Tales from the field #21

Another weather-related tale to follow the drizzle in Arizona.  Last Friday I was scheduled to sit in the gift-shop at the 29 Palms Art Gallery, and was also going to take artwork in for the upcoming membership judged show.  I knew that there had been a little snow in the high desert because Snake Jagger had posted a picture of some snow in his front yard in Morongo Valley on Wednesday.

I love snow in the low desert: it’s up there on the mountains, where it looks pretty, not down here in the driveway where you have to shovel it.

On the Thursday afternoon, Darlene who is the scheduler at the 29 Palms Gallery called me and said that the previous day the grade between Morongo Valley and Yucca Valley had been closed because of snow on Wednesday and that it was snowing in Yucca Valley right now and was forecast to continue snowing until 11pm and freeze overnight.  She thought the chances of my making it to the gallery safely the next day were slim and had called in a possible substitute.

I said let’s wait until the morning to see.  Friday morning I called her and she said the sun was shining and everything was melting.  Caltrans website confirmed the 62 was open so I set out.

snow on Santa Rosas

There’s even snow on the Santa Rosas

Snow on San Gorgonios

San Gorgonio mountains with snow is not unusual

Snow on the grade up to Morongo

Getting closer to Morongo – on the 62 now – yes, it snowed up there!

I had to stop in Yucca Valley to pick up a painting that Raini had collected for me from the prior show so I was able to take an unusual photo – me with snow.

Jeni in Yucca Valley after snowstorm.

Selfie with snow (and sunshine).

I had considered taking a pic of me holding a snowball but the thought of cold wet hands made me reconsider.  This is quite close enough to the snow for me.

CAS newsletter – and music!

I love to forward the Cloud Appreciation Society’s newsletter.  This time there is a very interesting item about a song written about Luke Howard who is the man who classified the clouds.  You can hear a couple of these through the link, on youtube. I have the CD on order!

New Poem

Thought I would put a poem up instead of artwork today.  This one didn’t make the cut for my latest book but will likely be in the next one.  This is entirely from my imagination, I last built a snowman in January 2001 and it was not so big, I only had an inch of snow to work with.

Snowman

Off with the frozen gloves, so stiff with ice,
Off with the cozy beanie from my head,
unravel the scarf that’s wrapped around me twice
and the earmuffs so ugly they’re only fit for bed.
Off with the coat that’s the warmest thing I own,
off with the sodden Uggs that are starting to sweat,
wiggle the toes that are still in the frozen zone,
peel off the socks so the toes can start to melt.
On with the kettle, get the cocoa out,
splash in some vodka for an extra treat,
sip it while I admire, without a doubt
the fact that I’ve built the best one in the street.
Under the porch light my five-foot snowman glows
with coal black eyes and a big fat carrot nose.

A cold poem

So, just before we’re thinking about the thaw, here’s a recent poem.  It’s been quite a while since I built a snowman – 16 years, in fact.  I was just hunting around for things on which to write sonnets and somehow dug up this subject from a dusty back shelf in my brain.

Snowman

Off with the frozen gloves, so stiff with ice,
Off with the cosy beanie from my head,
unravel the scarf that’s wrapped around me twice
and the earmuffs so ugly they’re only fit for bed.
Off with the coat that’s the warmest thing I own,
off with the sodden uggs that are starting to sweat,
wiggle the toes that are still in the frozen zone,
peel off the socks so the toes can start to melt.
On with the kettle, get the cocoa out,
splash in some vodka for an extra treat,
sip it while I admire, without a doubt
the fact that I’ve built the best one in the street.
Under the porch light my five-foot snowman glows
with coal black eyes and a big fat carrot nose.