austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Those glistening houses that seem to be built of snow

So, this has been a miserable winter. Long, cold, bitterly cold, snowy. Incredibly, it turns out, this hasn't been one of the snowiest winters for the Lansing area, and it's only in the top three for snowiest winter of the past decade, but the combination of snow and cold has to make it uniquely miserable. We went through a monthlong stretch without breaking through freezing, and I'm pretty sure we went through almost as long a stretch without even reaching average temperatures.

This made a little warm stretch we had last week extraordinarily good. Wednesday it didn't just reach normal, it actually went above and got into the 40s. And not the low 40s either, but the high 40s. It came back above freezing several more days in a row, and that was wonderful to feel even if it does make this week's return to frigidity the more agonizing.

It has had some merciful side effects, though. For one, it's finally allowed some of the barely-plowed snow in our street to melt. We're on a minor street, and the repeated heavy snows mean all plowing efforts went to the major arteries and they could barely get cleared before the next snow arrived. And people would park in the street rather than shovel their driveways out, with the result that we got lousy ploughing done, belatedly, and the road's just been a mushy pile of snow and ice for months. Now, though, there's actual blacktop visible, even if it's mostly potholes anymore.

Also, there's the case of the rabbit statue in the yard. This is a cute little sculpture, and the snow had accumulated to the point that it had vanished beneath the white. The tips of its ears are now just barely visible again, so, that's some progress.

It's going to be a heck of a spring thaw, though, if it ever comes.

Trivia: Although the early Baudot telegraph was capable of thirty words per minute on each line, and could have twelve sets of apparatus at each end, the accurate timing required of operators meant it typically operated at about two-thirds the capacity of 360 words per minute. Source: The Victorian Internet, Tom Standage.

Currently Reading: Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, the West, and the epic story of the Taiping Civil War, Stephen R Platt.

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