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February Snow Times 2

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Snow is a rare thing here, although we often see it up on the mountain.  Even more unusual, this year we’ve had two snows in two weeks.

P1010199The first made a lovely covering, for the short time it lasted.  Here is the view through my study window.P1010203

The second week’s snow was a heavy wet one, giving a different effect.  It even covered the bonsai that sits at the edge of my patio.P1010205

 

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I wrote this poem for a friend who used snow falling as a symbol of depression.  That seems unlikely in the desert southwest.

February Morning
for John

He tells me snow
is a product of the air’s
despair.  Perhaps

he’s right: seedheads
of the tall grass are weighed
down, shawled in white.

But each twig on the tree
is highlighted, while the earth
sleeps cozy under its blanket

and every thirsty plant
will drink the melt; the birds
can feed again.

 

I think we’ve had our winter.  Spring winds should be here soon.

 

The Year Keeps Turning

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Just two weeks ago we had a storm which left the mountains looking like an ice sculpture.  I don’t think we’ll be seeing any more of that this year.p1000941

Now we are half way from the solstice to the spring equinox.  For my favorite cross-quarter day I lit a new white candle in honor of Brigid, goddess of poetry and smithcraft (and all things fiery, I suppose).

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The Pennsylvania groundhog may see six more weeks of winter, but here in southern New Mexico the trees are beginning to bud.  We’re in a stretch of fine weather for walking and hiking, and I’ve just seen my first poppy.  It was in a protected spot along a wall and only half open, but there it was.

What can be said about poppies?

Gluttons for sun,
they shine it back,
closing at night.

They pop up,
not in the same spot,
new every spring.

Poppies.  Spring.
Nothing more
to be said.

The Big Snow

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It was only six inches, over a day and a night, but that’s a lot for our town.  Here’s a view of my back yard the first afternoon. snowfall682

Notice the bush to the left of the tree.  When the snow stopped the next afternoon, all the bushes had been buried.after snow689

The clothesline looked like a hammock. hammock685

Today, four days after the snow stopped, there is still snow on the mountains, showing that it has been quite cold. snowmountain691

We are comfortable indoors, but not quite snug.  The roofers began work on the day before Christmas Eve and have not been back.  I have emptied several gallons of snow melt leaking through vents from buckets and pans.  How quickly such things come to seem normal – as long as you remember to check the water levels.