In Australia autumn officially begins on 1 March and ends 31 May. The vast diversity of the ecological zones of the Australian continent renders the rigid American seasonal calendar an imposed cultural concept rather than relevant to climactic conditions.Wikipedia
The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.
The best time to look at the snow is when it has recently fallen, preferably in the morning. New York then gets that winter wonderland look and feel.
If the snow accumulates more than a couple of inches, it gets shoveled up onto the road (street U.S.) side of the sidewalks, so that people can walk without slipping. It is pushed onto curbs from the road (street U.S), so that cars can drive. And then it turns to black ice (polluted frozen snow). Dangerous and ugly.
People start getting out of their apartments where they'd tended to stay, emerging only for work and provisions in the winter months.
And there's Central Park. Fall and spring are perhaps the best seasons for wandering there.
Summer in New York. When I think of summer I think of the iconic black and white photo of boys playing under a stream of water from a fire hydrant. I looked for it on the web but couldn't find it. I found a similar one but not the classic.
Fall or autumn? Americans know what autumn IS, but prefer to use the word "fall".
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary "fall" traces its origins to old Germanic languages. The exact derivation is unclear, the Old English fiæll or feallan and the Old Norse fall all being possible candidates.
Back to winter. And an iconic scene in New York. What IS all the hot air? What is the steam that gushes from the red and white candy-themed vertical pipes? It sometimes brings to mind Tom Wolfe's sixties book, "The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Steamline Baby", though it was actually "Streamlined" and not steamlined".
The New York steam is vapor produced when underground water hits hot equipment and escapes from beneath the streets or condensed steam leaking from the Con Ed's steam system.
There are five steam plants in Manhattan, and one each in in the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. On a cold winter day, nearly 10 million pounds of steam at 350 degrees Fahrenheit flows each hour through 105 miles of underground mains - to efficiently heat high-rise buildings.
When I first came to New York I loved seeing the steam coming out of the red and white pipes. It was like walking onto the set of a movie.
But now it's ho hum. Nothing to even notice, unless I'm taking a tourist friend from Australia around to see the sites.
But the snow.
I'll never tire of it.
I just can't wait till Saturday and the "dust of snow".