• Dale Bowman

Pennsylvania Dutch, onion snow & beauty: Ramble with the Lady

I found Lady quite beautiful this morning against the background of the onion snow, which blew down hard and fast last night. And the onion snow was still sticking around this morning, at least for a few hours.

Our family's mutt loves the snow and she reveled in it this morning when we rambled off in one of the coldest mornings--temperatures in the mid-20s--in weeks. So cold that the ground was not only crusted with frost, but frozen solid. As were all the puddles.

I always thought the term onion snow for the final snow of the winter or spring was a universal designation. But suggests it comes primarily from the Pennsylvania Dutch region of Pennsylvania. Click here for a bunch of weather sayings related to the Pennsylvania Dutch.

That makes sense, at least for me. For those who do not know, that is where I grew up, the Pennsylvania Dtuch country of southeastern PA, before heading off to college and ending up in Chicago.

Robins abounded and were rather beautiful in their own right against the onion snow. Or maybe that should be robin snow, though that term never achieved the same sort of traction (so to speak) as onion snow.

Mourning doves cooed all over town, they were nearly as ubiquitous as the robins. As Lady and I crossed the side rail separating the town from the wildness of the town pond, the usual dozens of red-winged blackbirds trilled around the north old clay pit.

Geese honked and flew, some swam on both pits. I suspect the lack of numbers of geese suggests that most of the usual seven pairs, who nest on the town pond, are nesting. There were ducks on the north pit, I assume the couple pairs of wood ducks, which nest in the hollow trees near the town pond.

There was something amusing, at least I found them amusing, in how green with shoots the invasive bush honeysuckle was, especially along the trail, formerly a side rail, above the south end of the south pit.

And it gave me another excuse to photograph the natural beauty of Lady against the onion snow.

Only a couple doves flushed from the grit area by the grain elevators on the edge of town as we came out of the wilds around the town pond and back to town.

Grain cars have been parked by the grain elevators for several weeks and some of them are quite beautiful with graffiti.

As always, the starkness and linear looks of the elevators strikes me with a sharp contrast to the non-linear lines of the wildness around the town pond.

(Hello, Charles Demuth.)

A block from home, next to the decorative fruit trees, Lady leaped six feet into the air trying to snatch a gray squirrel from the limbs of a red maple. She did not succeed, but it was quite amusing in its own right, too.

Back home, Lady flushed one gray squirrel, several doves and many sparrow and finches from the feeders on the front porch.

The snow probably has another hour, then it will fade to memory, like most of life.

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