Monday, August 11, 2008

Snow in Australia! (and not in the mountains)

So you're just innocently pootling home from Canberra's quilt show, and it starts raining.  Um, is that rain?  It's kinda sorta drifting rather than falling.... it's SNOW! 
Sure, there are places in Australia where it snows in winter, but this isn't one of them.  From Lake George, to Collector and on to Goulburn, sometimes lighter, sometimes heavier, it snowed.
Naturally this car was as tragic as a number of others, stopping beside the road to take photos.
It's a long time since I've been where it's snowing.  I'd forgotten the taste of it on my tongue, the tiny thumpthud of it (don't think this car's even been snowed on before), melting crystals on the windscreen glass, the whirl of it in the air, the change it makes to the landscape - more than any other weather, it alters the landscape and the light. 
The distant hills were lightly whitened, and trees outlined with the windborne drift of it, like an artist had gone through to highlight light and shadow.  Roadside trees burnt black by summer bushfires, now monochrome charcoal drawings with white highlights.  The blazing sunshine yellow of the wattles blooming along the road lightly burdened with snow and, as the temperature shifted, ice, then more snow.  Tin roofs whitened.  Wind driving the snow so it seemed to focus on just this car, just this windscreen, the wipers pushing it away in steady heartbeats.
After Goulburn, it was gone.  But although the drivers had slowed down, the conditions needing more care, I'm sure the grins of delight were echoed in car after car at this rare gift. 
I know very well how snow can be an inconvenience or worse, but when it's something so rare, it is a gift and a joy.

1 comment:

Di said...

Another triumph of words and pics, Ruth. It's for this kind of work that I've given you an award! Take a look at my blog