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viernes, diciembre 19, 2008

The First Snow

Maybe all of the people who lost power during the ice storm have gotten their power turned back on. I hope they have. Because now we're having a massive snow storm. The prediction for tonight is up to 16 inches of snow.

The New York Times reports:
Airplanes huddled at their gates, schools closed and salt trucks skittered across icy highways on Friday as the winter’s first major storm clawed its way across the country, blasting millions of Americans in the Midwest and Northeast with snow squalls and blistering winds. ...

[A]nd more than 500 flights were canceled at the three airports in the New York area.

Planes bound for John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City were being delayed three hours and 20 minutes while flights into LaGuardia were being delayed two hours, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Flights into Newark International Airport were lagging five hours behind schedule.

Road travel was treacherous from county roads in Iowa to interstates in Massachusetts as the storm shellacked highways with a layer of treacherous black ice and frosted it with several inches of snow. In one corner of northeast Iowa, officials were forced to pull snowplows off the road because of whiteout conditions.
It's snowing very hard as I write this. The flakes are small ones, and, of course, all sound is muffled. All lights in the distance are dimmed. There is no traffic. The dog lies in the snow and rolls on her back. The fire crackles. And, of course, it's pitch dark at 4:45 pm.

Earlier, I drove to Agway in Chatham to buy bird seed. The feeders were empty, and two had fallen down in the ice storm. I put them back up, and I filled them. But there were no birds late this afternoon, and I did not hear them. They were huddled in safe places, waiting, waiting patiently, waiting for the storm to end. The man at Agway said the storm would be a quick one with a very deep snow. Out here we endow feed retailers with special expertise in these outdoor matters.

I can only hope that all who need to find shelter find it. This is not a good night to be stranded on city street. Or in a car.

I also hope that all who are safe and warm can go briefly outside and enjoy without any mediation the profound beauty of this first, big snow storm.

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