Well, that is not an entirely true statement, that I have no use for summer. I guess it is more of an impression I have exuded. In all honesty I have plenty of use for summer and I’m fully aware the ecosystem, of which I’m a part, needs it too.
However, for those who know me it is no surprise that I’m a major fan of winter. I’m also aware that for many of you dear readers, the approaching winter feels about as fun as milking a rabid wild boar or folding a fitted sheet, both arduous tasks.
Believe it or not, I too wouldn’t mind a little extra time to prepare for the upcoming season, seeing how they are calling for a “strong” El Niño where the uncertainties are certain. To get the scoop on what might be in store, see p. 15. That said, I thought I would share some reasons I happen to love the frosty season to perchance help some people improve their outlook.
First off, we likely would not have had as superb a summer if it wasn’t for this last beast of a winter. The plants and animals seemed to flourish, fishing was great, the bike trails were phenomenal, “hero dirt” galore! And, another perk, the fire threat, though never eliminated, seemed observably dampened. All of which was a byproduct of, yes, the generous amount of snow and rain we were dealt.
Secondly, snow is relatively rare. On a global scale, geographically, most of the the human populous lives in areas where it either infrequently or never snows, meaning many may never see the stuff, never feel it, never throw a snowball. It is baffling to think that some will never experience the soft silence snow creates as the fresh layers stack up on every surface, not unlike what you will see on p. 51; it’s like an audible hug. Conversely as the layers compress, there is an amplification of sound that can make one feel superhuman, picking up sounds from far off. All that make us rather fortunate, to experience the spectacle of snow.
Having grown up involved in competitive snowboarding, I attribute my love for the season with finding a use for it early on. I have thus acquired an eager anticipation each year as opposed to a dread. If we are going to live in the High Sierra, it’s best for the mind and soul if you find a way to enjoy all that is has to offer. And so I think it is great what the youth athletes of the Tahoe Cross-Country team are doing, p. 39. All win when kids who have grown up in a digital world gain character and confidence on a wild, tangible plain, and learn to thrive in what some see as formidable conditions.
After a day facing the elements, it makes for a great reward to slow down and cozy up a bit. Ignite a fire and bask in the warmth that radiates from its soft amber waves of light. It’s been said many times, there is no heat quite like a wood-fueled fire. If your home is not equipped with one, you can always jump down to the Soule Domain (p. 41) for some fireplace nostalgia and a great meal to boot.
As a designer, when an art medium basically falls from the sky, you notice. My husband and I have started the tradition of creating a snow sculpture of some sort every winter and have a fun bash for the nieces and nephew. This seasonal goal helps the psyche as now we view what was once snow removal as snow ‘moval,’ because we have a fun artistic motive attached to the task.
Many sculptures have resulted and last year with the huge amounts of snow we made a sleddable snow cave complete with a Yeti. Below is a gallery of creations over the years. Try your hand at it — we’d love to see what you come up with, so please share at email@example.com.