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March 21, 2019

3/13/2019 12:05:00 PM
Musings - on the editor's mind

Finally, early Saturday afternoon the weather cracked: not a dramatic break to spring warmth but a glimmer that winter is releasing its unusually strong and prolonged grip on the Skagit Valley. This year snow was no brief treat but for a month a near weekly reality, making for great photos and stories, including perhaps the tragedy of the loss of this year’s daffodil crop.
This was a record breaker that will be remembered by kids decades hence for the many Washington Street hill sledding days. Will non-farming adults have fond memories, too?
I don’t have a fireplace or a wood stove to curl up near. But like everyone else, I could, and did, look up.
Cold days can end up as blue sky days. The sky’s color changed as the sun set, the evenings introduced with twilights of yellow or orange or pink or red.
Cold nights are often clear nights, providing a blanket of stars. On black sky nights Orion stands guard above the Rainbow Bridge. Northeast, the Big Dipper’s handle points straight down into Skagit soil, its cup pouring its contents into the Swinomish Channel.
What a winter it has been. Time will tell if cold days and clear nights are the new normal. It may be this year’s artic express is an anomaly. It may be that continued clear skies and reduced precipitation, whether rain or snow, becomes the pattern, reflected upon generations hence as the first years of “been this way since I was a kid.”

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• Ken Stern

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