Snow has been coming down, off and on, all day. As a guess, I'd say we have 2-3 inches of new snow on top of the foot or so of packed from last week. Several areas within a half-dozen miles of here are reporting twice as much, and I'm beginning to feel slighted.
Most of the time the snow has been fine, and falling straight down rather than floating—as if it had some weight to it, or was being hurried by gravity. Watching it, I thought about an old bank barn where I once rented a stall for a horse. Whenever the pigeons and swallows in the loft overhead got disturbed, dust and hay bits came sifting down between the ancient floor boards—falling in the exactly the same straight and fast manner as much of today's snow.
Occasionally today, a squall would move through and the flakes would increase in size tenfold and pour fast and furious, swirling so thick you could barely see across the stream—though even then, there didn't seem to be much wind. I kept hoping one of those squalls would make up its mind to become more serious and linger awhile.
At the height of one mini-downpour I looked out and saw one of the herons standing in the Cottage Riffle. My days are filled with herons and their activities, as they clatter and squawk, chase one another up and down the river, or claim a particular riffle and or pool shallows and stand fishing by the hour. The middle of a February snowstorm isn't exactly the best time to be stuck with your feet in the icy water and snowflakes stinging your eyes—but a bird who wants to fill his belly with fish has little choice. I thought this particular heron was looking pretty miserable, somewhere between stoic and grim. Kind of reminded me of winter steelhead fishing days on the Pére Marquette.
Still, as we fishermen know, luck favors the persistent…and you don't get to pick the weather.