I’m still getting used to winter in the Pacific Northwest, having grown up in the Northeast. While there are similarities between the coasts, there are also major differences. Here in the PNW, the winters are generally wet, cloudy, and dark with a little bit of snow. As a kid, I lived to play on snowy days, being outside for hours as we sledded, built snow forts, and skied. I loved it when the snow was so dry and fluffy it squeaked when I walked on it. And I still remember the excitement when local ponds froze over so we could go skating. Although we have several lakes and ponds around us now, we don’t get cold temps long enough for them to freeze over for skating.
As much as I’ve been adapting to milder winters, I love it when after weeks of dark and wet the temperatures drop and the air becomes crisp and dry. With blue skies and sunshine during the day and stars twinkling with moonlight at night. When there is frost on windows and the frozen ground crunches underfoot. And hunkering down by a wood stove fire. There’s something magical when the flakes fall and everything is blanketed with white.
We look out on a small nearby mountain whose low peak is often shrouded by clouds this time of year. With mild temperatures, staying above freezing much of the time, winters stay quite wet. The green of our lawn never turns brown, and trees naked without leaves show off moss and lichen that live symbiotically with them. When we do get snow, it’s usually followed by thick clouds and rising temps turning it to slush and melting it all away. It’s not dry, powdery snow you get in colder climates, but once in a while, we’re treated to a cold snap.
This past Christmas, snow began falling on Christmas Eve and didn’t let up for about 48 hours. Then we were treated to clear blue skies as the thermometer plunged into the teens and then single digits Fahrenheit. It was crisp!!
And then it snowed some more! All in all I think we had around 18″ within a week before frigid temperatures inched back up to the twenties and thirties for the first week of 2022. Now we’re back to daytime temperatures in the forties with clouds and drizzle, and the snow has finally melted. Back to the oh, so familiar dark and wet. Perfect conditions for mushrooms and moss, and being inside sipping tea.
Enjoy a few photos from the past month.