Enjoy the Last of the Color

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My favorite time of the year is drawing to a close. Winter is about to replace fall’s multi-colored coat with a drab, grey blanket. This year was especially colorful in Northwest Ohio, yielding vibrant reds and yellows in every direction, and seemingly timed to turn at the same time. A good year for fall colors, which old timers are telling me means a snowy winter. Oh boy oh boy. Winter wonderlands are a close second in my book to autumn colors. Don’t mind the cold if there’s a white blanket everywhere.

As Promised

The weather predictors were spot-on this morning:  blizzard conditions, more snow, level 3 road emergencies, all-in-all a great day to stay inside and read a good book. Or perhaps venture out, take some pix, then blog about it (before settling in with that good book).

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First (Real) Snow

snow-window.jpgWhen I rented this third-floor loft apartment overlooking downtown and the county courthouse, I dreamed of the day I could sit with window blinds pulled high and watch fluffy white flakes float to the earth collaborating to build a wonderful white blanket over everything. That day has finally arrived.

We’ve had a few false flake moments in the past few weeks, but today’s whitening is the beginning of the weekend storm that promises a little of everything: 6-12″ of snow, mixed in with a little sleet, slick highways and sidewalks, and of course, being that this IS Findlay, lots of wind. Fairly quiet at the moment (wind-wise) but tomorrow’s forecast is for 30+ mph gusts combined with more snow. Sounds like the stuff blizzard’s are made of…

I suppose I should have snapped these pictures from out in the middle of it all, but instead, they’re from the cozy warmth that comes from being inside while watching obviously cold conditions on the outside. Only thing I lack to make this ideal would be a nice roaring fire, but alas, no fireplace here.

snow-bricks.jpgI ventured out earlier on errands, making the mistake once of getting too near the local mall, my reward coming in the form of extra long waits at stoplights. Looked like lots of folks had the same idea: get out for a little shopping before it gets too slippery. And although my company’s Christmas party is scheduled for this evening, it’s now 3 o’clock and I’m witnessing cars sliding along down Main Street, no doubt by 8 tonight the roads will be nasty.

I’ve been here three winters now, and have always been puzzled by how long the city waits to order snowplowing. Seems like there’s an assumption that the hardy locals can drive through most anything, and any serious attempt at keeping the roads clear doesn’t start until either the snow stops falling or at least late into the night after the cars have gone home. Either way, it’s better to wait these out inside, with a nice cup of tea and the blinds pulled open to watch the wonder of snowfall.

Falling

My favorite time of the year is almost here:  October. With that glorious month comes two essential parts of falling:  pumpkins and fall blank (blank being your choice of weather, colors, changes, renewal, etc., etc.).

As I write this inside a coffee shop, outside it’s partly blue skies and I-could-really-get-used-to-this 57 degrees. Up until last week, we were firmly in the summer’s grasp, with days into the low 90s. The shift has us enjoying 40-50 degree mornings, with days rarely out of the 70s. A nice time of the year in Northwest Ohio.

While the tree colors haven’t arrived, here and there you’ll see bits of trees begin their annual change of clothing. Nothing spectacular, just the obvious signs that cooler weather is among us. And on a recent drive up towards Lake Erie, I passed more than one field scattered with bits of orange:  pumpkins! I hope to get out in the next few weeks to wander some pumpkin fields before they’re picked clean. A pumpkin’s life has two morbid paths:  either they end up grinning from side to side, gutted but well-lit, or cozying up to the likes of Grandma’s pie crust to the delight of pie fans everywhere. Not exactly the stuff pumpkin dreams are made of, but delightful to us mortals who enjoy the annual October rites.