One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."

First Snow


We have previously established that the season is turning, that winter’s coming home.  But I guess I was feeling a little complacent because, for so many of the November-Decembers I have lived here on the Cape, it’s been warm enough to hang Christmas lights and other outdoor holiday decorations without having to be too bundled up.  I suppose I thought this year would be more of the same, despite our recent dip into cold temperatures.

And perhaps, if I had paid more attention to the “forty percent chance of snow” I know remember overhearing in yesterday’s forecast, this morning wouldn’t have been such a surprise.   I knew something was up the moment my eyes opened.  Somehow, it was brighter in the bedroom than usual and when I lifted my head to look out the window, I saw why:  snow, covering the ground!




I really haven’t too much to say about this.   I don’t mind, because a little bit of white on the ground does help me ease into the wintery season before us…and as I begin to contemplate the fast approaching holiday season, it helps gentle me into thinking about that, too.   Also, since I won’t be celebrating Thanksgiving in the Adirondacks this year, where I have often had my first taste of snow for the winter, I suppose this is a good omen for my travels to Connecticut in the coming week!

The bachelor’s buttons which were blooming so nicely earlier in the week are now finally frosted and finished with their season.   I’m sort of sorry I didn’t think to pot one up for inside enjoyment this winter, since they were doing so nicely…but it will also be good to start fresh next spring.

I’m afraid I did leave that fantastic canna outside until this morning, so I am hoping that wasn’t too badly frosted, as I would certainly enjoy hosting it again.   Fingers crossed on that front.



gulls-on-wingHaving moved here from the Adirondacks – “winter capital of the world” it sometimes seemed – I was accustomed to the idea that, in winter, parking lots are often filled with clumps of snow and ice, the debris that falls off the bottom of cars and trucks, the kind of stuff that builds up in your wheelwell that you have to kick free sometimes.

But I remember the first winter visit I made to a beach parking lot on Cape Cod, seeing those familiar chunks of dirty white snow and ice…and then being absolutely astounded when they GOT UP and walked out of the way as I approached in my car.

Since today is our first…and light…snowfall for the year, such clumps of snow and ice aren’t yet a feature of parking lots out this way…and it’s easier to see them for the cold seagulls they are, huddling low to the pavement to stay clear of the winds off the water.    But with that memory of the first experience with them in my mind, they still amuse me when they get up and walk out of the way, or suddenly take the sky.

It’s that same wind, of course, that’s keeping the snow from piling up too much on the beach this morning.   This was an almost sunny moment this morning, around 9:30, when I was out and about for a while.   The winds that howled and jangled wind chimes throughout the night continue to do so, bringing us an occasional scud of frenzied snow flurries. 



Comments on: "First Snow" (10)

  1. Such a pretty light snow! It’s easy for me to say that from the comfort of my sunny 50 degree Saturday in South Carolina. :) I hope your winter is more pretty than painfully cold, dear Gardener.

    I will always choose pretty over painfully cold. Mostly, I think it’s a product of dressing properly and knowing when to go back inside and snuggle up with a kitty and some hot chocolate or steaming cider. Thanks for your warm winter wishes.

    I’m glad you can enjoy this post with TWICE the temperature we have today! : )~

  2. I wish our ice clumps would get up and walk away. But I do like the fresh snow. It covers up all the ground debris. And on the night of a full moon, there is a magical quality to the light reflected on the snow.

    I love a fresh coat of snow for how pretty it makes things, and if its deep enough, it’s nice insulation for the snoozing winter garden. And, as I will remind you (and me) every time it snows as spring approaches, a nice free source of nitrogen for the poor man’s garden!

  3. we’ve had a couple of snows like the one you just had. mostly they’ve melted away though. i hear that parts of ontario got huge piles of snow crippling some towns and cities there, but being on the semi-arid prairies we’ve not gotten a whole lot….yet.

    I don’t mind a few little snows to get us into the right frame of mind for winter. That always seems like a nice easy way to get into it. It’s the 24 F degree temps – before windchill – that are a little much to take at this end of November! Brrr…

  4. It’s amazing for me – the snow is. I know I know. That’s because I haven’t been there and it’s not my plants freezing, but isn’t it fun to throw snowballs at each other? I’ve never had that fun. [sigh]

    The kind of snow that makes good snowballs…and snow people…usually happens on slightly warmer days, when there is a little more moisture in the mix. Today’s snow was dry and powdery, which means it was easy to sweep from steps or off windshields of cars…but wouldn’t pack very well for snowballs. You’re right, though, that IS a lot of fun!

    Meanwhile, I enjoyed visiting your garden blog for a taste of summer on such a cold day. Thanks!

  5. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I miss snow.

    Not so hard to believe. It’s so much more interesting than rain! : )

  6. My southern california upbringing makes the snow/beach scene difficult to wrap my brain around. That’s hilarious about the clumps of snow up and walking away.

    Yah, it really sort of freaked me out the first time…but then it was fall-down funny when I realized what was going on!

  7. Even before I’d read the story, I thought the seagulls looked like lumps of dirty snow off the bottoms of cars. So funny. I love snow when I’m in rural areas; in cities it tends to get dirty and disgusting very quickly, so one has all the hassle with none of the aesthetic appeal. Still, any good excuse for curling up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate is fine by me. A purring kitty is a bonus.

    I’m sure it will still amuse you the first time you see those winter gulls in action!

    I imagine the City is quite beautiful in snow…at first, anyway. But then, you moved there in time for a blizzard, didn’t you? I guess that gave you an interesting and fast perspective on snow in the Urbs.

    The hot chocolate, the reading, the kitty: right there’s why you and I get along so well. We know the value of the truly important things in life!

  8. I like how you mention that things were suddenly so bright at the arrival of the snow. As cold as things may be, the snowcone landscape suddenly does look perkier in its own weird way. We’ll ask you again how you feel about the snow in a few months, however…

    I had a feeling that’s what had happened before I even looked out the window. There’s a different quality to the light when it’s so brightly reflected off the ground like that.

    Yes, ask me in March what I think of the snow!

  9. We had our first snow in Baltimore on Friday also. It was pretty. The flakes were huge and puffy. Alas, the snow didn’t accumulate, but it was nice while it lasted. :)

    Sometimes, it’s enough of a seasonal treat to have the snow flying about in the air without the accumulation, I think. There’s always more time for blowing and drifting in January, I think!

  10. Beautiful pictures, all.

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