I’d like to think that snow on Halloween, or the days leading up to it, is a rare occurrence. Sadly, it is not. At least, it’s not rare anymore. For 3 of the past 4 years, there has been snow – light or heavy – in the days leading up to Halloween. “Freak Winter Storm” is the usual name for this. This year’s, 2011, is different, though. It is a full blown Nor’easter, complete with extensive power outages from blown transformers and downed lines, massive tree damage, blocked roads, over 6 inches of wet, heavy snow and winds.
I think we need to call Halloween something else, so I’ve coined “Merry Halloween” as the more appropriate salutation. Trick or treaters will be wearing boots (my son wants to wear his snow shoes) and other winter gear. Costumes will largely be covered. Traipsing through snow go get pieces of candy seems like a lot more trouble than it’s worth. This leads me to wonder:
Do we stay home and feast on the candy we bought with the intention of doling it out?
Do we bundle up like eskimos and assure the folks in the neighborhood that we are wearing costumes underneath it all, really? But please don’t make us unzip the coats to prove it, we don’t want to get frost bite. Just toss us a Twix and we’ll be on our way!
For the past 4 years, we’ve hosted a Halloween party for our son’s friends. A few are in the neighborhood, most are school mates in town, and some are close family friends who travel over half an hour to get here. It’s always an indoor party, there are crafts and games. The parties, coincidentally, began with this new autumn climate phenomenon. It’s definitely a coincidence, but it’s also beginning to feel like a curse. We can laugh at this, and we do. If I actually thought I could influence weather patterns in any way, I’d be using my power for good, not evil.
For one thing, I’d rearrange the overwatering of the Northeast that happened this summer and balance it out with some rain in Texas. If our big lobster/BBQ party in the summer didn’t make that weather blip happen, then clearly my power over weather simply doesn’t exist.
Today is the day before Halloween, there is snow EVERYWHERE I look outside. The sun is shining and therefore melting the snow. The snow is now dropping, rather than dripping, constantly and often the chunks are the size of softballs. Branches are bent in unnatural angles. I keep expecting them to pop back to their normal position once the snow has slid off but, so far, that hasn’t happened.
The trees that withstood a hurricane are now sadly bowed and bent yet also beautiful – snow does that, hiding the damage it’s created under an innocent white blanket. The effect is begging for black and white photography to do it justice.
We took many photos this morning, the sun pink and yellow. The colored leaves are pretty much still on the trees, as well as the branches that fell during the storm. I’m not sure how old the 2 large trees in our front yard are but they look substantial. I’m sad to think that we may have to take them down at some point. At the very least, they need a lot of trim work. I hope they will be stronger, and we’ll be safer, once that’s done.
Related to all of this was the headline that a well known global warming skeptic has publicly announced his agreement with the broad scientific consensus that Global Warming is a fact, not just a theory. Looking out the window as I type this and listening to the hum of chain saws, I’m not sure if the irony is funny or frightening. I err with science on just about everything but I don’t see rain out there, I see snow. In October. It would be nice to hear theories as to what is happening…anything to explain this.
As for next year, maybe we’ll have the Halloween party in August, just to play it safe.