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You’ve all heard about how many words Eskimos have for snow. Being from the Oregon coast where it snows once every five years, this had little relevance to me. So I decided to take a job in at 7,000 feet in Sequoia National Park. The beauty is I could walk to work so I wouldn’t have to drive in the snow. Seeing as how I have a convertible, that was a good thing. (But I do have snow tires, just in case.) The snow arrived late, in November, in a slushy mess. Then it snowed over a foot in one night. This time the snow was like powdered sugar. It just floated off my car when I dug it out. This would be the first of many, many times I would have to dig out my little car and move it so they could plow the parking lot. Nothing like some vigorous snow shoveling to keep off those winter pounds. Then the sun came out and it didn’t snow for a long time. And giant crystals began to grow alongside the paths and roads. Guests called it hoarfrost. It was amazing but I couldn’t get a decent picture of it with my digital camera. It has trouble with the white. There’s a spectacular series of books of magnified snowflake photos you just have to see to believe. Our recreation manager gave a cross-country ski lesson. It was early morning so it was a little icy on top but decent underneath. This, I learned, was called crust and dust. A series of storms blew in, one after the other, dumping feet of snow. And soon we were walking in little rodent mazes between the buildings. One night I was going to work and caught a glimpse of the lightest snow I’d ever seen. It looked like glitter falling to earth. It was so beautiful, it nearly took my breath away. Another fun thing about fresh snow is animal tracks. We have a resident coyote and you can see the journey it takes on its daily rounds. It has quite the circuit. It’s snowing as I write this, the trees cloaked in white. They say the snow gets wetter as the spring nears. I wonder what is the name for that kind of snow?

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