Winter, Where Art Thou?

Winter Used to Mean… Winter

I love winter in the mountains. The entire landscape changes from earth tones to otherworldly winter white, there are different birds flitting about… even the sounds change. Everything gets quieter, more muted. You can see better at night! These are all things I love about winter. And up here, it’s still winter in spring… as depicted in this image, from last April:


But Now…

This year it’s another matter. There’s no snow on the ground at all right now, as you can see from an iPhone photo I took only yesterday, whilst strolling along the shores of Lake Tahoe, California. Elevation 6200′.


I can see snow off in the distance, at much higher elevations, but not enough to fist pump about. Seems the jet stream pattern is to consistently arc up and over California, missing us altogether… then land right around Utah & Colorado as it continues east.

A Mere Couple of Years Ago…

By contrast, here’s a video my husband took a couple of years ago, about this time of year… and yep, that’s me blowin’ snow around the house after a typical snowstorm dump that year.

I don’t have a pithy conclusion to these musings. Only that we’re a bit low on water. Our snowpack supplies most of California – largely southern CA – and without much of a snowpack for a few years, it’s gonna get interesting.

I said to my husband the other day… “If we decide to move, let’s pick someplace with water, ‘kay?”

California was ALL a complete desert at one point in time… it became a lush state in more recent history.
I suppose everything goes in cycles. This one has me thinking it might be good to be ahead of it somehow!

9 thoughts on “Winter, Where Art Thou?

  1. Hi Karen — love the photos and you’re right about the unpredictable weather even for us out here in the Colorado mountains. We’ve gotten some snow but not nearly like we have in the past. I guess like anything else it comes and goes in cycles.

  2. Karen, that’s a striking difference between those two photos and though I love both the dimensionality of the snowy b&w and the coloured atmosphere of the other one, there is surely that joy from and expectation of snow related to them. I’ve had similar experience here, in the Czech Republic. In the part where I’ve been living we had very mild winter and almost no snow last year which was very disappointing and this winter seems just a tiny bit better so I still hope there will be more frost and snow. The local nature is used to it so when temperatures are rising unexpectedly, it’s confused and behaves in a weird way. I wonder whether we all really need to get accustomed to these changes or whether they are just temporary.

    1. I’ve now heard from all over the world, Petra – seems we’re all experiencing something similar. I thought (maybe hoped) it was more localized than that. And I wonder the same thing… do we get used to it or think it’s temporary. Of course on some level, EVERYTHING is temporary! Life’s like that. Thanks for the word from over there… I’m starting to hear from all over the world!

  3. I hear you. Here in central Scotland we woke up to some snow. But we haven’t had much in the way of snow or frost this winter as yet. The snow and the frost in the winter and all the red and golden colours in the autumn make for beautiful landscapes. It just isn’t the same without the snow and frost. As we have had a few mild winters now.

    1. Wow Cameron – between you, Petra in the Czech Republic and us over here… it would appear we’re seeing a trend. Hopefully only a short term one! Very interesting…

  4. I’ve learned to expect the unexpected in most But I agree The Sierras and the Rocky’s look naked without Snow, and Calif. needs a good dumping of the fluffy white stuff badly. You’re about to exhaust the last of the reserves, have you checked out the water tables reports for Calif. lakes lately? I did a couple of months ago and didn’t like what I was reading at all…….Okay enough said on that subject. BTW that is one gorgeous B&W .

  5. Love your blogs and commentaries, Karen. Also love your photographs – which are very much along the line of things I pursue. By profession I’m an attorney. By avocation I take photos in the mountains of Utah. We too are far behind the norm in snow pack and water. My partner the water attorney just said “Water’s like air and sex . . . you don’t really notice it until you’re not getting any!”

    On the bright side, Tahoe is beautiful with or without snow. The Rockies of Utah simply look naked and gray/brown without winter coats!

    1. Thanks Mark!
      and what a GREAT quote… ha! Your partner is sure right about that.

      As for comparisons between our two places… it’s pretty dull and brown around here too! Expectations lead us to expect so much more all the time, don’t they?

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