, Newburyport, MA


March 8, 2013

You just never know about the snow

The month of March has this about it: Weather reports are likely to contain a lot of ifs, ands and buts.

This was written mid-week following a mid-afternoon walk down Newbury’s Hay Street. The temperature was well above freezing, and the breeze was soft and easterly.

It was a very promising afternoon, and it was made more so when I learned that a red-winged blackbird had been seen.

I am much taken by the red-wings. They arrive quietly on the cusp of spring to brighten the marshes with their distinctive chatter while settling in.

They are not put off by weather reports of threatening snow and don’t seem to be that much bothered if the reports are fulfilled.

We are, of course. Snow makes for all kinds of preparatory reaction because — well, you never know.

The first of it is welcomed, but we quickly tire of it. Snow — especially when it comes heavily laden with water or driven by strong winds — can be a major nuisance. There is little more challenging in our winters than shoveling when it’s wet and heavy.

Oh, it’s all very well if it doesn’t interfere with our daily activities, but more often than not it does. The charm of it is soon gone, especially when snowplows replace what has been so painfully removed or we find ourselves without electricity.

I was reminded of that on Tuesday by Bryan Eaton’s Daily News photo taken at the city’s snow dumping site in the riverside parking lot adjacent to Cashman Park where entry is adjacent to the former Towle Silver building.

Photos are limited to what available space on a news page provides. It would have taken a half page to show just how dominating the snow pilings are. It’s not just their size, it’s their foreboding menace. Huge dirt-laden masses await the warmth ahead to spill all they have sponged up from city streets into the river that so complicates efforts to attend environmental concerns.

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