whistlestop caboose

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www.zidao.com Apprentice harmonizer, for sheer fun. Journeywoman writer, for work and pleasure. Starting point was Iowa, current stopping point on this journey is Switzerland, with frequent pauses around the world to watch and listen to the crowd, and occasionally make comments.

Tulips 2006 for Gran ellengwallace's Tulips 2006 for Gran photoset

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Swiss Alpine start to winter

Winter arrived last night. It started as heavy rain on the plains, around the edges of Lake Geneva and the low, flat length of the Rhone River. The autoroute was crowded with drivers anxious to believe weather forecasts that the rain would turn to snow. Streams of headlights and taillights colored the lowlands, blurred by the heavy rainfall.

Eventually, almost everyone driving along the valley floor climbs the zigzagging roads that weave their way up the alps. At 1,000 meters the rain thickened into snow. I put on the kettle for tea in the chalet and pulled out my camera. The first snowfall had begun. I photographed the snow falling in front of me and the red lights on my neighbor's bush across the road. If you look carefully you'll see another neighbor's amber, cozy kitchen light on the left.

It has been so warm that the grass is green, as are many plants. The snow looked like a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

The snow carried on until morning in that eery calm that soft wet snows bring with it.

Here is what I saw when I opened the wooden shutters this morning:

We have had snow off and an all day. This evening I drove up to Montana, the resort town near us, and Belgian and French cars without snow tires were fishtailing up the streets, struggling to reach the shops.

Winter has arrived.


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