Thursday, October 29, 2009

Where’s the snow go?

We had a bit of snow here in Arvada since yesterday morning. They say we received about 21 inches. The scene is beautiful. The last 10 inches came without wind so fence posts are piled high and leaning like Marge Simpson’s hair-do. The trees haven’t dropped their leaves yet so they are feeling the burden and some branches are getting pruned.

I am ambivalent about shoveling the snow. I discovered in my Michigan youth that god brought the snow and god will take it away. A philosophy my parents found vexing and disrespectful. It will melt soon, as it always does in this part of Colorado. In two days it will be 60 degrees and the mounds of snow will fall like a high-altitude soufflé.

But where does it go? I have been thinking a lot about water as we plan for the Wade in the Water Artposium. If I were to shovel, I could pile snow on my yard or push it into the street. The yard snow will melt into the ground (and evaporate) before joining the aquifer. It will give our xeric plants a bit of moisture that they need in spite of the season.

The street snow will melt and run directly to Ralston Creek about 100 meters away. I have no idea what aquifer or what its properties are. I also have no idea where Ralston Creek goes, although I suspect it joins Clear Creek and then the Platte River.

I think I’ll ponder this until it all melts. No sense rushing out there and messing with a watershed.

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