Friday, February 8, 2013
Sometimes it snows in Minnesota even when there are no clouds. And though I have experienced similar splendor before, this morning's display while doing chores was the most magical yet. My camera could not capture the scenes image; but hopefully your imaginations will be able to with the aid of my descriptions.
I did this morning what I always do during chores. I stopped to admire the scenery while the cows ate their breakfast. This morning’s display of the “cloudless snow” was so strong, that at first I thought they were just apparitions in my still-groggy eyes. I noticed what looked like miniature snowflakes lit by the sun’s rays as they peaked through the trees, and over the neighbor’s house. Then I looked all around me. I was surrounded by sparkling embers of crystal, whose widths were no wider than the strands from a spider’s web. The first light from the sun illuminated the winter air, turning them into what people of ancient times might have described as fairies dancing downward to earth. And though they were most apparent in the light, they were visible everywhere to a focused eye. They seemed
to make less than no sound at all as they fell.
What I saw really is not snow at all. At first I thought I was seeing frost drifting down from the tops of the trees.But the breeze was barely blowing. My best hypothesis about what I saw, is that they are water particles in the air. And because the air up here is so clear and cold, the water in the air freezes and falls without being troubled by first becoming a cloud. This must be a Minnesota winter’s version of the hazy humidity I have sometimes seen during the summers in Kansas. Surely there must be a technical name for what I saw; but I do not know it. So I will call it Frostfall.