Saturday, February 2, 2008
Today marks the midpoint of winter. Our coldest days are (historically, anyway) behind us, but some of the best skiing is still coming up. Rather than four seasons, I see eight: four of "full" seasons and four of transitions, when one season starts to give way to another, almost imperceptibly at first. The period between the solstice and today was full winter, with little sign of spring returning. From here on, the coming of spring will be more noticeable every week; even while our snow pack increases, the days will be getting longer and the light will change with the height of the sun. When I woke up at 7:30 to take my sons to the ski bus this morning, it wasn't pitch dark outside; the clouds over the low spot in the mountains where the sun comes up in the winter were salmon orange, and the sky was lightening rapidly. Soon the sun will start rising over taller parts of the Bridgers as it moves north along the horizon, and even the deep spring snows won't be able to hide summer's approach.