I’ve heard that Eskimos have a hundred words for snow. Is Eskimo a derogatory term? Maybe I should be saying Inuit. But maybe that’s a specific group of people? Maybe I can’t say anything at all. Well, if it’s true that some people somewhere have a lot of different words to describe a lot of different kinds of snow, I can now understand why. I am becoming a snow expert and a snow snob. I almost wrote snow slob, and that’s true too, but probably irrelevant.
I’ve seen tiny perfectly formed flakes whose six-pointed loveliness was plainly visible to the naked eye and which baffled me to think they could pile up to make the smooth coverings and mounds that they do. (And shouldn’t they be spherical?) In contrast, I’ve seen giant globs of heavy snow all stuck together and indistinguishable from each other before they even hit the ground.
New fresh snow on the ground sparkles and refracts light into infinite tiny rainbows so that you think you might have stumbled into someplace ordinarily magical and if you happen to be driving through it at night when it just begins to fall and coat the road before you, it will instantly end the fight you are having with your husband as you glance at each other as if to say, “Do you see that!”
Old snow has a sheen but no sparkle. It is sad, heavy late winter snow that packs hard into ice and wrenches your back when you shovel. It’s the kind of snow that makes you want to knit.
OK, so that’s not a hundred but this is only my second season in Winterland – give me time.
This is part of Jennifer Fulwiler’s 7 Posts in 7 Days insanity so you can check out the other participants and look forward to more of my blather this week.