Thursday, December 10, 2009

'Tis the Season, At Last

I took this shot a couple days ago, attempting a little close-up focus on a simple snowflake. Not a large snowflake, as snowflakes go, but the air was cold enough that it could sit unmarred on my jacket long enough for me to dig my camera out and line up a shot.

We've had snow before (see also: October) but Tuesday night was the first real snowfall. My standard for that is how well it obstructs traffic. Sirens have been going off left and right as Minnesotans suddenly recall they're living in Minnesota and sometimes it snows here and they have to adjust their driving patterns accordingly. They forget this every year, you see, that it snows in Minnesota, despite all the postcards and puffy-ink sweatshirts and, indeed, snowglobes. There is always a harrowing refractory period as Minnesotans learn anew--not relearn--driving skills for a snowy climate. It's no longer appropriate to race down the highway 30 mph over the limit. It was never safe to ride eight feet behind someone's bumper, and certainly it's less so now. It will just take about a month for these drivers to catch on.

I think it's a form of denial, in some cases, just like walking down the street in a T-shirt or light jacket when it's clearly -10F with windchill. Trying to rage against the dying of the light, insisting despite all evidence that nothing is changing, clinging to the old way of doing things. ...I wonder how many of these motorists getting into accidents are Republicans?

The picture below is from yesterday morning. It's been cold in the morning but yesterday it was bitter. The bus driver had not adjusted to the road conditions and was considerably late, which was fine with me because I was too. I'm still thinking about what will be required for me to bike to work in this weather. I've got to do it once, just to see what it's like, and I have no illusions about how safe it will be. I'm sure no one plows that bike bridge over Franklin Ave, for one thing, and I can see myself skidding inexorably into the 90-deg. turn at the end. But I've got to try it once, and if by some chance it turns out to be viable...

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