Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pure as the driven slush

We have lived in the Atlanta area since 1975, and this winter of 2010-2011 has been most unusual. Some years we don’t get any snow at all. Some years we see only a few flurries. Several years may go by without any snow at all. One year the yellow forsythia bloomed in January. But occasionally we have had a brief winter wonderland. It happened in 1982, and 1993, and...well, I can’t pinpoint the dates, but there have been very few in the last 35 years.

This year, however, everything has been different. This morning we awoke to our fifth snowfall since mid-December. Not as much this time, but who cares? It snowed again!

I’m not going to show you pictures. Most of you already know what snow looks like.

Northerners and Europeans think we are crazy to get so excited over a little of the white stuff, and maybe they’re right.

According to Wikipedia, “White is a shade, the perception of which is evoked by light that stimulates all three types of color sensitive cone cells in the human eye in nearly equal amounts and with high brightness compared to the surroundings. A white visual stimulation will be void of hue and grayness.

“White light can be generated in many ways. The sun is such a source, electric incandescence is another. Modern light sources are fluorescent lamps and light-emitting diodes. An object whose surface reflects back most of the light it receives and does not alter its color will appear white, unless it has very high specular reflection.

“Since white is the extreme end of the visual spectrum (in terms of both hue and shade), and since white objects -- such as clouds, snow and flowers -- appear often in nature, it has frequent symbolism. Human culture has many references to white, often related to purity and cleanness, whilst the high contrast between white and black is often used to represent opposite extremes.”

At least now you know why brides wear white and grooms wear black.


Snowbrush said...

Where did you live prior to 1975?

I've never talked to an old person (this was before I started getting that way myself) from any part of the country who didn't say that the winters used to be colder and snowier.

rhymeswithplague said...

Snow, I lived in Florida (where it was warm), New York (where it was very cold), Nebraska (where it was very cold), north Texas (where the weather was more like north Georgia, except it was extremely hot in the summers), and Rhode Island (cold, but so long ago I can hardly remember it). When I was young, old-timers talked about the Blizzard of '88 (1888).

But there are reports that this winter is the coldest in 400 years in England, and our radio just today said we may have the coldest winter Georgia has ever had (I guess that means since records began being kept).

Why do you ask? Do you doubt me?

Putz said...

except for dirty snow which isn not very white at all,..,,.stuck in the front curb pushed up by my neighbor's snow contraption rocks dirt asphalt, anad talking to you old old people like you and snow i get the idea of colder and snowier winters, 12 foot drifts and climbing over 15 foot fences drifted over with snow<><><>do you believe that?????i have never seen a 15 foot high fence before

Pat - Arkansas said...

All this snow is due, no doubt, to global warming.

A Lady's Life said...

men wear black and women wear white and together

I remember when New York got a cm of snow they squawked like lame ducks and kids stayed home because Yepee!
They got snow!!

In Montreal we struggled through two feet of snow and everyone made it in to work and school.No one complained. Everyone was happy.
Couldn;t take the car? You took the bus or got up extra early and walked 2 hours.
Today people changed.
All you hear is a lot of skuawking.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Impure and dirty - at your service!

Snowbrush said...

"Do you doubt me?"

About what? Where you lived? Weather trends? I have no clue what you're talking about.

Snowbrush said...

"All this snow is due, no doubt, to global warming."

Yes, warmer temps means more moisture in the air hence more snow in areas that are cold enough to get snow. Also, global warming isn't about isolated weather events but trends over many years.

rhymeswithplague said...

Putz, I have never seen a 15-foot high fence before either, but what are you saying?

Pat, no doubt! (See Snowbrush's comment.)

Lady's Life, how much is "a cm of snow"?

Yorkshire Pudding, going to Thailand has turned you into an honest man!

Snowbrush, B (weather trends). I was pulling your chain, not trying to pick a fight!