09 October 2009

Early and Often

I won't apologize for the blog being something of Wyoming Weather Report central.

This morning we had our first shushing kind of snow: enough depth and heft to quiet everything on the surface. The clatter of dry stones in the side-streets of Casper halted; there was no rustle in the cottonwood leaves. The cottonwoods themselves have their frosty jackets on always: silvered leaf-backs that flutter up and show with each breath of the west wind (don't tell me that has come from some bag, Ulysses and Aeolus--it comes from the Absaroka Mountains and follows the snakelike North Platte). But today the trees show nothing because the snow is white gravity, holding down even the air. The small, white flakes fall vertically today, dense as wet sand, and it's just the kind of thing that gives me reason to read to my class my favorite paragraph in modern English: the last 160 words of James Joyce's "The Dead."

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