Sunday, January 8, 2012

Waiting on Mother Nature

By Ruth A. Ringelstetter

Friday afternoon, as I worked at my computer, I glanced at the thermometer and was surprised to read 48 degrees! How is that possible in January in Wisconsin? We’ve barely had enough snow this year to make a snowman, although I have seen some small attempts by neighborhood children.

After several days, the snow and the snowmen were gone.

Usually by this time, Joann and I have made multiple winter trips out into the snow-covered countryside to help us unwind from our office jobs. No such luck for us this year, but we have our prior years’ photos to look back on.

So far this winter, we’ve had one rain event where, had it been snow, we would have had a foot of snow on the ground, along with several small snows of one to two inches. Those small snows whitened the ground for a few days and then the roads were clear and slowly the temperature rose again and the snow melted quickly.

Winter in Wisconsin is usually cold and snowy. I know that the official winter season has several months to go yet. Since we have already passed the winter solstice, the days are slowly getting longer again and we’re gaining about two minutes of daylight every day.

The majority of the country is experiencing the same lack of snow. According to David Robinson, a professor in the geography department at Rutgers University, December of 2011 was the 11th least snowy season of the past 46 years across the United States.

We’ve had winters like this in other years, but our memories of Wisconsin winters are filled with snow. We’re spending our time this winter catching up on some other things. Joann is busy working down her photography to do list, while I continue to research new locations to explore. There never seems to be enough time for either of us to get all of our “to do” items done. Although this downtime without snow is not feeding our backroads passion, it is allowing us some time to catch up.

I have no doubt we’ll still get some snow this winter. Some years March is our snowiest month, so if we can just wait it out, Mother Nature will deliver some snow. I’m sure the winter enthusiasts can’t wait.

We still have several locations we are waiting to capture in winter, so when we do get snow, we’ll try to head out and capture those scenes.

Until then, Happy Shunpiking!

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