It’s a Sunday morning in March 2017 as I write these lines. Winter should be over. Spring should be popping up buds, flowers and bright new life. But no; not a chance. Winter has returned for one last hurrah. It’s a white-out, blizzard world outside my window. There is snow on the mountains, snow throughout the desert and snow on the valley floor. What a sight to behold. What a dramatic Northern Nevada winter we have had this year.

I guess sometimes I sound a bit like an old farmer going on in great detail about the weather. But it’s been a topic hard to ignore during these past weeks. What we have come to except as a normal weather pattern in recent years has been turned upside down. I'm starting to believe as of late that Mother Nature lives, breathes and throws occasional tantrums!

If you ask them, old people will tell you about harsh, wicked winters of the distant past. I don't think its all exaggeration. There are long term cycles of changing weather patterns which seem to reoccur over and over. Not many years ago the big fear of scientists was that of global cooling. They viewed it as a very serious threat at the time. Now that it's opposite seems so real to them, they paint global warming as the horrid monster coming to get us. Perhaps, in a few more years, this fear may reverse once more.

But aside from the problems, inconvenience and transportation difficulties, this snow storm is truly beautiful. I suppose I see it somewhat as kids do; an ever so surprising, exciting, magical show!

Water is one of the most basic life giving substances on our planet. A combination of two elements, it usually exists in a liquid form. But as its temperature drops below thirty two degrees it changes into a very solid substance. Well somewhere around that transformation point is where the magic happens. High in our atmosphere and whipped by the winds, spongy vapor clouds sometimes produce white moist snow flakes. These soft featherlike beauties appear by the millions. They swirl and dance in the air as they drift about and slowly float to earth. They lodge and build up on roofs. They stick to tree leaves and weigh down their branches, They cover the entire ground and change a dull grey world to a bright shining brilliance.

Snow highlights the contrast to it's opposite; what we have come to accept as our long, hot, dry summers in the desert. It builds the mountains high with precious life sustaining moisture waiting to bring new birth to our land. It brings joy, adventure and fantasy to children. It thrills skiers, snowboarders and outdoor sports people.

Within weeks our desert will be fresh, green and alive again as it soaks up this moisture. Buds will spring forth and fresh flowers will bloom. Brilliant white and pink blossoms will appear in many trees in our town. The radiance of spring will be evident all around.

Our seasons are like paragraphs in the book of time. The action continues and constantly changes. One page flows on to another in the exciting plot. Each day brings new problems, challenges and rewards. We participants play our parts and write in our own scripts.

As I conclude my rambling scribble, wouldn't you know, the storm is subsiding. The sky has turned blue and the sun has popped out from behind the dark clouds. It was a brief dramatic show.

The snow will melt and slowly disappear in the afternoon warmth. It won't even seem real to us in future months when our world turns warm and dry again. But for now, it’s been a joy.



Dan O'Connor can be reached at danhughoconnor@gmail.com