end of the week, it’ll be getting real close to 70.

That’s winter in southeastern North Carolina.

This snowfall was predicted by the thunder that rumbled in the night sky almost two weeks ago.  It’s an old wives tale, of course… winter thunder will be followed by snow within 10 days… but it sure came through this time.  With it came an odd streak of frigid cold, with night time temperatures in the single digits, and some days barely getting out of the teens.  But you probably saw this on the news, so why repeat it?

Being here, all the sensationalism of the news aside, it was a pretty spectacular thing.  This doesn’t happen here very often, and when it does, it’s usually a sloppy, muddy mess within hours of the first flakes.  Not this time, though.  It began as sleet and freezing rain, but switched over in the night to a dry, powdery snow that felt more like something I’d see in the Sierra or Spokane.  By the time it was done, there were probably four to six inches coating the place in a beautiful, pure blanket.

The kid in me rejoiced.

The adult in me, because I had nowhere to be, rejoiced.

The dog, once he got past the strangeness of it all, rejoiced as well.

Snow day!

The horses weren’t as thrilled, and neither were the pipes out at the barn.  I’d winterized, of course, but not with anything like this in mind.  Those plans I’d made for putting the valves underground, and adding a box around the water trough… well, procrastination took its toll.  That’ll teach me.  It also cost me.  I stood in more than one line of customers, buying PVC, glue, and fittings to make repairs.  I’ll be ready for the next freeze… even if it is 25 years before we see anything like this again.

Unfortunately, deer season has been closed for a few days.  I have always loved deer hunting in the snow, but it’s something that I rarely had the opportunity to do… maybe once in North Carolina, and only a few times while guiding up in the Sierra, at Coon Camp Springs.  But there’s something pretty magical about slipping through the snowy woods, maybe following a fresh track.

The duck hunting is usually off the hook around here when we get this kind of weather, as the backwaters freeze over, pushing the birds out into the river and the sound.  Unfortunately, road conditions (or the fact that as I’ve aged, I’ve become a little less impulsive) kept me from journeying out to take advantage.  I did find that the birds are thick on the little pond I call, “the Hog Pond,” and while I wasn’t able to capitalize (long story about wet ammo), I’ll be there in the morning.  I’m looking forward to getting back out on the Cape Fear this weekend, although the frenzy will likely have dwindled significantly by then.

But, “all good things…” as they say, and snowy landscapes don’t stick around long down here.  So I found myself kicking up my feet on the porch this evening, watching the sun set, listening to the melted snow dripping from the roof, sipping a single malt, and thinking about stuff.  It’s pretty while it lasts, and even though it can be a hassle, it sure feels a little sad to see it go.

Here’s to snow days.


One Response to “Snow Days And The Melt”

  1. Snow Days And The Melt | on January 8th, 2018 21:12

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