November 23, 2005

Over the river and through the woods

7-Day Forecast:
Tonight: Snow likely, mainly after 3am. .... New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Thanksgiving Day: Periods of snow before 9am, then periods of rain. ... New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible....

Thursday Night: A chance of snow showers, mainly before 9pm....


The childhood song about the sleighride through the woods to Grandmother's house was sung just before Thanksgiving. It reflected a reality foreign to me. My grandmother lived in a city, and people travelled either on foot, or bicycle, or by automotive power (car, bus). Horse-drawn sleighs were a thing of the past. I grew up in an area of New York State where winter snow was copious and frequent, with typically 2- to 4-foot snowbanks lining sidewalks most of the winter.

Nevertheless,I do not recall any snow by Thanksgiving time in late November deep enough to accommodate a sleigh, or even a child's sled. Certainly not the "deep and drifted snow" of the song. A flurry, perhaps, one year in five. But we waited breathlessly, most years, for the first snow fall around Christmastime in late December.

when I moved to Connecticut in the 1970s, the winters seemed mild compared to those in New York, and also Maine where I had lived several years. Yet, lifers spoke of the horrid winters of years past.

I guess we are coming back to that. The big argument is whether this is due to global warming, or merely an ordinary cyclical change. It is primarily not a scientific argument, but a political one.

People wonder why, with global warming, our winters would be getting colder and snowier. In my mind, the artic is the ice cube in our temperate cocktail. As the ice melts, the drink gets colder.

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