Thank You, Mother Nature

Thank you, Mother Nature.

I gave you a hard time back in December. Called you a tease. But the slight was well-deserved, because time and again you tantalized we snow-lovers with promises of frosty, white beauty – only to snatch it all away. You rained on our parade, and I mean that literally (well, except for the parade part). The East Coast was being deluged by snowstorm after snowstorm, while all I could do was listen enviously to the news reports. In the darkest recesses of my mind, I contemplated moving to upstate New York or Massachusetts – or maybe even Maine (after all, if it’s good enough for Stephen King to call home, I’m already half-sold on the idea) just so I could enjoy a few snowflakes every winter. I could never actually do that, of course. I love the Pacific Northwest too much to ever leave. Portland is in my blood. I just wish it would snow here more often.

So, when local meteorologists started calling for a snowstorm this week, I had what theologians call “a decided lack of faith.” As usual, the hype machine went into overdrive around these parts. There was Portland mayor Sam Adams holding a press conference Tuesday evening, offering reassuring words to the public, including the statement, “Don’t drive without a survival kit that includes food.” A stern warning for a storm that promised, at most, a few inches of snow. But then again, Portlanders overreact when it comes to snow, a fact I covered in my handy, pocket guide to the Pacific Northwest. And then when the National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning, I thought, “We’re screwed.” Because nothing screams “jinx!” like overinflated hype of that sort. Sure enough, yesterday’s forecast of snow by noon suddenly turned into “rain, changing to snow after midnight.” Here we go again, I thought, and headed over to my parents’ house for dinner, where I bitched about the weather incessantly. But hey, the spaghetti was good.

Fast-forward a few hours. I kept glancing outside, calling on my latent psychic abilities and trying to will it to snow. And what do you know, it worked! Around 10 PM snow started falling at my house, and when I went to bed shortly after 11:00, we’d picked up over an inch. What’s odd is, a friend of mine went to pick a buddy up from the airport (fifteen minutes from my house) at the same time last night, and he said it was clear at the time. Holy crap, I really can control the weather! Who knew? Must. Use. These. Powers. For. Good.

I snapped this photo right before bed. See? I made it snow!

And then, early this morning, it started snowing again. I woke up at 7:00, saw the landscape coated beneath a pristine blanket of white, and my first thought was, $%&! – they actually got the forecast right for a change! And then I leapt out of bed, showered quickly, gulped down a cup of coffee, and headed outside. All the schools were closed, but I don’t have the kids this week, so I was free to explore on my own.

Snow-covered trees
There's a natural wetlands area behind my condo complex, and everything back there was coated in white.
Winter wonderland.
We ended up with about 4" of snow - not a lot compared with other parts of the country, but for us, the most we've seen since 2008.

After walking around my ‘hood for awhile, I decided to hit the streets and explore some other spots around town. Remember how I said the news media goes nuts anytime a few flakes begin to fly? Proof of that was found a few blocks from home, where I came across one of the local television news stations setting up shop in a parking lot.

KGW News Van
One of the local news crews staking out a happenin' spot to report from!
KGW News
Live and on the scene, our intrepid reporting team beaming back snowy images to the television masses.
Fourth Plain Blvd. in the snow.
I know this is just a road, but it's rare to see it all white and snowy.
Orchards Park snow.
The clouds broke up as I arrived at Orchards Park. The snow-covered trees were gorgeous against a dazzling blue backdrop.
Burnt Bridge Creek
My next stop was Burnt Bridge Creek for a walk along the greenway. Looked more like a "whiteway" today.
Burnt Bridge Creek trail in the snow.
One final shot of the snow, the sky, the trees...

I swear, I’m like an excited little kid whenever it snows. I traipsed about for hours and took a million photos – these above are my favorites. When I finally got back home I was cold, wet, and hungry. The rest of the day was spent uploading photos and video, updating Facebook, updating the blog. Not exactly a productive day writing-wise, but I figure I’ll make up for that tomorrow. There’s been a mix of clouds, sun and flurries today. They say we might have one more burst of snow this evening when an arctic front rolls through, and then record cold weather for a day or two. I’m assuming this will be our last snow of the winter, and if so, I’m fine with that. I finally got what I wanted from Mother Nature!

Now I’m wondering what sort of weather I should conjure up next. Maybe a thunderstorm or two? I do have a fascination with lightning…


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

16 thoughts on “Thank You, Mother Nature

  1. Beautiful pix, Mark. I especially like the bench set against the snowy firs…gorgeous.

    Don’t you always pity the poor reporters they send out to cover the snow? You know they’re being hazed…or punished. Regardless, it’s kinda funny (I mean, sad) to see them out there. Makes me laugh (I mean, sigh in compassion) every time.



    1. I just went out to the store…lots of snow gone, but plenty still left in north-facing areas. I don’t think it’s going away today…it’s sunny, windy and BITTERLY COLD out there!


  2. Puh-lease tell me you didn’t send all that tornado nonsense my way 🙂
    Your hood is gorgeous (particularly loved the Orchards Park photo). Congrats on your weather-bending super powers, sir!


    1. I wouldn’t do that to you, Tori! I have to use my powers for good, remember? No destruction allowed. Your post explains why one of my Facebook TN friends was huddled in the bathtub with her hubby and dogs last night. I just thought they were acting a little freaky…


  3. Well, you KNOW how much I enjoyed this post because of our mutual love and admiration for snow. I truly think we’re probably the ONLY TWO people on this planet who act lik an excited little kid whenever it snows.

    But hey, who cares, right?

    Faaaaaaaaabulous photos, Mark!

    P.S. I’m hoping for one more GOOD snowfall before the winter is over!


    1. Ron – I actually thought of you when I was posting this. I knew how much you’d get a kick out of it! Hope you get your wish for more snow before this winter is over!


  4. They said it was going to snow in SF this weekend. Ha! Best keep the snow up there where people are a bit more used to it. A bit.

    Here on Guam, it dipped down to below 80 last week. I had a little chill as I exited the outdoor pool last night after my laps… *ducks*


    1. Oh, Alexis. You funny, funny woman. Try not to catch a cold now, okay? One of my FB friends in the Bay Area said there was snow in Gilroy an hour ago. He took a picture of a few white things on his sleeve, but it looked more like ice pellets to me. Or dandruff.


  5. I love snow too! I’m so excited that you finally got some of the white stuff. I love getting ridiculously cold, rolling around the snow (in not appropriate snow gear) to where snow actually freezes to my jeans. Then, coming inside, putting on warm pajamas and drinking hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows. Damn… I wish it would snow here too! 🙂


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