Sunday, 5 February 2012

What a difference a day makes

I'm sitting up in bed munching warmed pain au chocolat washed down with a cup of tea for my breakfast. The duvet is pulled up, the house is warm, the fire is dancing in the grate. Outside there's a spectacle in progress.

Overnight it started to snow. The temperature dropped steeply and although the snow was predicted the exact amount of snowfall can never be known in advance. It's quiet other than JC moving around the house. Baika the dog has completely changed her behaviour and now prefers to be confined to the warm kitchen instead of exploring JC's extensive property.

It's beautiful, with consequences.

I'm discovering more about the behaviour of snowflakes (flocons). As I watch there's a dance going on. It's as if there are several large gangs of snowflakes clashing and intersecting in their struggles to gain space to land. They are crossing paths, its a melee. But suddenly all changes; now they are a school of fish swimming obliquely, all synchronised. This lasts perhaps a minute until it all changes again and the flocons agree to fall vertically down, all at the same speed, all the same size. Snowflake sizes change all the time. Sometimes they are small, fine and fast; little sprinteers in a hurry to hit the ground. Other times they are larger and fluffier and fall like feather until they caress their compatriots who have already landed.

I especially love it when the branches of trees become so overloaded with snow that they tip big quantities off. It cascades to the ground and suddenly...ploof!! it's like an ice fire sending crystal smoke into the air. So beautiful. Yes, it's a fascinating spectacle... until you open the door, as I did, in my pyjamas.

The intense cold strikes immediately but you're not as shocked as you expected so you decide to linger, take some photos, run to the end of the property and take photos. And as adrenaline takes you further and further from the house you realise that perhaps it really is too cold to be doing this. Those minus degrees have found a way in under my skin and it's really painful to be out in it without protection. So, a few last photos and I'm racing the dog to get back into the house. She arrives just after me and literally leaps for her basket in the kitchen. Her momentum sends it and her sliding across the room. It's so comical and JC asks her if she has had the courtesy to change her paws before coming inside with her snow.

As usual she's sheepish about that. I'd already removed my gumboots in the frigid garage. Note to self- make an effort next time to wear socks, gloves, hat, coat, scarf, and maybe thermals too. PJs are spontaneous but crazy.

If the snow continues to fall much more I will have trouble getting back to Cafeolait. Ahead of that I have a pizza and an apple tart to prepare. What fun while I look out the windows at the whiteness.

Just a few hours previous, JC was working outside in limpid sunlight, lighting a bonfire. What a difference a day makes.

Can you see me and Baika amongst the trees at the back of the property? The trees are immense.


Alison said...

Lovely photos!

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