We had a pretty good snow overnight. The weather reports said Cache Valley got about a foot of snow. We measured about 10” in our front yard.
That meant busting out the snow shovels for the first time this season. Thankfully the snow was pretty dry and powdery, which makes it easier to shove. But after my wife and I cleared the driveway, the snow plow came through the neighborhood – which is a good thing – but that meant a second round of shoveling.
Aside from the shoveling part, I love it when we have a good snow overnight, especially when it's sunny the next day like it was today. The air is crystal clear, the sky is deep blue, and the mountain scenery is beautiful.
This morning we were greeted with a stunning explosion of orange, pink, and grey in the sky as the sun prepared to rise over Bear River Range.
I might have missed it, if not for my wife and I leaving about a quarter to 8 to go to the Logan Utah Temple. We literally walked out our front door to this marvelous display.
The vivid colors only lasted a few minutes. It reminded me that precious, meaningful moments in life often come unannounced and can be fleeting. We must hold onto them and keep them alive in our minds and hearts. If we do, we can go back in time and live in those moments whenever we want.
I've been living in northern Utah for nearly 10 years, but I'm a native of Phoenix, Arizona. Despite the gorgeous colors, I have come to dread Fall because it means that months of bitter cold are ahead.
During those months, most of the time my hands and feet are always cold. I guess I have poor circulation or not enough insulation (fat) there. I wear slippers around the house and hoodies with front pockets to warm my hands.
I usually have to use a little space heater for a bit to warm up my home office in the morning. And sometimes again in the afternoon. Being on the north end of the house, it tends to be colder than other areas this time of year. Sometimes, if I just can't seem to warm up my hands or feet, I'll also heat up a rice bag.
My wife, on the other hand, loves the cold and looks forward to this time of year. During the summer she's pretty miserable and feels like she can never get cool enough. So I guess we balance each other out in that way. And I guess it's good that we live in an area with four distinct seasons, so we each have something to look forward to.
The forecast predicted it wouldn't happen until tomorrow, but today we are getting our first real rain and snow of the season here in northern Utah. It's been unusually warm up until now – we haven't even had a hard overnight freeze yet and I remember that happening as early as September in past years.
I'm concerned about the changing climate in this area and in the western United States, in general. It's going to take years of consistent precipitation to even make a dent in the severe drought being experienced in most areas. Many people are relocating here from other parts of the country, increasing the demand on water. And here in Utah, we sure love our lush, green lawns. As an Arizona native, I've never understood this. I like a good lawn as much as the next person, but we live in an arid climate where water is only becoming more scarce.
It's time to replace front lawns with xeriscapes – more natural-looking landscapes native plants and trees that thrive on much less water. This should become the norm sooner than later, but I have a feeling a number of people are going to wait to be forced to do it, then complain they are being forced. But what else can we do?
The Great Salt Lake is drying up. That means less lake effect snow in the mountains, therefore less snow pack, therefore less water during the warm months of the year. This is not a trivial problem and we can't keep kicking the can down the road.
Today, I'm thankful for the rain and snow. And I pray for more.