Thursday, March 5, 2015

One hundred words for snow

On Monday my boss at Sky Meadows State Park gave me and Michelle, another new employee, the day to hit as many trails as possible.  The day wasn't ideal weather for hiking, but we still enjoyed our day outdoors exploring the park.  The going was often slow and I better understand the reason that Inuit people have so many names for snow.  On our hike we walked through powdery snow, snow with a crust of ice on top and powder underneath, snow hard enough to support my weight, snow compacted into ice by people walking there, snow melted and refrozen into super slippery ice, snow blown by the wind, snow drifts, snow on top frozen puddles, slushy snow, snow that had melted but left a thin glass like layer of ice on top, and there were even a few spots where the snow was completely gone.  We returned worn out, a bit chilled, and with damp toes.  But the beauty of Sky Meadows rewarded us and we were both happy to have braved the cold.

Winter gets a bad rep, and it seems that winter came a bit late in Virginia and is now extending it's stay (I am having a snow day at home as I write this blog).  I will also be happy to welcome warmer temperatures and spring blooms, but I find things about the winter that I are beautiful and enjoyable.  The views, colors, stark structures of trees, and the snow provide so much to admire.  Our hike was overcast some would call it gloomy, but look at the purple mountains, grey, light blue, and green tinged sky, look at the contrasting shadowy mountains and white fields.  It's beautiful!  We saw silhouetted skeleton trees and brooks the color of black ink.  One of the joys of going out in nature is that it is different everyday, and the bad weather days can still be beautiful.

Looking down at the historic area from Piemont trail.


Thin glass like ice is left floating on the grass as the snow melts away underneath
Ice sounded like glass too as I walked up the hill.