Photo by Tom Boyd
Snow, Nature, waiting, skiing
November 13, 2007 —
It is natural for Nature to be fickle, normal for it to remain unknown, and very typical for it to be unpredictable. For every truth about Nature there are a million unknown things, facts which lay undiscovered beneath the reach of microscopes and beyond the grasp of telescopes, and always it creates performances which we could never, never predict.
This is what happens to me when snow is scarce in November. I get philosophical.
Allow me to restate: Natural snow is scarce. Man-made snow is doing fine, thanks to cold nights which allow snowmaking to occur. Still, due to Septemberís stormy insistence on being more wintery than usual, and Novemberís cheery insistence on being more autumnal than usual, the snow conditions of the two months are identical and, strangely, very much like what one might expect in October. Call it a tradeoff. Can you guess when the picture in this blog was taken? Late September, and conditions have been more or less the same ever since.
A reminder: donít fault Nature. She almost always leaves leaves on the trees far too late, or steals them far too early. Our mean averages of the climate are just that: mean. Nature, like Napoleon, never chooses the middle ground. She prefers to attack all-out, or hide her big guns for later times.
Right now sheís hiding her big guns. In response, we are bringing out our guns, our snow guns, and when Vail opens this Friday, Iíll be out there riding on the man-made stuff. Itís not a snub of Nature, itís just a form of insurance, a way to keep the annual clock ticking regular so that we humans can feel a little more secure in an otherwise fickle, unknown, and unpredictable natural world.
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