In Praise of Snow

What is it about snow? We moan when we see the forecast. Act as if we are personally offended that the white stuff is coming down. Shrug as we salt our driveways and sidewalks for the umpteenth time.

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We seem surprised. Although—isn’t February in Illinois usually about snow?

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The prairie reminds us that snow can be beautiful.

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Snow paints still life after still life, using a limited palette.

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Without the full range of colors available, the prairie in February relies heavily on getting the structures right.

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Tallgrass blanketed with falling flurries offers  both stillness and motion.

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February’s snowy prairie is not so much about growing.  

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True, the deep root systems that plunge beneath the soil line spell life for the season ahead.

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Yet, the prairie’s icy surface tells the story of life on pause; at rest.

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Observing this, we are reminded to take stock of where we have been—and what has been— no matter how painful or difficult it is to look.

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To contemplate who and where we are in the here and now.

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To dream about what the landscape of our future might be.

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It’s this yearly rhythm of growth and rest …

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… that gives us space to reflect. To remember. To imagine.

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It’s  a lot to think about …  the next time we’re shoveling snow.

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All photos copyright Cindy Crosby (top to bottom): savanna, Hidden Lake Forest Preserve of DuPage County, Downer’s Grove, IL; squirrel in the snow, author’s backyard prairie, Glen Ellyn, IL; old field with prairie planting, East Side, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), East Side prairie planting, The Morton Arboretum; asters (Aster spp.), East Side prairie planting, The Morton Arboretum;  Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota), East Side prairie planting, The Morton Arboretum; goldenrod (Solidago spp.), East Side prairie planting, The Morton Arboretum; Schulenberg Prairie, The Morton Arboretum;  Nachusa Grasslands in winter, The Nature Conservancy, Franklin Grove, IL; brambles and snow, East Side prairie planting, The Morton Arboretum; Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota), East Side prairie planting, The Morton Arboretum; the path, Schulenberg Prairie, The Morton Arboretum; switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) on the snow, Meadow Lake, The Morton Arboretum; East Side prairie planting, The Morton Arboretum;  prairie plants and savanna at Hidden Lake Forest Preserve of DuPage County, Downer’s Grove, IL.

 

11 responses to “In Praise of Snow

  1. Cindy- This is really lovely. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So, so beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These are some of my favorite places and favorite time of year! Thank you for sharing, Cindy! My kiddos and I are interested in prairie walks you may lead at Morton Arboretum or other surrounding areas.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, Susan and Ginnie, for your lovely compliments.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you BeeHappee for leaving that nice comment! I’m glad we share some favorite places. You can message me at phrelanzer@aol.com.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice, love the photo of the curled grass.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you, Sondra, for taking time to comment!

    Like

  8. To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose…
    Beautiful, Cindy. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you, Barb, for your compliment! Love that verse….

    Like

  10. so enjoyable! I swear…I tell people I grew up in the Arboretum. 🙂 thank you for the great pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m so glad you grew up at the Arb! 🙂 That made me smile. Thanks for reading, Anneternet.

    Like

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