These two snow beings demanded to manifest. Thankfully, the snow gods cooperated with nice, wet-cement snow. I don’t know what would have happened otherwise.
(Hope the UPS guy doesn’t knock the chin off the jester. Or vice versa!)
It’s frustrating. This winter, I discovered a past time that amuses me greatly: making snow sculpture. Just a budding snow sculptor, I have made only three entities: the Snow Goddess and her consort and the Snow Buffoon. But each of these have felt like real beings. Well, real in the sense that they exude personality like crazy. Parts of my personality? Probably, yes.
The frustrating part is that our snow this year has been mostly of the powdery persuasion. I’m sure it’s been great for skiers and it’s been mostly a breeze to shovel. But it’s not been conducive to packing and shaping. I couldn’t even make a simple snowball this afternoon. My third snow person, the Snow Buffoon, stands solitary sentry in front of the goat barn. I know he wants company. Tomorrow, rain will drip down his rather extravagant nose and he will melt.
Thankfully, there’s always Photoshop for when raw materials are reluctant to cooperate. Making a mandala always brings a surprising depth to the subject; almost always some kind of spooky face emerges. In this case, the face was spooky enough to begin with and the resulting mandala makes me just a little queasy to peer at closely.
Winter’s got a way to go here in Maine. In past years, we’ve gotten significant snowfall during the month of March. I don’t want to make any enemies, however I hereby voice my humble petition to the forces of nature for some nice, heavy, sculpture-friendly precipitation.
Unlike my high expectations, the big Friday storm dumped nearly a foot of non-snowman-quality snow. Driving in it was a wet mess. Shoveling it practically dislocated my left arm from its socket. So, naturally, I was psyched for a little outdoor snow sculpting today: threw on my jeans, fleeces, gaiters and snow shoes and clomped excitedly down the yard to my formerly imposing snow friends (reduced to spindles by now) to investigate the packing characteristics of the fresh white stuff.
Dammit. The snow just wouldn’t hold together enough to repair the Snow Goddess‘ honeycomb neck. Her head snapped off as I tamped in additional snow to reinforce it. After heaving her icy spike of a head into the yard, I accepted the Hefeweisen that my husband Will brought for me (which improved my mood immensely.) I reconnoitered.
We clomped north across the yard to the Goat Barn. Sadly, no goats inhabit the Goat Barn these days, but that’s a story for another day. Will brought his snow rake along and scraped down the heavy snow he could reach on the barn’s porch roof. Hmmm: This snow seemed a little more cohesive. Not the best snowman snow, but it’ll do in a pinch. I started shaping, nothing in particular. Then I noticed the direction. A decidedly dorky head and shoulders emerged from the roof snow. Exhibiting a slightly medieval aura, this newest figure cast a decidedly stubborn profile.
The Snow Buffoon must be my inner village idiot. God help me if he’s an expression of a past life! Spit was utilized to keep his nostril snow in form, so I guess he is partly me now. I’m trying to ignore the plaintive voice in my head: I believe he’s afraid to guard the goat barn alone in the dark; he’s so close to the Mountain Division Trail with all its roaring snow machines. Can’t blame him, the snowmobile exhaust alone is probably coating him with dirt.
Tomorrow afternoon, I will conjure a friendly companion for him. Maybe something with eyes to keep watch in the dark tomorrow night. They will likely only last until Monday, when the forecast calls for 1 to 2 inches of …rain.
The stately couple continues to sublimate. Strong sun and high winds for several days have eroded and evaporated them wickedly. The Queen Victoria figure still retains a glimmer of her former curvaceous glory. Her unfortunate consort, who was not finished except for his bald head and Princess Leia earmuffs, disintegrates slowly beside her, stoically holding space for his Queen.
2″ to 4″ of snow are forecast for tomorrow — not exactly a plowable storm, but after I shovel, I will suit up for a little strategic backyard snow operation. There must be something I can do to improve the view from the kitchen until the sun melts the snow piles where the bulbs are planted. Winter still rules in Maine for the foreseeable future.
As I watched my strange snow creations in the backyard sublimate over the past few days, I realized I had to let them go. Yes, the snow seems like good packing snow again but do I really want to venture out into wild turkey country and plump up the snow bosoms? (The turkey shit that is uncovered as the deep snow melts is unspeakable.) Not so much.
To mourn the irreparable changes in the goddess and her consort, I started looking at photos of other snow families I have created. Last year, all I made were small families. The above photo is a disturbing rendition with a filtered face I snagged from a daguerrotype. These snow peeps look spooky, grumpy and cranky… me, me and me. (I was listening to Norah Jones while I made this composite, ha!) This year, I’ve made several actual snow families of various sizes. Some of them had cool icicles spiking straight up out of their heads. Some had bottle cap hats and the snow was so dry I had to use spit to anchor their heads onto their torsos. And finally, just like all snow creatures, they either melted or just slowly disintegrated into debris.
Tomorrow I’ll digitally document the decline of the busty snow goddess and her bald partner. Snow is forecast for Monday: there will be a bit more winter to enjoy. Who knows? If the snow packs, this could be a case for reincarnation.
The Goddess got a companion. Tuesday afternoon was the last time the snow was conducive for sculpting. A light snowfall Tuesday didn’t deter me from building the bald guy. This was my only window to work since colder temperatures were forecast for the next day. Got him about half finished. He was slated for a hefty belly and a couple of arms but wind and sideways snow kicked in and I had to abandon my effort.
Still, they make a compelling couple. The third base sits idle. Maybe the next storm will be kind to them and drop some more packable snow.