Spitting Snow

Spitting Snow

It was what we call “spitting” snow today, and while getting back in my car after errands, I noticed a flake that had landed on my black pant leg as I got behind the wheel. I looked closely, and actually heard myself shout “WOW!”, because this snowflake looked so different. This was not a flake of the lacy or feathery kind, that we try to imitate with scissors and white paper folded multiple times. It looked more like a tiny plastic “confetti” piece – like a flower I would have drawn as a child – with 6 identical and evenly spaced “petals” around some imaginary center.


It seemed thicker than the usual flakes, but smaller in diameter – 1/16 of an inch at most; these flakes took longer to melt than the usual ones. I caught a couple more to make sure they really were snow – yep, just like the first one.

The snow let up, and the next time I noticed it coming down, I put on a black sweater and went outside to check. But the flakes were of the standard variety – the “magic” ones were gone. I wonder if anyone else noticed them.

When have you seen something really unique in nature?  What does it take to get you to slow down and look closely at something in your path?

33 thoughts on “Spitting Snow”

  1. There’s a tree in Kaplan’s Woods Park here in Owatonna that is bent at more than a 90-degree angle to the side, then resumes its vertical growth. It’s not terribly large, but old enough that some branches have fallen off or rotted off so the 90-degree bend and resulting knothole and upward branches are eerily reminiscent of the head and antlers of some sort of grazing animal. My first impression was “antelope,” so I call it the Antelope Tree. I suppose a case could be made that it’s an oryx or ibex or another similar beast. I actually tried to write a short story about it but never really got inspired. But every time I walk or ski past it I’ll say hello and pat it on the snout. 🙂

    Chris in O-town

    Liked by 5 people

    1. There tries like that in the woods near me. They built apartments over there. Rather than build them in the ratty field where natural pond and noble forest once stood they went farther into the woods and cut down those trees in a lovely serene glade. I do have pictures but no way to share them and a pastel I did near them

      Liked by 3 people

  2. One of my high school classmates lives in Alaska and often posts videos of the moose that frequent her yard. I can’t imagine living in a place where moose are common visitors. I suppose it is hard to take a moose for granted, though.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. i’ve been on the wrong end of a moose a couple of times and those were times i knew i was experiencing something special and it was not a happy realization

      i’ve had more happy wonderful moose moments but the tingles from the scary moments leave their mark


  3. I love being outside and in nature, and I think I’ve seen lots of unique things. The coolest thing I think I ever saw was in downtown Waterville, but I need to do a little backstory first.

    One day I saw a couple of birds that looked like large hawks trying to build a nest on top of a power pole in the middle of nine 1-acre fish rearing ponds at the fish hatchery where I worked. I was interested in identifying raptors and so I tried to get a good look at them. They were ospreys, and not often seen in southern Minnesota. I contacted the DNR Nongame Wildlife staff and a couple of women I knew who were, and still are, trying to document osprey nests and get individuals banded. Nongame Wildlife staff built a nest platform and “seeded” it with sticks. The ospreys built their nest and had two chicks. The two women, one was from Three Rivers Parks District, came and climbed up and we got the chicks banded. I got to see the osprey chicks close up. They have red eyes when they’re young. We made the news in Boyd Huppert’s Land of 10,000 Stories. It was fascinating to watch the chicks grow, fledge, learn to fish, then leave by the end of September.

    The ospreys returned the next year, and they have returned every year since. They’re not always the same individuals. They’re more promiscuous than you would think, especially in April. They switch partners and play musical nests. They settle down by May and are usually beginning their brooding and the pair will bond for the remainder of the season. Anyway, the following spring they returned and I began observing them again, sending information to my contacts in Nongame Wildlife and Three Rivers Parks District.

    One day I was downtown Waterville on a post office errand. The post office in Waterville is situated right next to a wide area of water called Sakatah Bay. I parked the truck on the street next to the water and went in. When I came back out, I saw an osprey hovering in flight above Sakatah Bay. I wished I had my camera. All I could do is watch. It is the most amazing thing to watch an osprey stoop and dive straight into the water and come up with a fish and fly off. And an incredibly amazing feeling to know that you helped them return to the area where you saw it.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. On my walking path this morning, I saw the skeleton of a goose. No flesh. No guts. No bugs. It reminded me that in nature nothing goes to waste. Plastic eating microbes must be cultivated.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I get easily caught up in examining whatever nature puts in my path. Rocks are endlessly fascinating if you’re walking along a shoreline. They shine and turn such beautiful colors when they are wet. I always come home with a pocketful of the prettiest ones.

    Fallen leaves in autumn, too.

    Liked by 2 people

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