Monday, May 29, 2006

Snow White?

Nothing is more emblematic of purity than snow - clean, white, virginal snow. But at this time of year in the Arctic, snow is anything but white.

The dust and grime from the winter's winds which have blown over the snow for the past seven months are being revealed layer by layer, so that large smutty streaks of grey appear atop the receding snow drifts. On closer inspection, you will find mixed in with the dust very small brown leaves ripped from the arctic willow and other dwarf plants which hunker down low to the ground and lie dormant for many months awaiting a very brief growing season.

Around my manor, a crop of dog shit has seemingly pushed its way up through the snow and covers the area where the inappropriately-named Lucky lives out along side the house. This year's crop is too water-logged to rake or shovel clean yet, so I must wait for it to dry out a bit before cleaning out my own version of the Augean stables. Lucky now walks on tip toes.

In the south, spring is a time of rebirth and renewal, a dynamic period when new potential and possibilities abound. But where I live now it is a period when the sins of the previous winter come back to haunt me, having hidden themselves so well beneath a blanket of pure white snow.


Blogger Fuff said...

I believe some pics of this wondrous phenomenon were in order, no?

7:12 AM  
Blogger nanuk said...

Fuff: My camera is out of hock, so I'll be clicking away.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Eternally Curious said...

Yay! Yes please - more photos!!

8:48 AM  
Blogger D said...

That was the most poetic description of the spring surprises. There are numerous companies here in the city making moolah off this exact experience - the re-emergence of dog poop in the spring. Brilliant!

12:02 PM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

We have a similar period, but I think it's much shorter lived.

I've read that there is so much less snow in the Arctic this spring it's causing environmentalist serious concern. Maybe the dog poop is just obscuring the snow...

2:54 PM  
Blogger Annie Drogynous said...

Do you ever have warm weather there?!

3:58 PM  
Blogger nanuk said...

Eternally Curious: yes, I shot some pics which I think will illustrate black snow.

D: Can I get a job in Winnipeg?

WoD: there was a fair amount of snow, but it went in one fell swoop, stranding people out hunting and camping by raging streams which a day earlier were frozen over.

Blair Bitch: define warm. We get usually 3 - 4 days of 75 degree weather - our average daily temperature is minus 8 celsius.

4:20 PM  
Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

The snow can be a great help - back at the frat house we'd never rake up the fallen leaves. The snow would come, then melt - leaves were gone. Cool.

12:23 AM  
Blogger Tea and Books, etc said...

That last paragraph was beautifully written, but yech to the dog poop.

12:57 PM  
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