09 December 2018

Snow Day


Right now, it's snowing in the Charlotte area. I know, I can hardly believe it either.

It's nice to see it, anyway. I'm told I'll be seeing more of it here in the upper Carolina than I did in the lower -- which isn't news to anybody, least of all to me. "Oh, North Carolina gets a lot of snow," a Charlotte native assured me. I was happy to hear this, until I remembered that what southerners call a lot of snow is what New Englanders refer to as "a dusting." As in, a layer as thin and fine as dust. As in, not "a lot a snow."

The varying amounts of wintertime precipitation aren't the only differences experienced by the north and south. The snow itself is of a different quality depending on where you are.

In Connecticut (and, I suspect, farther north as well), midwinter snow is very dry, fluffy, and powdery. If you look carefully at what falls on your coat sleeve, for example, you can make out the intricate, hexagonal patterns of snowflakes. This kind of snow flies up in a spray when the wind blows or when you kick it. (I have "shoveled" my front walk before just by kicking the snow out of the way.)

In warmer areas, snow is wetter, heavier, more slushy. It's harder to see individual snowflakes in this kind of snow because it tends to fall in wet, watery clumps. It makes for great snowballs and snowmen, but it's decidedly more unpleasant to shovel, to dig one's vehicle out of, or to drive in. I find that most of the people who complain about snow have usually only experienced this latter type. Which is a shame, because snow deserves a better reputation than it has in these parts of the country.

And really, the snow haters don't have as much to worry about as they think. The snow usually melts so fast that you never have to worry about cleaning it off your car or your sidewalk. And you certainly never have to worry about your roof caving in under the weight of too much snow and ice. This is a real worry up north in many a harsh winter.

You also never get to go sledding, or experience that nice "ahhh" feeling after you come inside to your roaring fire after playing outside in a foot or more. Can you tell I miss living up north?

However. You can make maple snow taffy with any kind of snow, and almost any amount. Now that's some good news.