3/2/2018 11:25:00 AM Musings -- On the editor's mind
The headline for this week’s column could be “Winter weather migrated through the Skagit last week.” Thankfully it has passed through, for this Monday’s temperatures were much milder than last week. And if the forecast holds, it might be 50 degrees when you are reading next week’s paper. Way back on the night of the 17th, the change came as snow mixed with rain north of Seattle. Snow flurries came down Sunday morning. Until last week, that was not typical, but it was the first wintery taste, this new year, of what has been a mild winter in the Skagit. Cold set in, with the emphasis on “cold” and “set.” The cold came Sunday afternoon, February 19, with rain and skies overcast. Monday dawned bright and clear. The Olympic Mountains really shined, big, bright and white in the southwest. To the east, the snow fell lower on the Cascade foothills, clearly showing logged clear-cuts and stayed the week, as below freezing temperatures trumped bright sun. Standing water in farm fields froze and stayed frozen. Ducks and gulls impatiently waited on that ice all week. Snow came Wednesday afternoon with light flakes falling gently and quietly at first. Half an inch, coated fenceposts, trees and the first flowers of spring. Thursday dawned blue and cold, another sunny, bright day. Ice and snow had glued themselves to roads overnight. Driving was treacherous, proven by a semi-truck and its trailer across the road and in a ditch just eat of Fire District 13’s station on Snee Oosh. Though the sun is the highest yet in its arc across the sky, and strong enough to melt snow on all man-made surfaces, there were snow shadows in the shady side of cars left parked all day as well as on the north side of houses and trees. Thank the sun for creating dry sidewalks and streets, finishing the work that salt products started. And the stars. A compact was made guaranteeing clear starry nights, stars shining in abundance. February is supposed to be cold with hints of spring. Are farmers blessing their lucky stars that the week of cold is killing insect larvae burrowed deep beneath the surface? Does the cold have a drying effect on their fields? Snow Friday afternoon and Saturday morning was wet, signaling the end of the low temperatures. Temperatures rose close to 40 degrees Saturday afternoon, and Sunday emerged above 40 degrees. Winter passed through Skagit Valley last week. Good thing Don Coyote was out and about to capture it on what we used to call film.