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Last Week’s Snow Storm and My First Snow Pile Sketch of the 2012-13 Winter

December 16, 2012

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Above: Looking out the side porch door, down the handicap ramp to the yard fence. In the distance you can see the houses across the alley, and of course, snow everywhere.

On Sunday, December 9, 2012 a snow storm came through the Twin Cities. When it was over we had 12 inches of fresh snow (other areas had varying amounts). It was a weird snow for December—warm, wet, a definite spring type snow.

Of course I was worried that the weight of the snow would bring down electrical wires (and cable access) but that didn't happen in our area, so overall the storm was uneventful for us.

I'm not going to complain about the snow. We haven't had a lot of snow in Minneapolis the last couple of winters. I know we need moisture as we are in a drought. The river (that's the Mississippi) is very low.

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Left: Looking out the side porch across the yard. Click on an image to view an enlargement.

But I will complain about the fact—evident everywhere on Monday—that people here have forgotten how to drive in the snow. I hope they get a clue soon!

On days like this looking at the yard I wish I were a landscape painter and could make something of the values, recesssion, and overlapping shapes. Instead I can show you these two photos, shot in the middle of the day (yes it was that dark). 

I did sketch one of our trees the next day, the first in this year's series of snow piles. (Several years ago my friend, artist Ken Avidor, got me interested in sketching snow piles. It keeps my mind off the fact that I can't be outside riding my bike!)

121210SnowPileMacintoshTreeLeft: My first Winter 2012-13 snow pile sketch. Pen and watercolor in an approx. 8 inch square journal made with Magnani Pescia light blue paper. I started the page by placing decorating masking tape in a frame. It was my cagey way of eliminating the need to draw any of the pine trees and fence behind the apple tree. (This sketch was posted on Facebook.)

On days like Sunday I immediately remember how much fun it was to walk and train in such weather conditions with the girls. Snow storms like this, as long as the power doesn't go out and everyone stays home safe, are actually happy times for me.

I always loved the winter even before we had Malamutes. The memories of the girls help me recall all the things I loved about winter (no mosquitos is high on the list). And those memories in turn help me feel a little more balanced when I go up stairs to ride the bike on the trainer instead of the roads.

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