Gypsy's Travels

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Let It Snow

Somewhere I read that the Japanese have over 100 words for "snow." I can undersatand having more than one. I can even understand having several, but 100! That's a lot of words for that frozen stuff that falls from the sky.
I realize that my contact with the white, fluffy stuff has been minimal, but I have seen lots of photos and there are all those Christmas cards that surface every year.Snow is depicted on a lot of them. We even have snow here in Central Texas....occasionally. That is when all the schools and businesses shut down and everyone stays home to telephone their friends in the Northeast . Conversations go something like this:

"It is snowing here!"
" I don't know. What is 'sticking?'"
"Sand the roads? No., I don't think that is in the budget. We just stay home."
"We built a snowman. The carrot was too big for the nose, but I found a broken baby carrot that fits. I had to take a close-up  photo so you can tell what it is."
"More snow tomorrow? I don't think so. It is supposed to be 70 degrees and sunny."
Well, you get the picture. It is said that no two snowflakes are alike. I would like to know who has seen and examined all those flakes. I can cut paper to look like snowflakes. I can examine snowflakes as they fall onto dark clothing. I can find oodles of photos of snowflakes. Lots of snow in lots of places, but none quite like what I saw in Colorado.

At Bishop's Palace, just as we were preparing to leave, I saw "snow" falling from the sky. It was a cold day, but fairly sunny, so I did not expect anything. I put my gloved hand out to catch some of the delicate flakes and just stood there in wonder. I had never seen anything like this before. Granted, I am not an expert, but it was still most unusual for me. Surely, the wind was knocking something from the trees, I thought. No, what I saw on my hand was really falling from the sky. No, it was not the fluffy, delicately patterened snowflakes I would have expected. I had cream colored, light-as-air, perfectly round little balls! They drifted down and settled, just like the snow with which I am familiar, but not the look of the snow I know.

The second occurrence was not really "snow", although I thought it was at first. In Amarillo, I walked outside fairly early in the morning. It was really cold, but the sun was beginning to peek through the clouds. I looked around in wonder as I saw brightly-colored "floaters" swirling about. You know, those glittering lights you kind of notice floating around your eyes sometimes. I felt as if I were in a giant snow globe and someone was sprinkling glitter over me. it left me with a sense of beauty and wonder.
"Frozen fog," my self-proclaimed Alaskan daughter said.
Well, it was news to me. I had never seen anything like it before.

I figure the Japanese might not be too far off the mark. Maybe there are 100 words for snow. I am anxious to see the other 95 kinds.

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