Friday, April 22, 2011

Springus interruptus

As we closed out the first month of spring, another 5 to 10 inches of snow fell on Northeast Wisconsin - the kind of thick, heavy snow that bends branches and strains backs. The only consolation was that street and road surfaces were warm enough that the accumulation was not as thick on concrete and asphalt as it was on the bare ground.

In fact our driveway didn't need clearing even though 3-4 inches of white covered the yard that just two days earlier had been showing its first signs of healthy green.

Last year at this time, the weather was so mild by April 20 that I optimistically planted a row of radishes, peas and beans in a corner of the garden. My foolishness became clear with the cold snap and flurries of the first weekend in May. But those flurries were mid-July weather compared to the scene in our yard Wednesday.

On this Friday morning, the only sign of the storm is the bent arbor vitaes that will probably never recover. All of the gunk that snapped branches, dropped power lines and sent vehicles spinning has now melted. The forecasters say sunny and 55 on Sunday, 66-70 by Tuesday. Like all cold storms that interrupt a promise of hope, this one has faded into memory, a diversion more fit for laughter than despair.

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