Blue sky after snowstorm

I’ve lived in New England long enough to notice that the day after a snowstorm is often sunny. Yesterday while the snow fell, the sky was dishrag gray, but this morning the sky was blue and cloudless: crystalline.

Backyard after snowstorm

These clear blue days after snowstorms always feel like a kind of consolation: Mother Nature’s way of apologizing. After you’ve hunkered down through the throes of a storm, you’ll be rewarded the morning after with perfect weather for digging out. Even if the day after a snowstorm is cold, the sun quickly gets down to the business of melting, so if you’re diligent about clearing most of the snow from your car, sidewalks, and other surfaces, the sun will take care of the rest.

Yesterday’s snow was wet and heavy, so today our neighborhood is dotted with downed branches and an occasional toppled tree. Wet and heavy snow is the most likely to take down power lines, but we weathered the storm without losing power. Today the trees around our house were particularly picturesque, with each twig highlighted with a bold stroke of white. Soon enough, the snow will fall from the trees and grow dirty underfoot, but today, our neighborhood looked like it had been slathered with a thick layer of white frosting.


This winter has been remarkably mild, so it’s almost a relief to have a bit of snow on the ground to brighten an otherwise drab winter landscape. A fresh blanket of snow is like a fresh coat of paint that reflects and magnifies the sunlight so many of us crave. A bleak winter landscape without snow looks stark and naked, but a layer of snow brightens everything it touches.

Snow to go - March 9 / Day 68

We ended up getting 16 inches of snow in our latest storm, but I don’t think it will stay around for long. On Friday afternoon, after the flakes stopped falling, J and I kicked into our usual snow-removal drill, with J plying the snow-blower and roof rake while I shook snow from buried shrubs and trees, cleaned off my car, and shoveled the entrance to our backyard dog pen.


It’s a routine J and I have perfected after a series of big snowfalls, and after about two hours of work, we both were sopped with snow and sweat, with the reward of a clean driveway, clear sidewalks, and trees and shrubs that were standing upright rather than bent double under heavy snow. We’ve learned that the sun often shines bright after big snowstorms, so the sooner you can dig out, the sooner the sun will finish the job for you, melting away the remnants of snow you left behind.

Drive to the basket

Late Saturday morning, J and I parked our car in Newton Centre then walked the rest of the way to Boston College, where we had tickets for the last men’s basketball game of the season. The sidewalks on Beacon Street were un-shoveled for most of the way (as they had been after last month’s blizzard), forcing us to walk the edge of the berm/bike lane while cars zoomed past. The basketball game was a thrillingly close, come-from-behind victory, and by the time we walked back to Newton Centre, the city had plowed the sidewalks on Beacon Street–our tax dollars at work–and in places where the sidewalks had been plowed bare, they’d already baked dry in the March sun.

By the time we got home, our backyard Gorby, who had been buried the day before…

Buried again

….was already bareheaded in the sun.

After the snowstorm

I don’t think we’ll be ready for snowdrops and sandals by March 13, as we were last year…but a ten-day forecast filled with daytime temperatures above freezing means we won’t be blanketed in snow for long. In March, we take our snow to go.