There was snow on the ground this morning as I snuck out of the house, at what FELT like a very early hour.
It wasn't actually an early hour at all, or least not a very early hour. it was 7:45. It's only been a few weeks since I was last up and out at that time, but it was completely dark, without a hint of sunrise yet on the Eastern horizon. It's amazing how much earlier (or later at the opposite end of the day) the absence of light makes it feel.
It also wasn't the first snowfall Anchorage has seen yet this autumn/early winter. But it was the first seen by me, given that all the others have virtually melted away before I've left the house.
Being outside at that hour, with fresh snow on the ground and the sky still dark gave me a brief hint of one of the feelings I treasure during winter time. I love snowfalls, anytime of day.
However, snowfall at night is heavenly. In the city the snow laden clouds glow a soft pinky-orange and every falling flake seems vaguely back lit as it drifts to the ground, even if you are near no street lights. Plus there is the resounding hush that a snowfall creates, it seems amplified at night. The flakes in the the air create a dampening effect on the sounds around, even the traffic. And you know that the next day everything will be blanketed in white: clean and bright.
At night time, snowfalls are bliss. I can hardly wait to get out and ski around a lighted loop at Russian Jack (which is now just around the corner from my house) ...to fly down the hill at Bicentennial Park...or to skate around Westchester Lagoon with fires in the barrel and beer in the snow. All while the snow falls, the sky glows and the ambient noise is seemingly gone.
September and early October are always hard months. The anticipation of winter and the coming darkness is much worse than winter itself.
Seeing the snow on the ground and getting the vague sense of the peacefulness that will soon be brought reminds me of that. The anticipation does not lend itself to the fantasticness that is wintertime. I can't wait!
And I love my home. As Yukon Rider says "Where you can ski through most of the city, regardless if it's night or day--ya...."