Saturday, March 11, 2006

Snow Day

We've been getting some of the freakish early-spring weather that we sometimes get here on the Oregon coast. We woke this morning to find several inches of snow on the ground. Those of you in the east or Midwest or similar places are laughing at that, but snow is a fairly rare occurrence here, and always noteworthy.

I'm not unused to snow. We didn't see huge lots of it when we lived over in Eugene, but it was typical to see it a few times a year, often in some quantity, and often it would stick around for at least a few days.

Not on the coast, even though we're only a little over a hundred miles away. The ocean moderates our weather: almost never too hot, rarely too cold. When snow happens, it almost always melts within a few hours, a day or so at most.

But snow on the beach is a kind of magical thing to me, much more so than snow inland. It looks so stark and dramatic on the sand, and it's surreal to watch the waves rolling in and out, capped with floating drifts of snow.

The picture above was taken from my wife, Chris' office (at her 9-5 job), looking south along the beach. The white you're seeing isn't foam, it's snow. The scale is always deceptive from up there too. Those aren't sticks you're looking at, they're logs, some of them old-growth trees that weigh as much as a loaded semi-truck. If you enlarge the picture (click on it) and follow the bluffs up to where the inlet is, you'll see a couple fair-sized houses on top of the bluff there. That's your only real clue to scale here. This picture covers a lot of territory.

One other nice thing about days like this is the unique quality of the light. Our remaining cat, Oz perched in the sun-lit front window this morning curiously watching the snow fall. That's when I snapped this last shot. The cat does take a good picture, doesn't he?

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