Chant du monde boréal
Sandshifter, 60N.
Where it all makes sense.



Through Chronicles from Arcania, I shall attempt to share walks with you, this poetics from 60N, where I feel at one with our Earth, my sense of place so maritime.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

once upon a big sky many words for snow?

Up to four seasons in one day we can enjoy on the island. April feels capricious. If I can start to remember what an after 6 p.m. sun can feel, a sudden U-turn to Svalbard (without the polar bears) still surprises the most astute and tolerant mind... So is our fate in the Far-far North. The forecast hardly changed since the past week. I looked at my flowering redcurrant shrubs and thought, argh, weel...

In an effort to break the spell, I played Kate's 50 Words For Snow, though in vain. Since Saturday, a determined sky began to spit flurries that warned us of more to come. I pit-stopped at the main country shop in the southern part of the island to get basic necessities (including those precious firelighters) as part of my effort to spot an early Northern Wheatear around Spiggie. The bird having been reported on Fair Isle, I took my chances. However, I came home without our felines' favourite food...  (NOT the bird.) Peewit looked at me with disdain. Baboo walked away through the flap and Tystie nearly broke a lamp! 
With snow forecast, I can't afford to mess around. Second shopping spree in the town to return home with a jute bag filled with delights, fit for felines and our own needs :-)

Then north wind began to gust around the walls of our Shetland Hut. N/NNE, as time went by and our hearth began to work on a constant basis once more. From those directions, it really feels cold! My other half later joked about Yule time... "Why not set up the tree again and bake mince pies?" I laughed in the face of whiteness! Snowflakes flew in diagonal and by this morning, we opened our door to a mini-version of Svalbard, or mini-mini Canada, not so unusual for April after all, though still slightly disheartening at first sight. Sparrows still sing during snow showers, though blackbirds vanish from their pedestal and wonder if they won't lose out on courtisanes... 

first view this morning

 Although I expected flurries, I did not imagine so much would stay overnight... Snow does not stick long enough to the ground after the equinox. Still tucked in my fleecy blanket with two hot water bottles at my feet, I did not really feel like getting up at 0830 - especially since I am free from timetables! So I lingered in bed a little. All three cats did not make any fracas on the other side of the door. White, white, white, white!
No snowday disrupted the winter term (oh, barely a February weekend) and, gosh, now it's arrived!

White out, psycho-hail, twisting, ankle-breaker, blackbird's Braille, drifting, avalanche... Stellar tundra, crème bouffant, Hunter's dream, hooded wet, terror blizzard, vanilla swarm, sorbet de luge, as  through the lips of Stephen Fry. 
Let me hear your 50 words for snooooowwwwwwwww! 

My world had vanished once again under late winter's white blanket. This morning's Shetland Times did not read too encouraging either...

the other side of the coin in one day

Trillions of snowflakes melting at the speed of light!
Just by magic, as a bitter NE began to sweep away snow shower clouds, a more dignified spring-like blue filled our afternoon  sky.

This time, white light filling our world!
The garden still bears a few remnants from this morning's  capricious sky - with scarfs around trees and shrubs, blotches of crystals dispersed and and there in the shade... But nothing serious. The cats' passage looks safe from grass level. 

From Arctic spell to spring Technicolour!

I love the island. Its light changes all the time. Now time to listen to Good Evening, Shetland, just in time for the weather forecast :-)

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