Our sense of snow

Part of the reason why I thought snow removal could be art was because of the way it looks when it’s being thrown about by man and machine. We’re all familiar with the delicate beauty of snow flakes falling out of the sky. But there also can be something strangely beautiful about it when it’s pushed off of a sidewalk or a road. It can be like a thick stream of opaque white water shot out of a hose or a fountain when it’s being propelled out of the chute of snowblower. I once spent some time riding shotgun in a highway snowplow and have seen freshly fallen, heavy snow being turned into a thick, milky wave curling off the blade of the plow, arcing heavily onto the side of the road. Sometimes, when the plow hits a snow drift at full speed, it’s like smashing into the surf, with the windshield going white momentarily and the thump of packed snow hitting the top of the truck cab. Let’s hope there’s snow in January 2018 when the Snowblower Ballet comes to St. Paul, and we can capture some of those qualities.

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