What if winter came, and nobody knew?

I find it kind of ironic that I’m re-reading George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire right now, given that one of the book’s main plot points is that winter is coming to the world in the books, and in that world, each season lasts for years. This is ironic because this winter in Buffalo is the mildest I can remember — we’ve had less than three feet of snowfall for the entire season, which is unheard of. We never made it sledding in Chestnut Ridge park because there simply was never enough snow up there to do it. There were, maybe, one or two storms that came through which dumped more than a few inches, and that was it. Ho hum.

What caused the mild winter? One hypothesis that interests me is the temporary effect of a volcano that erupted in Iceland last year. I think that the winter is too atypical to be chalked up to global warming, which may make winters such as this more common for Buffalo over the next century, but to have one winter like this suddenly appear seems too sudden to me to be blamed on a worldwide change in climate. However, I do once again notice that whenever we get a big snowstorm, I can count on hearing all kinds of people saying things like “Ha! It’s snowing! Global warming, my ass!”, but when an abnormally warm weather pattern comes along, I don’t hear anybody saying things like, “Hey, that Al Gore must know what he’s talking about!” That always amuses me.

Anyway, while I like winter, I do find myself a bit excited at the prospect of spring being actually pleasant around here, and maybe coming a bit early. Generally speaking, trees in Western New York aren’t fully green until late May, and March and April are generally wet and muddy and pretty depressing, to be honest. Spring here sucks, and I think that’s a big part of why winter around here gets such a bad rap: a hard season is followed by two months of yuck. Here’s hoping!

As I write this, I have windows open at twenty minutes to midnight, and a nice cool breeze is sweeping through Casa Jaquandor. The first real airing-out of the homespace after several months of winter is always a nice feeling, isn’t it?

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