Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fresh Snow Falling...

"The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?"

-J.B. Priestley

Yesterday, Tuesday, the magical occurred in the form of soft, silent, gentle snow falling in the Berkeley hills. It happens from time to time, but not nearly often enough for this girl. :) When does happen, I feel myself come alive inside, despite the pain the cold brings to me. I am only in my mid 40's, so I am not about to let degenerative arthritis stop me from playing in the snow, especially when I know that it could be forever before it comes back again. Know what I mean? So, as soon as I could I got up, put on several layers of clothes, my boots, my gloves, my hat, my scarf, and got my camera and extra batteries, and headed into Tilden Park, aka, "my winter playground." I had to get up early, and then feel my way through the fog along the winding road, high above the city of Berkeley below, but even a case of the jitters wasn't about to stop me!

South Park drive at Grizzly Peak boulevard is closed from November 1st through March 1st every year. It is a steep road down into the park and rainy weather can make it a bit dangerous. I was able to park at the gate and take a shot downwards toward the first curve. The visibility wasn't very good, so I decided not to try walking it.

Tilden is beginning to be my favorite place on earth, no matter what season. In spring there is a snowstorm of beautiful blossoms to play in, in summer you can find all kinds of colorful dragonflies and damselflies frolicking about the top of the water on Lake Anza, in autumn there are some Japanese maple trees along with oak, Juniper, Eucalyptus, pine and cedar to make the air smell beautiful. It's an amazingly beautiful place to be in autumn, but yesterday was really something special! It's still autumn, so there were still a few leaves on the trees, but mixed with the color was the crystal clear white of the newly fallen snow. :)

I am crossing my fingers that we have more snow days, but I know it is a bit of a long shot. The Bay Area just doesn't get snow the way other places do. It's all a trade-off, we get some magnificent weather all year round, it's never really too cold or too hot, with the rare exception every 5 years or so, otherwise the climate here is wonderful all year long. Yesterday was, in my opinion, perfect. The only downside was that Elvis wasn't here to see it. I always wanted to show him snow. He enjoyed the cold weather so much. He loved to run around the backyard on cold rainy days, and just let the rain pour down on him. Strange cat. It was so funny to watch him run right out into it, and then right into the mud he would go. Big grin on his face.

Afterward I would bring him in and give him a bath. He would purr and smile. He was a cat that liked cold weather. In the summer when it would rain, sometimes he would sit under the dining table outside and just watch the drops of rain fall. I used to wonder what he had on his mind during those times? Was he daydreaming about a big chicken dinner? Was he thinking about a conversation he had the night before with one of his opossum friends? What could a cat like him be thinking about as the rain fell? He would have loved snow... I just know it. I think he would have been great to go tobogganing with, he loved to slide around, and he loved movement. I missed him yesterday. I miss him everyday.

Someday I will take either Dylan or Hendrix or maybe both along on one of my Bay Area snow jaunts. It would be my guess that Hendrix will be the one that will love snow. He is my little adventurer. He takes life at the speed of sound. Dylan will be waiting at home, to come and sit on my knee, while I sit typing at the computer about the adventure Hendrix and I had just had. That's what Dylan did yesterday, he sat purring on my knee for about 2 hours, which is better then any heating pad. I am missing Elvis so much, but these boys of mine take all that pain away, and turn it into warmth. :) There was more snow in the park this morning, so I say, Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

"Snow On Grizzly Peak"
Grizzly Peak Boulevard
Berkeley, California
December 16th, 2008


Monica said...

I can't remember when I ever saw snow while living in the Bay Area. I think we might have had some snow flurries once that melted as it hit the ground. I wasn't in the hills, I was down closer to the bay over in San Carlos. It is magical isn't it! Have fun and enjoy.


Suzanne R said...

I love the snow when it first comes down but it gets old pretty fast for me. ;-) We are getting it in Portland right now but out here to the south, where I live, it is just rain. Believe me when I say I am thankful for that as it looks like we will have a couple of days' respite from the bitter cold we had at the first of the week. I had to do some scrambling along with my son Jeff to protect my place from frozen and leaky pipes!

Your descriptions as usual are delightful to read. Thank you for the visual and word pictures!


cw2smom said...

Lucky you!!! We've had snow off and on for a few days now. I imagine the kids will be out of school again tomorrow! Their going to end up with a 3 week Christmas break! Lucky them! ;)
My oldest has a doctor's appt down the mtn in the morning so I hope the roads open soon! Glad you got to take some photos of your wonderful snowfall Carly! Blessings, Lisa

Jama said...

It looks lovely with the snow on the ground, but sure look freezing!