Winter Weather Advisory for Southeast Middlesex, MA
from 7 pm EST, Sat., Dec. 5, 2009 until 7 am EST, Sun., Dec. 6, 2009
Issued by The National Weather Service
Exciting, no?? Not the first snow of the season, god knows we got that during my race at Head of the Charles! But still ... snow! Yep, it still thrills me. Probably because, after all, I didn't move to North Dakota or anything, not even upstate New York or Maine. What that means, W Coasters, is that, sure it snows here, but it doesn't SNOW snow here.
Walking outside this morning, it felt like snow was coming. True, I knew snow was forecast, but there is a feel to the air and sky and light when snow's coming. Almost a certain thickness that presages the coming blanket of white.
It'll come as no surprise to anyone who's read a few of my postings to hear that I love weather advisories. They're ... so exciting ... so filled with promise. In fact, I'm going to share one with you! Just look at their all caps! I'll edit down, leave the exciting parts, how's that? If you skip over, I won't even know. (OK, because some parts are SO exciting so as not to be missed, I'm making them red! Oops, red!)
... WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 7 AM EST SUNDAY...
RAIN IN RHODE ISLAND AND EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS WILL GRADUALLY CHANGE TO SNOW ... PROBABLY ... IN THE INTERSTATE 95 CORRIDOR FROM WESTERLY TO PROVIDENCE AND BOSTON... BETWEEN 4 PM AND 7 PM.
SNOW IS EXPECTED TO FALL HEAVILY FOR A TIME THIS EVENING BEFORE TAPERING OFF BETWEEN 3 AM AND 6 AM. STORM TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS ARE EXPECTED TO RANGE FROM 2 TO 5 INCHES... BUT LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS ARE POSSIBLE DEPENDING ON THE DEVELOPMENT AND PLACEMENT OF HEAVY SNOW BANDS.
THE SNOW MAY BE WET AND HEAVY AND THIS COULD ALLOW FOR SCATTERED POWER OUTAGES TONIGHT. THERE IS A LOW PROBABILITY THAT A PORTION OF THIS WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MAY HAVE TO BE UPGRADED TO A WINTER STORM WARNING IF IT LOOKS AS THOUGH SNOW AMOUNTS WILL BE HIGHER.
... FIRST PLOWABLE SNOWFALL OF THE SEASON FOR MUCH OF SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND LATE TODAY AND ESPECIALLY TONIGHT...
The rowing part
During the morning's row, I do my usual pauses to stretch my back, stretch my hamstrings (best as I can while remaining upright in a boat), gaze around me, marvel at the river, drink some water. (This might be part of the reason why I'm not so very fast. Too much stopping to drink in, literally and figuratively.) I'm slowly realizing my favorite part of the river is at the farther upstream point, which means every time I get up there, I don't want to turn around and head back, I'm always tempted to go a little farther. And then on the way back, my back will remind me it's only so strong as of yet.
[Commercial break for emergency watering of the drooped-over plant in the living room, Seven. Sorry, Seven!]
But, it's beautiful up there -- wilder somehow, even with the same roads running along both sides of the river ... it's just less trafficked. On the way up, I stop short in laughing surprise at two ducks perched on a branch protruding from the river. Just hanging out on the branch, you know, as ducks so often do. Passing under the farthest upstream bridge, Arsenal St, I see my favorite rowing graffiti (the undersides of the bridges carry the paint of rowers' words, taunts, pride, jokes): "anything is possible," in green all caps. True in rowing, true in life.
On the way back, passing under the Weeks bridge, the tight turn, I plow into the midst of a flock of geese, who immediately begin honking and scolding. I stop and laugh, I see their point, but this is where I have to be to stay on the right side of the river and get home. They part, annoyed.
At another stretch, as I stop and look around, I am struck by the palette of mostly greys to browns in varying hues. The water, a deep grey, maybe even black; the gravel along the water's edges, a deep grey, fading lighter, chalkier as it recedes from the water. The trunks and spiky tree branches are nearly all variants of grey to brown, a few darker rust patches where leaves were red, a few slender white trunks interspersed among the greys and browns. Occasionally , a few splashes of green yet -- in the trees that look to be pine-y, in some moss along the banks, in patches of grass on an embankment across the road. A vivid spot of iridescent green in the nearby mallard's head. Otherwise, the hues are mostly drab, similar, but on a closer look, a whole spectrum of hues, even within these few shades. There's a stark winter beauty to the landscape, maybe it's the signal of passing time, or of our season of cold and hibernation, a brief death before renewal.
Afterward, home, showered, oatmeal eaten, I sit in jeans and soft t-shirt, hearing the radiators cozily hiss, listening to the slightly otherworldly/medieval chanty Dead Can Dance, happily tired after the row (8 miles! now up to 319) and work partying (lest you get the wrong idea, this would be for my mandated boathouse volunteer hours, today's consisted of sweeping floors and bagging large piles of leaves). Uncharacteristically, all I really want to do is sleep and cozily wait to welcome the coming snow. But -- things to do! Peppermint brownies to make for tonight's boathouse party. A choice of which black dress to wear. A local arts sale I want to hit. Trips out for photocopying and cat food. Plans to be hashed out for tomorrow. All the exciting things I must do. There's also my beloved boxing class, even as I feel tuckered and sleepy right about now. I'm drinking Awake tea to help matters. And switch on the light to see if that helps matters....
Post-party, late for me, wanted to share a few photos ... no, not of the party, I'm not really slick enough to take photos of actual PEOPLE yet.
This was from Friday's row.
And these, from my deck tonight....