Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Snow Day

There are some things that make the world spin a little slower. One of those is snow in Austin. Not the icy rain and sleet we get every few years that shuts the city down, but real snow. The light fluffy stuff you can use to make snow men and snowballs to hurl at your colleagues in the parking lot.

I work a good fifteen miles north of where I live and up there, the snow really accumulated and even covered the grass in some of the nearby fields. Along the neighborhood trails, there wasn’t quite as much, but it was good enough for someone to make this pissed off looking snow man. He’s probably upset that it’ll be sunny with highs in the 50s tomorrow when spring comes back.

After work, I took a walk down the trail to see what it looks like in snow, since it hasn’t snowed since we’ve lived here. I walked to the bridge, figuring the area around it would have the greatest accumulation, but the trail had been well-walked today. I took the above picture thinking it might make a nice contrast with this one I took last summer.

I walked down to the pond to check on the ducks (Gadwalls, Ring-necked and American Wigeon). They were huddled together in the reeds on the near shore. I watched them paddle about and tried to think of when it’s snowed like this here.

I don’t remember ever seeing real snow accumulating in the 22 years I’ve lived here other than one day in Dallas when all of us working at a video editing company stood out on the fire escape and watched it snow while the pawn shop next door burned down.

No fires today, which is fine since it wasn’t really all that cold by the time I got out on the trail. Most of the snow had melted off and there wasn’t much in the way of accumulation, but it was nice to see the trail in a different way, which is, I think, the magic of snow days when you live in a place that doesn’t have them.

These kind of days are good for their slow stillness and silence and the way sometimes nature changes the rules just a bit to remind us to stop and pay attention.

On the way back home, I saw these sticks poking out of the snow. They reminded me of runes, though I have no idea what they might mean. If they said anything, perhaps they were one more reminder to witness the mystery and be awed by it.


  1. We’ve been covered in snow for weeks now. Some day, eventually, it will melt. I know it will! That snowman photo made me laugh. At first glance, his facial features look like – well, dog doo. 😉

    • Maybe I should have left it in color. The carrot, at least, would have looked orangish.

      Our snow melted this morning. It was almost 60 degrees and sunny when I went jogging… our day of winter.

  2. Hello just stumbled your blog and have been browsing around some of your entries and just wondering why you selected a WordPress site dont you find it difficult to do anything with? Been thinking about starting one.

    • Reuben, WordPress is about the easiest blogging platform around especially if you’re interested in any kind of customization.

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