Thursday, February 16, 2012

The "No Snow" Winter

So it's almost done, this climate changed version of what may pass for a typical winter in the future. Folks around here are still convinced that we'll have another big snow. I've been convinced since our very green Christmas that we weren't going to see snow again until next year. I hate that I might be right about this, because I was so incredibly prepared for this one. I bought everything related to rough winters that one could buy. A brand new snowblower, new XC skis and boots and poles, a heavy duty winter parka. I had salt in heavy supply. Had my snow shoes ready and waiting. Parked my snow shovel at the front door for the first chance to clean off the sidewalk.

And then I waited with nervous anticipation. Man against the elements. I live for this stuff!!

Truth is we did have two snows, one being about 6 inches. My luck? I was out of town for it and it was virtually gone by the end of a long weekend away. The other snow was just enough for me fire up the snowblower and discover how hard it is to run a straight line when you can't see the driveway lines! I spent the next 40 minutes making it all look like I knew what I was doing. I looked forward to the next snow where I could show my power machine prowess. But alas, it was not to be.

None of us knows, of course, if this is a sign of things to come. I suspect it is. I fear we will all be blindsided by climate events we never anticipated because everyone has been telling us that this change is years away. When they tell you the ocean waters are rising an inch every 5-10 years, you don't exactly lose sleep, ya know? But I don't think anyone anticipated tornadoes in New Hampshire or frigid cold in Europe or floods and droughts in the same year. The lake levels are falling in the Northwoods. Animals aren't migrating anymore. For years we feared that we would kill our planet with nuclear bombs. One big terrible apocalyptic rage that would leave the earth scourged and dead.

It could still happen, no doubt. But it might also be that man will not lose the battle against man, but against Nature. Perhaps she will have the last laugh. Nature always reclaims what is hers. And someday she will tell us it's time to pay.

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