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Shortly after our author Katherine J. Wu, “a born-and-bred Californian,” moved to Boston, she was met with an epic snowstorm—one so unhealthy that the town ran out of locations to dump the snow piles. As you’ll be able to think about, she wasn’t thrilled. However now, greater than eight years later, local weather change is threatening winter snow in Boston and the remainder of New England, she writes: “Snow could sometime cowl New England’s panorama for under about six weeks a 12 months, about half the norm of current many years.”
When you don’t love snow, that may not sound like such a tragedy. However, as Katie notes, “nature’s dandruff” has actual advantages for Earth’s natural world. It acts as an insulator for fragile soil, “swaddling it like a fluffy down coat,” she writes. “Vegetation and microbes thrive beneath it. Animals burrow inside it to evade predators.”
Snow, after all, additionally has a method of displaying us the great thing about the world in a brand new method. “I ponder how I’ll describe snow to a era that may solely hardly ever get to see it—how I’ll clarify to youngsters of the longer term why Norman Rockwell work look so white,” Katie writes. She may look to those strains from The Atlantic, written in 1862 by an nameless contributor, in regards to the calm of the morning after a snowstorm:
The air sparkles just like the snow; all the pieces appears dry and resonant, just like the wooden of a violin … On such a day, the universe appears to carry however three pure tints—blue, white, and inexperienced … That sensation we poor mortals typically have, of being simply on the sting of infinite magnificence, but with all the time a lingering movie between, by no means presses down extra carefully than on days like this.
At present, we’re taking a second to understand snow—and a few of the sudden presents it brings when it falls.
By Helena Fitzgerald
Snow is an excuse to give attention to magnificence as an alternative of productiveness, journey as an alternative of feat.
By Kate Cray
Spoons below pillows, ice cubes in the bathroom, and different rituals to name forth snow
By Cullen Murphy
Watching it, understanding it, and forecasting it’s a surprisingly giant and complex enterprise.
I’ll go away you with a snow truth from the 1862 Atlantic article that charmed me: Based on the author, snow has been known as “wooly water, or moist wool” by some all through historical past. (The comparability between snow and wool additionally exists in a Biblical psalm.)