And so it comes.
Earlier this week the winter vomited out its last blast of snow. For one glorious morning, after another 5:00 AM parking lot shoveling, my snowshoes were strapped on for what might have been the last time this season. I left for my trailhead at -6(ish)℃, and returned mid-morning in +10 ℃ sunshine. Wild swings of temperature that are all too common in recent years. It was a good romp in deep snow. Birds were abundant, especially Japanese pygmy woodpeckers. Eurasian siskins have been spotted in the treetops in recent days (but have since departed).
By the time I returned, and now by the time of this posting, the sidewalks have turned into an impenetrable slop. It’s much harder to walk around. It will freeze each night, becoming an ice rink by morning, and melt all over again. Months of salt, gravel, un-disposed dog poop, masks (remember COVID, it’s still happening here apparently), and assorted detritus all regurgitate their way out of meters of ice pack and turn Sapporo into one of the least desirable cities in Japan for several months.
There will be some backslide. A few Indian winters, false snows, that play with your senses and wreak havoc on your wardrobe. A long underwear morning but a short sleeve afternoon. Hail, sleet, all that good stuff. Enjoy it!