Tomorrow at 5:07 AM, I’ll rouse G. who said she wanted to greet the solstice by going outside and dancing naked in the snow. She won’t rouse. She’ll just roll over and stay in the warm bed. So, the solstice may go ungreeted, but it won’t arrive unnoticed. The temperature is supposed to be below zero in the morning. The wind is going to drop wind chills to -30 or -40 or -50. It may snow. Winter, which has been here for weeks, will officially arrive. The cold and snow will be around for four or five more months. The only difference is that as days lenghten, we’ll be able to see the weather longer each day.
During the long Wyoming winters rather than sit inside and glower out the window, it’s helpful to find things you like about the season. One of the things we noticed when we moved here from Kansas, where winter is generally cursed and looked upon as something to endure, is that many people look forward to winter. Hunters are eager for snow in hunting season. Snow makes game easier to track. Skiers and boarders of all persuasions can hardly wait for there to be enough snow to get out and play. There are many snow mobiles sold in this area to those who shun using their own power to get out in the mountain snow.
I found there are lots of things I like about winter. I like to snow shoe and cross country ski. Winter sunrises last longer and seem more colorful than those of the other seasons. Sitting in the hot tub while flakes drift down and melt on your face and shoulders is delightful. The fluff we get here is so beautiful when freshly fallen. When there is a full moon and the ground is covered with snow, the light’s almost enough to read outside in the middle of the night. But, one of my favorite things is the sound of snow crunching beneath my boots when it is really cold. I’d noticed the crunching for years, but never thought about just how cold it needed to be to make the right conditions for crunching. It turns out that the temperature has to be 14 degrees or less. The snow should be very crunchy all weekend.